Dna Fingerprinting Essay

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DNA as a Key Witness Criminals, often unknowingly, leave parts of themselves behind. These pieces are not always visible to the untrained eye. Hair, skin, blood, and fingerprints all contain elements that are unique to each person. It is with DNA testing and fingerprinting, that criminals can be identified and crimes can be linked. This system of testing and matching has become the “most essential and reliable method of catching criminals” in the United States (Lynch 67). Advancing technology is not only solving crimes, but also deterring them. DNA profiling, genetic fingerprinting, and DNA testing are all names for the same process and are used interchangeably. These terms all refer to the technique used by scientists to identify and match the genetic code (or DNA) of people. DNA is highly similar among humans, but there are always pieces of the coding that are distinguishably different and exclusive to each person, aside from identical twins (Lazer 9). Samples of genetic code are logged into easily searchable, computerized files called databases; searching these databases with DNA found at a crime scene will result in a match if the DNA of the criminal was previously entered. To begin genetic fingerprinting, a technician will procure a sample of DNA. This piece of genetic coding will be referred to as a "reference sample" (Lynch 12). There are many ways to obtain DNA. For criminal coding the most effective and proven method is that of buccal swabbing. This is the act of collecting a sample by rubbing a swab on the cells on the inside of a person’s cheek. Buccal swabs are a relatively non-invasive way to collect DNA samples for testing. Though DNA is relatively easy to acquire, there are issues involved in its application. It can be seen as an invasion of one’s privacy. Recently there has been some speculation about the accuracy of DNA

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