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PCR vs. DNA Fingerprinting?

Joseph C. Bagshaw jbagshaw at wpi.WPI.EDU
Wed Jul 20 09:12:37 EST 1994

In article <94195.204945U27111 at uicvm.uic.edu> <U27111 at uicvm.uic.edu> writes:
>I just read the Associated Press article on the DNA fingerprinting
>done on the glove found in the O.J. Simpson case.
>They make a distinction between DNA fingerprinting and PCR and this
>confused me.  I thought all DNA testing was as a result of PCR,
>otherwise, how do they have enough of a sample to work with?
>As a matter of fact, the way the article described it, it almost
>sounded like a southern blot.
>Any comments or explanations would be very helpful.
>Thanks in advance.

DNA fingerprinting in its original form does not involve PCR.
The DNA is digested, Southern blotted, and probed with a
repeated DNA sequence, e.g. the Jeffreys probes, named for
Dr. Alec Jeffreys who invented the technique for human
forensic applications.  Among n individuals, no two (except
identical twins) have the same DNA fingerprint, but there is 
a lot of disagreement over how large n is.

PCR can also be used for DNA typing in a number of ways.
Blood does not yield enough DNA for Jeffreys type finger-
printing unless you start with a good bit of it.

********************  HAVE GENES, WILL TRAVEL  ********************
Joe Bagshaw, Worcester Polytechnic Institute
jbagshaw at wpi.wpi.edu
Roadkill on the information superhighway.

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