The use of DNA technology in forensics and medicine is expanding. It is possible to identify potential suspects in a crime, help families find missing loved ones, and even exonerate wrongful convictions. However, DNA technology presents a number of ethical concerns and challenges, including issues related to privacy and informed consent.
In forensics, DNA profiling has been used for several years to match crime scene samples with suspect profiles. This technique uses short tandem repeats of DNA, which are unique to each individual. It can also look at specific locations of the genome, which vary between people. This can be useful in cases where the sample is too scarce, dirty, or damaged to sequence. DNA profiling can also be used to trace human migration patterns, identify pathogens, and monitor the spread of invasive species.
Forensic genetics has also been used to find missing persons, match a crime victim’s relatives, and identify victims of natural disasters or war. In addition, it can be used to determine paternity and to establish the identities of missing or deceased children. It can also be used to find the genetic origins of disease, develop new vaccines, and improve crop varieties.
DNA technology is being increasingly used in medicine to diagnose genetic disorders and diseases. This is because it can identify mutations in tumors and other cells that can be targeted with drugs. This can lead to better medical treatment and personalized care for patients.