Different DNA Analysis is Used Depending on the Legal Requirements and the Amount of Genetic Material Available
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Different DNA Analysis is Used Depending on the Legal Requirements and the Amount of Genetic Material Available

DNA testing is more complicated than what most people think. There is no one test that will accomplish all that is necessary to extrapolate what we need from a genetic sample. Of course the major DNA analysis will do just that. It requires the complete DNA genome or profile. However, this DNA test is not always possible when forensic investigators only have limited DNA found at the crime scene to work with.

DNA testing is more complicated than what most people think. There is no one test that will accomplish all that is necessary to extrapolate what we need from a genetic sample. Of course the major DNA analysis will do just that. It requires the complete DNA genome or profile. However, this DNA test is not always possible when forensic investigators only have limited DNA found at the crime scene to work with.

Types of DNA testing currently available

Restriction Fragment Length Polymorphism (RFLP)

Restriction Fragment Length Polymorphism (RFLP) was one of the first the first DNA applications, but it is not used much now because it requires large DNA samples and it breaks down if certain factors are present such as mold or dirt. RFLP requires long sequences which includes an enzyme called a restriction endonuclease.

Polymerase chain reaction PCR Analysis

PCR Analysis facilitates the capacity to make millions of DNA copies from a single biological sample. This type of analysis enables the forensic scientist to examine small data such as a few skin cells. It also lessens the chances of contamination of the sample, but it requires very meticulous work.

Short tandem repeat (STR) technology

Short tandem repeat (STR) technology analyzes all 13 Loci (region )for DNA testing and is the technology used by the FBI databases at the local, state, and federal level. Short tandem repeat (STR) technology for DNA profiles from convicted offenders, unsolved crime scene evidence, and missing persons are recorded in these databases. The chances are a billion to one that any two people will have the same 13 DNA loci (regions) sequencing patterns (also known as a profile).

Mitochondrial DNA Analysis

Mitochondrial DNA analysis (mtDNA) will be taken from a cellular organelle called a mitochondrion. Mitochondrial DNA Analysis is implemented, if the above mentioned analyzes cannot be used. This nuclear DNA analysis is often used when samples are very old; for example, criminal cases that have remained unsolved for many years.

All children have the same mitochondrial DNA as their mother, since the mitochondrial DNA comes directly from the Mother's ovum. The father's sperm only contributes to Nuclear DNA. Mitochondrial DNA is very important in missing person's cases.

Y-Chromosome Analysis

Whereas mitochondrial DNA is important in establishing the connection with mother and child, Y-Chromosome analysis will establish the connection between father and child. As you already know from basis biology, a female donates only the X chromosomes and the male donates the X and the Y chromosomes for reproduction.

Sources:

http://www.ornl.gov/sci/techresources/Human_Genome/elsi/forensics.shtml

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Comments (2)

Learnt a lot about DNA. Thnx for the share.

X fr the mother and X and Y from the father makes sense. Good article, Carol. Thanks.

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