Biography Of Alec J. Jefferys

Submitted By desilusarinana
Words: 980
Pages: 4

Alec J. Jefferys It was a scientific breakthrough of a life time for the brilliant British Genetics, Sir Alec J. Jefferys. He worked at the University of Leicester in the laboratory department he team of collages were dilly-dally when the he notice a series of patterns this was the “Eureka Moment” in the words of Sir Jefferys, when DNA genetic fingerprinting was invented. This scientific breakthrough helped many people in many ways. On January 9th 1950 Joan and Sidney Jefferys welcomed their baby boy and named him Alec John Jefferys. Little did they know that their boy would one day change forensic science forever! That he would touch the lives of hundreds all around the world with his breakthrough. Sir Alec was born in the United Kingdom in the city of England. He and his family lived in there for six years and then would decide to move to Luton, Bedfordshire. Sir Alec was not the only child he had another brother named Tony and a sister named Jackie. By the age of 28 years old he meets his wife Sue at a youth club at Luton, Bedford. They get married in August 1971 and later have two daughters together. Figure 1 Alec Jefferys with his Victorian-era brass microscope As a young boy Sir Alec took after his father and grandfather they too were scientists. As for Alec is passion started young at the age of 8 years old his dad had bought him his first chemistry set which over the years he started adding to it by getting other chemicals. Making it more and more lethal for any kid to experiment on. One day he got a hold of sulphuric acid which is a highly corrosive strong mineral acid. Alec used this sulphuric acid before to make small explosives that he enjoyed doing. One day things went wrong for Alec while mess around which he did many times before with sulphuric acid a small amount splash onto his chin and had to be rush to the hospital. This accident left him a scar but now he covers it with his beard so it’s not noticeable. Now a days if any kid is caught with these kind of chemicals it would be legal and also have big consequences on the parents. Later his dad also got him a Victorian-era brass microscope, by the time he was the age of 11 years old he says “at standard university level in organic chemistry.” Sir Alec Jefferys graduated in 1972 with the first class honors degree in Biochemistry from Merton College in Oxford. The reason how he was able to attend Merton College was in 1968 he won a four year scholarship. He then proceed to get his P.H.D. from the University of Oxford in 1975. At the University of Amsterdam he worked on globin genes. “The globins are a family of globular proteins, which are thought to share a common ancestor.” (Wikipedia) After two years at Amsterdam he then move to the University of Leicester.

Figure 2 The first genetic fingerprints prepared by Alec Jefferys at the University of Leicester

At the University of Leicester is where the greatest moment in forensics science happen. Seven years work there at Leicester the moment of “Eureka” happen, the discovery of DNA, genetic fingerprinting. At 9 am on the morning of September 10, 1984 Alec went in to the lab he had left an x-ray film over the weekend and went in to go see what had come about, looking at the x-ray film he saw mini-satellites. What is a mini-satellites? This is part of the DNA that is consist of short series of nitrogen-containing biological compounds had varied from each person. Which meant that our biological identity was unique, exclusive to each