The Press: Innovative new DNA test

Ian Steward reports in The Press on a new forensic technique to be introduced to New Zealand in the near future.

The test, which will allow forensic scientists to see which bodily tissue a DNA sample came from, is being developed by ESR for use by the middle of the year.

An excerpt: (read in full here)

“By looking at RNA – the companion chemical to DNA that turns the DNA’s instruction into particular proteins in different parts of the body – researchers have found a way to determine the tissue source of the DNA.

“For example, Environmental Science and Research (ESR) scientists said it would be useful to know whether DNA found on a vaginal swab – commonly administered after a rape complaint – was from semen or saliva. Current tests cannot make that distinction.

“ESR scientist Dr Sally Ann Harbison said the RNA techniques were not being used anywhere else in the world.

“Several countries, including Switzerland and the United States, were developing similar techniques.”