0925_Getting ID From DNA

A science lab achievement gave justice a new tool in law courts

From crime to immigration, Sir Alec Jeffreys changed the way we identify individuals


DNA plays a central role in some very important historical, ethical and scientific discussions. DNA is being used to map the history and origin of men. DNA is also being used to diagnose, prevent and treat diseases. But, we see DNA being discussed most often since(??) a large part to popularity and TV murder mystery dramas.

[Chip & Chelsea]

Since the late 1800s, authorities have used fingerprints to identify individuals, especially in criminal investigations and other identification-based legal cases (refer to crimes or illegal matters) . But fingerprinting changed forever when England’s Sir Alec Jeffreys discovered a way of identifying individuals using their DNA: DNA fingerprinting.
All humans belong to the same species, so the
majority /mə‘dʒɔrətɪ/ of genetic information in people’s DNA is identical ( the same). But certain sections of human DNA – sections that give each individual unique characteristics – vary astronomically from person to person. Discovering these sections in his laboratory on a September morning in 1984, Jeffreys immediately understood their potential, and DNA fingerprinting was born.
Lawyers applied the discovery to legal cases almost immediately. The following spring, DNA fingerprinting resolved an immigration case by proving a young boy’s identity as a U.K. citizen. Then in 1986, DNA fingerprinting provided the evidence necessary to
prove one man’s innocence and another man’s guilt in a murder case.
Since then, this science has helped settle 
countless /’kauntləs /cases and investigations – establishing parent-child relationships, putting criminals in jail and freeing those wrongly accused of crimes. Without a doubt, DNA fingerprinting has forever revolutionized the way we identify people and fight crime.

[Traditional Chinese Translation]

[More Information]

Most criminals know enough to protect their identity by wearing gloves. For police, this means crime scenes are left without useable fingerprints. But now, thanks to the help of science, we know crime scenes are hardly ever left without trace of a criminal’s DNA – in the form of a skin cell, strand of hair or a drop of blood – it’s enough to catch that criminal!


[Ashley & Ken]

A: So, how was Dennis’s wedding?

K: Oh, it was a lot of fun and I did go out in style.

A: Good, I’m glad.

K: Hey, Ashley. I just noticed that you’ve got blue eyes.

A: Yeah, I guess you can say they are in my genes.

K: In your jeans? Ashley, you are not wearing jeans. You are wearing dress pants.

A: No, not those kinds of jeans, Ken. Genes, g-e-n-e-s.

K: Oh, what are genes?

A: Genes are chains of DNA that make proteins in your body. These proteins make up the human body and affect your appearance. They are passed down from your parents’ DNA.

K: So, that’s why you said blue eyes are in your genes.

A: That’s right. You know, people say I have my mother’s eyes.

K: You have your mother’s eyes? But, how can that be?

A: It’s an expression that means my eyes are very similar to my mom’s eyes. And I think another blue eye beauty wants to explain more. Doris.

K: Oh, okay.


D: If you have an ability or tendency that was passed down from your parents, you could say it runs in the family. For instance, if your parents are both teachers and you become a teacher as well you could say teaching runs in your family.


K: Okay, so what runs in your family, Ashley?

A: Well, let’s see. My grandpa, my dad and both of my brothers were in the military. So I guess you can say military service runs in my family, but not for me. I like it here in the library better.

K: Hey, so do I.

A: Speaking of running, I have to run to the office and talk to my boss.

K: Oh, okay.


genes, g-e-n-e-sjeans, j-e-a-n-s要分清楚。jeansblue jeans、牛仔褲,genes是基因,blue eyes are in my genes(我的藍色的眼睛來自我的基因)。另外一種講法是blue eyes run in the family,藍色的眼睛是我們家族的遺傳。


astronomy         the study of outer space
astronomically     in a big way ( as big as outer space)
Environmentalists are worried about the growing number of elephantine resorts appearing along the coastline.
Timothy was given a challenging assignment, and he doubts he can complete this herculean assignment in one day.
This restaurant is known for their monstrous size sandwiches, which are as big as volleyballs.




fingerprint (n) 指紋

The police found the suspect’s fingerprints on the doorknob.


The detective is taking fingerprints at the crime scene.


The fingerprints match the escaped fugitive’s  /’fjudʒətɪv/ .


genetic (adj) 遺傳的,基因的

The baby suffers from a genetic heart disease.


The patient’s condition is caused by a genetic defect.


Martha studies genetic engineering at Columbia.


revolutionize (v) 徹底改變,徹底改革

The invention of laptops revolutionized the way people work.


Einstein’s theory of relativity revolutionized how human beings perceive the world.



elephantine   /ˌelɪˈfæntaɪn/ DJ   /-tiːn/ DJ US   /ˈɛlə‘fæntin/ KK US

1.       very large and clumsy; like an elephant 龐大的;笨重的;似象一樣的 adjective formal humorous


herculean   [ˌhəːkjuˈliːən] DJ   [hɝˈkjuliən] KK

  • adjective

1.       (H-)海克力士的

2.       力大無比的;驍勇無比的

3.       至難的;費力的


jean   [dʒiːn] DJ   [dʒɪn] KK;

gene   /dʒiːn/ DJ   /dʒin/ KK


countless   /ˈkaʊntləs/ DJ   /’kauntləs/ KK

1.       very many; too many to be counted or mentioned 無數的;數不勝數的;數不盡的 adjectiveusually before noun

    • I’ve warned her countless times. 我警告過她無數次了。
    • The new treatment could save Emma’s life and the lives of countless others. 新的療法可拯救埃瑪的生命以及無數其他人的生命。



perceive   /pəˈsiːv/ DJ   /pərˈs-/ DJ US   /pɚ‘siv/ KK US

  • verb

1.       to notice or become aware of something 注意到;意識到;察覺到 written

      • I perceived a change in his behaviour. 我注意到他舉止有些改變。 VN
      • She perceived that all was not well. 她意識到並非一切都順利。 V that
      • The patient was perceived to have difficulty in breathing. 發現病人呼吸困難。 VN to inf.

2.       to understand or think of something in a particular way 視為;認為;理解為 ~ sth (as sth) written

      • This discovery was perceived as a major breakthrough. 這一發現被視為一項重大突破。VN
      • She did not perceive herself as disabled. 她不把自己看成殘疾人。
      • They were widely perceived to have been unlucky. 人們普遍認為他們的運氣不佳。




DNA [deoxyribonucleic acid] (n) [diˌɑksiraɪbonuˈkliɪk]脫氧核糖核酸
fingerprint (n)
case (n)
genetic (adj)
countless (adj)
revolutionize (v)


majority, accurate, lawyer, innocence, guilt, countless, identical, genes, astronomically, elephantine, herculine, monstrous, run in, citizen, alien, revolutionize, doorknob, fugitive, perceive


DNA determine genetic information. blue eyes run in the family, blue eyes are in my genes, be passed down form, putting criminals in jail







He used to offend others because he liked to say bad words

over time

DNA fingerprinting becomes a useful way to determine crimes over time because if the majority of human beings’ genes are identical.

after ~ come along

After the mistake of that driver came along, Webber quickly speeded up and overtook him.

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