DNA fingerprinting Current Affairs - 2019
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Eminent scientist and father of DNA fingerprinting in India Lalji Singh passed away following heart attack. He was 70. He was one of the leaders instrumental in making DNA fingerprinting mainstream in India, both at level of research as well as for forensic applications.
Contributions of Lalji Singh
He also set up a slew of dedicated labs that worked on several aspects of genetics such as population biology, structural biology and transgenic research. His work in field of DNA fingerprinting technology also contributed for sex determination, Wildlife conservation forensics and evolution and migration of humans.
Based on his work he was tasked by government to establish Centre for DNA Fingerprinting and Diagnostics (CDFD) in late 1990s with mandate of making it a nodal centre for DNA fingerprinting and diagnostics for all species and several diseases.He also had founded Laboratory for Conservation of Endangered Species (LaCONES).
Dr. Singh served as a director at the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) in Hyderabad from 1998 to 2009. He also had served as Vice Chancellor of the Banaras Hindu University (2001 – 2014), his alma mater.
Until recently, he was active in the Genome Foundation, a non-profit organisation that aims to diagnose and treat genetic disorders affecting the underprivileged, especially from rural India. He was awarded prestigious Padma Shri award.
Andhra Pradesh became the first state in the country to launch DNA Index System (DIS) for DNA (Deoxyribonucleac acid) profiling of criminals.
The system uses the latest DNA technology tool (also known as RapidHIT DNA System) developed by IntegenX of United States.
- The DNA Index System (DIS) allows generation of DNA profiles from live samples like buccal swabs, saliva and blood stains etc.
- It creates DNA profiles within 90 to 120 minutes compared to currently available technologies which take at least two days or more.
- DIS has vast potential to bring down crimes as it can create a huge database of DNA profiles of offenders. It could also help the suspects prove their innocence.
- With DNA in the database, repeat offenders will be easily and quickly caught which will further help to bring down crime rate.
- The system can help resolve missing persons’ cases with on the spot DNA testing and also reduce backlogs of trying of criminal cases.
What is DNA?
- DNA (Deoxyribonucleac acid) is the genetic material typically found in tissue of all living cells of humans as well as animals and plants.
- It invariably contains hereditary data passed on from parent to children which is unique to each person (except in the case of identical twins). This makes DNA profiling a reliable and unique personal identification tool.
What is DNA profiling technology?
- DNA fingerprinting or DNA profiling is method of isolating and identifying variable elements within the base-pair sequence of DNA.
- DNA fingerprinting technology is utilised by police all over the world for fool-proof identification of criminals who leave their traces at crime scene while committing crime.
- The technology plays a crucial role in solving crimes as it has potential to link a series of crimes by placing the suspects by linking them with the crime scene.