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Our 100: “This discovery is now being used globally by every police force and will definitely be a life changing moment for all victims of crime”

Posted by cc576 at Mar 17, 2021 11:44 AM |
A breakthrough in DNA

Over the last month, we’ve been counting down to the Our 100 nomination deadline day, 31st March, with a look at some of the people throughout our history that have inspired you most. These people, as well as the memories, places, celebrations, inventions, campus developments, opportunities are what shape, define and direct our University and its contributions to society.

One of your lecturers may have inspired your career choice. You may have been invited to conduct research that would go on to change the world. An event may have spurred you on to start volunteering. The security team may have made you feel at ease on campus, whatever time of day. Or a society you joined on a whim, has turned into a lifelong support network of true friends.

These are the moments that make our University. Whatever your job or level of study within the University, we want you to share your moments with us to celebrate our first 100 years.

Sir Alec J. Jeffreys and DNA fingerprinting

We began the countdown with the Attenboroughs, one of the country’s most famous families, who need no introduction. We then celebrated Esua Jane Goldsmith, the first woman of colour to become president of the Leicester Students Union in 1975, and who would go on to dedicate her life to championing women’s human rights worldwide. This week we’re looking at Sir Alec J. Jeffreys and DNA fingerprinting. Read the nominations below and watch the film to understand what makes this such an important part of our history.

“In 1984, Alec J. Jeffreys discovered the use of genomic code resulted from the RFLP technique that grows up to become forensic genetics and helps elucidate tons of mysterious criminal cases worldwide. The concept and a number of genetic markers he discovered are not useful only in the field of forensic sciences but also outreaches to many related fields i.e. human molecular evolution, the study of genome instability and recombination, and wild-life conservation, to name but a few. His ground-breaking discovery has been long proven to be one of the world-changing innovations and the most global memorable events that put the University's name to the front line amongst other prestigious higher-education institutes."

“I grew up in Leicester hearing up about Alec's discovery - as my father is a criminologist. This also inspired me to choose a career in Genetics and study a BSc Biological Sciences (Genetics) course at the University of Leicester. I was lucky enough to be taught by him in my second year. I am currently a Research Associate at the University of Cambridge, hoping to identify drug targets for human diseases.”

“I'd like to nominate the 'Breakthrough in DNA'. This was a significant discovery and will be used for many years to come. This also helped put the University of Leicester on the map as one of the world's leading research universities. This discovery is now being used globally by every police force and will definitely be a life changing moment for all victims of crime."

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