With advances in medicine and technology, DNA testing became possible in the 1980’s. Not only did the civilian section of society benefit, but the criminal justice field also uses DNA testing to help solve crimes. Many may ask what exactly is DNA testing. Basically, each person has a unique code to his/her genetic makeup called DNA. The DNA code determines everything about you such as eye color, height, hair color, skin tones, and everything else that makes you who you are. Look for other great material on this subject at http://www.sciencecanbefun.com. Every cell in our body carries the DNA including skin, hair, blood, etc. Since there are millions of combinations for each genetic identifier, no two people have the same DNA.
DNA is a wonderful tool for the criminal justice system that can use a hair follicle, toothbrushes, saliva on a stamp or cigarette butt, or chewing gum to determine if a suspect is the actual criminal. If the suspect is already in the system, the DNA testing can identify who is responsible. If there are no samples on file, the investigators can collect a sample and rule that person out or confirm that person as the criminal.
Since we shed skins cells constantly, DNA is easily found in our clothing and on objects that we touch. Recently, DNA testing has been used to open old cases or to free wrongly convicted people who were processed before DNA testing was available. Many cases used blood typing, which is not as accurate, so DNA can overrule or confirm those convictions.
Those of us the civilian sector can also find benefits in DNA testing. Genealogical research can be done using DNA testing; for example, if you think you may have certain ethnic group in your ancestry, you can be tested to find out if that is true or not. Paternity tests have also become extremely accurate due to DNA testing. In cases where a child may be trying to find their biological family, grandparents and siblings can also be tested to determine if there is a relationship there. Others are storing their DNA test results in case they should ever have to be identified, which especially useful for child identification programs that try to help recover kidnapped children.
You can find DNA testing centers throughout the United States. They usually charge a fee that can go up to several hundred dollars. For convenience, many centers will send a DNA collection test to your home for you to collect your samples and return by mail. Once they have finished testing, which can vary in length of time based on the test needed, they mail the results back to you. If it is a paternity test, it can take as long as two weeks to complete the testing.
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