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DNA Create a DNA Fingerprint
by Rick Groleau

DNA. It's what makes you unique. It's the stuff that tells each and every one of your body's 10 trillion cells what it's supposed to be and what it's supposed to do. And although your DNA is different from that of every other person in the world—unless you have an identical twin—it's the same in every cell that makes up your body.

That DNA is unique from person to person but the same from cell to cell in one person can be a handy thing, especially when it comes to DNA fingerprinting. DNA fingerprints can be used for anything from determining a biological mother or father to identifying the suspect of a crime. And, as may someday prove to be the case with Sam Sheppard, it can be used to clear someone's name.

DNA fingerprint But what exactly is a DNA fingerprint? Well, it certainly isn't an inky impression of a DNA strand. Compared to unimaginably small DNA, a fingerprint is HUGE. So what is it that we're looking at, and how is one of these fingerprints made?

Here's your chance to find out. You'll find out by solving a mystery—a crime of sorts. Solving the mystery involves creating a DNA fingerprint (we'll supply the lab and all necessary materials) and comparing this fingerprint to those of the suspects.

Are you ready? Then get to work!

To learn more about DNA, visit DNA Workshop at the Science Odyssey Web site.

Chronology of a Murder | Science in the Courtroom
Create a DNA Fingerprint | 3-D Mug Shot | Cleared by DNA
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