Scientists Discover Method Of Estimating Age Using Blood Samples
24 November 2010 | posted by: Grace Taylor | One Comment
A scientific team in Netherlands has developed a method for estimating a suspect’s age using blood residue left at a crime scene. This profiling method is available for immediate use so as to provide crime investigators with useful leads.
The developed method exploits T-cells, which are a feature of immune cells found in blood and play a significant role in identification of foreign matter such as bacteria, viruses, parasites and tumor cells. As a result of this process of recognition, small circular DNA molecules known as TCR excision circles (sjTREC) are produced.
These molecules reduce at a constant rate with age. The researchers, who published their findings in the journal, Current Biology’ say that this process can be manipulated to indicate the age of a human being accurately.
An allowance of nine years is given on the estimated age which allows placement of individuals within generational categories.
The prediction of human phenotypes, that is, outward physical traits, is a field in forensics that is arising each day. According to the lead author of the report, Manfred Kayser of the Erasmus MC University Medical Center in Rotterdam, the test exhibited the highest accuracy of any previously formulated test to judge human phenotypic traits.
He went on to say that the fact that current DNA profiling only matches the DNA of known individual posed a problem where the sample collected did not match that of a suspect or of anyone in a criminal database. In such cases this method will come handy to find unknown individuals.