DNA Profiling Essay example

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From cases such as OJ Simpson to Chandra Levy, DNA profiling also called DNA fingerprinting or DNA typing has played a major role in the criminal justice system. The law enforcement community uses DNA profiling to rule out or identify suspects. Unlike hair microscopy, bite mark comparisons, shoe print comparisons, and firearm tool mark analysis, DNA typing has been developed through massive scientific research and has undergone meticulous scientific evaluation (Innocence Project). DNA is a foolproof method of identifying a perpetrator of a crime.
Like fingerprints, DNA is unique, with the exception of identical twins; no two people have the same DNA. DNA profiling is a technique that can identify the person responsible of a violent
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With over three million base pairs in the human gene, forensic scientists are able to distinguish a person’s genetic makeup.
. DNA profiling was first introduced to the criminal justice field in the mid-1980’s (DNA Initiative). DNA profiling was first described in 1984 by Alec Jeffreys, a geneticist at the University of Leicester in Britain (Aronson, 7). Dr. Jeffreys found that the genes that have no function, called “junk DNA” is where most of the variation is used for DNA profiling (Aronson 9). This region contains DNA sequences that repeat over and over again. Alec Jeffreys determined that the number of repeated sections at different locations vary from individual to individual (DNA Initiative). Consequently these repetitive regions became known as “variable number of tandem repeats” or VNTR’s.
RFLP or restriction fragment length polymorphisms became the first scientifically accepted DNA analysis method in the United States (Jones). The repeat segments are cut out of the DNA strand by a restrictive enzyme that acts like scissors and the resulting fragments are sorted out by electrophoresis (Saferstein 391). However, there are some drawbacks using the RFLP method in the forensic science community. The RFLP technique requires a large amount of DNA and must be of high quality and cannot be degraded (Jones). Forensic scientists and the law enforcement community