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Transcript of DNA Fingerprinting
Benefits of DNA Fingerprinting
DNA can reliably and uniquely identify people as no two people have the exact same DNA (Oephilious 2012), even identical twins' DNA is different due to epigenetics.
It can be used to:
Social and Ethical Issues
There are many concerns surrounding this technology especially in terms of keeping a database of individual's DNA.
Learning Activity/ Task
Issues and Concerns
Can be used to determine a biological relationship, such as who someone's father is.
Can only prove if familial relationships exist, not specific ones, eg. if two brothers claiming to be the father.
Can reliably determine if DNA found at a crime scene is a match with a suspect's DNA.
Can only determine the presence of an individual not what they were doing at the scene.
Looking at an individual's DNA can help to predict the chances of them contracting some kinds of diseases such as cancers.
Some factors can cause the tests to be unreliable. The chance of error can range from 1 in 40 billion to 1 in 4.
DNA fingerprinting is very expensive and time consuming. This means that it is generally not very useful in general identification.
Can be used to identify bodies or people that cannot be identified in other ways and if done well it is very conclusive.
UK DNA database
Police database stores DNA of criminals or suspects
Now stores DNA of released, unconvicted suspects
Means that innocent people have their DNA stored alongside criminals
Concerns surrounding non-forensic use of DNA especially for those who were never convicted
What Is Biotechnology?
Uses of DNA Fingerprinting
Biotechnology is the manipulation of living processes to make or change products.
Biotechnology, by definition is not a new innovation, it has been around for at least 10,000 years. Its earliest uses was for brewing beer and wine - the fermentation of yeast.
There are a lot of uses nowadays though. Emerging biological technologies include:
stem cell research
DNA fingerprinting is the scientific process of identifying someone by their DNA. This works because each person has a different set of DNA that is unique to them.
It is much like normal fingerprinting, hence the name
Although studies have shown that 99.9% of our DNA is identical with every other human being on the planet. it is that 0.1% that makes all of us different and therefore uniquely identifiable.
Forensics and criminal identification
Paternity and maternity tests
Diagnosis and cure for inherited diseases
DNA fingerprinting starts off with the collection of a sample called a "reference sample"(Brittanica 2014).
Ways to collect samples
Blood, saliva, skin, semen
Samples from personal belongings, blood from relatives to provide a general idea etc.
DNA Fingerprinting is also used extensively in plants
RFLP stands for Restriction Fragment Length Polymorphism.
Break DNA into smaller pieces using a restriction enzyme.
Separate fragments by size using Gel Electrolysis
Filter fragments through a nitrocellulose
Blots are exposed to X-Ray Film
High degree of variability
Needs a lot of Sample DNA
A Quick Recap ~
Revolutionised humanity's study of DNA since 1983.
Involves heating, and adding enzyme 40 times. Then primers duplicate the DNA and it is broken into strands.
Harder to analyse mixed samples and not as useful for comparing relatives. However a lot faster
Short Tandem Repeats Analysis
Modern method to analyse DNA:
Faster and more accurate
This method also costs more and is easier to contaminate. When done properly it is a lot more reliable and efficient (Britannica 2014)
AmpFLP is another modern alternative to RLFP.
The DNA fragments are amplified by sizes. This increase the time by a lot. However it provides in-depth data.
Used by scientists studying across
large groups. E.g. Botanist
studying plants of the same
species across the country
Unzip DNA Into Smaller Fragments
Sort Fragments on Gel or Film
Record Results and Compare
Oephilious 2012, enotes.com, weblog, viewed 2 September 2014, <http://www.enotes.com/homework-help/what-dna-finger-printing-358417>
,CSIRO, Clayton South,Victoria, viewed 5 September 2014, <http://www.csiro.au/Organisation-Structure/Divisions/Plant-Industry/what-is-biotechnology.aspx>
News Medical 2014, 'Real concerns over the ethics of a DNA database',
, viewed 29 August 2014, <http://www.news-medical.net/news/2008/01/10/34184.aspx>
, Ecyclopedia Science Series, viewed 2 September 2014, <http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/167155/DNA-fingerprinting>
, viewed 2 September 2014, <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DNA_profiling>
Phillips T. 2012, 'Early Biotechnological Practices',
, viewed 1 September, <http://biotech.about.com/od/history/a/EarlyBiotech.htm>
Stevens JD. 2010,
The uses of DNA Fingerprinting
, viewed 5 September 2014, <http://jdutchstevens.tripod.com/id4.html>
Epplen JT. Lubjuhn T. 1999,
DNA Profiling and DNA Fingerprinting
, Birkhauser Verlag, Oxford Press, London.
Henry RJ. 2001,
Plant Genotyping: The DNA Fingerprinting of Plants
, CABI Publishing, CAB Wallingford, UK.