DNA is something that can be used to identify people and this is very useful when it comes to forensics. You’re probably aware that forensics teams work with crime units to help identify victims and track down suspects. This has been played out on television in popular shows, but you still might not have a full picture of how DNA is used in forensics. Read on to learn a bit more about the process so that you can have a great understanding. 

DNA Evidence Needs to Be Collected

For DNA to be used in forensics, the DNA evidence first has to be collected from a crime scene. This could involve finding hair at a crime scene or blood could be used to identify someone. There are occasions when DNA samples will be recovered that have been highly degraded due to a victim not being found for a long period of time. DNA samples can still be useful because forensic scientists can use what is known as a DNA sequencer. 

A DNA sequencer will give the scientists a chance to get the right information out of the DNA samples. They can get good DNA samples even when using highly degraded DNA if they have a powerful DNA sequencer. This might not work 100% of the time due to certain factors, of course. However, it’s still good to note that this is how DNA is used for the purpose of forensic science and determining the identity of victims or potential suspects. 

Who Performs the DNA Analysis?

The DNA analysis needs to be performed by a highly trained professional who has the proper qualifications. DNA analysts that are using the FBI’s DNA indexing system will be accredited by a recognized organization so that they can use the system. The minimum requirement for being accredited involves having a pertinent bachelor’s degree in either chemistry, biology, or forensic science. It’s also worth noting that DNA analysts are required to keep up with technological changes and this means that they have continuing educational requirements. 

Where Is the DNA Testing Performed?

DNA testing is performed in a laboratory setting and all of the equipment needs to adhere to strict FBI standards. Generally, these DNA labs are part of state or regional law enforcement agencies. Some initial DNA testing might be done at the site of a crime scene to get certain information. The more complex DNA testing will be done in a controlled laboratory setting.