How Do You Create a DNA Fingerprint?

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Creating your own DNA fingerprint helps you to learn about DNA. This process takes about an hour to put together and overnight to set. You need a DNA sample, beakers, a laboratory, restriction enzymes, a gel tray, an electrophoresis apparatus, buffer solution, a staining sheet and a staining tray.

  1. Collect and cut the DNA

    You need to collect a DNA sample, which can come from a small amount of blood, skin or the root of a hair. Place the DNA sample in a beaker. Add the restriction enzymes to cut the DNA.

  2. Prepare the materials

    Set up the electrophoresis apparatus. Place the gel tray in the electrophoresis apparatus with the canals in the gel facing upward toward the negative electrode. Fill the canals with buffer solution until all the gel is submerged.

  3. Add the DNA

    Place one sample of DNA into each of the gel canals.

  4. Apply power

    Place the lid on the electrophoresis apparatus, making sure to line up the electrodes correctly. Connect the apparatus to a transformer. Switch on the transformer, and start the power flow to the gel, which causes the gel to be electrified. Keep the power on 45 minutes.

  5. Stain the gel

    Remove the gel from the apparatus, and place it in the staining tray with the staining sheet directly over the gel. Allow the gel and staining sheet to sit overnight.

  6. Add probes

    Begin adding radioactive or colored probes. Adding probes to the sheet brings forth a pattern. Several probes are needed to complete the process. The final result is the complete DNA fingerprint.