Fingerprinting:

Technique for identifying organisms (e.g. microbes) and individuals by comparing DNA sequences

Example of fingerprints from different samples: A, B, and C represent different microorganisms; D could therefore be a soil sample containing all three of these microbes.
Example of fingerprints from different samples: A, B, and C represent different microorganisms; D could therefore be a soil sample containing all three of these microbes.
DNA fragments from a test sample are matched against known patterns characteristic for certain soil microorganisms, or, in forensic practice, against a sample taken from a suspect.

The technique is based on DNA hybridisation. Identification depends on the exact matching of certain characteristic patterns.

The analysis of large numbers of samples (screening) is made possible by "DNA chips" which carry a large number of probes (DNA fragments) complementary to the DNA sequence of interest on a tiny surface. A DNA sample can thus be tested simultaneously for many different sequences, or many samples can be screened for one sequence.


Glossary

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