DNA extraction is the removal of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) from viruses or cells. DNA must be isolated to perform a number of processes including the sequencing of genomes, detection of bacteria and viruses in the environment, detection of diseases, and many other forensic and diagnostic processes.
DNA extraction can be used for gathering the DNA required to perform a paternity test. By extracting and comparing DNA samples from a child and a potential father, scientists can easily determine if two people are biologically related.
Every organism on Earth can be identified by examining DNA sequences unique to that organism. DNA extracted from people and DNA extracted from samples found at crime scenes can be compared to identify potential suspects and possibly exonerate people who are wrongly accused of crimes.
DNA extraction can be used by physicians to test for genetic diseases in adults who have not shown symptoms. Genetic testing can also determine if a person is a carrier for a genetic disease which, though the person being tested may not be affected, can be passed on to the person's children.
Genome sequencing can be used to determine the entire genetic code of an organism. Sequencing the entire genome of an organism allows scientists to better understand evolutionary relationships between species.
DNA extraction is also important when trying to match organ donors with recipients. By comparing the DNA of the donor and the recipient physicians can better determine if the transplant will be accepted.
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