Can you discuss the process of comparative analysis in forensic biology?

Sample interview questions: Can you discuss the process of comparative analysis in forensic biology?

Sample answer:

Comparative analysis in forensic biology plays a crucial role in identifying and comparing biological evidence from crime scenes and suspects. It is a systematic process that involves several steps:

  1. Sample Collection and Preservation:
  2. Biological evidence, such as blood, saliva, semen, or hair, is carefully collected from crime scenes and suspects using appropriate techniques.
  3. The samples are then properly packaged and preserved to maintain their integrity and prevent contamination.

  4. DNA Extraction:

  5. DNA is extracted from the collected samples using specialized techniques, such as phenol-chloroform extraction or silica-based DNA extraction kits.
  6. This process isolates DNA from other cellular components, allowing for further analysis.

  7. Quantification and Quality Assessment:

  8. The amount of DNA in each sample is quantified using methods like spectrophotometry or real-time PCR.
  9. The quality of the extracted DNA is also assessed to ensure its suitability for further analysis.

  10. Amplification:

  11. The DNA is amplified through a process called PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction).
  12. PCR makes multiple copies of specific regions of DNA, generating enough material for subsequent analysis.

  13. Genetic Profiling:

  14. Specific genetic markers, such as short tandem repeats (STRs), are targeted for analysis.
  15. STRs are polymorphic regions of DNA that exhibit variations among individuals.
  16. PCR amplification of these STR loci generates a unique genetic profile for each sample.

  17. Data Analysis:

  18. The amplified STR fragments are separated and detected using capillary electrophoresis or other DNA analysis techniques.
  19. The resulting data is analyzed using specialized software to determine the alleles present at each STR locus.

  20. Comparison:

  21. The genetic profiles generated from crime scene evidence are compared to those obtained from suspects o… Read full answer


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