Investigation DNA Analysis – Some Practical Uses March 11, 2016 Leave a comment Some Practical Uses DNA analysis has many practical uses in today’s world. Scientists are getting better and better at extracting all sorts of information from DNA. There are medical applications, legal applications, and family applications being applied every day. DNA analysis is becoming very popular and is featured in many best selling novels, movies, and television programs. Almost every piece of living material in the world has its own unique DNA that can be identified on one of many different databases. If you find something strange go on your porch and have money to burn and an undying curiosity, you can find out exactly what it might be. This isn’t very cheap but a great example of one of the many applications of DNA analysis. One of the most useful aspects of DNA analysis is screening for diseases. If you decide to have a baby, most hospitals offer this screening at a reasonable cost or even free. This is used to determine if your baby might be born with any kinds of disease. They typically test for sickle cell anemia and cystic fibrosis among many other types. Many of these diseases are related to your family history or possibly race. If you are going to have a baby that carries one of these diseases you will want to know very early so you have plenty of time to prepare for that and make arrangements. DNA analysis is commonly used for paternity testing. If you aren’t 100% positive a child belongs to you for some reason, a DNA test is the easiest and most reliable way to find out. This has replaced blood typing almost everywhere on Earth. It gives you 99.999% accuracy as the scientists and lab technicians are able to see exactly where both halves of a child’s DNA came from. This is exploited all the time to make content for talk shows. I’m sure everyone has seen a “Not my baby’s daddy” episode on television. DNA testing is also used by people searching for family members. There are quite a few websites that are trying to get into the DNA heredity market and helping people plot out their family trees and discover relatives they didn’t know they had. Adopted children sometimes use DNA analysis when finding their biological parents if they choose to do so. The legal system and law enforcement areas use DNA to help people every day. If a body is found and nobody is able to identify it, they will get a sample of DNA and if someone believes they are related to that person, a simple swab in the cheek will get a quick answer and help someone finally know what happened to a loved one. Accidents and violent crimes can be sorted out much easier as the DNA can be extracted and analyzed from almost any body part or fluid. This is a more efficient way to identify people than tracking down dental records, using fingerprints, or searching through medical databases. This doesn’t always work as it should because not everyone’s DNA is on file somewhere. Although this has its benefits, some see it as a breach of privacy so there will be debates on that subject for a long time to come. DNA analysis was probably most recognized because it played a major role in the O.J. Simpson trial. They had specialists describe the benefits and possible errors in DNA analysis and since that trial it has become a very popular subject. It is used in many murder and rape cases on a daily basis especially in cases where there is a lack of viable witnesses.