Nuclear DNA is DNA that is found inside the nucleus of cells, as opposed to mitochondrial DNA [see mitochondrial DNA entry]. Nuclear DNA stores the information necessary for passing genetic attributes to from parents to offspring. Every cell of the human body contains the same nuclear DNA, except for red blood cells (which lack nuclei). The 13 CODIS loci used for human identification are found in nuclear DNA, which is the most common form of DNA used in forensic testing
Polymerase Chain Reaction is a process of repeated cycles of heating and cooling in order to separate strands of DNA for duplication, yielding millions of copies of target DNA sequences for analysis.
‘Relative Fluorescent Unit” is a measure of the intensity/quantity of the DNA fragment as detected by the gene fragment analyzer.
Serology is the study and analysis of body fluids. In forensic cases, serology is one of the first steps in determining the origin of a stain, such as blood, semen or saliva.
Short Tandem Repeats (STR)
STR is a type of DNA marker. This short sequence of DNA is repeated multiple times in succession. The number of times STRs are repeated distinguishes a person from others in the population. This is what makes STRs useful for human identification purposes.
Y-STR is DNA found on the Y-chromosome that is paternally inherited and therefore not unique to an individual. Y-STR testing is often used to help decipher a male DNA profile in a mixture of male and female in a DNA sample.