Forensic DNA analysis was introduced in the 1980s, and since then evolved into a powerful tool for practicing paternity testing for children to determine the parents and in criminal justice to crack the case on crime scenes. What makes DNA so powerful and useful is because each person’s DNA is different, unless you are an identical twin, in that case, your DNA is identical to that of your twin sibling.
DNA forensics was first reported in 1984 by Dr. Alec Jefferys at the University of Leicester when he realized that DNA contained sequences that continued to repeat next to each other. He also figured out that these sequences that were repeated were different for each individual. After this discovery Dr. Jefferys had paved the way for the development of identity tests. Later on in 1987 genetic fingerprinting was made available when Imperial Chemical Industries, a chemical company in England, started a center that tests blood.
First few cases of DNA Forensic Analysis
Some interesting cases through the years have been from a woman, Anna Anderson, when she claimed that she was Grand Duchess Anastasia Nikolaevna of Russia. After Anna Anderson passed away, samples of her skin tissues was stored at a Charlottesville, Virginia hospital. When DNA fingerprinting was discovered, Anne Anderson’s tissues were tested and proven that she had no relations to the Romanovs.
The 1987 United States first used DNA testing in the case of Tommy Andrews, a Florida rapist, who was accused of raping a woman during a burglary. Because of DNA testing, Tommy Lee Andrews was convicted because of the proven DNA that matched with the DNA that was collected from the crime scene. Tommy Lee Andrews was sentenced to 22 years in prison after he was convicted of this crime.
The popular DNA testing became extremely popular in the case of the O.J Simpson when he was accused of a double murder. O.J Simpson could not be convicted of the murders because it was said that the laboratory had difficulties, so the procedure of DNA started to be doubted slightly, but this type of testing still continued to be used in similar cases such as this.
The advancements of DNA testing
Although DNA testing started out being tested with blood, DNA can also be tested from hair, bone, saliva, and semen. In a lot of the older cases, they will use pieces of bone, hair, or stored skin tissues. Most tests that are done today are done with saliva, semen, or blood.
As the time has progressed, DNA has grown tremendously. In the United States, all 50 states have laws that allow DNA testing as well as having over 150 DNA testing laboratories where they perform thousands of private paternity testing each year. There have also been many cases that have been solved, as well as many people that have been proved innocent because of their DNA testing. DNA can be a very unique and helpful tool to have especially when you are trying to find out information about your past, such as who are your parents, your family history, or in crime cases.