Deoxyribonucleic Acid (Dna)

Topics: DNA, DNA profiling, Alec Jeffreys Pages: 5 (2124 words) Published: June 22, 2013
DNA is a double helix molecule that contains information that is used to make up a person’s body. DNA controls every aspect of a person’s body from their eye and hair color, height, and other features. DNA’s specific and unique characteristic can be crucial when solving a crime. DNA can be used to convict a suspect or exonerate an innocent person. When DNA is found it is even more important that is handle properly to ensure proper identification and accuracy of testing. The evolution of DNA technology is vital to the process of solving crimes, however the process by which DNA is found and handle can jeopardize its powerfulness. The discovery of the structure of DNA opened the realm of DNA technology which changed the way crimes can be solved. In order to understand the importance of DNA in a crime, the structure of DNA needed to be revealed first. One of the most important discoveries in history was the discovery of the structure of DNA by Watson and Crick in 1953 (Liras, 2008). This remarkable molecule contained genetic information that can be highly useful in solving a crime. DNA is the basic unit of life. The molecule uses the arrangement of bases and forms into a double helix. This arrangement contains information and instruction for the development of the body. DNA defines each of our individual characteristics therefore making it very unique. The “arrangement of these bases in each DNA molecule is different for everyone except identical twins” (Wilson, Foreman &ump; Asplen, 1999) and this is the key to the importance of DNA evidence. DNA is everywhere in the body and remains the same and that makes DNA a very important biological evidence. The individualistic characteristic is a key feature of DNA that assists in solving a crime. No one can deny or alter their DNA since it is found in every aspect of the body. Therefore it would be difficult for someone to defend the fact that the DNA is not his since DNA is very specific. A person’s DNA is the same no matter the source or location from on or in the body. This characteristic of DNA makes it an even more vital piece of evidence. If skins cells from dust are retrieve at a crime scene, skins cells would not have to be recollected from the suspect to prove he or she was at a location. A blood sample or cheek cells would suffice because it all contains the same DNA. DNA evidence from a crime scene can be compared from the samples taken from the suspect. A suspect is “identified and a blood or cheek swab sample is collected and sent to the laboratory and analyzed” (Wilson, Foreman &ump; Asplen, 1999). The laboratory analyst compares the DNA information from the evidence with that of the suspect to determine if there is a match. Blood and semen are common sources of DNA evidence, but law enforcement officers are learning that other evidence can be analyzed for DNA “such as saliva, chewed tobacco or gum left behind, mucous on clothing or tissues, or skin cells left on a surface on murder weapon” (Wilson, Foreman &ump; Asplen, 1999). All of these examples have bodily fluids that contain DNA that can crucial and narrowing down a suspect and mostly importantly convicting the guilty or freeing the innocent. DNA evidence does not have to be restricted to just blood or Semen but anything from a person’s body will contain their DNA. A suspect may not realize what valuable evidence they left behind. However, once collected and tested properly DNA evidence can seal the case. DNA technology has evolved allowing the process of testing to be more efficient and accurate. DNA testing has made some advancement since its start with ABO analysis. This type of testing could be used determine someone’s blood type. Later, new markers for identity and paternity identification were based on “variations of serum proteins and red blood cell enzymes; eventually the human leukocyte antigen system was used” (Saad, 2005). The discovery of “fingerprint” DNA finally took DNA technology into a more...
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