What is a DNA profile test?
A DNA profile is a test that looks at a person’s unique DNA. This testing can be used to identify someone from a sample of their DNA, such as hair, skin, or blood. A DNA profile can also be used to rule out someone as a suspect in a crime. The DNA profile can be compared to a sample of DNA taken from evidence at a crime scene. The DNA profile is made up of certain factors called loci. Each locus is a different piece of DNA that makes up the profile.
DNA profiling vs DNA Fingerprinting
In forensics, DNA profiling (also called DNA typing) is the process of determining an individual’s DNA characteristics, which are as unique as fingerprints. DNA fingerprinting (also called genetic fingerprinting) is a forensic technique used to identify individuals by the characteristics of their DNA. Both techniques are used to compare crime scene evidence with samples from known individuals.
DNA profiling looks at specific locations on the chromosomes where there is variation. These locations are known as loci. Each locus has several alleles, or versions, which can be represented as numbers or letters. DNA typing looks at a different number of loci than DNA profiling. Because there are so many more alleles at the DNA typing loci, this technique is much less discriminating. For example, a particular DNA typing locus will have several alleles. However, there is only one allele for each of the DNA profiling loci. The DNA typing technique has been used to identify remains found in mass disasters such as plane crashes, natural disaster sites, and battlefields.