Your Two FingerPrints
If you thought the only fingerprint that can be used to identify you was stamped upon the tip of your thumb think again. Genetic science is always advancing but there are a handful of major breakthroughs that have changed our lives as we know them. One of the men responsible for extensive work in the field of DNA tests and research is Professor Sir Alec Jeffreys. In 1984, the Professor stumbled upon the first ever DNA fingerprint that opened the door to the science of forensic DNA and DNA tests.
DNA Tests Originated in the Eighties
The first DNA fingerprint was the DNA of one of the Professor’s technicians. The discovery was made when he was tracing genetic markers to try and unravel the reasons for inherited illnesses. The discovery of the DNA fingerprint went on to have massive implications in the fields of crime and forensics, tests such as DNA paternity tests, DNA profiling and a whole spectrum of uses.
The breakthrough was, the Professor has said, a complete accident: “To get a eureka moment like that, when suddenly an entire new field opens up, is really rare. Most scientists will go their whole lives never experiencing it,” he told the press. Since that moment, DNA tests have become widely available and help thousands of people answer sensitive questions such as paternity, as well as settling disputes over child welfare issues in court cases.
DNA Tests and Genetic Knowledge
Professor Jeffreys has since been awarded the Great Briton 2006 award, although he’s always had a sense of modesty about his part in the workings on DNA. DNA tests and the genetic knowledge hidden in DNA is however considered to be the most important breakthrough in modern science. DNA analysis can help scientists learn more about extinct species such as the Neanderthal man with a simple bone sample, and they can also tell us about what being human could be like in the future.
Forensics DNA Science
It wasn’t long after his discovery that DNA moved into investigative casework – there was a real demand for DNA tests, and the discovery helped provide answers to many questions. The very first case of using DNA was on a Ghanian boy. The tests proved he was related to family living in Britain, allowing him to stay in the country. It showed how simple tests could revolutionise an individual’s life.
As soon as the test result was made public, the University where the Professor worked was inundated with requests for DNA tests. He even had an immigrant family knocking on his door at home begging him to take DNA samples to prove they could stay in the UK.