DNA technology: the most powerful form of biological forensic identification
Since the first use of DNA profiling by Professor Sir Alec Jeffreys in 1987 to help solve the murders of two young women in Leicestershire, DNA technology has revolutionised forensic identification. In the last 30 years, the technology used to identify and discriminate between the DNA of individuals has developed dramatically. Today we have powerful and highly sensitive molecular biology techniques that can analyse DNA from just a few cells, and advanced instrumentation that can detect and produce DNA results in just a few hours.
Major crime cases are often complex, with multiple evidence types and interpretation requirements. Each case is therefore allocated to a reporting scientist who assesses the requirements on receipt, devises an examination and analysis strategy, manages the scientific aspects of the case and ultimately compiles a statement detailing the findings and their interpretations. The reporting scientist works closely with the police investigation team to ensure regular communication as the investigation and forensic analysis progresses.