It has been said that the discovery of DNA and our understanding of its structure, may well be the most important discovery of the last century. The effect of the discovery of DNA on scientific and medical progress has been awfully a lot, whether it involves the identification of our genes that curse us with major diseases or the creation of drugs to treat these devastating diseases. The identification of these genes has ultimately affected science and has been a significant discovery in the twentieth century, it will continue to revolutionize medicine, agriculture, forensics, paternity, and many other fields. DNA research is a massively evolving area of progress and will likely help us discover new things in the future.
Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) extraction is the process in which DNA is separated from proteins, membranes, and other cellular materials that are contained in the cell its been recovered from. We need anything containing DNA to perform DNA Extraction. Extraction methods may require an overnight incubation or can be completed in minutes or a couple of hours and this step can sometimes be skipped completely.
The three basic steps of DNA extraction are 1) lysis, 2) precipitation, and 3) purification.
Step 1: Lysis
In this step, the cell and the nucleus are broken open to release the DNA inside. lysis uses detergents and enzymes such as Proteinase K to free the DNA and dissolve cellular proteins.
Step 2: Precipitation
When you complete the lysis step, the DNA has been freed from the nucleus, but it is now mixed with mashed up cell parts. Precipitation separates DNA from this cellular debris.
Step 3: Purification
Now that DNA has been separated, it can be rinsed with alcohol to remove any remaining unwanted material and cellular debris. At this point, the purified DNA is usually re-dissolved in water for easy handling and storage.
Advantages of using genetic testing in the medicinal field;
Disease Diagnosis and Treatment
One important area of DNA research is that of genetics and medical research. Due to our discovery of DNA, our ability to actually diagnose diseases early on has been vastly improved. In addition, we have been able to better assess a person’s genetic susceptibility to specific diseases. In doing so, we have also paved the pathway to formulate brand new drugs to treat these diseases. In fact, drugs can essentially be custom made to complement a person’s personal biochemistry and genetic makeup. For those diseases that were previously
considered lethal and where treatment was either non-existent or largely unsuccessful, the discovery of DNA has essentially led to a breakthrough in drugs and treatments for patients with serious illnesses.
Paternity and Legal Impact
While the discovery of DNA has perhaps impacted medicine the most, its contribution to other areas is still similarly significant. Paternity cases have an enormous impact on families and children around the world. Through the assessment of DNA, the paternity of a child can be identified, which has a significant effect on the child’s upbringing and his or her life.
DNA has also been very important to the field of forensic science. The discovery of DNA has meant that the guilt or innocence of a person who is being investigated for a crime can be determined. It’s also important so that the identification of victims can take place, especially in cases where the victim’s condition is unrecognizable to family or friends. In this sense, DNA has been important in revolutionizing the entire field of forensic science and here is just one of a million cases in which forensic science has helped with getting a conviction while providing the family with some sort of closure;
The murder of Anna Palmer, 1998: Solved through DNA evidence.
It was DNA evidence that led to a conviction in the 1998 murder case of 10-year-old Anna Palmer who was attacked and killed outside of her own front door in Salt Lake City, according to KSL.com. The crime was heinous and included multiple stab wounds to her body, but following the crime, investigators had no witnesses, little evidence, and no apparent suspects, the news station reports. However, in 2009, forensic analysts were called in to assist in the case, and they decided to examine the girl’s fingernails for DNA samples. Using visible and alternative light sources to look for DNA not belonging to the girl, they made a hit and matched it to a man named Matthew Brock, who had lived a block away at the time of her murder and was age 19 then. Brock was already in prison serving a 10-year sentence for another crime, and he pled guilty in 2011 to an aggravated murder charge in the death of Anna Palmer and is now in prison for life.
limitations to genetic testing and premarital screening;
Genetic testing can provide only limited information about an inherited condition. The test often can’t determine if a person will show symptoms of a disorder, how severe the symptoms will be, or whether the disorder will progress over time. Another major limitation is the lack of treatment strategies for many genetic disorders once they are diagnosed. A genetics professional can explain in detail the benefits, risks, and limitations of a particular test. It is important that any person who is considering genetic testing understand and weigh these factors before making a decision. Aside from these limitations there also lots of tests and important things that genetic testing provides such as premarital testing. A premarital test is defined as a test in which couples that are going to get married are tested for genetic, infectious and blood transmitted diseases to prevent any risk of transmitting any disease to their children. Nowadays premarital testing is considered an important issue, as a result of the
increase in the number of children affected by genetic or blood transmitted diseases. Hereditary disease, specifically sickle cell disease and to a lesser extent thalassemia, are highly present in Gulf countries and cause great suffering of the children. Since the 1950s, Arab countries have made progress in some health-related aspects such as infant mortality, life expectancy, access to health care and now Premarital screening which mainly aims at reducing the number of children with inherited diseases.