DAVID PARKER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DAVID PARKER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Professor Alec Jeffreys (b. 1950), the English molecular biologist who discovered the technique of DNA fingerprinting in 1984. Jeffreys is seen in his laboratory in the Department of Genetics at the University of Leicester. On the lightbox beside him are two sets of DNA fingerprints, in the form of autoradiographs which show selected DNA bands. A DNA fingerprint is a unique genetic "identity card" which identifies any individual human being or other animal from a tiny sample of tissue such as blood, hair, or sperm. Its many uses include the identification & conviction of criminals, and the proving of family relationships, such as the paternity of a child.
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