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Tandem repeat

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This is a term from genetics, which describes a pattern that helps determine an individual's inherited traits.

Tandem repeats and variable number tandem repeats in DNA occur when a pattern of two or more nucleotides is repeated and the repetitions are directly adjacent to each other. An example would be:

ATTCGATTCGATTCG

in which the sequence ATTCG is repeated three times.

Tandem repeats can be very useful in determining parentage. Short tandem repeats are used for certain genealogical DNA tests.

DNA is examined from microsatellite within the chromosomal DNA. Minisatellite is another way of saying special regions of the loci. Polymerase chain reaction (or PCR) is performed on the minisatellite areas. The PCR must be performed on each organism being tested. The amplified material is then run through electrophoresis. By checking the percentage of bands that match, parentage is determined.

In the field of Computer Science, tandem repeats in strings (e.g. DNA sequences) can be efficiently detected using suffix trees or suffix arrays.

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