New forensic test to match suspects’ DNA with crime samples in 4hrs

August 5th, 2010 - 12:07 pm ICT by ANI  

Washington, August 5 (ANI): A newly developed forensic test could help police to check on whether a person’s DNA matches that found at past crime scenes while suspects are still being processed and before a decision on whether to release them on bail.

The test could make checking DNA from people arrested for crimes with DNA samples from crime scenes stored in forensic databases almost as easy as matching fingerprints.

Andrew Hopwood, Frederic Zenhausern, and colleagues explain that some criminals are arrested, spend less than a day in jail, and then commit crimes while they are out on bail.

Currently, most genetic tests take 24-72 hours, and by the time that the results are back, the suspects often have been released, but this test could change that.

The test consists of a chip that can copy and analyse DNA samples taken from a cotton swab.

Forensic technicians can collect DNA from suspects by swabbing their mouth, mixing the sample with a few chemicals, and warming it up.

The entire process takes only four hours at present, and with additional studies, could come down to two.

Once that is done, police could even double-check their DNA evidence before releasing a suspect.

The study appears in the ACS’ Analytical Chemistry. (ANI)

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