Duhaime's Law Dictionary


DNA Definition:

Abbreviation for deoxyribonucleic acid. A chromosome molecule which carries genetic coding unique to each person with the only exception of identical twins (that is why it is also called 'DNA fingerprinting').

Related Terms: Paternity, Murder Gene

Through laboratory process, DNA can be extracted from body tissue such a strand of hair, semen, blood and matched against DNA discovered at a crime scene or on a victim to scientifically implicate an accused.

Can also be used to match DNA between parents in a paternity suit.

In R v Sangster, Justice Richards of the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal noted:

"DNA analysis is performed by extracting DNA from a donor’s biological material and copying it for examination. The areas of the DNA which are studied are referred to as loci. The (police) protocol involves analysis of nine loci which are highly variable among individuals and therefore likely to provide useful information. Once the pairs of numbers corresponding to each locus have been determined, the donor’s DNA profile or numerical bar code is established."

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