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Mutation rate

Mitochondria used in identification
alleles in electrophoresis gel

Mitochondrial DNA is used in forensics in the identification of remains that cannot be identified by conventional methods-fingerprint analysis, conventional DNA testing, facial recognition. The court system has become accustomed to mtDNA and it is considered equivalent to nuclearDNA. The use in identification is practically the same as DNA testing, the sample is processed to isolate the DNA, it undergoes electrophoresis making a sample that can be compared to others.
Mitochondrial analysis is reserved for heavily degraded corpses, those from mass disasters in which individuals cannot be compared easily with records. Mitochondrial are maternally inherited and require a sample from the maternal side of the family for referencing that may be limited if the subject were an orphan or adopted. How victims died also affect the ability of identification, heat treatment has the most detriment to the cells and results in a low chance of a complete genome sequence.