DNA Typing of Tissue on Bullets

A bullet found at a scene may be linked to the specific individual through which the bullet had passed by examining tissue deposited on the bullet. This is possible even if no tissue is visible on macroscopic examination of the bullet and it is full metal-jacketed. As a bullet passes through a body, tissue is deposited on its surface even if the tissue is not visible. The tissue can be removed by swabbing the bullet; the DNA replicated and DNA "fingerprinting" performed by short tandem repeat (STR) analysis.8 This DNA "fingerprint" can then be compared to the DNA "fingerprint" of the individual (living or dead) through which the bullet is thought to have passed.

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