DNA Profiling Comes of

Although DNA profiling was viewed with some skepticism when it first made its way into the courts, DNA typing is now used routinely, in and out of the courthouse. It is commonly used in rape and murder cases, where the assailant generally leaves behind some personal evidence such as hair, blood, or semen. In paternity tests, the child's DNA profile will be a combination of the profiles of both parents. DNA profiling has also been used to identify victims in disasters where large numbers of people died at once, such as in airplane crashes, large fires, or military conflicts.

DNA testing can also used in organisms other than humans. For instance, it has been used to type cattle in a cattle-stealing case. It can also be used to identify pathogenic strains of bacteria to track the outbreak of disease epidemics. see also Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering, History; Gel Electrophoresis; Polymerase Chain Reaction; Polymorphisms; Repetitive DNA Elements.

Mary Beckman


Bloom, Mark V., Greg A. Freyer, and David A. Micklos. Laboratory DNA Science: An Introduction to Recombinant DNA Techniques and Methods of Genome Analysis. Menlo Park, CA: Addison-Wesley, 1996.

Evert, Ian W., and Bruce S. Weir. Interpreting DNA Evidence: Statistical Genetics for Forensic Scientists. Sunderland, MA: Sinauer Associates, 1998.

Steward, Ian. "The Interrogator's Fallacy." 172-175.

Scientific American (September 1996):

Internet Resources

"13 CODIS Core STR Loci with Chromosomal Positions." National Institute of Standards and Technology. <http://www.cstl.nist.gov/biotech/strbase/images/ codis.jpg>.

The Biology Project. The University of Arizona. <http://www.biology.arizona.edu/ human_bio/activities/blackett2/gifs/sample2.gif>.

FBI Core STR Markers. <http://www.cstl.nist.gov/biotech/strbase/fbicore.htm>.

The Innocence Project. <http://www.innocenceproject.org/>.

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