Thank you for visiting the Forensic DNA Consulting blog!
While forensic DNA testing has only been in use since the mid-1980’s, the technological advances and applications have multiplied rapidly. Initial DNA tests took weeks to complete and required the amount of DNA present in a dime-sized blood stain. Forensic DNA testing is now routinely performed in a matter of days on samples containing less than 50 cells!
A menu of very specific DNA tests is now available as well. Testing can pinpoint male DNA only (Y STR testing), track maternal inheritance (mitochondrial DNA testing), and be designed for particularly challenging samples that are limited or even ancient. Each of these techniques has advantages and limitations.
For routine crime scene samples such as bloodstains, the statistical discrimination power of a DNA result may be on the order of 1 in a quadrillion—1,000,000,000,000,000, or put another way—-a million billion!
All of the technologies, variables, and the fact that the testing occurs on non-clinical samples in the crime scene world make forensic DNA testing a very interesting topic in the courtroom that requires both technical and critical thinking skills to interpret.
I hope you enjoy the blog.