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Transcript of DNA Fingerprinting
•In the future, the government hopes to have a DNA database of all citizens, which is an invasion of privacy. It should be a person’s choice whether or not they want to undergo DNA fingerprinting. By: Biankha Chan and Bronwyn Rush DNA Fingerprinting An individual inherits his or her variable number tandem repeats (VNTRs) from their parents. The patterns are so specific that a parental VNTR pattern can be reconstructed even when only the children's VNTR patterns are known (the more children produced, the more reliable the reconstruction). Parent-child VNTR pattern analysis has been used to solve standard father-identification cases as well as more complicated situations of confirming legal nationality and, in cases of adoption, determining the biological parents. DNA fingerprinting can also be used to diagnose inherited diseases. Using DNA fingerprinting, medical professionals can detect genetic diseases like cystic fibrosis, hemophilia, Huntington’s disease, and many others. If the disease is detected early, medical staff can prepare the parents for proper treatment of the child. Future parents that are carriers of a disease can seek out genetic counselors to further understand the risk of having an affected child. DNA fingerprinting can be used to determine a species of an archeological discovery or to trace blood lines of animal or human remains. DNA may be extracted from biological remains, hair, teeth, body tissues, or even fossils. When soldiers go to war, misfortunes may happen. When a soldier loses his or her life, a set of “Dog Tags” often gives their proper identification. However, this type of I.D. may be lost during combat. Because of this, DNA fingerprinting becomes important in correctly identifying casualties or persons missing in action. Paternity and Maternity Diagnosis of Inherited Diseases DNA isolated from blood, hair, skin cells, or other genetic evidence left at the scene of a crime, can be compared through VNTR patterns. This evidence is used with the DNA of a criminal suspect to determine if the person is guilty or innocent. VNTR patterns are also useful in establishing the identity of a homicide victim, either from DNA found as evidence or from the body itself. Criminal Identification and Forensics Current Applications Sir Alec Jeffreys discovered DNA Fingerprinting while he was a professor at the University of Leicester. He began using techniques of molecular biology with human genetics. Using the gene detection methods of his time, he studied the structures of genes and inherited variations between people. In 1978, Jeffreys got his first single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP). SNPs are variations in a single base pair in a DNA sequence. The breakthrough occurred when Jeffreys and his colleagues were conducting an experiment that involved the myoglobin gene in grey seals (produces the oxygen carrying protein in muscle) . This was used to isolate the myoglobin gene in humans. Once the team isolated the myoglobin gene in humans, they found an intron in the gene that contained tandem repeat DNA, which is a mini-satellite. Using this mini-satellite as a template, his team could then identify more until a core sequence was found (a piece of DNA that is similar in numerous mini-satellites). They then produced a probe that would attach to the mini-satellites at the same time. To test this probe they used DNA from his research assistant and her parents. SNPs did not show sufficient variation, and Jeffreys began searching for sections of DNA with more variation. So he focused on tandem repeat DNA (short sequences of DNA that are repeated many times in a row). Tandem repeat DNA in the human genome remained difficult to locate at first, but the answer surfaced through a different project occurring in Jeffreys lab. The X-ray from the test was developed in September 1984. It was soon realized that there were patterns unique to each person. Over time this image was improved and more mini-satellites were discovered. This was the first DNA fingerprint. Jeffreys method required large sample sizes and this technique could not be automated. This led to a DNA database to eventually be created. Molecular Archeology Military Identification Global DNA Database Future Applications 1. Once the DNA has been copied, restriction enzymes cut the DNA at a specific sequence to make smaller pieces. The result of this is many fragments that are different lengths. These fragments are called restriction fragments length polymorphisms (RFLPs)
2. The RFLPs are then put into an agarose gel. An electric current is then passed through the gel. Since DNA has a negative charge the RFLPs will move across the gel to the positive end. The smaller fragments of RFLPs will move further than the longer ones, therefore the RFLPs will be sorted according to size.
3. The gel is then covered with a piece of paper towel to absorb the moisture from the gel and a piece of nylon, which has been soaked with chemicals that will separate the two DNA strands. This is called blotting. One of the DNA strands is attached to the nylon using heat or UV light.
4. Radioactive probes get washed over the nylon. The probes will attach to the DNA fragments that are complementary to that probe.
5. A photographic film is placed on top of the nylon. The probes will leave a mark on the film wherever they attach to a DNA fragment, which produces a dark band when the film gets developed. This dark band marks the length of the DNA fragment. Research programs that locate inherited disorders on the chromosomes depend on the information contained in DNA fingerprints. By studying the DNA fingerprints of relatives who have a history of a particular disorder, or by comparing large groups of people with or without the disorder, it is possible to identify DNA patterns associated with the disease. This work is a necessary first step in creating an eventual genetic cure for these disorders. Developing Cures for Inherited Disorders Southern Blotting Process Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) After the DNA sample has been collected it must go through the Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) which helps to amplify small samples of DNA.
I.DNA molecules get melted (95C)
II.The strands separate and the temperature gets lowered to 55C.
III.A primer binds to each 3’ end of the target DNA.
IV.Primers direct taq polymerase to synthesize the complementary DNA strand.
V.These steps are repeated many times to produce millions of copies of the DNA The UK currently maintains the largest DNA database in the world and is encouraging other governments to have similar systems in their own countries. Using international organizations such as Interpol, participating governments will be able to share and exchange the DNA profiles of their citizens for crime detection and prevention. DNA Database of All Citizens This database would:
•Replace more traditional and forgeable forms of identification
•Help monitor the population.
•Help identify and catch criminals.
•Help identify disaster victims.