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: Super Bowl athletes are scientists at work

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Super Bowl athletes are scientists at work

Jan 30, 2015

Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman gets called a lot of things. He calls himself the greatest cornerback in the NFL (and Seattle fans tend to agree). Sportswriters and some other players call him ...

Reintegrating extremist into society

Jan 30, 2015

The UK government's increasingly punitive response to those involved in terrorism risks undermining efforts to successfully reintegrate former extremists, according to research by the University of St Andrews.

Strategies to enhance intelligence analysis

Jan 30, 2015

If you've ever watched a thriller about undercover agents, you probably have the impression that intelligence officers are models of objectivity, pragmatism and sharp, unbiased thinking. However, in reality ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.