DNA Fingerprinting Technology — Its Success and Future

Somdatta Karak & K. Thangaraj


CSIR-CCMB’s first DNA banding pattern seen among different individuals using DNA fingerprinting technology


Some proportion of the DNA sequence of every individual is unique. There are probes that can find such unique DNA sequences and generate individual-specific DNA profiles. This can be visualised as bands by molecular biology techniques. In 1988, CSIR-CCMB scientists developed indigenous probes for DNA fingerprinting and took this technique to the users. India, thus, became the third country in the world to develop its own DNA fingerprinting probe.

The technique was a fallout of the basic research on the molecular basis of sex determination in snakes. The probe was obtained from the minor satellite DNA of the Indian banded krait snake. And they found that the probes from snakes could work on human DNA too. The scientists found individual-specific DNA banding patterns using these probes. Thus, it could be used for establishing the identity of people as fingerprints and handwriting of people have been used more traditionally.

In 1991, DNA fingerprinting evidence was presented in the Kerala High Court in a paternity dispute case. And for the first time in the annals of the history of the Indian Judiciary, it was accepted as infallible evidence in the court of law…Read more on NOPR