Trace DNA is often detected on handled items and worn clothing examined in forensic laboratories. In this study, the potential transfer of trace DNA to bedding by normal contact, when an individual sleeps in a bed, is examined. Volunteers slept one night on a new, lower bed sheet in their own bed and one night in a bed foreign to them. Samples from the sheets were collected and analysed by DNA profiling. The results indicate that the DNA profile of an individual can be obtained from bedding after one night of sleeping in a bed. The DNA profile of the owner of the bed could also be detected in the foreign bed experiments. Since mixed DNA profiles can be obtained from trace DNA on bedding, caution should be exercised when drawing conclusions from DNA profiling results obtained from such samples. This transfer may have important repercussions in sexual assault investigations.
Forensic Science International – Elsevier
Published: May 25, 2006
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