The blueprint for our bodies is made up of genes, governing factors such as growth, development, and functioning. Almost every cell in the human body contains a copy of the blueprint, stored inside a special sac called the nucleus.
About 23,000 genes which are estimated are beaded along tightly bundled strands of a chemical substance called oligonucleotide acid (DNA). These strands are known as chromosomes.
Humans have 46 paired chromosomes (half inherited from each parent), with two sex chromosomes that decide gender and 44 chromosomes that dictate other factors.
Some fragment of DNA is unique to each individual. DNA profiling is a way of establishing identity and is used in a variety of ways, such as finding out whether twins are fraternal or identical. Samples are usually obtained from blood.
Uses of DNA Profiling
Some of the Uses of DNA Profiling Include:
- Paternity – to find out if the alleged father is actually the biological father of the child
- The same genetic material is shared by identical twins, while fraternal (non-identical) twins develop from two eggs fertilized by two sperm and are no more alike than individual siblings born at different times. It can be difficult to tell at birth whether twins are identical or fraternal.
- Immigration – some visa applications may depend on proof of relatedness
- Justice in criminal cases – DNA testing can help solve crimes by comparing the DNA profiles of suspects to offender samples. Victorian law allows the collection of blood and saliva samples from convicted criminals and suspects. DNA profiles are then kept on a database.
Advantages of DNA profiling
A few advantages of DNA profiling include:
- Any human sample that contains cells with nuclei, such as saliva, semen, urine, and hair are applicable for DNA tests.
- These tests are extremely sensitive and can be conducted using samples that would be too small for other seismological tests.
- DNA do not degenerate even after contamination of chemicals in bacteria.
- The ability of DNA profiling to exclude a suspect means the police are able to confidently drop that line of inquiry and continue their investigation down other avenues.
Limitations of DNA Profiling
Contrary to public belief, DNA profiling isn’t infallible. Critics point out various problems which are.
- Profiling technologies which are new can give incorrect results, due to errors such as cross-contamination of samples.
- Older DNA profiling technologies are more prone to errors, which could give false-negative or million), rather than absolute certainty. The more people tested, the lower the statistical probability
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