DNA profiling | Definition

Doc's CJ Glossary by Adam J. McKee
Course: Criminal Investigations

DNA profiling, also known as genetic fingerprinting, is a forensic technique used to identify an individual based on their unique DNA signature.


DNA profiling involves analyzing specific regions of an individual’s DNA that are known to vary significantly between individuals. The resulting DNA profile is a series of numbers that represent the genetic characteristics of an individual, and it can be used to identify them with a high degree of accuracy.

DNA profiling is typically used in criminal investigations to identify suspects, to link suspects to crime scenes, and to exclude suspects as the perpetrators of a crime. It is also used in other areas, such as paternity testing and immigration cases. DNA profiling is considered to be a very reliable method of identification because DNA is unique to each individual and is not easily contaminated.

To create a DNA profile, a sample of DNA is collected from an individual and analyzed in a laboratory. The resulting DNA profile is compared to a reference sample, such as a sample from a crime scene or a sample from another individual, to determine if there is a match. DNA profiling can be performed on a variety of biological samples, including blood, saliva, and hair.


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Last Modified: 01/09/2023

 

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