To understand why we would use a DNA
fingerprint, it's helpful to think why we use
normal fingerprints to identify a person. Any two
people you pick are going to have an enormous
number of differences, pretty much everywhere if
you look close enough. However, the fingerprint is
one of the easiest parts of a person to look at
and compare to another person. With DNA it's a
similar concept. Any two people (besides identical
twins) will have different sets of DNA, called
genomes. But, the genome is really, really large
so for a long time it wasn't possible to look at 2
whole genomes and compare them to see if 2 people
are different. The idea of DNA fingerprinting
is that you only look at a very small part of the
DNA that you expect to be different to determine
if 2 DNA samples come from the same person.
In a real sense, the DNA fingerprint
achieved is a barcode for a person in that it
uniquely identifies people.
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