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How DNA Profiling and DNA Fingerprinting Benefited People

            Have you ever watched television news, movies, or dramas related to crime where investigators or detectives have to identify a certain body or identify a criminal or the assailant? The process done is actually called DNA profiling. According to Science Learning Hub, DNA profiling is the process where a specific DNA pattern, called a profile, is obtained from a person or sample of bodily tissue which can be used to identify individuals. However, that is not the only purpose of DNA profiling because there are other wonderful things about this. There are many commercial organizations that used dna  profiling technologies to help people identify their traits. One such organization is Mapmygenes can more information can be found on their dna profiling page at http://www.mapmygene.com/services/disease-susceptibility-test/

In an article by Bio Ninja, we would be able to know more about DNA profiling. Let us read below.

DNA Profiling

DNA profiling is a technique by which individuals can be identified and compared via their respective DNA profiles

  • Within the non-coding regions of an individual’s genome there exists satellite DNA – long stretches of DNA made up of repeating elements called short tandem repeats(STRs) 
  • As individuals will likely have different numbers of repeats at a given satellite DNA locus, they will generate unique DNA profiles 

DNA profiling is commonly used in criminal investigations (forensics) and to settle paternity disputes

The procedure involved is common for both:

  • A DNA sample is collected (e.g. from blood, semen, saliva, etc.) and then amplified using PCR
  • Satellite DNA (with STR sequences) are cut with specific restriction enzymes to generate fragments
  • Fragment length will differ between individuals due to the variable length of their short tandem repeats
  • The fragments are separated using gel electrophoresis and the resulting profiles are compared. Read more here.

So Bioninja provided us with information about the procedure in conducting DNA profiling which is quite similar for both purposes which is for forensic investigation and paternity testing. Now, let us take a look at the importance of DNA Profiling which will be discussed to us by Maita Independent through their article below.

The Importance of DNA profiling

 “I think it is important that without killing a human life, you avoid that it is conceived – especially if you know the child will be born with a disability. In saying this, I don’t think it reduces the life or dignity of the person with a disability,” a parent, whose child was born with a disability, told the Social Affairs Committee last week.

The session was held behind closed doors to protect the identity of the speaker. She was referred to as Paula.

She explained that her sister became pregnant several years ago. During a routine check-up in her seventh month of pregnancy, the doctors realised that the baby’s head was larger than it should be.

She was immediately referred to St Luke’s Hospital and after further investigations, it was found that the baby had a condition called hydrocephalus – a condition where an abnormal accumulation of fluid in the cerebral ventricles causes enlargement of the skull and compression of the brain, destroying much of the neural tissue. Read more here.

So that is a true story showing us how important DNA profiling is especially if you are planning or about to conceive a child. Below, we are going to read more about real life cases where DNA profiling changed everything. The Forensic Outreach Team will provide us with those.

5 Real-Life Cases Where DNA Profiling Changed Everything

DNA testing on crime scene evidence is considered conclusive, but it was not always so. 30 years ago, this tool was considered too controversial to make a difference in identifying or clearing a suspect.

DNA profiling is the process whereby a string of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) is extracted from a cell of an organism, mixed with a ‘restriction enzyme’ which, when processed reveals the blueprint of an individual; ‘instructions’ in each of 23 pairs of chromosomes that dictate physical characteristics, function and individuality, each is completely unique to an individual.  DNA signature is duplicated in every cell of a person’s body, including urine, tears or semen, therefore scientifically accurate identification can be made.

  1. A twist of fate: the first use in England.

A fifteen year old school girl, Lynda Mann was abducted in Narbourough, England. The next day, her body was discovered raped and murdered.  Three years later, another young woman met the same fate near Lynda’s resting place. Richard Buckland was arrested and confessed to the second murder only.  An untested technique was applied; ‘genetic fingerprinting’ through DNA analysis. Surprisingly, there was no match in either murder, so the test was repeated. Ultimately, Buckland was proven innocent. As to why he confessed, he claimed he had been pressured by police. Read more here.

DNA profiling and DNA fingerprinting has really helped a lot in crime and investigation. Imagine how those criminals would be caught without this, they might still be roaming around and innocent people might have been arrested. So basically, DNA profiling is one of the most important discoveries right now. Without it, police investigation could’ve been more difficult right now, justice is not served well, and illnesses wouldn’t have been detected early.

 

How is DNA testing useful?

