Volume 47, Issue 3 (May 2002)
Trace DNA: A Review, Discussion of Theory, and Application of the Transfer of Trace Quantities of DNA Through Skin Contact
Advances in STR PCR DNA profiling technology allow for the analysis of minute quantities of DNA. It is frequently possible to obtain successful DNA results from cellular material transferred from the skin of an individual who has simply touched an object. Handling objects, such as weapons or other items associated with a crime, touching surfaces, or wearing clothing, may represent sufficient contact to transfer small numbers of DNA bearing cells, or trace DNA, which can be successfully analyzed. With this minimal amount of contact required to yield a suspect profile comes tremendous crime solving potential, and a number of considerations for prudent application, and the maximization of evidentiary value. Evidentiary materials not previously considered must be recognized and preserved, and the resulting DNA type profiles interpreted in their proper forensic context.