DNA fingerprinting was discovered in 1984, there have been many advances in the process, as well as the DNA evidence that
is used. It wasn’t until the following year that DNA evidence was used
in a courtroom, and in 1988, the first suspect was convicted and sent to jail due to this process.
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|This graph shows how PCR can multiply the number of DNA copies after a certain amount of cycles.
One of the major advances in DNA fingerprinting involves the amount of DNA needed to perform
the test. In order to accurately analyze DNA, a large sample was needed in the
past. Due to the advances in technology, a small sample of DNA can easily be
amplified and copied using the polymerase chain reaction (PCR). This process
requires only a very small sample of DNA evidence, and it can be copied millions of times and used for multiple fingerprinting
tests. Also, where the DNA comes from is not as limited as it used to be. Researchers are now able to extract DNA from sources that were considered too hard
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|The materials used in many schools for performing gel electrophoresis.
The training of scientists
and researchers is also more advanced than it was in the past. When DNA is being
worked with in the labs, scientists now have cleaner and more effective ways of processing the evidence with a lower risk
of contamination. This means that smaller, and slightly contaminated DNA samples can now be used for evidence, whereas
in the past scientists did not have the proper technology to enlarge and purify the DNA.
fingerprinting has also advanced in schools. Not only are students learning about fingerprinting and how the process
works, but in many highschools, students are able to use small DNA samples and perform PCR or RFLP analysis.