The Pros And Cons Of DNA Profiling

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DNA profiling is a standard tool used to help with criminal investigations. This is impactful in the field of forensics to determine and identify suspects of murder. For example, almost 50 years after the crime, DNA provided evidence in the murder of Mary Sullivan by taking a sample from the nephew of the suspect in her murder. As such, it was clear the Boston Strangler was Albert DeSalvo. (Philip Bulman, February, 2014) DNA profiling is also imperative in identifying murder victims such as Kerry Graham and Francine Trimble, who became missing in December, 1978. Due to advanced knowledge in forensic science, a DNA match identified the victims in December, 2015. (Linda Williams, 2016) DNA profiling is conducted first by obtaining a DNA sample from a crime scene, suspect, victim or other evidence. The next step is to amplify sequences to make the DNA sample larger. Finally, gel electrophoresis is used to compare regions of the amplified DNA to determine which samples are from the same individual and which are unique. There are several profiling techniques such as polymerase chain reaction which targets and quickly copies segments of DNA from even minute amounts of blood or tissue. Another profiling method is short tandem report analysis which repeats short sequences of DNA to determine exact matches between relatives and unrelated individuals. As referenced above, gel electrophoresis compares fragments of DNA by separating from different sources. Lastly, there is RELP analysis
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