Q. 15

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Answer :

The technique that can help establish his identity is “DNA fingerprinting”. Developed by Alec Jeffrey, DNA fingerprinting or DNA profiling is a technique to determine an individual’s DNA characteristics, which are unique as the fingerprints. About 99.9% of sequences of DNA are same in humans. The 0.1% DNA segment which is different in different humans makes all of us unique. In this 0.1% segment there are certain regions with repetitive sequences which form the basis of DNA fingerprinting.

The basic steps involved in the procedure are:

a. Isolation of DNA

b. Digestion of DNA by restriction endonuclease

c. Separation of DNA by gel electrophoresis

d. Transfer of DNA fragments to membrane (Southern blotting)

e. Hybridisation using labelled Variable Number of Tandem Repeats (VNTRs) probes

f. Detection of labelled segments by autoradiography

The bands obtained are unique to an individual and can be used for identification of people using existing database or comparing them with their relatives.

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