Study finds airborne DNA can be extracted for forensic analysis

When collecting DNA, it is common to include human cells in criminal investigations (Representational)

New Delhi:

New research has found that airborne human DNA can be used in forensic analysis of crime scenes where fingerprints and evidence have been wiped away.

The researchers explained that criminals would not be able to completely prevent their DNA from being released into the environment, as human DNA can still be found in the air after people speak or breathe.

While it is common to find DNA containing human cells in criminal investigations, researchers said “environmental DNA” (eDNA) from solid surfaces, soil, water and air is providing new avenues for collecting evidence.

Comparing samples taken from air conditioning units in offices and homes, the research team led by Flinders University in Australia found that while human DNA could be collected on the surfaces of these units and from the air, the air samples were potentially more recent. Can represent the business of. And surface samples represent former occupation.

“Our study also showed that air circulated through air conditioning can collect human DNA, which supports the idea that human DNA is in the air,” said Emily Bibbo, a PhD candidate in the College of Science at Flinders University. Can be found and settle on surfaces.” and engineering, and author of the study published in the journal Electrophoresis.

Maria Gorey, senior lecturer in forensic science at Flinders University, said biological material is routinely collected from crime scenes and exhibitions, and these new methods have the potential to identify normal users of the room as well as visitors.

Maria Gorey said, “It is very unlikely that an average criminal, even with forensic awareness, can completely prevent his DNA from being released into the environment.” “We now know that eDNA and eRNA released from sources such as skin or saliva can be found in the environment, including soil, snow, air and water.” “We may be able to use (eDNA) as evidence to prove if someone was in the room, even if they wore gloves or cleaned surfaces to wipe off the evidence,” Bibbo said. “

The researchers recommended follow-up studies that could determine the best locations for air collection devices, as well as the appropriate time after the crime to perform testing and obtain the DNA of interest, if it is present.

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