DNA analysis is the name given to the interpretation of genetic sequences and can be used for a wide variety of purposes. It can be used to identify a species, but can also differentiate individuals within a species. Unsurprisingly, the DNA sequences of two different species vary more than those of two individuals from the same species. That said, a significant amount of DNA can still be shared between different species.
Types of DNA Analysis
RFLP is one of the oldest types of DNA analysis and it produces the black and white images that we mentioned earlier. Put simply, this technique involves cutting up DNA by targeting specific sequences. The sequences are then cut into strands of differing lengths, and separated by length using a special gel. This produces the black and white ‘genetic fingerprint’ image, with the longest stands showing as bands at one end and the shortest at the other. By comparing two images you can compare the lengths of the strands and easily see whether the sequences are the same or different. This analysis usually needs a sample that contains a relatively high quantity of clean and contamination-free DNA. It also takes a lot of time, due to the numerous steps involved in the process and has therefore largely been replaced by newer, quicker methods.
The other technique is the analysis of Short Tandem Repeats (STRs). STRs are sections of DNA, between one and five nucleotides, that are repeated several times at specific points in our DNA sequence. The analysis itself involves examining the number of times that certain STR sequences are repeated.
Single Nucleotide Polymorphism (SNP) analysis is the most recently developed DNA analysis technique. SNPs are examined by running a DNA sample across a specialized computer chip. These chips are designed to detect up to one million SNPs in your DNA but will usually report on around 100,000.
However, the above three DNA analysis techniques can also be applied to Y DNA, that only males possess and which is exclusively passed from father to son.
Mitochondrial DNA analysis is concerned with the genetic information that we exclusively inherit from our mothers. It can be used to find out about our ‘deep’ maternal ancestry.
Although most of our DNA is found in the nuclei of our cells, mitochondrial DNA is found in mitochondria structures in our cells that are separate from the nuclei.
Uses of DNA analysis
- Paternity and other relationship tests
- Predicting Disease
Things to be cover up in DNA Analysis
Data retrieval means obtaining data from a database management system such as ODBMS. In this case, it is considered that data is represented in a structured way, and there is no ambiguity in data.
In order to retrieve the desired data the user presents a set of criteria by a query. Codon Usage accepts one or more DNA sequences and returns the number and frequency of each codon type.
Motif Analysis seeks to determine which DNA-binding transcription factors control the transcription of a set of genes by detecting enrichment of known binding motifs in the genes’ regulatory regions.
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