New DNA test to help crime busters

Australian scientists have developed an advanced DNA test to help crime scene examiners.
Australian scientists have developed an advanced DNA test to help crime scene examiners.

Crime scene examiners could soon have a ground-breaking new tool at their disposal with researchers in Adelaide developing a quick test to check for primary DNA.

Flinders University has developed the advanced test which can reveal which person was the last to touch a particular item.

It can help rule out DNA deposits left by innocent people in what is commonly called secondary transfer.

The test works by determining whether people are heavy or light shedders of DNA material.

A staining dye can reveal in one minute under a handheld microscope the presence of cellular material and determine a person's "shedder" status.

"We know that some people pass on more of their DNA because when they touch something more of their cells are left behind, they are called shedders," Professor Adrian Linacre said.

"What we have developed is a simple test which can work out if an individual is a shedder in a matter of minutes which tells us who has the better chance of passing on DNA."

Once they have that information, crime scene examiners can determine which of the people were last to touch an item, giving them valuable clues on who may have committed a particular crime.

Australian Associated Press