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.

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

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.

Collins Dictionary of Law © W.J. Stewart, 2006
References in periodicals archive ?
A low dsDNA concentration could simulate the melting behavior of heteroduplex DNA. Fortunately, our DNA yields were highly consistent because the amplifications were carried out consistently and under endpoint conditions, i.e., to >30 cycles, starting with >10 ng of genomic DNA template.
TTGE is a sensitive and inexpensive screening assay for heteroduplex DNA that likely can be applied for mutation detection with many different genes.
After heteroduplex DNA formation, a heterozygous sample contains four dsDNAs, i.e., two homoduplexes and two heteroduplexes.
EMD is a single-tube assay that requires PCR amplification of the DNA of interest, formation of heteroduplex DNA, enzymatic mismatch cleavage, and analysis by gel electrophoresis (Fig.
Bands corresponding to heteroduplex DNA products (normal DNA annealed to abnormal DNA strand) were excised from the gel and eluted in 100 [micro]L of 10 mmol/L Tris-HCI, pH 7.4, overnight at 37 [degrees]C.
Improved detection of mutations in the p53 gene in human tumors as single-stranded conformation polymorphs and double-stranded heteroduplex DNA. PCR Methods Appl 1992;2:96-8.