Encyclopedia of Biometrics

2009 Edition
| Editors: Stan Z. Li, Anil Jain

Forensic DNA Evidence

  • T. Hicks
  • R. Coquoz
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-0-387-73003-5_106



Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) is a large molecule present in all living cells (e.g., animals, plants, viruses). As a tape allows the storage of a recording, DNA allows the storage of genetic information. It consists of two long chains of nucleotides twisted in a double helix. There are four types of nucleotides designed by the name of their bases: Adenine (A), Guanine (G), Cytosine (C) and Thymine (T). The genetic information is encoded in the sequence of nucleotides of the DNA molecule. Part of its name originates from its localization in the nuclei of the cell. However, the acronym is also used for  mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA), which is the DNA present in the mitochondria of the cells. It is transmitted only by the mother.


Although DNA profiling has high discriminating power and can help establishing the biological identity of a person, it is not used as a biometric yet. Indeed, the results of the analysis are...

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • T. Hicks
    • 1
  • R. Coquoz
    • 1
  1. 1.Institut de police scientifique, Ecole des sciences criminellesLausanneSwitzerland