What is DNA Profiling?

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Forensic Biology and Anthropology Forensic DNA Analysis What is DNA Profiling? There are many different terms used in conjunction to DNA Profiling; DNA testing, DNA typing and genetic fingerprinting. This is a technique which is used by Forensic Scientists by means of assistance in the identification of individuals by their DNA profiles. A DNA profile is an encrypted set of numbers w0hich reflects an individual’s DNA makeup. This encryption can also be used when identifying a person. DNA profiling is NOT however a full genome sequence. (Joseph Wambaugh, 1989) DNA profiles are very useful as although 99.9% of human DNA sequences are the same in every person, there is also enough DNA present which is different; this allows you to be able to distinguish one individual from another. This is the case for everyone apart from monozygotic twins. (Joseph Wambaugh) DNA Profiling exists in blood, bone, hair follicles, saliva, semen, skin and sweat. They are the same in every cell and retain their distinctiveness throughout an individual’s lifetime. Apart from identification, paternity and immigration cases, this technique is also used in medical conditions such as Huntington’s disease. DNA profiling involves testing mini-satellites one at a time which then goes on to produce an image which is much simpler than genetic fingerprinting. It provides a pattern which is unique to a particular person and is therefore suitable for forensic purposes. (Turnpenny, P et al 2005).
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