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posted by janrinok on Saturday July 18 2015, @06:03PM   Printer-friendly
from the Doctor-Evil-and-Mini-Me-just-laughed dept.

A simple, lower-cost new method for DNA profiling of human hairs developed by the University of Adelaide should improve opportunities to link criminals to serious crimes.

The researchers have modified existing laboratory methods and been able to produce accurate DNA profiles from trace amounts at a much higher success rate.

"Technological advancements over the last 10 years have allowed police and forensic scientists to profile crime-scene DNA from ever smaller and more challenging samples collected from fingerprints, skin cells, saliva and hairs," says Associate Professor Jeremy Austin, Deputy Director with the University's Australian Centre for Ancient DNA.

"DNA profiling of human hairs is critical to solving many serious crimes but most hairs found at crime scenes contain very little DNA because it has been severely dehydrated as part of the hair growth process. This makes DNA testing of hairs a real challenge."

[...] Lead-author Assistant Professor Dennis McNevin, from the University of Canberra, says: "Our simple modifications will allow this trace DNA to be analysed in a standard forensic laboratory with improved success rates of DNA profiling and without increased error rates.

"This is very important in forensic science as false positive results can lead to incorrect identifications and poor outcomes in the judicial system."

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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 20 2015, @02:14PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 20 2015, @02:14PM (#211427)

    All situations where without hair analysis you would not have caught the guilty anyway, and therefore the error in the hair analysis didn't cause someone who would otherwise been found guilty to go free. So no "guilty gets free because of erroneous hair analysis" but only "hair analysis didn't help either because of it being erroneous." BIG difference.