DNA fingerprinting is a technique used to differentiate organisms.
As each individual has a unique set of DNA (except in identical twins), scientists use this method in criminal identification an forensics, and also to establish paternity/maternity.
There are many ways to obtain a DNA fingerprint. One example is as follows:
- A sample of DNA is extracted and cut into fragments using restriction enzymes.
- The DNA fragments are placed on a gel in a device. This device uses electric current to separate the fragments according to their sizes. The smaller pieces travel faster therefore they are closest to the bottom of the gel. The larger pieces travel slower and are closer to the top.
- This process results in unique DNA-banding patterns known as DNA fingerprints.