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Tuesday, February 05, 2008

The DNA of the Eleven Plus

At one time fingerprints appear to provide the answer to tracking down criminals. After some time criminals began to wear gloves. Or they wiped every surface they touched very carefully.

Every living person has a unique pattern of ridges and depressions at the tips of their fingers. Fingerprints were used in China over three thousand years ago as part of legal contracts. Computers are used today to look at the digital images of finger prints and can search large files very quickly.

But DNA has now come along and seems to offer a much wider and different method of tracking down criminals. Because every person’s genetic make is unique so a DNA match is able to give almost reliable information. DNA chains can have up to one hundred million base pairs.

Now each newborn child inherits half its chromosomes, together with their DNA, from each of the parents. The genetic fingerprint must correspond in every detail with that of one or the other parent.

So when we say that a child takes after one or another of the parents we are certainly correct. The DNA will prove the relationship. If your Eleven Plus child is described as a `Chip off the old block’ you will certainly be very proud. You will naturally claim that the characteristics of hard work, ambition, ability and brains all come from you. It would very hard to disprove.

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