Study: DNA may predict criminals' surnames

Feb 22, 2006

British researchers say forensic scientists might soon be using DNA from crime scenes to predict the surname of the criminal responsible for the crime.

While not a perfect science, the use of DNA to identify a criminal's name might become an important investigative tool, the BBC reported Wednesday.

The method utilizes genetic similarities in the Y chromosomes of men with the same surname, with the similarities passed from father to son.

The co-author of the study, Mark Jobling of the University of Leicester, told the BBC such evidence would give investigators a tool to prioritize a sub-set of suspects and perhaps reduce the police workload.

"You might have a situation where the Y chromosome predicts 25 names. So you could go and see in the pool of suspects whether the names are there," Jobling said. "If they are ... you could then ask them for a DNA sample and do conventional DNA profiling to see if they match the crime scene sample."

Details of the research appear in the latest edition of the journal Current Biology.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: Employing private security companies in war cuts costs but causes problems

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Are the world's religions ready for ET?

15 hours ago

In 1930, Albert Einstein was asked for his opinion about the possibility of life elsewhere in the universe. "Other beings, perhaps, but not men," he answered. Then he was asked whether science and religion ...

How dinosaur arms turned into bird wings

16 hours ago

Although we now appreciate that birds evolved from a branch of the dinosaur family tree, a crucial adaptation for flight has continued to puzzle evolutionary biologists. During the millions of years that elapsed, wrists went ...

Mathematical model tackles 'Game of Thrones' predictions

17 hours ago

Take events from the past, build a statistical model, and tell the future. Why not apply the formula to novels? Can contents in future books be predicted based only on data from existing ones? Richard Vale ...

User comments : 0