Identifying suspects among dozens of people at crime spots may soon be easy

August 29th, 2008 - 5:24 pm ICT by ANI  

Washington, August 29 (ANI): Police investigators may soon find it easy to identify possible suspects among dozens of people at a crime scene, with American scientists claiming that an individuals DNA can be identified within a mix of DNA samples.
Scientists at the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen), who led the study, say that that this detection is possible even if an individual represents less than 0.1 percent of the total mix of DNA samples, compared with the 10 per cent requirement with the existing forensic procedures.
Writing about their work in PLoS Genetics, the researchers said that they had been successful in doing so even when the mix of DNA included more than 200 individual DNA samples.
The team said that their discovery could help reassess previous crime scene evidence, and have uses in various genetic studies and in statistical analysis.
“This is a potentially revolutionary advance in the field of forensics,”” said the paper’’s senior author, Dr. David W. Craig, associate director of TGen’’s Neurogenomics Division, which otherwise is charged with finding ways to treat diseases and conditions of the brain and nervous system.
“By employing the powers of genomic technology, it is now possible to know with near certainty that a particular individual was at a particular location, even with only trace amounts of DNA and even if dozens or even hundreds of others were there, too, he added.
The researcher said that the team analysed complex mixes of genomic DNA with the help of high-density Single Nucleotide Polymorphism (SNP) genotyping microarrays, which enabled them to accurately identify individuals from DNA mixes of at least 200 people using less than one in one-thousandth of the total mix.
Craig said that the study suggested that, theoretically, individuals could be identified in mixes of more than 1,000 people.
Commander Brent Vermeer, director of the Phoenix Police Department crime lab, said that the TGen theoretical research could be an amazing asset”” if it could be put into a cost-effective police practice. (ANI)

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