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n. scientifically, deoxyribonucleic acid, a chromonal double chain (the famous "double helix") in the nucleus of each living cell the combination of which determines each individual's hereditary characteristics. In law, the importance is the discovery that each person's DNA is different and is found in each living cell, so a hair, blood, skin or any part of the body can be used to identify and distinguish an individual from all other people. DNA testing can result in proof of one's involvement or lack of involvement in a crime scene. While recent DNA tests have proved a convicted killer on death row did not commit a crime and resulted in his release, current debate concerns whether DNA evidence is scientifically certain enough to be admitted in trials. The trend is strongly in favor of admission.

Copyright © 1981-2005 by Gerald N. Hill and Kathleen T. Hill. All Right reserved.


abbreviation for deoxyribonucleic acid, a chemical which is found in virtually every cell in the body and which carries genetic information. Except for identical twins, each person's DNA is unique. DNA profiling doesn't allow the examination of every single difference between people's DNA so the concentration will be on those aspects which are most likely to yield a difference. DNA can be extracted from any cells that contain a structure called the nucleus, for example, blood, semen, saliva or hair.

Mitochondrial DNA is inherited only from a person's mother. Brothers and sisters have the same mitochondrial DNA type as their mother. This feature of mitochondrial DNA can be used for body identification. The γ-chromosome is present only in men and is largely unchanged as it passes through the male line of a family. The usefulness of the technique in criminal matters is vastly enhanced by the extent to which it is possible to compare a sample with other individuals. To this end there is a National DNA Database maintained by the ASSOCIATION OF CHIEF POLICE OFFICERS and managed by the FORENSIC SCIENCE SERVICE. Techniques vary. There is a UK offence of DNA theft. It is also of assistance in paternity matters.

Collins Dictionary of Law © W.J. Stewart, 2006
References in periodicals archive ?
These probes displayed smaller specific fluorescent signal upon hybridization with mismatched DNA target in comparison to fully complementary DNA target.
But while competitors now have more flexibility to devise tests that compete with Myriad's, the exclusion for complementary DNA means that Myriad retains much of its patent strength around the two BRCA genes.
(1973) Synthesis of complementary DNA from lens mRNA with RNA-dependent DNA polymerase.
Complementary DNA analyses of 2 gene regions (COI and D2) have indicated that widely separated and isolated populations of Scirtothrips collected from avocados throughout Mexico and Guatemala represent just the 1 species, S.
Japan's focus on human full complementary DNA sequencing and SNPs puts it an ideal position for major advances in the future.
Designated as the world's smallest biological computing device by the Guinness World Records, each computational step consists of two complementary DNA molecules, acting as input and software, spontaneously bonding.
cDNA: abbreviation for "complementary DNA," which matches a given RNA that serves as a template for synthesis of the DNA in the presence of reverse transcriptase.
The latest design, described in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, employs two complementary DNA molecules - an input molecule and a software molecule.
Experiments also show that duplex DNA with mismatched/bulged regions is less stable than completely complementary DNA. Brian Laing, Rush Oliver Department of Biological and Physical Sciences Benedict College
(It is important to note that, by convention, it is the mRNA codons rather than their complementary DNA triplets that are considered the genetic code.
announced in early February that they have acquired a collection of nearly 2,000 disease-related, full-length complementary DNA (cDNA) clones, providing the raw material for proteomics-based drug discovery research.
In a procedure that mimics DNA replication, the sample to be sequenced is used as a template from which complementary DNA strands are synthesized to varying lengths.

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