On This Day In History: English Geneticist Alec Jeffreys Discovered DNA Fingerprinting Technique – On Sep 10, 1984

, English geneticist Alec Jeffreys discovered the technique of DNA fingerprinting, used for unique identification of humans, animals and other organisms from their DNA material.

The scientist from the University of Leicester developed techniques for DNA fingerprinting and DNA profiling, which are now used worldwide in forensic science to assist police detective work and to resolve paternity and immigration disputes.

In 1984, X-ray films of Jeffreys’ tests first revealed the possibility. As he studied the image, at first what he saw seemed just a complicated mess.

Then he realized this could be DNA-based biological identification since every person has a unique DNA profile. His technique has since helped in forensics, crime investigation and identifying family members.

The first use of DNA profiling in criminology (1986) proved innocence.

Jeffreys was knighted in 1994 for his research in genetics.

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