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DNA fingerprinting is a recently-introduced biochemical

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DNA fingerprinting is a recently-introduced biochemical [#permalink] New post 16 Sep 2010, 07:31
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A
B
C
D
E

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“DNA fingerprinting” is a recently-introduced biochemical procedure that uses a pattern derived from a person’s genetic material to match a suspect’s genetic material against that of a specimen from a crime scene. Proponents have claimed astronomically high odds against obtaining a match by chance alone. These odds are based on an assumption that there is independence between the different characteristics represented by a single pattern.

Which one of the following, if true, casts the most doubt on the claim of the proponents of DNA fingerprinting?
(A) The large amount of genetic material that people share with all other people and with other animals is not included in the DNA fingerprinting procedure.
(B) There is generally accepted theoretical basis for interpreting the patterns produced by the procedure.
(C) In the whole population there are various different subgroups, within each of which certain sets of genetic characteristics are shared.
(D) The skill required of laboratory technicians performing the DNA fingerprinting procedure is not extraordinary.
(E) In the investigation of certain genetic diseases, the techniques used in DNA fingerprinting have traced the transmission of the diseases among the living members of very large families.

I arrived at the answer purely by POE, could anybody please explain to me the argument and the logic. Thanks.
[Reveal] Spoiler: OA
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Re: DNA fingerprinting, help explain the idea and logic [#permalink] New post 16 Sep 2010, 09:14
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We need to find a fact which weakens the claim that DNA fingerprinting is foolproof. It is also mentioned that 'These odds are based on an assumption that there is independence between the different characteristics represented by a single pattern.'

(C) In the whole population there are various different subgroups, within each of which certain sets of genetic
characteristics are shared.
This information clearly weaken the claim. As different subgroups may share the same genetic characteristics, the assumption on which the claim is based is proved wrong.
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Re: DNA fingerprinting, help explain the idea and logic [#permalink] New post 16 Sep 2010, 09:41
First POE is not too bad. IMO you should look at all answers to see that there is no "better" answer, so you can POE while you do that. A better answer is an answer that attack directly the conclusion (in weaken question like this) and adds less "out of scope" data as possible.
When I looked at this question I immediately canceled A,B & D as IMO they are too far from the data given in the question or simply irrelevant.
When I looked at E it seemed to attack less directly the "independence between the different characteristics represented by a single pattern" than C did. so I was left with C.
Hope that helps..
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Re: DNA fingerprinting, help explain the idea and logic [#permalink] New post 16 Sep 2010, 18:50
Out of the 5 choices only A and E are relevant to the premises provided in the stimulus.

Option A strengthens or supports the proponents by discounting the common genetic material shared.

Option C is exactly the opposite of option A and it weakens the argument presented in the stimulus.

And I agree, POE is the best technique here.
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Re: DNA fingerprinting, help explain the idea and logic [#permalink] New post 16 Sep 2010, 19:01
I thought in A, the answer means that some parts of the DNA is not tested, and therefore it's most likely to cause mistakes.
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Re: DNA fingerprinting, help explain the idea and logic [#permalink] New post 16 Sep 2010, 19:03
FQ wrote:
I thought in A, the answer means that some parts of the DNA is not tested, and therefore it's most likely to cause mistakes.


Option A talks of some parts which is shared across diverse groups and hence including it in the DNA analysis will skew the result. Hence option A should be ruled out.

The idea is to cut out the common portion and retain the uniqueness of the DNA fingerprint to uniquely identify the individual.


Side note: I have heard that comparing at least 6 different areas of the DNA strands or sequences, the chances of these 6 areas matching for any two individual is simply out of the question since the chances are less than 1 in 6 billion. :-D

Completely irrelevant to the current context but nevertheless interesting bits of information.

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Re: DNA fingerprinting, help explain the idea and logic [#permalink] New post 18 Sep 2010, 19:01
C

I had to read all the answer choices two times.
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Re: DNA fingerprinting, help explain the idea and logic [#permalink] New post 21 Sep 2010, 08:12
Used POE to eliminate B, D & E since they are irrelevant

Assumption is based on the fact that there is independence between the different characteristics represented by a single pattern. Therefore, anything that suggests that there is no independence between the different characteristics will weaken this assumption. Between A & C, A talks about the material that is shared and is not included in the fingerprinting procedure. Not much help. However, C talks about the fact that different subgroups share certain genetic characteristics.
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Re: DNA fingerprinting, help explain the idea and logic [#permalink] New post 04 Oct 2010, 19:32
C for me. Another 2 min+ question for me. I had to read the options couple of times.
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Re: DNA fingerprinting, help explain the idea and logic   [#permalink] 04 Oct 2010, 19:32
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