Home > Learning More > DNA Timeline - Decades of DNA

DNA Timeline - Decades of DNA

By: Ian Murnaghan BSc (hons), MSc - Updated: 18 Oct 2013 | comments*Discuss
 
Dna Timeline Developments Agriculture

Since the discovery of DNA, there have been many changes and progress in our knowledge of medicine and numerous other important areas. The discovery of the DNA double helix has marked the beginnings of a newer, most sophisticated science field. In turn, it is important to look at the history of DNA and the developmental path that has led to the current DNA technology and knowledge of this exciting molecule.

Moving Through the Decades of DNA

From the 1960s through to the 1980s, genetic modification has revolutionised the pharmaceutical and agriculture industries while the unravelling of the mysteries around the genetic code have led to miraculous developments and research into gene-based diseases and conditions.

It was around the earlier 1990s that DNA analysis and its techniques had become widely used in laboratories. Following its entrance in the 1980s - primarily in England - it was now that it had become a key aspect of criminal justice systems around the world in westernised countries. Prosecutors were using DNA to find criminals and convict them in court. By comparing a suspect's DNA with DNA from evidence found at the scene of a crime, prosecutors could look at hair, blood, skin cells and many other evidence types to find a match with a suspect. DNA databases soon followed suit, holding the DNA profiles of convicted criminals. In the United Kingdom (UK), however, controversy also began to brew as DNA profiles were held for children and those who had been arrested but never convicted or even formally charged with a crime.

The Advent of DNA for Proving Innocence

In the United States, the Innocence Project was also created to free innocent men and women who had been convicted of crimes. Using DNA analysis, the project aimed to identify those wrongly convicted and then have them freed after making an appeal to the courts.

Development of DNA for Paternity and Identification of Victims

In the 1990s, DNA evidence began to make headway in paternity cases and also in immigration cases where it was used to establish a familial relationship. DNA analysis also gained notoriety for its use in helping adopted children to find their parents. Another important use in this decade was seen when DNA analysis was used to identify passengers who were killed in a plane crash.

When thousands died on September 11, 2001 after the World Trade Center site was bombed, DNA tests proved integral to identifying those who were killed by the attacks. While there were still some limitations in the ability of DNA to successful identify everyone who died - due to bodies being severely burned - it was still considered a vital tool in helping to identify those who perished.

As we move through the DNA timeline, we can see how significant DNA developments have been and how this molecule continues to guide our knowledge in science, medicine and other fields. From our determination of its structure to its widespread use in laboratories around the world, DNA is no longer a foreign term for most of us. Despite a great deal of the complex science behind DNA, it has now marked its relevant place in much of our lives.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
Why not be the first to leave a comment for discussion, ask for advice or share your story...

If you'd like to ask a question one of our experts (workload permitting) or a helpful reader hopefully can help you... We also love comments and interesting stories

Title:
(never shown)
Firstname:
(never shown)
Surname:
(never shown)
Email:
(never shown)
Nickname:
(shown)
Comment:
Validate:
Enter word:
Topics
Latest Comments
  • Sin
    Re: DNA Test after Death
    Hi, My uncle died over 20 years ago. I found out 15 years ago that my best friends brother in law was raising a child, that was supposedly…
    15 July 2018
  • Douchkniexeye
    Re: An Overview of DNA Functions
    This was awesome fun to read! Good information! Loved it!
    14 July 2018
  • Squibbs
    Re: DNA Test after Death
    After his death in 1965, my friend discovered that the father who loved and raised her had been living under an alias. No trace of him is to…
    10 July 2018
  • Sean McCleary
    Re: Non-Coding DNA in Humans
    Hello, my name is Sean McCleary. I am going through a very powerful experience and have been for the last 7 years and it's increasing.…
    9 July 2018
  • duck
    Re: DNA Test after Death
    I need to know if the ashes I have are my husband, because the ashes I that was given to me smell something awful, so I would like to talk to…
    8 July 2018
  • ExploreDNA
    Re: DNA Test after Death
    Minisol - Your Question:Hi I know this is probably a weird request but I was wondering if anyone could tell me with this matter I was…
    2 July 2018
  • Minisol
    Re: DNA Test after Death
    Hi I know this is probably a weird request but I was wondering if anyone could tell me with this matter I was pregnant and had an abortion…
    29 June 2018
  • geofan
    Re: DNA Test after Death
    What test kit can be provided to a mortuary 24 hours after death? Family and estate executor want this done. Mortuary does not know. They…
    26 June 2018
  • ExploreDNA
    Re: DNA Test after Death
    Sanju - Your Question:I want some question about DNA test when a Lady diez in accidente but fathers denied about his paternity
    25 June 2018
  • Tink
    Re: DNA Test after Death
    My brother recently passed away very suddenly. Before the cremation I asked the funeral home to take swabs using cotton swabs and I placed…
    24 June 2018