The vast majority of the information encoded in human DNA is shared by all human beings on the planet. However a very small part of this DNA is unique to each individual. These are known as short tandem repeats (STRs) and are sequences of repeated, hypervariable DNA which differ between individuals (except identical twins). STR profiling looks at how many times these sections are repeated. As we know which these repeated sections are, we can analyse and count how many times they are repeated. This is what is known as a DNA profile.
STR profiling uses 16 known repeated sections or loci present in the DNA. Each peak in the profile represents one of these 16 loci and is given a numerical value. There are two values for each locus, one value coming from each ‘parent’ of the sample. By entering the numerical scores for each locci into the AuthentiCell Database, scientists can confidently confirm the identity of their cells.
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