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DNA Fingerprints

Allele

an alternate form of a gene;for example, a gene for human hair color may have alleles that cause red or brown.

chromosome

a cell structure that contains genetic information along strands of DNA.

DNA fingerprint

pattern of DNA fragments obtained by examining a person's unique sequence of DNA base pairs(also called DNA profiling.

DNA probe

a molecule labeled with a radioactive isotope, dye, or enzyme that is used to locate a particular sequence or gene on a DNA molecule.

electrophoresis

a method of separating molecules, such as DNA, according to their size and electrical charge using an electric current passed through a gel containing the samples.

Gene

segment of DNA in a chromosome that contains information used to produce a protein or RNA molecule.

PCR

(polymerase chain reaction) a method used to rapidly make multiple copies of a specific segment sequence of DNA; can be used to make millions of copies of DNA from a very small amount of DNA.

restriction enzyme

a molecule that cuts a DNA molecule at a specific base sequence.

STR

(short tandem repeat) tandem(next to each other) repeats of short DNA sequence(2 to 5 base pairs) with varying numbers of repeats among individuals.

VNTR

(variable number of tandem repeats) tandem(next to each other) repeats of a short DNA sequence(9 to 80 base pairs) with varying numbers of repeats among individuals.

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