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DNA tests have many advantages over traditional serologic methods. They are more powerful and applicable in a greater variety of specimens. Since DNA Testing began being used in forensic examination in the past decade, techniques have developed rapidly. Methods include analysis of restriction fragment length polymorphisms, dot blots of allelic sequence information, short tandem repeats, and mitochondrial sequence determination. The quality assurance standards for DNA testing are very stringent and must meet numerous guidelines required by the legal community and by the court system.
No other forensic evidence, except fingerprints (themselves a biologic correlate), is as personal to the perpetrator as biologic evidence. Most forensic evidence links scenes or objects together, rather than to the individual that the police are trying to catch. Other than fingerprints and DNA, few different types of evidence have the potential to identify an individual.
Forensic DNA Test also is used to identify human remains. Fingerprint and dental identification cannot be used for the identification of some remains (e.g., partial skeletal remains). Decomposition, fragmentation, or partial incineration may prevent fingerprint identification. Due to the success of water fluoridation, victims have increasingly fewer dental restorations on which to base dental comparisons. Moreover, fingerprints or dental records often aren't available on which to base a comparison, but generally, family members can be found for DNA identity testing.
Improving forensic crime solving Forensic scientists are continually working on developing new techniques and procedures for the collection and analysis of evidence. The forensic analysis differs from the clinical analysis in several significant ways. The forensic laboratory has no control over the amount of evidence left at a crime scene or the insults to which the biologic material may have been subjected. The analysis performed, therefore, must be validated carefully and documented extensively before use. Also, the interpretation will often be scrutinized more stringently than routine clinical testing. Having met these challenges, the use of forensic DNA evidence is now widespread. As technology advances, forensic DNA testing will continue to evolve, leading to faster, more discriminating tests applicable to a broader array of circumstances.