Corporate Banner
Satellite Banner
Technology
Networks
Scientific Communities
 
Become a Member | Sign in
Home>News>This Article
  News
Return

DNA Fingerprinting for Soils Might Soon Help Catch Criminals

Published: Monday, September 16, 2013
Last Updated: Monday, September 16, 2013
Bookmark and Share
In certain criminal cases, soil, mud or vegetation on, or from, a vehicle or foot, clothing or implements may provide the clue that could point to a particular search location.

However, these attributes are generally only used in high profile forensic investigations because of their complexity and the required specialised facilities and expertise necessary for their analysis and interpretation. This might change soon thanks to an international effort by soil scientists, whose aim is to enable law enforcement forces to use soil as a forensic tool to catch criminals in a stronger, quicker and more affordable way.

The MiSAFE project, coordinated by the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (Israel), with partners Libragen (France), CLCbio (Denmark), Ecole Centrale de Lyon (France), Israeli Police (Israel), Guardia Civil Española (Spain) and the James Hutton Institute in Scotland, with funding from the European Union, aims to provide forensic practitioners with a microbial genetic profiling tool that could bring soil into routine forensic investigation and judicial proceedings. This would also provide opportunities for European high-tech enterprises to lead this new field of environmental genetic forensics.

In the context of forensic investigations, soils are an underused, powerful resource that can provide compelling data that a given person or object was present or absent from a particular location. Even a small sample of soil contains extensive information: its mineralogy, as well as the organic and biological elements present in it can be analysed to provide signatures as to its origin.

Professor Lorna Dawson, leader of Soil Forensics at the James Hutton Institute in Aberdeen, explains why soils can be the perfect contact trace material.

“Soil covers the majority of the terrestrial surface, and people customarily have some contact with it. It is unconsolidated, which means it is readily transferable, and besides its mineral and organic elements, it is also an enormous reservoir of genetic information contained in the myriad species of micro-organisms inhabiting it, which has as yet been relatively unexplored in forensic case work. This project will lead to a better understanding of the impact of storage, sample handling and soil variability on such genetic attributes; essential before use in a criminal court of law. It will also test the analysis of even smaller sample sizes using molecular tools.

“This information can now be made available to the investigator relatively easily.  The development and implementation of novel and evolving technologies, such as this genetic information, would enable the more routine use of soil in investigations, whether that be in a civil or criminal legal context, and thus bridge a security gap, benefiting civil European and global security.”

This two year project, involving scientists, top legal and forensic experts, police practitioners and industrial stakeholders, will deliver a useable genetic forensic tool, with associated operating practice guidelines, while also widening its application to environmental and ecological disciplines.


Further Information

Join For Free

Access to this exclusive content is for Technology Networks Premium members only.

Join Technology Networks Premium for free access to:

  • Exclusive articles
  • Presentations from international conferences
  • Over 4,000+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More Than 5,300+ scientific videos on LabTube
  • 35 community eNewsletters


Sign In



Forgotten your details? Click Here
If you are not a member you can join here

*Please note: By logging into TechnologyNetworks.com you agree to accept the use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our privacy policy.


Scientific News
Big Genetics in BC: The American Society for Human Genetics 2016 Meeting
Themes at this year's meeting ranged from the verification, validation, and sharing of data, to the translation of laboratory findings into actionable clinical results.
Stem Cells in Drug Discovery
Potential Source of Unlimited Human Test Cells, but Roadblocks Remain.
Automated Low Volume Dispensing Trends
Gain a better understanding of the current and future market requirements for fully automated LVD systems.
Personality Traits, Psychiatric Disorders Linked to Specific Genomic Locations
Researchers have unearthed genetic correlations between personality traits and psychiatric disorders.
Forensic 3D Documentation of Skin Injuries
In this study, the validity of using photogrammetry for documenting injuries in a pathological context was demonstrated.
3-D Printed Dog’s Nose Improves Vapor Detection
By mimicking how dogs get their whiffs, a team of government and university researchers have demonstrated that “active sniffing” can improve by more than 10 times the performance of current technologies that rely on continuous suction to detect trace amounts of explosives and other contraband.
New Markers for Forensic Body-fluid Identification
University of Bonn researchers have successfully identified specific Micro-RNA signatures to help forensically identify body fluids.
Genetics Control Regenerative Properties Of Stem Cells
Researchers define how genetic factors control regenerative properties of blood-forming stem cells.
Major Neuroscience Initiative Launched
Tianqiao and Chrissy Chen Institute invest $115 million to further expand neuroscience research, while Caltech construct $200 million biosciences complex.
Making It Personal
Cancer vaccine linked to increased immune response against leukemia cells.
Scroll Up
Scroll Down
Skyscraper Banner

SELECTBIO Market Reports
Go to LabTube
Go to eposters
 
Access to the latest scientific news
Exclusive articles
Upload and share your posters on ePosters
Latest presentations and webinars
View a library of 1,800+ scientific and medical posters
4,000+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
5,300+ scientific videos
Close
Premium CrownJOIN TECHNOLOGY NETWORKS PREMIUM FOR FREE!