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Research methods/Forensic analysis/DNA fingerprinting

Advances in DNA science have helped exonerate more than 270 people in the United States convicted of crimes they did not commit. But with biological evidence available in only a small percentage of court cases, research is needed to improve non-DNA forensic tools, experts told a recent meeting at AAAS.

DNA testing is being more widely used from the start of criminal investigations, a development that should help reduce wrongful imprisonments, said Kenneth Melson, acting director of the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.