Definition of DNA forensics

DNA forensics: The application of DNA technology and the knowledge of DNA genetics to the practice of forensic medicine and to the power of legal medicine.

Crime scene investigation has been markedly changed -- some would say revolutionized -- by the advent of DNA forensics. This has led to the invention of devices for DNA forensics. One is a plate of glass about the size of a hand is etched with very thin channels and reservoirs. A minute sample of DNA is moved between reservoir and channel through timed electric pulses. These thin channels then act like capillary tubes and can resolve the constituents of this minute sample of DNA. At the crime scene, the forensic technician can perform the PCR reactions for DNA fingerprinting and immediately resolve the samples on the glass plate. What normally would take more than a day, once the sample is taken to the laboratory, now takes only a few hours at the crime scene.


Last Editorial Review: 6/14/2012

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