dna


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DNA

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.

dna

noun authentication, certification, confirmation of identity, proof of identity, scientific evidence, scientific means of designation, scientific means of identity, scientific means to distinguish a person, scientific method to reveal identity, substantiation, validation of identity, verification of identity, deoxyribonucleic acid
Associated concepts: appeal of a case, DNA fingerprint, DNA polymerase, forensics, overturning a case, reversal of a case

DNA

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.

References in periodicals archive ?
Through the biotechnology program at Massachusetts Bay Community College, Jackson, who serves as department chair of science and director of the biotechnology and DNA forensics programs, created the world's first forensics DNA science degree program.
Epigenetic information promises to serve as an important adjunct to DNA sequence in the analysis of biologic response to environmental exposures.
The sensitivity of MethylScreen assays enables Orion's scientists to measure unique qualities of epigenetic DNA that are indicative of disease progression.
By comparing the DNA data, the team is learning how each dog breed is related to the others.
Locally, only the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department is taking DNA samples.
Researchers have long wanted to assemble DNA structures using a single strand, he says, but "they just weren't sure how.
However, there is a particular DNA inherited exclusively from the mother.
In humans, individuals inherit mitochondrial DNA strictly from their mothers.
Despite these shortcomings, the databases have dramatically proven their value, solving scores of old murder and rape cases by matching DNA evidence from those crimes to DNA profiles.
The author's definition of molecular medicine in this book--used to describe the role that knowledge of DNA is having on medical practice--may mislead readers to assume that molecular medicine has to do only with the manipulation of DNA.
is sponsoring a similarly thorough dog-genome project, but Kirkness and his colleagues wondered whether they could glean important information from a substantially smaller amount of DNA.
First, because it's in its infancy, most existing DNA computers consist of only synthetic, made-to-order DNA strands attached to gold plates on one end, with the other end floating freely in test tubes or petri dishes that are linked to myriad scientific devices in university labs.