CARLOS GOLDIN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY CARLOS GOLDIN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
DNA fingerprinting in Argentina to establish kinship of the 'disappeared', the children, often born in captivity, of parents kidnapped and assassinated by the former military regime there. Here a geneticist uses a multi-channel pipette to prepare samples for the process. A bank of blood samples, taken from all the potential relatives, provides the DNA for comparison with that from the child in question. Fragments of DNA are seperated into bands by electrophoresis in an agarose gel. Every human being produces a unique pattern of DNA bands, hence its potential as a kind of genetic "identity card".
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