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How DNA Testing Works in Solving Crimes


Skulls on a Beach: "Currents carry many d...

Skulls on a Beach: “Currents carry many dead things to Punuk Island making it the graveyard of the Bering Sea.” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Solving a crime is never easy, especially if there is a scarcity of evidences. That’s why it is amazing how, even if they are based on fiction, the characters in the hit TV series “CSI” manage to solve every case thanks to the technology in their hands. Are you aware that some of the methods they apply in the series are, in fact, happening in the real world?

A good example of this is DNA testing. You may not know it, but it has been implemented since the ‘90s. With further development and research, the system has become part of almost every criminal investigation in the United States. Considering the accuracy of the results, including the now lower costs and quicker procedures, they are undoubtedly of great help in closing cases.

The process of DNA testing can take as short as 12 hours. Depending on the case, it can also cost as low as $50. There are many phases involved in the testing procedure itself, and they are as follows:

1.      The evidence is submitted.

Depending on the case, the forensics team would gather all the evidences in the crime scene, and then submit those that need DNA testing to the laboratories. These materials should be handled with care and stored in airtight containers.

2.      The evidence is screened.

The evidence is then inspected and examined in the laboratory using regular, tactile, or alternative light sources to look for biological stains.

3.      Further testing is applied.

Through the use of serology testing, this particular phase would determine the presence of bodily fluids such as human saliva, semen, and/or blood. These would then be used for the DNA testing.

4.      The DNA is analyzed.

There are several kinds of DNA testing that can be done, namely Y-STR analysis, STR analysis, and mtDNA sequencing. All relevant tests will be done depending on the case at hand. Afterwards, a genetic profile will be generated for each sample and statistical calculations will be conducted if it is required.

5.      Final results are presented.

DNA

DNA (Photo credit: Gravitywave)

After everything is done, a forensic report is released which would describe the results of the tests in full detail. Chances are, the results will come in codes, so the forensic DNA analyst will be interpreting them to the client.

Before the start of the new millennium, DNA testing was much more tedious—it required weeks of systematical processes and analysis before coming up with accurate results. On top of that, they also needed a good amount of samples to test with and around $1000 for the whole process. However, thanks to the modernization of technology, DNA testing has become a quicker and more reliable means of pinpointing the suspect of a particular crime.
Anjela Guidotti is a Marketing Consultant for homeDNAdirect.co.uk, form United Kingdom and also a Blogger about health that specializes in DNA Services, Paternity Test.

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About Richard Nelson

Freelance science writing all day and night. I'm an expert at writing, marketing, and publishing. Providing writing services nearly everyday, SEO rich articles about science and tech are my specialties. I also love to make money so I'm for hire as an independent communications expert and business consultant with specializations in project management, writing, science, and engineering. With a vast network of professionals in various fields backed by two degrees, 180 credits hours, 6 graduate courses and several awards and recommendations along the way, who could go wrong?

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