Inventor of DNA fingerprinting reflects on career highlights in extensive video interview

Posted by ap507 at Sep 10, 2014 12:05 AM |
Interview with Professor Sir Alec Jeffreys about the discovery of genetic fingerprinting at the University of Leicester marks 30th anniversary of monumental invention

Professor Sir Alec Jeffreys (pictured), who invented DNA fingerprinting at the University of Leicester exactly 30 years ago today – 10 September, 1984 – has recalled his ‘Eureka’ moment in a new interview with the University's news and creative services team.

During the interview, Professor Jeffreys recalls how he and his technician made a list of all the possible applications of the discovery - but it was his wife, Sue, who spotted the potential for resolving immigration disputes which in fact proved to be the world’s first application of genetic fingerprinting. He also discusses his early interest in science and the time he first came to Leicester - including how he was turned away from a hotel because of his unkempt appearance at the time.

Now retired from his role in the Department of Genetics, in the interview he outlines some of the applications of DNA fingerprinting - including the identification of the remains of notorious Nazi war criminal Josef Mengele and in determining if Dolly the sheep was indeed a clone - and comments on the nature of scientific funding and the future of the field.

Further information is available here.

The full interview with Professor Sir Alec Jeffreys can be viewed below: