Biomarkers can identify ethnicity at the crime scene

17-Sep-2013 - USA

A team of scientists in the United States and Germany have developed a biocatalytic assay that can rapidly identify ethnic origin from body fluid samples on-site at the crime scene.

Methods for profiling samples from biological samples taken from crime scenes, such as DNA/RNA analysis, are sophisticated but usually require complex equipment in specialist laboratories.

The researchers examined two biomarkers – creatine kinease (CK) and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) – that exist in different concentrations in Caucasian and African American body fluids. They used a multienzyme/multistep biocatalytic cascade to amplify the difference between them and found that their enzyme-based computing method successfully distinguished the two ethnicities in model and real human samples. They hope to apply this method to analytical kits much-like pregnancy tests for use by qualified crime scene investigators.


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