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Identify a person by analyzing his or her hair, says a new Research in US

The researchers looked at hair samples that were "up to 250 years old” along with samples from 76 living humans

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A researcher at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories holds a sample of ancient hair. Source-VOA
  • A new research may help identify a person by analyzing their hair
  • According to researchers, Hair contains unique protein markers which help with the identification
  • Chemist Brad Hart, Director of the Forensic Science Center and co-author of the paper said this would be game-changing in the field of forensic science

September 12, 2016: Your hair could be just as unique as your DNA, according to new research.

Writing in the journal PLOS ONE, researchers from the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory say unique protein markers in hair could be used to make forensic and archeological identification easier.

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Moreover, the proteins are more durable over time, while DNA can deteriorate.

To reach their conclusions, the researchers looked at hair samples that were “up to 250 years old” along with samples from 76 living humans. The researchers say they’ve found 185 protein markers to date, which they think would be enough to identify an individual from a population of one million.

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. Pixabay
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. Pixabay

The researchers say they hope to find “around a hundred” core markers that could be used to “distinguish an individual among the entire world’s population using a single hair.”

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“We are in a very similar place with protein-based identification to where DNA profiling was during the early days of its development,” said LLNL chemist Brad Hart, the director of the lab’s Forensic Science Center and co-author of a paper discussing the work. “This method will be a game-changer for forensics, and while we’ve made a lot of progress toward proving it, there are steps to go before this new technique will be able to reach its full potential.” (VOA)

  • Manthra koliyer

    This is surely a great progress in the field of science!

  • Yokeshwari Manivel

    hahahhaa ! a one more invention to the medical science .shows the growing development of different economy

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Scientists Find New Ways of Tracking Objects by Combining DNA of Dust Particles

Clothing, medicine and other items in one’s environment all have genetic markers, or fingerprints, that provide clues to where they came from, according to scientists

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dust particles, DNA
Scientists say they have new ways of tracking where clothing, medicines and other items are made, making it harder for unscrupulous businesses to sell items that don't work or violate laws. VOA

Clothing, medicine and other items in one’s environment all have genetic markers, or fingerprints, that provide clues to where they came from, according to scientists.

Researchers are analyzing the microorganisms in dust particles that land on surfaces and are using artificial intelligence to read and classify the unique genetic codes of the microbes that vary from place to place.

“It is the collection of bacteria, fungi, viruses, protozoa that are present in any environment,” said Jessica Green, microbial systems expert and co-founder of Phylagen, a company that is building a microbial map of the world. Phylagen is collecting dust from different places and turning it into data by studying the DNA of the microscopic organisms in the particles.

DNA, dust particles
This digitally colorized microscope image provided by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) shows Staphylococcus aureus bacteria in yellow. Bacteria are part of the collection of microorganisms that tell scientists where an object has been. VOA

Exposing labor abuses

Phylagen says its findings will provide real world applications. The California-based company says one application involves companies that outsource the manufacturing of products, such as clothing.

According to Human Rights Watch, unauthorized subcontracting of facilities in the apparel industry occurs often, and it is in these places that some of the worse labor abuses happen.

Phylagen is digitizing the genome of different locations by working in more than 40 countries and sampling the dust in hundreds of factories. The goal is to create a database so the microbes on each product can be traced.

“We sample the DNA of the products, and then, we use machine learning algorithms to map what is on the product with the factory, and can therefore verify for brands that their goods are made by their trusted suppliers in factories where you have good labor conditions, good environmental conditions versus unauthorized facilities which can be really detrimental,” Green said.

Tracking diseases, ships

With a database of distinct microbial DNA, Green said other possible future uses could include predicting the outbreak of disease and helping law enforcement track the movement of ships, since shipping logs can be falsified. Even counterfeit medicines could be traced as the database of microbial information grows, she said.

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“We can sequence the DNA of seized counterfeit pills, cluster together pills that have similar microbial signatures and then use that to help both pharmaceutical companies and the government, the U.S. government, gain some intelligence about how many different sources of these manufacturing facilities are there,” Green said. (VOA)