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Essay about Biology: DNA Forensics

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DNA forensics is a division of forensic science that focuses on the use of genetic material in criminal investigation to answer questions pertaining to legal situations, including criminal and civil cases. Through DNA testing, law enforcement officers are able to identify human remains or the individual responsible for a crime. DNA testing is a highly advanced scientific process that involves replicating the human DNA sequence to create a genetic map of an individual. Because of its reliability, DNA testing has become a significant factor in criminal cases. However, it has also been identified as having the potential to violate privacy and constitutional rights. The DNA identification process consists of five stages. These five stages include isolation, quantification, polymerase chain reaction, short tandem polymerase chain reaction, and interpretation. Isolation refers to the extraction of DNA from the nucleus of tissue cells. After extraction, scientists quantify the DNA sample by ensuring that it is at least one billionth of a gram in size. If the sample is smaller the isolation process must be repeated. Next, through polymerase chain reaction, the single strand of DNA is split down the middle into two pieces and replicated to create a larger sample. Next, through short tandem polymerase chain reaction, smaller sections of the DNA sequence are replicated. This allows scientists to interpret the DNA and create a genetic profile of the individual from whom the original DNA sample came from. On average, a DNA test can take between five and ten days to complete. Along with helping to solve crimes, DNA analysis can be used in the identifying of victims of a mass tragedy. Some examples of when this was used are the September 11th At...


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