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What is DNA?

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DNA is short for deoxyribonucleic acid, which is inside of every cell in your body. It’s a chain of chemical compounds that join together to form permanent blueprints for life.

These compounds are called bases, and there are 4 of them. They pair up with another to form what are called base pairs. Your DNA has about 3 billion of these couples. The way they’re strung together tells your cells how to make copies of each other.

The complete set of your compounds is known as a genome. More than 99.9 % of everyone’s genome is exactly alike (100% if you are identical twins). But the tiny bit that’s not is what makes you physically and mentally different from someone else.

SOURCES:

National Library of Medicine, Genetics Home Reference: “What is DNA?”

Wellcome Genome Campus: “What is a DNA Fingerprint/What is gel electrophoresis?”

University of Leicester (UK), department of genetics and genome biology: “Genetic fingerprinting explained / A beginner’s guide to DNA fingerprinting.”

Proceedings (Baylor University Medical Center): “Discovery, development, and current applications of DNA identity testing.”

University of North Carolina Medical Center: “DNA Fingerprinting Assays for Evaluating Marrow Engraftment and Chimerism.”

National Institute of Justice: “DNA Evidence: Basics of Analyzing.”

Arizona State University School of Life Sciences: “Ask a biologist -- Agarose gel electrophoresis.”

Reviewed by Nayana Ambardekar on January 31, 2018

SOURCES:

National Library of Medicine, Genetics Home Reference: “What is DNA?”

Wellcome Genome Campus: “What is a DNA Fingerprint/What is gel electrophoresis?”

University of Leicester (UK), department of genetics and genome biology: “Genetic fingerprinting explained / A beginner’s guide to DNA fingerprinting.”

Proceedings (Baylor University Medical Center): “Discovery, development, and current applications of DNA identity testing.”

University of North Carolina Medical Center: “DNA Fingerprinting Assays for Evaluating Marrow Engraftment and Chimerism.”

National Institute of Justice: “DNA Evidence: Basics of Analyzing.”

Arizona State University School of Life Sciences: “Ask a biologist -- Agarose gel electrophoresis.”

Reviewed by Nayana Ambardekar on January 31, 2018

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Does DNA fingerprinting have medical uses?

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