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Genetic Fingerprinting

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What is genetic fingerprinting?
Should all children be genetically finger printed at birth? If so, who should control the information obtained and who should have access to the information? What are the advantages, disadvantages, and potential problems associated with this proposal?

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Genetic fingerprinting refers to the process of identifying individuals based on their DNA, which is different from person to person (only monozygotic twins have identical DNA). About 99.9% of DNA is identical in every human - genetic fingerprinting takes advantage of these minute differences. Genetic fingerprinting takes advantage of differences called Variable Number Tandem Repeats (VNTR), in particular Short Tandem Repeats (STR). These are sections of DNA in which small segments are repeated. The number of times the segment is repeated is different among people. If enough VNTRs are studied, it can be used to distinguish ...

Solution Summary

This solution explains what genetic fingerprinting is and provides an outline of the advantages and potential dangers of genetically fingerprinting newborn babies.