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How Do Forensic Scientists and Doctors Match or Profile DNA Samples Obtained as Part of a Criminal or Civil Investigation of a Child Abuse or Molestation Case?

By David Wolf, Attorney Published by Child Injury Lawyer Network


DNA profiling for use in criminal and civil case investigations was developed in 1984 and first used as part of the forensic science to convict a Defendant in a murder case in 1988. DNA can be obtained from a variety of sources including hair, saliva, skin, semen, and blood.

If a criminal investigation is conducted, a CSI (Crime Scene Investigator) will inspect the crime scene to determine if there are any traces or samples of DNA evidence to obtain. If blood is found at a crime scene, the blood is tyoically collected carefully on a gauze pad or other sterile cloth. The blood is then allowed to dry at room temperature and then it is packaged and taken back to the lab. If dry blood is found at a crime scene, the investigator will attempt to remove or take as much of the article that contains the blood, package it up, and then transport it back to the lab. See also How is DNA Collected at a Crime Scene? Items like hair follicles are carefully collected by the use of sterile gloves and / or tweezers in an attempt to prevent the damage and / or contamination of the item.

DNA profiling is some times referred to as genetic fingerprinting. Scientists / doctors can analyze lengths of variable sections of repetitive DNA and compare them to DNA taken from the Defendant. At many crime scenes, DNA evidence is not obtained and / or the scene is contaminated by the presence of the DNA of several people. See Forensic DNA Profiling.