Royal Canadian Mounted Police
Symbol of the Government of Canada

Common menu bar links

Glossary

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

A

Affidavit
A sworn statement in writing from police officers.  


B

Bill C-104
The bill that introduced the1995 Criminal Code amendments that provides for DNA warrants to obtain biological samples for DNA analysis from persons suspected of committing designated offences (Criminal Code. i.e. Code s.487.05).

Bill C-3 and S-10
The bills that introduced the legislation proclaimed in force on June 30, 2000 that includes the DNA Identification Act; and amendments to the DNA Identification Act, the National Defence Act and the Criminal Code that establishes the National DNA Data Bank and the DNA Data Bank sample collection authority.  

Buccal swab
A piece of absorbent material around one end of a small applicator, used for the removal of epithelial cells from the inside of the mouth.

 

C

CODIS
COmbined DNA Index System is an electronic database of DNA profiles. These profiles are generated from convicted offenders and/or from crime scene evidence. CODIS enables comparison and data sharing amongst authorized laboratories using an encrypted secure format.   CODIS was developed by the U.S. Department of Justice and the FBI and provided at no cost to law enforcement forensic laboratories worldwide.   

Convicted Offender Index
The electronic index composed of DNA profiles developed from biological samples collected from offenders convicted of designated offences identified in the Criminal Code. The convicted offender biological samples are processed in the National DNA Data Bank in a manner  which protects the privacy and secures the information. (DNA Identification Act s. 5(4))  

Crime Scene Index
The electronic index composed of DNA profiles obtained from crime scene investigations of the designated offences addressed in the Act.  The DNA data in the crime scene index is populated by forensic laboratories across Canada.  The electronic storage and comparison of this information occurs in the National DNA Data Bank using CODIS. (DNA Identification Act s. 5(3))  

 

D

Designated Offence
An offence defined in s. 487.04 of the Criminal Code as either a defined primary designated offence or a secondary designated offence.

Dessicant pouch
A small bag containing a drying agent that helps to preserve biological samples.  

DNA
The deoxyribonucleic acid molecule that encodes genetic information of organisms and is often referred to as the blueprint of life.  

DNA Identification Act  
Chapter 37 of the 1998 Statutes of Canada - see “Legislation” section of this website

DNA Profile (STR)
With respect to the data bank this refers to a series of 26 numbers representing the number of DNA repeats of specific sequences at 13 locations or test regions.  Due to the variation in the different locations a collective profile is generated which is highly discriminatory between individuals.

 

F

Forensic Hit
A CODIS match between DNA profiles from two or more different crime scenes.

Forensic Science
The application of science to analyze evidence involved in criminal and civil litigation  

 

G

Gender Discrimination test
A PCR DNA test that can designate whether a sample originated from a male or female.   Usually performed at the same time as the STR DNA analysis.

 

L

Lancet
A single use 3.0 mm capillary blood sampler that enables a small drop of blood to be taken from a finger in a safe and reliable manner.

 

M

Mylar envelope
A seven layer barrier envelope, including layers of foil, polyester, paper and polyethylene, which protects a biological sample and preserves the integrity of the DNA by preventing sample exposure to ozone, ultraviolet light and changes in humidity.

 

O

Offender Hit
A CODIS match between a crime scene DNA profile and an offender DNA profile.

 

P

Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR)
A molecular duplicating process that uses basic cellular chemistry and enzymes to create millions of copies of a desired portion of DNA through repeated cycling of a reaction using heating/cooling.  This process enables scientists to obtain DNA information from small or degraded specimens.  In forensic science applications,  specific sequences of DNA are targeted that are highly variable amongst different individuals.

Prospective sample
A sample from an offender who committed and was convicted of a designated Criminal Code offence after June 30th, 2000. (Criminal Code s. 487.051)

 

R

Restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP)
RFLP is the variation between individuals revealed by the size of their DNA fragment generated by specific restriction enzymes.  This method was one of the introductory DNA procedures used in forensic science and has since been replaced by PCR methodology and STR procedures.

Retroactive sample
A sample from an offender who was found guilty of a designated Criminal Code offence before June 30th, 2000 and who had been declared a dangerous offender or was convicted of more than one murder committed at different times, or was convicted of more than one sexual offence, and on June 30th, 2000 was serving a sentence of at least two years for one or more of those offences. (Criminal Code s. 487.055).

Retrospective sample
A sample from an offender who committed a designated Criminal Code offence before June 30th, 2000 and was convicted after that date. (Criminal Code s. 487.052).

 

S

Sample Tracking and Control System (STaCS) TM
A software program developed by the National DNA Data Bank that integrates the automated process of DNA analysis.  The STaCS TM system tracks, controls and documents all the samples and processes used to convert biological samples (blood, buccal or hair) from convicted offenders into simplified numeric DNA profiles. These profiles can then be matched against DNA profiles generated from samples found at crime scenes.

Short Tandem Repeats (STR)
Short DNA sequences composed of 3 to 7 base pair units that are repeated multiple times and arranged in direct tandem succession in particular regions of the DNA molecule.   The variation of the number of repeat units across numerous test locations enables discrimination between individuals.