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  Section: General Biotechnology / Genes & Genetic Engineering
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Genetic Engineering for Human Welfare


DNA Profiling (Fingerprinting)
DNA is the master molecule of all life forms. It constitutes the blue prints of every living organism through which characters are passed generation to generations. However, every living organism differs only due to nucleotide sequences of chromosome. The nucleotides form codes; therefore, this coded genetic informations can be profiled to produce most authentic identity card of any organism. The complicated technology that facilitates the identification of individuals at genetic level is known as DNA fingerprinting or more specifically DNA profiling. This genetic analysis is based on identifying tiny segments of the hereditary material which testify the unique molecular signature which cannot be altered. With the help of DNA profiling technology identity of burnt or unidentifiable dead body can be done.

The basic requirements for DNA profiling is the availability of biological samples which can be anything including blood stains, a piece of hair with its root, few drops of semen, skin cells, a mouth swab, cells of bone marrow of any body tissue.

In 1984, for the first time, a British geneticist, Alec Jeffreys working at the University of Leicester developed the technique of DNA fingerprinting. This method has been patented, and being used in Europe and America. Its success is based on. identification of small segment of DNA which testifies the unique molecular signature that every person on earth possesses and which cannot be changed in ones life time.

It is important to note that 99% of base sequences is the same in the DNA of all human beings. Only a short stretches of sequences which is about 3 billion base pairs, differ person to person. Out of the total DNA, about one in 1000 base pairs is a site of variation in the population. This is an unusual sequence of bases of 10-15 base pairs long which is repeated several times. These bases were first isolated and identified by A. Wyman and R. White in 1980 at the University of Utah as hypervariable segments of DNA and termed as 'variable number of tandem repeats' (VNTRs). On the basis of number of repeats present in VNTRs, the length of segment is measured. In different person the length of VNTR differs and, therefore, VNTR is the key of DNA fingerprinting.

It was Jeffreys who first used VNTRs in forensic science. The VNTRs act as genetic markers. The scheme developed by Jeffreys for measuring the length of fragments of DNA containing the repeated sequences is also known as 'restriction fragment length polymorphism' (RFLP) testing.



Cloned genes and production of chemicals


Human peptide hormone genes














Human interferon genes


Genes for vaccines



Vaccine for hepatitis-B virus



Vaccines for Rabies virus



Vaccines for poliovirus



Vaccine for foot and mouth disease virus



Vaccines for small pox virus



Malaria vaccines



DNA vaccines


Genes associated with genetic diseases














Enzyme engineering


Commercial chemicals

Prevention, diagnosis and cure of diseases


Prevention of diseases


Diagnosis of diseases



Parasitic diseases



Monoclonal antibodies



Antenatal diagnosis


Gene therapy



Types of gene therapy



Methods of gene therapy



Success of gene therapy



Potential of gene delivering system



Future needs of gene therapy in India

DNA profiling (fingerprinting)


Methods of DNA profiling


Application of DNA profiling



Genetic databank



Reuniting the lost children



Solving disputed problems of parentage, identity of criminals, rapists, etc



Immigrant dispute


Hurdles of DNA profiling

Animal and plant improvement


Transgenic Farm Animals


Crop Improvements



Transgenic plants



Nif gene transfer



Phaseolin gene transfer



Conversion of C3 plants to C4 plants



Herbicide resistant plants



Insect pest resistant plants



Plant improvement through genetic transformation


Crop Protection



Use of antagonists



Use of insecticides

Abatement of pollution


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