Forensic Testing for Human Identification
Since the first DNA fingerprint was developed by Sir Alec Jeffreys, DNA testing has had great implications for solving
otherwise impossible cases. Before the use of DNA in forensic testing, the criminal justice system had to rely
on blood typing and HLA testing if biological evidence was found at a crime scene. These forms of analyses generated
useful information for investigators, but they could not consistently provide conclusive results — or there was simply not enough of the DNA sample for testing. With DNA testing,
it is possible to obtain conclusive, definitive identification of a perpetrator or victim.
The US Department of Energy Office of Science has outlined several uses for DNA testing in forensics. Some examples of
DNA's uses for forensic testing include:
- Identifying potential suspects whose DNA may match evidence left at crime scenes
- Exonerating persons wrongly accused of crimes
- Identifying victims of crime
Several different types of technology are used to analyze forensic DNA samples.