Application of DNA Profiling (DNA Fingerprinting) Technology
DNA profiling technology has applications in many more areas as given in Fig. 5.11 and discussed below:
Setting up of genetic databank
Fig. 5.11. Application of DNA profiling in many areas (based on Chawla, 1998).
Realizing the potential of DNA profiling genetic databank had been/is being set up throughout the world. Databases of the genetic fingerprints of criminals have been set up in many parts of the USA and Britain. Forensic Science Services Birmingham (Britain) has set up the world's first National DNA Database, where about 5 million record would be available. It has collected samples of tissues and DNA of suspected individuals has been profiled.
The Armed Forces Institute of Pathology (Gaithersberg, USA) has collected DNA samples from every member of the armed services. The samples are stored in freezers in DNA repositories. Each sample consists of blood blots on cards, sealed in individual envelopes. A computer database of all samples has been prepared.
Reuniting the lost children
DNA profiling technology helped in reuniting the lost children with their respective parents or vice versa
who were separated during war, violence or natural disasters. For example, in Argentina many people were abducted during military rule (1976-1983). They were presumed to be died. But an Arzentinian Human Right Group (the Grandmother's of Plaza de Mayo) was of the opinion that the children are still alive and adopted by military personnel after killing their natural parents. In 1987, a genetic databank storing blood samples of grand parents and relatives of lost children was set up. By matching the DNA profile of one or more grand parents with that of lost children about 40 missing children have been reunited with their families (Chawla, 1998).
Solving disputed problem of parentage, identity of criminals, rapists, etc.
To carry out the test a small portion of blotted blood is punched out from which blood cells are isolated and information is taken from computer databank. The first case from preserved sample was done to identify a soldier who was burnt to death in a car accident.
In India, a disputed parentage has been solved. In June 1988, a four year female baby named Laxmi was stolen from Chennai by a missionary and renamed as Merry by the so called parents. After FIR and taking police help the matter was not solved. Therefore, the real parents went to High Court. The High Court sought help from CCMB. The scientist performed DNA fingerprinting tests, confirmed the identity of the baby, and submitted, the report to the court. On the basis of report of DNA fingerprinting decision was given by the court, and Laxmi was handed over to her real parents. This is the first case in India where a court has given decision based on the report of DNA fingerprinting.
The second DNA fingerprinting based decision of identity confirmation of a brutally killed lady was done in Delhi, in 1995. During those days the name of unidentifiable dead body was in light. The lady was killed in her home by unknown murderers. The dead body was dumped in a car and taken to a restaurant where it was consigned to the hot flames in a tandoor, and limbs had been brutally severed to unravel the identity. After this incidence no body came forward to receive the dead body neither parents nor relatives. Thanks to DNA fingerprinting technology of CDFD that confirmed the identity of brutally killed and roasted lady as Smt. Naina Sahni.
More-or-less, in every country, there is the problem of immigration. Ultimately, the identity is not confirmed whether they have crossed the borders or are the resident of that country. Therefore, the problem of immigrants can be solved through DNA databank.