uses of DNA fingerprinting to identify individuals?
- joanmazzaLv 51 decade agoFavorite Answer
Can be used in a variety of forensics:
to identify a corpse
to test semen in a rape case
presence at the scene of a crime
body fluid/skin cells of victim found on alleged perpetrator
- 1 decade ago
DNA Fingerprinting, method of identification that compares fragments of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) It is sometimes called DNA typing. DNA is the genetic material found within the cell nuclei of all living things. In mammals the strands of DNA are grouped into structures called chromosomes. With the exception of identical twins, the complete DNA of each individual is unique.
A DNA fingerprint is constructed by first extracting a DNA sample from body tissue or fluid such as hair, blood, or saliva. The sample is then segmented using enzymes, and the segments are arranged by size using a process called electrophoresis. The segments are marked with probes and exposed on X-ray film, where they form a characteristic pattern of black bars—the DNA fingerprint. If the DNA fingerprints produced from two different samples match, the two samples probably came from the same person.
DNA fingerprinting was first developed as an identification technique in 1985. Originally used to detect the presence of genetic diseases, DNA fingerprinting soon came to be used in criminal investigations and forensic science. The first criminal conviction based on DNA evidence in the United States occurred in 1988. In criminal investigations, DNA fingerprints derived from evidence collected at the crime scene are compared to the DNA fingerprints of suspects. The DNA evidence can implicate or exonerate a suspect.
Generally, courts have accepted the reliability of DNA testing and admitted DNA test results into evidence. However, DNA fingerprinting is controversial in a number of areas: the accuracy of the results, the cost of testing, and the possible misuse of the technique.
The accuracy of DNA fingerprinting has been challenged for several reasons. First, because DNA segments rather than complete DNA strands are “fingerprinted,” a DNA fingerprint may not be unique; large-scale research to confirm the uniqueness of DNA fingerprinting test results has not been conducted. In addition, DNA fingerprinting is often performed in private laboratories that may not follow uniform testing standards and quality controls. Also, since human beings must interpret the test, human error could lead to false results. DNA fingerprinting is expensive. Suspects who are unable to provide their own DNA experts may not be able to adequately defend themselves against charges based on DNA evidence.
In the United States, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has created a national database of genetic information called the National DNA Index System. The database contains DNA obtained from convicted criminals and from evidence found at crime scenes. Some experts fear that this database might be used for unauthorized purposes, such as identifying individuals with stigmatizing illnesses such as acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS).Source(s): Microsoft® Encarta® Reference Library 2003. © 1993-2002 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.
- 1 decade ago
DOESN'T ALWAYS WORK , IF PEOPLE ERASE THEIR HANDS AND FINGERS SMOOTH WITH SANDPAPER OR SOME OTHER THING , I HEARD CASES ITS HAPPENED , THATS WHY DNA , IS TAKEN FROM THE SALIVA!!