Genetic Fingerprinting

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  • Genetic Fingerprinting
    • Uses
      • Paternity Testing
        • DNA fingerprinting is used to probe our heredity
          • Comparing the banding patterns of a child with a possible parent to generate the probability of relatedness
            • If two banding patterns are similar enough then those two people are most likely related
      • Crime Scenes
        • DNA samples gathered at a crime scene can be compared with the DNA of a suspect to determine whether or not they were present
      • Genetic Disease
        • Helps us predict our future health
        • Can track down the genetic bases of inherited diseases
        • If a pattern continually occurs in different patients scientists can narrow it down to which genes are possibly involved
          • Can be used pre-natally to screen both parents and foetus for inherited abnormalities
            • E.G. Muscular Dystrophy
    • Technique
      • 1. DNA is separated from the sample and RESTRIC-TION ENDO-NUCLEASES cut the DNA into sections
      • 2. DNA fragments are separated in AGAROSE gel using ELECTRO-PHORESIS - DNA fragment are exposed to an electric current
        • DNA is negatively charged and moves to the negative end - smaller fragments move further and faster, creating bands according to fragment size
      • 3. Fragments are transferred to a nylon membrane - Southern Blotting
        • Radioactive DNA probes attach to specific portions of the fragments - core sequences
      • 4. Portions of DNA not bound are washed off
        • Remaining DNA still attached to the nylon membrane is placed next to a sheet of x-ray film
          • Radioactive probes on the DNA expose the film to reveal a banding pattern.
    • Technique for determining the likelihood that genetic material came from a particular individual or group
      • 'Bands' of DNA are generated when stretches of DNA are cut up at the points of difference in the nucleotide chain
        • The number and width of the bands create a unique profile
    • Exons are regions of DNA that code for proteins
      • Introns are areas of noncoding DNA found between exons - they contain blocks of repeated nucleotides
        • The number of times these blocks are repeated produces variation in individuals

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