DNA profiling (also called DNA testing, DNA typing, or genetic fingerprinting) is a technique employed by forensic scientists to assist in the identification of individuals on the basis of their respective DNA profiles. DNA profiles are encrypted sets of numbers that reflect a person's DNA makeup, which can also be used as the person's identifier. DNA profiling should not be confused with full genome sequencing.
Although 99.9% of human DNA sequences are the same in every person, enough of the DNA is different to distinguish one individual from another. DNA profiling uses repetitive ("repeat") sequences that are highly variable, called variable number tandem repeats (VNTR). VNTRs loci are very similar between closely related humans, but so variable that unrelated individuals are extremely unlikely to have the same VNTRs.
The DNA profiling technique was first reported in 1985 by Sir Alec Jeffreys at the University of Leicester in England, and is now the basis of several national DNA databases.
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