DNA testing is a scientific procedure that helps identify individuals based on their genetic makeup. These DNA profiles are unique and are translated into a series of encrypted numbers. 99.9% of DNA sequences are identical amongst humans but there are enough unique features in an individual's personal profile that it makes identification not only possible but incredibly accurate. DNA testing is used for a number of purposes including proof of parentage, non-consensual sex attacks and to identify human remains in murder investigations.
DNA testing begins by collecting a sample of the person's DNA using a buccal swab. This can be collected in the form of blood, semen, saliva or other appropriate bodily fluids. Body hair or tissue can also be collected form personal items such as clothing, personal shavers, or hairbrushes. In the identification of human remains these above items can be taken from a family member, as there is enough data available to process and positively identify the deceased person.
What Is DNA Testing?
With the widespread use of DNA testing by authorities, DNA databases for violent criminals or sex offenders have been established in countries around the world. Should a crime be committed and bodily fluids or other suitable tissues are recovered, these samples can be sent out for analysis and uploaded into the database to query for a match. DNA testing has an incredible accuracy record with a risk of coincidental match at 1 in 100 billion so you can be fairly certain that you have found the culprit. This does not account for laboratory errors so standard operating procedures will dictate that portions of the original samples be saved for confirming positive matches.
DNA testing has also played a large role in paternal testing in disputes of a child's parentage. While this may have become popular in UK daytime talk shows such as The Jeremy Kyle show, this is a hard and accurate science that can eliminate questions immediately about a child's father if it ever comes into question.
DNA Testing Origins...
Considering the DNA testing only became commercially available in 1987, it has had a huge impact on our society today. DNA testing has become part of our everyday lives as we hear it on the news, read it in the newspapers and see it a variety of crime dramas on television.