Getting DNA from awkward places
Some of the DNA in bones and teeth can last for many years after a person has died. Scientists can examine DNA from people murdered a century ago, or even from 3000-year-old ancient Egyptian mummies by using the polymerase chain reaction (PCR). PCR makes millions of exact copies of a piece of DNA in just an hour or so. Scientists can use PCR to extract DNA from tiny samples that would be too small for older methods.