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: Roman dig 'transforms understanding' of ancient port

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Roman dig 'transforms understanding' of ancient port

3 minutes ago

(Phys.org) —Researchers from the universities of Cambridge and Southampton have discovered a new section of the boundary wall of the ancient Roman port of Ostia, proving the city was much larger than previously ...

Which foods may cost you more due to Calif. drought

52 minutes ago

With California experiencing one of its worst droughts on record, grocery shoppers across the country can expect to see a short supply of certain fruits and vegetables in stores, and to pay higher prices ...

Creative activities outside work can improve job performance

11 hours ago

Employees who pursue creative activities outside of work may find that these activities boost their performance on the job, according to a new study by San Francisco State University organizational psychologist Kevin Eschleman ...

User comments : 0

More news stories

Which foods may cost you more due to Calif. drought

With California experiencing one of its worst droughts on record, grocery shoppers across the country can expect to see a short supply of certain fruits and vegetables in stores, and to pay higher prices ...

Robotics goes micro-scale

(Phys.org) —The development of light-driven 'micro-robots' that can autonomously investigate and manipulate the nano-scale environment in a microscope comes a step closer, thanks to new research from the ...

Biologists help solve fungi mysteries

(Phys.org) —A new genetic analysis revealing the previously unknown biodiversity and distribution of thousands of fungi in North America might also reveal a previously underappreciated contributor to climate ...