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Name: Mike
Status: Other
Grade:  Other
Location: CA
Country: United States
Date: July 2007


Question:
Does one tiger have a different DNA than another? Example: could you tell which of two tiger's, bit a man?



Replies:
No two organisms have exactly the same DNA unless they are identical (monozygotic) twins, so presumably, if any cells of the tiger were left in the wound, using PCR it should be possible to tell which of two tigers was responsible for biting someone.

Ron Baker, Ph.D.


I assume that Tigers have the same types of DNA variations that all organisms have. If so, and if a large enough sample of saliva or tissue from the tiger could be recovered from the bite, it theoretically could be matched to the tiger who did the biting. DNA sequencing/"fingerprinting" works substantially the same way for any organism (there are details that change, but DNA is chemically pretty similar from organism to organisms). If the Tigers are identical twin tigers, then DNA won't distinguish them. I think if it's a bite, you might also be able to identify the tiger by its teeth marks.

Just curious, but is this a problem you're having? :)

Hope this helps,
Burr



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