A technique (more properly termed DNA typing) that relies on the presence of simple tandem-repetitive sequences that are scattered throughout the human genome. Although these regions show considerable differences in lengths, they share a common 10–15 base pair core sequence. DNAs from different individual humans are enzymatically cleaved and separated by size on a gel. A hybridization probe containing the core sequence is then used to label those DNA fragments that contain complementary sequences. The pattern displayed on each gel is specific for a given individual. The technique has been used to establish family relationships in cases of disputed parentage. In violent crimes, blood, hair, semen, and other tissues from the assailant are often left at the scene. The DNA fingerprinting technique provides the forensic scientist with a means of identifying the assailant from a group of suspects. See Chronology, 1985, Jeffries, Wilson, and Thien; alphoid sequences, DNA forensics, fingerprinting technique, oligonucleotide fingerprinting, restriction fragment length polymorphisms, VNTR locus.
Subjects: Genetics and Genomics.