Conducting DNA analysis

A DNA profile is usually created by taking a cheek swab. For the DNA profile of trace samples, samples are taken from different materials or from the relevant objects.

The procedure in DNA analysis for use in criminal proceedings is as follows:

  • The investigating police or judicial authority delivers a DNA sample collected in the search for evidence or with a cheek swab to a federally designated DNA laboratory to establish a DNA profile.
  • The DNA co-ordination point at the Zurich Institute for Forensic Medicine stores new profiles in the CODIS database and compares them with reference profiles.
  • If a profile matches with one of the reference profiles, the Biometric Identification Division links the anonymised data with the appropriate personal and case data, and send a report to the investigating police or judicial authority 
  • Data is exchanged via a specially created secure data transfer platform, monitored by the Biometric Identification Division. 

To prevent mismatches in the DNA profiling of traces and samples acquired through a cheek swab, laboratories rely on an independent second analysis.

Last modification 01.04.2019

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