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"A very small sample of tissue or even a drop of blood can help determine paternity." Provide a scientific explanation to substantiate how it is possible. - Biology

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Answer in Brief

"A very small sample of tissue or even a drop of blood can help determine paternity." Provide a scientific explanation to substantiate how it is possible.

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Solution

A very small sample of DNA obtained from a tissue or even a drop of blood can serve as a source for paternity testing. By using the techniques of PCR and DNA fingerprinting, we can determine the paternity of any individual.

The steps are as follows -

  • The first step includes the extraction of DNA from the cells or blood.
  • The DNA molecules are then broken into small fragments that contain a variable number of tandem repeats (VNTR's).
  • The DNA fragments are then separated by gel electrophoresis.
  • These DNA fragments are multiplied using PCR.
  • They are then converted into single-stranded DNA by treatment with alkaline chemicals.
  • It is followed by transferring these fragments to the nylon membrane.
  • The nylon membrane is exposed to X-ray film which creates dark-colored bands called fingerprints.
  • These fingerprints can then be used to determine paternity.
Concept: DNA Fingerprinting Technique
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