Do you know people who are looking for their real parents or even real children? If no, then you have probably watched reality television shows or movies where people have spent their whole life looking for their real family. The process done to actually identify if a person is your real family is called DNA fingerprinting or DNA profiling. Nevertheless, this is not the only time that DNA profiling and fingerprinting is used. The process is also widely used in different fields like crime and investigations.
Your Genome will tell us more about what is DNA fingerprinting through their article below.
What is a DNA fingerprint?
DNA fingerprinting is a method used to identify an individual from a sample of DNA by looking at unique patterns in their DNA.
- Almost every cell? in our body contains our DNA?.
- On average, about 99.9 per cent of the DNA between two humans is the same.
- The remaining percentage is what makes us unique (unless you are an identical twin!).
- Although this might sound like a small amount, it means that there are around three million base pairs? that are different between two people. These differences can be compared and used to help distinguish you from someone else.
- Minisatellites are short sequences (10-60 base pairs long) of repetitive DNA that show greater variation? from one person to the next than other parts of the genome?. This variation is exhibited in the number of repeated units or ‘stutters’ in the minisatellite sequence.
- The first minisatellite was discovered in 1980. Read more here.
That is a lot of information about DNA fingerprinting. There are pieces of information about how the first DNA fingerprint is produced, how a DNA profile is used today, how DNA profiles are stored, and many more. We can now under DNA profiling and fingerprinting better. Now, let us read about six ways DNA profiling matters. DNA Diagnostics Center will tell us more about it.
6 Ways DNA Profiling Matters
DNA profiling is a technique developed and perfected over the last 25 years to uniquely identify individuals based on their DNA – the genetic material that is present in each of the billions of cells in our bodies. DNA is, for all intents and purposes, a sequence of “letters” that encodes the unique information that makes us human.
While the sequence of code is nearly the same in all of us, there are important differences in the DNA between individuals. These differences can be used by scientists to uniquely identify individuals through the highly accurate process of DNA profiling.
The power of DNA profiling to uniquely identify individuals is even greater than the traditional method of fingerprinting. More importantly, DNA profiling can unambiguously determine family relationships, such as paternity, which fingerprinting cannot do. Only in cases of identical twins – individuals that begin life with the exact same DNA – does it become difficult for DNA profiling to distinguish. However, even these can be distinguished in many cases with advanced techniques. Read more here.
DNA Diagnostics Center provided us with information on where DNA profiling is used and how important it is. So it is used for identifying criminals, exoneration and freedom, identifying remains in tragedies, establishing paternity, establishing family, and determining ancestry. For more information about how DNA profiling could help you find your birth parents, let us read the article written by Henry Louis gates Jr. and Jake Byrnes below.
Can DNA Help You Find Your Birth Parents? (Part 1)
“I am adopted and have NO clues about my birth except a sort of “fake” birth certificate from when I was born in Texas. No family name. No known blood relatives. Would the DNA test be a good option for me anyway? What will I learn about my family from taking a DNA test?” ~ Rita M.
The short answer to your first question is “yes, absolutely:” An adopted person can — sometimes — be fortunate enough to find the identity of their biological mother and father through one of the major commercial DNA tests available today. And the answer to your second question is “quite a lot.”
Let us explain what we mean by sometimes: if your biological parents or grandparents, brothers, sisters, or close cousins have already had their DNA tested, you will always be connected to them, and your relationship identified, by logging into your own privacy-protected account from the DNA company that tested you. We have to say sometimes because not everyone has had their DNA tested. But if every parent who put a child up for adoption had their DNA analyzed, that child would always show a connection to their biological parents in that same DNA database. We are a long way from reaching that goal but it is a noble one to which to aspire. Read more here.
There we have Rita writing and asking about how she could locate her family when she only has a fake birth certificate and she has no family name and no known blood relatives. So Henry and Jake explained to her what she could do about it. DNA profiling has already helped reunite many families before and it is amazing how this is done. It is really something that we should be thankful about because it has also helped solve crimes and that alone is a very important contribution.