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The Use of Nuclear DNA (nucDNA) Typing and Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) Sequencing in the Identification Process

In current casework requiring the identification of human remains or other biological evidence, forensic scientists will use nuclear DNA typing methods to make an identification when other traditional forensic techniques, such as fingerprint and dental comparison cannot be used. In older cases, however, many different environmental factors, such exposure to the sun or heat, will destroy the nuclear DNA present in the biological material being studied. For most cases recovered from World War II, Korean War, Cold War, and Vietnam era losses, scientists normally use mitochondrial DNA sequencing to obtain the DNA results that can provide the additional evidence towards making an identification.