DNA fingerprinting

DNA profiling is a way of analyzing differences among individuals on the DNA level. This method is also called DNA fingerprinting, because similar to having unique fingerprints, we also have unique DNA profiles. Large amounts of our DNA are the same in every person, but some regions, called Variable Number Tandem Repeats (VNTRs), consist of long stretches of small repeated sequences. The number of repeats in any of these sequences differs among individuals due to mutations accumulated through generations. The unique combination of these variable regions makes up the DNA profile. To identify the DNA profile of an individual, we must look at the DNA in these particular regions. The most common approach to do so is to perform an Short Tandem Repeat (STR) analysis.