Understanding Genetic Profiling

Genetic material controls each and every action in the body. From the basics of growth to the vital activities like breathing and pumping blood DNA controls it all. There are some parts of the genetic material that look alike in all humans but other parts differ from one individual to another being only similar in people who are related. Some, however, are unique to an individual and are capable of identifying an individual. A genetic profile, also known as genetic fingerprinting, is the process in which a specific DNA pattern (a profile) is deduced from a person’s body fluid sample. The profile is made up of regions that vary between people. These variable regions are known as polymorphisms and are determined by the genes inherited from both parents.

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Since it was introduced, genetic profiling has gained its many uses. The most common are in forensic investigations. Here, samples suspected to contain genetic material are collected, the material extracted and the profile created with a gene analyser. In this case, the profile from the crime scene sample is compared to that of the suspects. If they match then the suspect is incriminated but if not then he or she is less likely to have been the one that committed the crime.

Paternity and other parenting issues have been easily solved by using genetic profiling. Here samples from the child and the suspected parent are taken, their profiles created and compared. The results are expected to have a lot of disparities if there is no parent-child relationship but be similar if the contrary is true. This has been particularly helpful in circumstances where paternity is disputed. Immigration rules may also require this information to prove relatedness before they can approve visas.

New parents can be able to determine if twins or other multiple births are identical or fraternal. That is whether they originate from the same egg being fertilised by one sperm or from two separate eggs respectively. The profile of the prior will be the same whereas for the latter it will be different. ` `