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Pakistan Journal of Medical & Health Sciences




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1



Human genetic identification for forensic purposes is achieved through the definition of genetic profiles. A genetic profile or the genetic fingerprint of an individual is the phenotypic description of a set of genomic loci that are specific to that individual2. In accordance with international recommendations, particularly with recommendations of the European DNA Profiling Group (EDNAP), currently, only genetic profiles obtained from autosomal short tandem repeats (STR) should be used for genetic fingerprinting1. Mitochondria are cellular organelles that contain an extra chromosomal genome, which is both different and separate from the nuclear genome. Mitochondrial DNA contains 37 genes, all of which are essential for normal mitochondrial function2,4. Thirteen of these genes provide instructions for making enzymes involved in oxidative phosphorylation. Oxidative phosphorylation is a process that uses oxygen and simple sugars to create adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the cell's main energy source. The remaining genes provide instructions for making molecules called transfer RNA (tRNA) and ribosomal RNA (rRNA), which are chemical cousins of DNA. These types of RNA help assemble protein building blocks (amino acids) into functioning proteins2.

Human mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) accounts for a small portion of his total DNA. It contains just 37 of the 20,000 to 25,000 protein-coding genes in human body. But it is notably distinct from DNA in the nucleus6.  Unlike nuclear DNA, which comes from both parents, mitochondrial DNA comes only from the mother1. There is a question that why or how fathers’ mitochondrial DNA gets wiped from cells? An international team of scientists recently studied mitochondria in the sperm of different sets of human beings and concluded that sperm mitochondria become inert by some mutational aspects during the process of fertilization3



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