MAURO FERMARIELLO / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY MAURO FERMARIELLO / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Forensic analysis. Part of a cigarette butt being placed in a vial. This will be subjected to DNA analysis to link a suspect to a crime scene. Parts of the cigarette will contain traces of saliva and skin cells from the smoker. DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) is found in cells, and is used as a genetic fingerprint to uniquely identify an individual. It is possible to detect even tiny amounts of DNA. Databases now contain DNA details of thousands of criminals and other individuals. DNA evidence is considered conclusive proof that a suspect was at a crime scene. Other tissues can be analysed for DNA, including blood, hair, bones and nails.
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