The continuing evolution of forensic DNA profiling from STRs to SNPs

Australian Academy of Forensic Sciences
Daniel, R. and Walsh, S. 2006 'The continuing evolution of forensic DNA profiling from STRs to SNPs', Australian Journal of Forensic Sciences, vol. 38, no. 2, pp. 59-74.
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Forensic DNA profiling combines the dynamic science of molecular genetics with the complexities of the forensic context. As such, throughout its twenty-year history, this field has seen continuous change, remarkable growth and an associated level of public, legal and scientific scrutiny previously unknown in the forensic sciences. Almost ubiquitously, applications of forensic DNA profiling have focused on resolving the identity of the donor of a particular sample of biological evidence. This is typically achieved by targeting noncoding microsatellite (or STR) loci. Recently however, novel techniques have emerged that target different DNA polymorphisms and allow scientists to address additional questions about the evidence, beyond the identification of source. In this short review we introduce an example of this next generation of forensic DNA techniques, single nucleotide polymorphisms (or SNPs). We summarise their molecular and technological basis and the manner in which they may be applied to further advance the capabilities of forensic investigators.
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