AQA 16.8 - Genetic Fingerprinting

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  • Genetic Fingerprinting
    • 1) Extraction
      • Extract DNA  by separating it from the rest of the cell
      • If a larger amount of DNA is needed than what it available the quantity can be increased by using PCR
    • 2) Digestion
      • cut DNA into fragments
        • using restriction endonucleases
    • 3) Separation
      • DNA fragments are separated by gel electrophoresis
        • separated fragments are transferred from the gel to a nylon membrane
    • 4) Hybridisation
      • Radioactive probes are  used to bind with the core sequence
        • Radioactive probes have a sequence that is complementary to the core sequence
        • The probe binds to the sequence under specific conditions
          • pH
          • Temperature
        • different probes bind to different sequences
    • 5) Development
      • x-ray film is put over the nylon membrane
        • development of the x-ray film reveals where the radioactive DNA probes have attached
          • the banded pattern is unique for each individual
    • Interpreting the Results
      • the closer the match between two patterns the greater the probability that the two sets of DNA have come from the same person
    • Uses of Genetic Fingerprinting
      • forensic science
      • helps resolve questions of paternity
      • useful in determining genetic variability within a population

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