DNA Fingerprinting - Research Paper Example

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DNA fingerprinting is a laboratory procedure that has proved very useful in personal identification. With its wide applications, it is causing a revolution in the modern world. Typing of DNA presents unique profiles for each individual except identical twins. …
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DNA Fingerprinting
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Download file to see previous pages The high rate of variation results because DNA fingerprinting relies on non-coding hyper-variable sequences to produce a unique pattern of bands for each individual. DNA profiling relies on the discovery of a broad range of restriction enzymes and their specificity. DNA typing has a wide range of applications from paternity testing, criminal investigations, and population studies to identification of tragedy victims. Other applications are in conservation biology and evolution studies. However, DNA typing presents its challenges especially concerning the amount of sample and accuracy of the process. Introduction DNA fingerprinting has caused a revolution in the world since its description in 1985. Deoxyribonucleic acid is present in all body cells. DNA consists of a sugar, four nucleotides, and a phosphate group. The nucleotides commonly called bases differ in the frequency of occurrence and the order in which they occur. The general DNA structure is similar in all individuals. However, the order and frequency of bases brings a remarkable difference between individuals. DNA fingerprinting presents a profile of an individual’s DNA. The four bases namely adenine, cytosine, thymine, and guanine form unique sequences on the two DNA chromosomes. Studies reveal that there are sequences that encode for essential proteins that are necessary for all cell functions. Geneticists called these coding sequences exons. In addition, there are non-coding sequences, the introns. Studies have revealed that the coding sequences are present in every individual because they code for proteins that drive the life process. These sequences have great similarity in individuals and display limited variation. On the other hand, the non-coding sequences portray a high level of variation and form the basis of DNA profiling. Basis of Fingerprinting DNA profiling is currently the most powerful tool in individual identification. It utilizes the variation of the non-coding sequences to produce unique profiles for each individual (Starr et al 247). The variation in these sequences is too high and this minimizes the probability of two individuals having identical profiles to virtually zero. Due to their high level of variability, geneticists call them hyper- variable regions. These regions consist of about ten to fifteen core sequences that may repeat themselves severally at different locations in the chromosome. The non-coding regions appear in between the coding regions. The frequency of repetition of these highly variable regions results to the differences among individuals. Studies indicate that only identical twins produce similar DNA profiles. The reliability on DNA profiles overrides the traditional fingerprints. The environment contributes greatly to the patterns of the fingers of an individual and the method presented its challenges. DNA fingerprinting presents a great potential in providing accurate profiles that can differentiate two individuals. Closely related individuals display a level of similarity in the profiles depending on the level of correlation. Procedure of Running a DNA Fingerprint DNA fingerprinting is laboratory technology involving several procedures. The discovery of restriction enzymes, which cleave DNA at specific recognition sites, formed the stepping-stone to DNA fingerprinting. The initial step in DNA typing is the isolation of DNA from the sample. Samples may be blood, cells, saliva, urine, hair follicles, bones, teeth, and hair fragments (Read 21). Geneticists recognize the existence of both nuclear DNA found in the cell nucleus and mitochondrial DNA in the mitochondrion. The amount of sample available determines the type of DNA isolated. In cases where small samples are available ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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This research paper was always my weak point. I could never finish it on time. Still, after I found this particular essay, I understood how it should be done. So, I performed my research afterward and completed the research paper in several hours, instead of months as it was previously.
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