Here are some interesting facts about forensics and DNA:
- New Zealand was the second country in the world to establish a databank of DNA profiles.
Find out more about New Zealand's DNA Databank.
- Your DNA is unique from your brothers and sisters because trillions of different combinations of your parents’ DNA are possible.
- Koalas have fingerprints that are almost indistinguishable from human fingerprints.
- Identical twins have identical DNA profiles because they develop from a single fertilised egg that splits into two.
Find out more about twins.
- You leave a trail behind you everywhere you go. The trail is made up of hairs, cells and body fluids.
- DNA profiling has proven that an unusual bear shot in Canada’s Northwest was actually a cross between a grizzly bear and a polar bear.
- When feeling the texture of a surface, the ridges in our skin, which are used for fingerprinting, heighten the intensity of stimulation of our nerve endings.
Find out more about skin and touch.
- No two fingerprints have ever been found alike.
- The study of skin markings or patterns on fingers, hands and feet, used for fingerprinting or footprinting, is called dermatoglyphics.
- The first criminal fingerprint identification was made in 1892 by Juan Vucetich. It proved that a mother had killed her sons.
- Luminol is used at crime scenes to detect small amounts of blood. It reacts with iron in the haemoglobin and emits a blue light.
- DNA profiling was used to identify the bodies of the Russian royal family who were murdered during the Russian Revolution in 1917.
- DNA profiling was first performed by Sir Alec Jeffreys in England in 1984 and was introduced into New Zealand in the late 1980s.
Find out more about DNA profiling.
- DNA from a person’s body, from their skin, blood or saliva, is always the same.
- Soil samples from clothes can be matched to crime scenes by profiling the DNA of microbes in the soil.
- Bare footprints are unique to an individual in the same way that fingerprints are.
- DNA is often found on half-eaten snacks or drink cans left behind at house burglaries.
- DNA has been found in 400,000-year-old plants preserved in ice in Siberia.
- The chance of two people having an identical DNA profile is 1 in 10 billion – except where they are identical twins.
- The common house mouse appears all over the world. However scientists can tell where the mouse came from by the pollen caught in its fur.
- By entering a crime scene just after a shooting, you can be covered with more gunshot residue than a shooter who runs away immediately.