The transfer of DNA from hands to objects by holding or touching has been examined in the past. The main purpose of this study was to examine the variation in the amount of DNA transferred from hands to glass, fabric and wood. The study involved 300 volunteers (100 for glass, 100 for fabric and 100 for wood) 50% of which were male and 50% female. The volunteers held the material for 60 s. The DNA was recovered from the objects using a minitape lift, quantified using the Quantifiler kit assay, extracted using a ‘Qiagen ® QIAamp DNA mini kit’ and amplified using the AmpF l STR ® SGM Plus™ Amplification Kit at 28 cycles. The results show that using ANOVA there was a significant difference ( F = 8.2, p < 0.05) between the three object types in the amount of DNA recovered. In terms of DNA transfer and recovery, wood gave the best yield, followed by fabric and then glass. The likelihood of success of obtaining a profile indicative of the holder was approximately 9% for glass samples, 23% for fabric and 36% for wood. There was no significant difference between the amount of DNA transferred by male or female volunteers. In this study good shedder status, as defined by obtaining useful profiles of 6 or more alleles, is estimated at approximately 22% of the population. The phenomenon of secondary transfer was observed when mixed DNA profiles were obtained but the incidence was low at approximately 10% of the total number of samples. DNA profiles corresponding to more than one person were found on objects which had been touched by only one volunteer. Although secondary transfer is possible the profiles obtained from touched objects are more likely to be as a result of primary transfer rather than a secondary source.
Forensic Science International: Genetics – Elsevier
Published: Jan 1, 2012
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