Author(s): Quinones I, Daniel B, Quinones I, Daniel B
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Abstract In the course of a criminal investigation, DNA is often recovered from items that have been handled by an individual. Whilst there have been studies investigating the propensity of different individuals to deposit DNA, little is known about the factors involved in the transference of DNA through touch. This investigation seeks to clarify some of the underlying processes involved in DNA transfer, as to better understand the significance of so-called "touch DNA" evidence (tDNA). It was shown that an average yield of 11.5 ng of DNA could be recovered from 1 mL cell-free sweat samples leading to the hypothesis that cell-free nucleic acids (CNAs) of a suitable length for standard DNA profiling are transferred during handling/touching items. A method of standardization of tDNA deposition was developed to overcome the significant sample to sample variability in DNA levels characteristic of tDNA samples. The glass bead method allowed the creation of identical tDNA sample sets, thus permitting direct comparisons to be made in the efficiency of various extraction methods. Extraction methods designed to optimize CNA recovery from touched articles resulted in comparable yields in a general population study, however the methods resulted in a twofold increase in DNA yields from touched items touched by individuals with sweaty hands. These results suggest that the CNA component of touched surfaces should be included to maximize profiling success of tDNA. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
This article was published in Forensic Sci Int Genet
and referenced in Journal of Forensic Research