DNA Profiling

DNA profiling is a way of establishing identity and is used in a variety of ways, such as finding out the relatedness between two camels. DNA samples are usually obtained from blood.

Some of the uses of DNA profiling include:

paternity - to find out if the alleged sire is actually the biological sire of the foal
relatedness – to find out if the two individuals are siblings

Some of the advantages of DNA profiling include:

DNA tests can be applied to any human sample that contains cells with nuclei, such as blood, saliva, semen, urine and hair.
DNA tests are extremely sensitive, and can be conducted using samples that would be too small for other serological tests.
DNA is hardy, and resists degeneration even after contamination with chemicals or bacteria.

Contrary to public belief, DNA profiling isn’t infallible. Critics point out various problems and limitations, including:

New DNA profiling technologies can give incorrect results, due to errors such as cross-contamination of samples.
Older DNA profiling technologies are more prone to errors, which could give false-negative or false-positive results.
DNA profiles can only offer statistical probability (for example, one in a million), rather than absolute certainty.
The more people tested, the lower the statistical probability. For example, the probability of one in a million may nosedive to one in 10,000 if enough people are profiled for a single test.