8. DNA analysis: Current Practice and Problems

  1. John Gall2 and
  2. Jason Payne-James3
  1. D. Syndercombe Court

Published Online: 14 MAR 2011

DOI: 10.1002/9780470973158.ch8

Current Practice in Forensic Medicine

Current Practice in Forensic Medicine

How to Cite

Court, D. S. (2011) DNA analysis: Current Practice and Problems, in Current Practice in Forensic Medicine (eds J. Gall and J. Payne-James), John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK. doi: 10.1002/9780470973158.ch8

Editor Information

  1. 2

    Royal Children's Hospital and Monash Medical Centre, Melbourne, Australia

  2. 3

    London Hospital Medical College, UK

Author Information

  1. Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry, London, UK

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 14 MAR 2011
  2. Published Print: 4 FEB 2011

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780470744871

Online ISBN: 9780470973158



  • DNA analysis, current practice and problems - use of DNA technology, identifying individuals responsible in a sexual assault;
  • ‘DNA fingerprinting’, and limitations - DNA not degraded, and difficulties in interpretation in mixtures of DNA from two individuals;
  • criticisms of DNA fingerprinting in forensic casework - over acceptability of DNA evidence;
  • DNA collection and storage, high sensitivity of DNA analytic approaches - contamination of collected biological material from another source, being a real possibility;
  • DNA, extracted from its biological source for analysis - methods, to amplify DNA directly from source material;
  • DNA quantification - amount of DNA extracted from crime scene sample, influencing analytical approach;
  • DNA databases, in countries - influenced by expected loci, reported in the Americas (CODIS) or Europe (ISSOL and other nationally agreed loci);
  • mixtures of DNA - biological samples of unknown origin, containing DNA from more than one person;
  • X chromosome STRs - X markers, advantage over autosomes when looking for females against a male background;
  • single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) - evolutionarily stable, attractive tool in genetic analysis, for most variation in DNA


This chapter contains sections titled:

  • Introduction

  • DNA collection and storage

  • DNA extraction

  • DNA quantification

  • DNA amplification

  • DNA separation and detection

  • DNA genotyping

  • Standard loci sets and commercial STR kits

  • Statistical evaluation of a DNA match

  • Assessing STR profi les

  • Mixtures of DNA

  • Degraded DNA

  • Low-template DNA

  • Other genetic markers

  • Tissue identification

  • Use of DNA in the criminal justice system

  • References