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  • Scientist in forensic suit with camera outside investigating.
    Rights: Paul Fleet,123RF Ltd Published 19 May 2017 Size: 310 KB Referencing Hub media

    PCR is very important for the identification of criminals and the collection of organic crime scene evidence such as blood, hair, pollen, semen and soil. DNA fingerprints (also called DNA profiles), identification of familial relationships, genomic DNA isolation and other molecular diagnostics and biochemical analyses can be undertaken forensically through the use of PCR. PCR allows DNA to be identified from tiny samples – a single molecule of DNA can be enough for PCR amplification.

    Find out more about DNA extraction, DNA profiling, Forensics – interesting facts, Forensics and DNA or try out the activity DNA detective.

    To think about:
    Currently, forensics experts can only compare crime scene DNA with a databank of DNA samples from known criminals.

    What do you think about the idea of creating a national (and international) database of all human DNA profiles to aid in identifying criminals? What could be some implications for our society if everyone’s DNA is recorded and made available to law enforcement? What could be some implications of making the information more widely available?

    Paul Fleet,123RF Ltd

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