Genes are the blueprints of life. Genes control everything from hair color to blood sugar by telling cells which proteins to make, how much, when, and where. Genes exist in most cells. Inside a cell is a long strand of the chemical DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid). A DNA sequence is a specific lineup of chemical base pairs along its strand. The part of DNA that determines what protein to produce and when, is called a gene.
First established in 1985 by Sir Alec Jeffreys, DNA testing has become an increasingly popular method of identification and research. The applications of DNA testing, or DNA fingerprinting within forensic science is often what most people think of when they hear the phrase. Popularized by television and cinema, using DNA to match blood, hair or saliva to criminals is one purpose of testing DNA. It is also frequently used for other benefits, like wildlife studies, paternity testing, body identification, and in studies pertaining to human dispersion.While most aspects of DNA are identical in samples from all human beings, concentrating on identifying patterns called microsatellites reveals qualities specific and unique to the individual. During the early stages of this science, a DNA test was performed using an analysis called restriction fragment length polymorphism. Because this process was extremely time consuming and required a great deal of DNA, new methods like polymerase chain reaction and amplified fragment length polymorphism have been employed.The benefits of DNA testing are ample. In 1987, Colin Pitchfork became the first criminal to be caught as a result of DNA testing. The information provided with DNA tests has also helped wrongfully incarcerated people like Gary Dotson and Dennis Halstead reclaim their freedom.
Scientists are still trying to make sense of something extremely weird that happened between a pair of Ambystoma salamanders millions of years ago.
An oddball extinct animal discovered nearly 200 years ago recently confirmed its place on the mammal family tree, thanks to newly discovered DNA evidence.
What are the genetic factors that could explain why someone is born a witch or a wizard — or without any magical ability at all?
If scientists could resurrect extinct animals — such as the dodo, Columbian mammoth or Tasmanian tiger — should these animals have different names that distinguish them from the original species?
George and Amal Clooney are the parents of twins: Amal Clooney gave birth to a boy and a girl today (June 6), People Magazine reported.
Men and women differ in some surprising ways, right down to their genes, according to a new study that found thousands of genes expressed differently in the two sexes.
Scientists have discovered DNA from extinct human lineages in caves devoid of skeletal remains. Here's a look at the archaeological sites and the sample collection.
If scientists were to draw an enormous family tree for all of Earth's animals, the oldest branch would belong to the jellyfish, a new study finds.