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DNA Forensics

DNA Forensics

The application of genetic testing for legal purposes

DNA forensics is a branch of forensic science that focuses on the use of genetic material in criminal investigation to answer questions pertaining to legal situations, including criminal and civil cases.

Materials for DNA Forensics


Backlogs of Forensic DNA Evidence

Description: General information on backlogs of forensic evidence in crime laboratories

Combined DNA Index System (CODIS)

Description: Information and fact sheets on the CODIS Unit

DNA Evidence Basics

Description: General information on DNA forensics

Using DNA to Solve Cold Cases (PDF 300.30 KB)

Description: Detailed information on forensic DNA testing technologies, databases, regulations, and more

Labs & Experiments

Crime Scene Investigation (CSI) with Powdery Mildew Fungi

Description: This exercise can be used to stimulate the investigative nature of your students as they use forensic plant pathology techniques with powdery mildew cleistothecia (the sexual stage of powdery mildew fungi) to prove their innocence in a mock murder investigation.

DNA Extraction

Description: A virtual DNA extraction laboratory experiment

Teacher Resources

DNA, Crime and Law Enforcement (PDF 329 KB, Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: The collection and analysis of DNA is an important tool in law enforcement. This lesson explores the challenge of establishing ethical and legal frameworks in a timely manner to guide the use of newly developed technologies. A key question that is woven through this lesson is how we as a society can use genetics to keep people safe, solve crimes and, at the same time, develop policies that provide appropriate safeguards and privacy protections.

Entomology in Action (Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: Lesson plans and teaching aids on entomology

Forensic Entomology (Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: Lesson plans, work sheets, and teaching aids on forensic entomology


Can Science Stop Crime

Description: A NOVA program on how science is being used to identify criminals and anticipate crimes before they happen