Dna Profiling Used in Courts Essay

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DNA profiling is a technique often used to identify criminals or the biological parents of a child through the analysis of their deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA). The technique is very successful as it is based on the fact that every person possesses their own individual set of DNA, which is unique to them with the exception of identical twins. DNA found in materials such as blood, semen, bone and hair is extracted for analysis. There are issues involved in its application as it can be seen as an invasion of ones privacy through the use of DNA banks. Recently there has been some speculation about the accuracy of DNA profiling leading to concerns regarding the potential for criminals to have been falsely convicted. The cost of DNA profiling is very expensive making it inaccessible to some people. There is also potential for the misuse of DNA profiling. There are several different techniques of DNA profiling currently used today. I have chosen to investigate the most common type of DNA profiling, restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP). The first part of the process is called restriction digest. Firstly the DNA is broken into pieces using an enzyme called Hinfl. This enzyme, which comes from the bacteria Haemophilus influenza, is able to recognise and break DNA whenever a sequence of GANTC appears. GANTC stands for the bases that are found in DNA (Guanine, Adenine, Cytosine and Thymine). The N stands for any nucleotide (phosphorus and sugar). The pieces of DNA are then sorted by size using electrophoresis. DNA particles are placed into an agarose gel and an electrical charge is applied to gel. A positive charge is applied to the bottom and a negative charge to the top of the gel, which is able to conduct electricity. The negatively charged DNA particles are attracted to the bottom of the gel. The smaller

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