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DNA is the No1 crimebuster.

THE DNA test that snared killer Thomas Galloway is one of the greatest crimefighting tools science has given the world.

Although it is not 100 per cent accurate it can be used to convict a criminal - by narrowing the chances of anyone else being accused by as much as one in 20 billion.

It has helped send countless criminals to prison and recently infamously identified semen from American President Bill Clinton on Monica Lewinsky's dress.

DNA, Deoxyribonucleic acid, is commonly called the building block of life. It is a chemical structure that forms chromosomes. A piece of a chromosome that dictates a particular trait is called a gene. These can shape our sex, our size, shape, health and lifespan.

DNA isolated from blood, hair, skin cells, or other genetic evidence left at the scene of a crime can be compared with the DNA of a criminal suspect.

It works because the chemical structure of everyone's DNA is the same. The only difference between people, or any animal, is the order of the base pairs.

There are so many millions of base pairs in each person's DNA that everyone has a different sequence.

Using these unique patterns, every person could be identified solely by the sequence of their base pairs.

Recent attempts in Scotland to link a body to the notorious 1960s killer Bible John failed after police were unable to get enough DNA to make an accurate comparison.
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Copyright 1999 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Jan 26, 1999
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