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New tool to combat terrorism

Dust on boots, baggage can track down suspects.

Forensic science experts at Flinders University are refining an innovative counter-terrorism technique that checks for environmental DNA in the dust on clothing, luggage, shoes or even a passport. This research led by Dr Young, will permit to trace the source of dust on suspect articles to match a soil profile of a specific area or overseas country.  

Dr Young, from the College of Science and Engineering at Flinders University said:

“This could help provide evidence of where a person of interest might have travelled based on the environmental DNA signature from dust on their belongings,” 

According to Professor Linacre, Chair of Forensic DNA Technology at Flinders, environmental samples are ideal contact evidence, as crime scene detection can establish a link between a suspect, a location and a victim. He said:

“Environment samples extracted via the ‘massively parallel sequencing’ technology provide biological signatures from complex DNA mixtures and trace amounts of low biomass samples,”

The project is among more than $1 million in funding announced in the fourth round of the Defence Innovation Partnership’s Collaborative Research Fund.

Source: Flinders University

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