It's almost impossible to be unaware of the impact that the use of DNA has had on everything from the court system to genealogy.
It's also nearly impossible to be unaware of the controversy. Now that, theoretically, we could each have a profile that can identify us solely by our DNA, many people are worried about how that profile might be used.
However, what you may not know is exactly what type of information DNA evidence yields, how it's processed and how it's analyzed. That's where DNA profiling comes in.
After processing, however, VNTRs result in bands that are unique enough to be used for identification. The forensic scientists will look for suitable samples at a crime scene, examining such items as weapons, clothing, hair or anything else from which they can obtain body cells for DNA profiling, or fingerprints or "marks" for use in fingerprint matching. The Scottish DNA database can help to solve undetected cases where there is no suspect.
DNA profiling can also be used to identify a body formally. This is achieved by obtaining DNA profiles from both the mother and father or by relating personal effects to a body. DNA profiling is used in such cases after all other means of identifying a body have been carried out. The details of a person's fingerprints are distinctive to them and only them.
Even identical twins do not have identical fingerprints. A fingerprint can be left on many types of surfaces - a glass, a door, or a murder weapon for example.
It can be made visible by brushing it with a powder or treating it with chemicals in a lab. Similarly, if the fingers are coated with ink or another substance such as paint, oil or blood, than a permanent impression may be left on a particular item. Unknown fingerprints, or "marks" from a crime scene are compared by a fingerprint expert against known prints.