DNA testing also known as DNA profiling is a technique pertaining to forensic science that helps to identify and determine an individuals characteristics through the help of the DNA. Now what is the DNA profile of an individual? It is a small set of DNA that is likely to vary between unrelated individuals. It is a unique as the fingerprint of an individual. DNA testing is very different from genome sequencing. DNA testing is mostly used in crime investigation and establishing the paternity of an individual. However there are many other uses of DNA profiling as well.

How is DNA testing done?

The process of DNA testing is established by the father of genetics, Sir Alec Jeffreys. In this process, a sample of the persons DNA (called a reference sample) is collected. The most common method of collecting this reference sample is through a buccal swab is not expensive and easily available and also non-invasive. If a buccal swab is not obtainable then other samples like saliva, blood, semen, sweat and other fluid tissue are used to collect the sample. This reference sample is then analyzed to determine an individuals DNA profile.

There are different types of DNA testing:

Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) Analysis: the PCAR analysis produces millions of precise DNA replications even from the smallest cell. Hence it has the advantage of analyzing even the miniscule sample that is gathered from the crime site.

Restriction Fragment Length Polymorphism (RFLP): this was one the first techniques of DNA analysis in forensic science but is slowly becoming obsolete. This technique is becoming obsolete because large size of samples are needed as compared to other techniques.

Short Tandem Repeat (STR) Analysis: this technique analyses individual areas of the DNA. In criminal investigation thirteen areas are analyzed to establish DNA profiles.

Mitochondrial DNA Analysis: this technique is used for samples on which the STR or RFLP techniques fail. There are two types of DNA mitochondrial and nuclear DNA. In all the types of DNA testing the nuclear DNA is removed from the sample, but in this analysis the mitochondrial DNA is removed from the sample.

Y-Chromosome Analysis: the Y chromosome passes from the father to the son and this analysis is used to determine parental disputes.

Uses of DNA testing:

Archaeologists are now using DNA tests to record genetic codes and how life has progressed on earth that date back to centuries. DNA databases are maintained that are used to compare DNAs. DNA profiling has helped scientists to understand mutation and evolution.

DNA testing is the most definitive way of establishing a childs paternity. Either for mental peace or for legal matters often it becomes imperative to establish the father child relationship biologically. This is when DNA testing plays a huge role.

To establish a family tree and trace back to ones genetic ancestors often DNA testing is done. As the Y chromosome found in male are not likely to change from generation to generation, the analysis of Y chromosome can be done to establish family lines.

One major use of prenatal DNA testing is that it helps doctors to understand the health condition of the fetus and also diagnose any health issues. The probability of risk in certain genetic diseases is also determined with the help DNA testing.

Another wide usage of DNA testing is seen in criminal investigation. DNA profiles are stored by the police to solve cases. Often serial offenders are identified through analysis of a DNA sample.

In the wide spectrum of science DNA testing is done on new species and unidentified objects from outer space.

Many Dna testing are also done on gifted children in to identify which mixture of genes from their parents gave them their intelligence.

What industries benefit most from Foreign Worker Medical Insurance?

What is an insurance?

We all need to protect ourselves from monetary losses. There has to be some security in case some mishap happens due to which we end up having huge financial losses. Financial losses can happen to an individual or an organization as a whole. There might be also cases where you end up harming your physical wellbeing due to which you need some kind of a security to fall back upon. It is for such scenarios that we need insurance. An insurance is an arrangement by which a company or may be the state ensure to give some kind of compensation in case of any kind of losses or damage or even in case of death.

There are many different types of insurances like medical insurance that a company might provide to its employees as an employee benefit in case of any kind of illness or accident during their tenure in the organization; then there is the corporate insurance that secures the company against any sudden financial loss. Apart from this there is the error and omission insurance often used by doctors to secure themselves from undue claims made by patients in case of any mishap. Finally there is a policy for those individuals who go out of their native lands to work in a foreign country. This insurance is known as the foreign workers insurance.

Industries that benefit from foreign worker medical insurance :

The foreign workers insurance is availed a lot by those industries where people come to work from different countries. For example in the hospitality business, a hotel can employ someone from a foreign country. That person then becomes liable to be covered under the foreign workers medical insurance. Also we are living in a global world. Every year, every day, every hour people are travelling from one end of the globe to the other end for work. Each time an individual travels to a foreign country whether from the manufacturing sector or the service sector, whether from the utility industry or the entertainment industry, the industrial products sector or the infrastructure sector, they come under the purview of the foreign workers insurance that give them the much needed medical security. This insurance is provided by the employer under state regulations that differ from country to country. However, the premise of the insurance remains the same all over the world.

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