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DNA Fingerprinting

The Uses of DNA Fingerprinting

What is DNA?
What is DNA Fingerprinting?
Types of DNA Fingerprinting
How does one create a DNA fingerprint?
The Uses of DNA Fingerprinting
Problems with DNA Fingerprinting
Gel Electrophoresis

There are several uses for DNA fingerprinting.  It is not just used for personal identification by a crime scene investigator but it is also used for paternity and maternity tests.  DNA fingerprinting may also be used as a system of personal identification as well as used for medical purposes in detecting and curing genetic diseases.   

Personal Identification

This would be the idea of keeping everyone’s DNA on a computer as a bar code.  This idea has been discussed and has been decided to be impractical and very expensive.  It is very unlikely to become a system to be used.  Picture identification cards and social security numbers are much more efficient and not likely to change.

Diagnosis and Cures for Inherited Diseases

DNA fingerprinting can also be used to detect and cure genetically inherited diseases.  Using a DNA fingerprinting one can detect genetic diseases like cystic fibrosis, hemophilia, Huntington’s disease and many others.  If the disease is detected at an early age it can be treated and there is a greater chance that it can be defeated.  Some couples who are carriers of a disease seek out genetic counselors that can use a DNA fingerprint to help them understand the risks of them having an affected child and give them information to help them out.  The fingerprints can be used by researchers to look for patterns that specific diseases have and try to figure out ways that they can cure them.













Criminal Identification and Forensics

This is a very famous method of DNA fingerprinting.  This method has become so popular and well known because of the hit TV series CSI. (Crime Scene Investigation) This is a very important use of DNA fingerprinting because it can prove an individuals innocents or guilt of committing a crime.  To be used a sample of DNA has to be obtained from the scene of the crime and matched with the suspect in question.  The two pieces of DNA is then compared through VNTR patterns.

Paternity and Maternity

This is also a well known use for DNA fingerprinting.  This is the test used to find out who is the father of a baby or children.  Every individual has a VNTR pattern which is inherited from their parents.  The pattern in every individual is different but it is similar enough to reconstruct the parents VNTR.  This can also be used to determine the real biological parents of an adopted child.  This test can also be used to determine legal nationality.  An individual should be careful when using a test like this because it can cause surprise and that may hurt some individuals.


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