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Te tīpako DNA

DNA profiling

DNA profiling continues to revolutionise forensic science worldwide.

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DNA profiling

DNA profiling is the process of identifying a specific pattern of DNA from a person or sample of bodily tissue. ESR offers a range of DNA profiling techniques to the criminal justice community in Aotearoa New Zealand and around the world. 

As profiling of DNA, and its sister compound RNA, continues to evolve, ESR will stay at the forefront of research and development in this area with a thriving research programme. 


ESR's DNA profiling is used routinely to: 

  • investigate a wide range of crimes from burglaries to homicides 

  • identify suspects and exclude the innocent, reducing police investigation time 

  • solve historic cases 

  • assist in the reconstruction of crimes and crime scenes 

  • assist in identifying human remains, including those from victims of disaster events 

  • assist in forensic paternity investigations. 

ESR's DNA profiling techniques

Techniques used by ESR

The techniques harnessed by ESR experts include: 

  • Standard DNA profiling tests used to deliver highly discriminating results in most cases 

  • Low Copy Number (LCN) DNA profiling tests for highly sensitive testing of very small amounts of DNA 

  • Minifiler™ DNA profiling used for analysing small amounts of DNA that may also be degraded
    or inhibited

  • Y STR DNA profiling used for selective analysis of the Y chromosome found only in males 

  • mRNA analysis for the detection of body fluids 

  • Laser microdissection for the isolation of specific cells from mixtures of cells prior to DNA profiling

  • Sequencing techniques for human and non-human DNA. 


These techniques use a method known as the Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) to obtain profiles. This is a standard technique used to amplify or selectively copy specific regions of DNA or RNA many times. In this way, minimal amounts of DNA or RNA isolated from small or degraded samples can be increased to a level where they are able to be detected, profiled and compared with other sample profiles. 


In addition, our experts use the ESR-developed STRmix™– a powerful tool developed to help interpret complex mixtures of DNA.

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