When Was DNA Testing Invented?

The first DNA testing method was invented in 1984 by Sir Alec Jeffreys, a British geneticist. Jeffreys used X-ray film to analyze differences between the DNA of several individuals. Jeffreys also developed the first DNA profiling method in 1985, using RFLP technology to find markers specific to certain individuals.

The first time DNA analysis was used as evidence in court was in a paternity case involving custody of a Ghanaian boy. Jeffreys used his X-ray method to prove that the boy was closely related to his purported parents, thus resolving the case.

The first time DNA analysis was used in a criminal investigation was 1985, using a combination of the X-ray method and restriction fragment length polymorphism.

RFLP involves amplifying or creating multiple copies of DNA markers that differ from individual to individual. This greatly eases X-ray analysis and has been used to build DNA databases of individuals for speedy identification.