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DNA Fingerprinting Essay Sample

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DNA Fingerprinting Essay Sample

DNA fingerprinting is a method that compares the fragments of DNA. DNA fingerprinting was first invented to detect the presence of genetic diseases. Today, DNA fingerprinting is used in different ways. DNA is analyzed using a Southern Blot, which allows scientists to observe the base pair patterns.

DNA fingerprinting can be used in a few different ways. First, to find out if the child belongs to a person DNA fingerprinting may be used. When a child is born, it inherits the VNTR’s from the father and the mother. VNTR’s are variable number tandem repeats, which is repeated sequences of base pairs. The VNTR patterns are used to determine the father or mother. Next, DNA fingerprinting allows the police to figure out who the criminal is. This is done by the DNA that was contracted out of the evidence (hair, blood, skin cell, etc.) that was left at the crime scene is compared to the VNTR of possible suspects. Lastly, DNA fingerprinting can be used to correctly identify a person. Even though this is not a major way of identifying a person only because of the work and money it would cost to keep individual’s fingerprint on file would be unrealistic, but may take place sometime in the future. People are identified today mostly by social security cards, picture ID’s, or something in that matter.

DNA fingerprinting is made by the method called the Southern Blot, which is a way that examines the genetic patterns that are in an individual’s DNA. First, in a Southern Blot, the DNA has to be removed from the rest of the material in the nucleus. Next, restriction enzymes cut the DNA into different size pieces and then the pieces are separated by size during a process called gel electrophoresis. Then, the DNA is poured into a gel (agarose), and a electrical current is added to the gel. The positive charge is towards the bottom while the negative charge is towards the top. Since DNA has a small negative charge, they will be attracted towards the bottom. The smaller pieces will be able to move farther and faster, so the smaller pieces of DNA will be closer to the bottom than the larger pieces. Next, the DNA is denatured, which means the DNA is single-stranded, by heating or chemically treated the DNA in the gel. After the DNA is attached to paper and baked to the sheet, adding radioactive or colored probes creates the DNA fingerprint, then Southern Blot is ready to me analyzed.

The accuracy of DNA fingerprinting has been questioned for many reasons. First, the chance that a bit of microscopic genetic junk may alter the DNA fingerprint. Next, for a reliable DNA fingerprint shouldn’t have a sample that is too small. Also, the chance that there could of been a mistake or the test wasn’t conducted the right way, could cause some problems. For example, a guilty person is allowed to walk free or a mother is denied custody of her children.

In conclusion, DNA fingerprinting is very useful to the world today. It allows police to limit their suspects and eventually find the criminal. Also, DNA fingerprinting may be used for paternal/maternal reasons. DNA fingerprinting is advancing in technology and will maybe soon be able to find other uses.

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