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DNA Fingerprinting - Essay Example

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This essay focuses on DNA fingerprinting. If the there is some sort of problem i.e. mutation in the DNA, it would lead to altered characters or even lead to abnormalities. The basic structure of a DNA consists of four Nucleotide bases i.e. Adenine, Thymine, Guanine, and Cytosine…
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DNA Fingerprinting
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Download file to see previous pages These four bases pair with each other in a unique manner i.e. Adenine-Thymine and Guanine-Cytosine to form the unique DNA structure of every living thing. These bases are also attached to a sugar backbone that twists and turn in a double helix manner and give the molecule of its shape (Crocket 2001). Implications DNA fingerprinting, as the name implies is a technique used for the purpose of identification in many fields of science. Since fingerprints of not two individuals have been found to be similar, it has been proved that just like fingerprints, DNA sequence of every individual is also different and identity of a person in many cases can be found out by using this technique. Although many moral and ethical issues have been raised on the use of this technique but it has been found to be very helpful in the identifying individuals in many cases where it was almost impossible to attain hundred percent identity mainly because only remains of individuals were found or in mass disasters where the bodies were totally destroyed that obtaining fingerprints was almost impossible. For example in a mass disaster, the DNA samples of the relatives i.e. parents, siblings or offspring of the victims are taken and then the DNA sequence is matched with that of the victims and identities are generated on the basis of matching of base pairs. Also DNA fingerprints have been used in solving the cases of disputed paternity, identifying a rapist in cases of sexual assault and identifying the species in cases of fragmentary remains. Types and Techniques: The three main types of DNA Fingerprinting are: RFLP (Restriction Fragment Length Polymorphism) VNTR (Variable Number Tandem Repeats) STR ( Short Tandem Repeats) RFLPs are the oldest type of DNA fingerprints. For this process, a sample from any part of the body is collected since all the nucleated cells of the body contain DNA. After the sample is collected, DNA is extracted from the sample by using restriction enzymes(Crocket 2001). Restriction enzymes are highly specific enzymes for specific sequences of DNA and they act on and cleave only the sequences they are programmed for. After the DNA samples are properly extracted, specific band patterns are generated in agarose gel by using the process of Electrophoresis. This is a process in which electric current is applied to each side of the sheet containing the extracted DNA on a sheet and movement of particles is observed which creates a band pattern (Burke 1991).   ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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