A new forensic method was recently developed in the United States. Oddly enough, it has nothing to do with DNA testing.
Contrary to popular opinion, DNA is contained in a limited number of segments within the hair, which makes it practically impossible to use this test to identify a suspect. However, hair is almost completely made up of keratin proteins, which can remain intact for up to 250 years.
By focusing on studying amino acid markers in proteins, scientists have learned to extract them using a mass spectrometry method. This means that it will now be possible to find a suspect using an accidental hair from any body part.
What’s more, statistical comparisons of amino acid markings allow scientists to say with some certainty which body part the hair came from. This is especially helpful when tracking down a rapist. The new method can also come in handy when trying to identify the deceased.
The experiment will work with a hair of at least 2-3 cm length, which makes the new method truly groundbreaking and applicable to a variety of situations.
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