Population Genetics of the Alu Insertion on the PV92 region of Chromosome 16 Abstract:
PCR is a laboratory method used to amplify a small, specifically targeted, amount of DNA. It has three steps, the denaturing of the template DNA, the annealing of the primers to the DNA templates and the extension of the new DNA by Taq DNA polymerase. The Alu insert on the PV92 region of chromosome 16 is targeted and its frequency is measured according to the Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium in the Vanier HTK population and in the Yanomamo population of the amazon rainforest. They are compared using the chi-square statistical analysis and it was done on the bioservers.org website. The prediction that the Yanomamo population is within Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium is supported by the resulting p-value of 0.8350. The prediction that the Vanier HTK population is not within Hardy-Weinberg is also supported by the p-value of 0.0000. This means the two populations are significantly different and the Vanier HTK population does not meet the five conditions of Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium while the Yanomamo tribe does. Introduction:
According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, biology encompasses all the “life processes of an organism” (biology). Within this vast branch of science exists multiple, more specified areas of study, a relatively young one being biotechnology. Biotechnology is the “manipulation, through genetic engineering, of a living organism or their components” (biotechnology). It is an important science because it allows humans the opportunity to understand their biological processes. A process that has intrigued scientists is the formation and use of proteins. Protein formation can be explained using the central dogma of biology:
Figure 1. The central dogma of biology: DNA is replicated and transcribed into RNA which is translated into proteins. To understand these proteins it is thus clear that science needs to understand DNA. Biotechnology aids in manipulating, isolating and analyzing DNA. DNA, deoxyribonucleic acid, is made of nucleotides which comprise of a nitrogen base, a deoxyribose sugar and a phosphate group (Bio-rad). There are four possible nitrogen bases: adenine (A), thymine (T), guanine (G) and cytosine (C). A double-stranded DNA consists of two single-strand DNA molecules kept together by hydrogen bonds that are created between complementary nitrogen bases (A with T, and G with C). The DNA sequence starts at the 5’ end and ends at the 3’ end (Bio-rad). To create a new strand of DNA, the hydrogen bonds are broken to give way to two single-strand DNAs. The single strands of DNA then become template strands in order to aid in the synthesis of complementary strands by the DNA polymerase (Bio-rad). In order to complete this process, an oligonucleotide primer (about 20 base pairs worth of nucleotides) has to anneal to the template strand using its complementary nucleotides (Bio-rad). Only then can DNA polymerase bind single nucleotides found in the environment to the template strand to create a new double-strand DNA molecule (Bio-rad). The study of this process has enabled the development of the experimental technique called the polymerase chain reaction (PCR). This technique is used to multiply and amplify DNA in the laboratory (Bio-rad). Before PCR, molecular biologists did not have effective techniques to conduct their experiments. The development of PCR by Mullis in 1983 introduced more cost and time effective procedures for these molecular biologists (Bio-rad). The effectiveness of PCR lies in the use of a strand of DNA, inexpensive reaction buffers, DNA polymerase and two DNA primers in order to multiply exponentially the DNA sequence (Bio-rad). Therefore, PCR enables the use of DNA as a viable human identifying tool, impacting the methods implicated in gene mapping, cloning, DNA sequencing and gene detection (Bio-rad). PCR utilizes the concepts of “complementary DNA strand hybridization and DNA strand...
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