Northumbria University Centre for Forensic Science

Forensic web watch: DNA in Forensic Science

V.L. Bowyer, E.M.A. Graham & G.N. Rutty. Journal of Clinical Forensic Medicine, 11, pp. 271-273. (2004).


In 1923, within the Manual of Police technique, Edmond Locard published what is commonly known as the Doctrine of Exchange; a series of rules related to the exchange of trace evidence between the victim and offender. Although at the time of publication these rules principally applied to trace evidence related to print (for exchange finger print or shoeprint), fibre and blood, today one can add the very substance that defines each human being — DNA. Since th first use of DNA evidence to help identify an offender in the Pitchfork Murders of 1986, the use of DNA within forensic science has developed from its humble days within a single experimental laboratory at the University of Leicester to a multi-million pound industry. It thus seams fitting that this forensic web watch should originate from the very University where the use of DNA in forensic science was conceived, drawing the readers attention to a number of sites which can be used as an introduction to the concept of the use of DNA in forensic science today.

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