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antibodies immune-system proteins that bind to foreign molecules

A robot used in DNA profiling adds solution and stirs DNA samples from tissues taken from September 11, 2001, New York terrorism victims. The tissue is being identified by matching DNA samples, which is the essence of DNA profiling.

Blood typing can be used to exclude the possibility that a blood sample came from a particular person, if the person's type does not match that of the sample. However, it cannot be used to claim that any particular person is the source of the sample, because there are so few blood types, and they are shared by so many people. About 45 percent of people in the United States are type O, and another 40 percent are type A. If four people were physically present at the scene of a murder, and the candlestick found nearby had type O blood spilled on it, chances are good that two of those individuals could be found guilty of the crime, based solely on the blood typing evidence. Most court cases, however, rely on more evidence than just blood or DNA typing, such as whose fingerprints are also found on the candlestick (see Statistics and the Prosecutor's Fallacy, below).

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