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What is the Federal DNA Database used for?

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The Federal Bureau of Investigation states that the Federal DNA Database Unit analyzes the DNA markers found in blood samples and cheek swabs from people of interest. That group includes federal criminals, some offenders in the District of Columbia and citizens of other countries who are detained because of suspected crimes. The data is stored in the National DNA Data System for use in future investigations.

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The Federal DNA Database Unit assists in criminal investigations by supplying forensic teams with DNA collection kits and then comparing collected data against the DNA profiles stored in the National DNA Data System, according to the FBI. If the data matches a profile, a confirmation is requested. If the confirmation goes through successfully, the database supplies investigators with information about the suspect, including the last known location. Local, state, federal and international crime laboratories work with the database to help identify suspects and increase the number of criminal profiles stored by the system.

The Federal DNA Database Unit consists of forensic specialists, program analysts, biologists and DNA technical specialists working under a unit chief. They work in teams in laboratories with robotic DNA analysis equipment to reduce human error while providing fast results. Oversight by DNA technical specialists further adds to quality control, according to the FBI.

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