Hair protein patterns better for DNA identification: Study

Hair protein patterns better for DNA identification: Study

US researchers have found a backup for DNA identification as human hair offer even better distinction compared to DNA, reported PLOS One journal on Wednesday. Based on protein changes in human hair, researchers at California’s National Laboratory provided an alternative method for DNA testing.

For the study, the researchers took hair sample of six different 1750s natives of London. To confidently claim the identification method’s usability, the researchers further performed the same test, known as proteomics, on several other individuals and the test results were quite similar; hair protein was found to be a great source for DNA testing.

Obtaining correct DNA from an old degraded sample is quite a tricky task. The new findings can be a great boost for forensic scientists. The researchers also explained how protein genetic variations in other parts of body can help in DNA identification.

They also describe proteins in other tissues, such as bones, skin follicles, and teeth, and they’re now moving to identify their usefulness as well – particularly bones and teeth.

“This method will be a game-changer for forensics, and while we’ve made a lot of progress toward proving it, there are steps to go before this new technique will be able to reach its full potential”, statedBrad Hart, the director of Forensic Science Centre in National Laboratory and study’s co-author.

The discovery of this technique is a result of collaborated effort from various US universities and Protein-Based Identification Technologies, a Utah-based startup.

The researchers mentioned that the process of proteomics is also very economical compared to other available technologies, and takes about a day or two. With further research, the process will soon become a workable method for DNA identification.