(Mirror Daily, United States) DNA is not the only medical test which can state the identity of a person. A recent study shows that human hair samples can lead to the same conclusion. The research reveals that hair could be used as a forensic tool.
A team of researchers in California conducted a new study which analyzes human hair and its properties. It seems that our hairs contain proteins which make possible the identification of unique individuals.
The new Californian results stand as a massive breakthrough in the medical field. The new method of identification proves itself even better than DNA. Researchers have long been waiting to discover an alternative method they could rely on whenever DNA tests were not enough or failed.
According to specialists, DNA samples can be preserved for thousands of years. This is how archaeologists can identify relics, for instance. On the other hand, DNA can also be damaged when exposed to light or water.
The researchers in California analyzed samples of human hair from seventy-six living people, as well as samples from dead people, dating back almost three hundred of years ago. The subjects were both man and women, coming from different parts of the world, including Europe, Asia, and Africa. When coming down to the minimal elements of the hairs structures, the researchers observed that they encode genetic information, very similar to the one that can be found in the human DNA.
The researchers found that there could be one thousand protein markers that could help them determine the precise identity of a person. The recent study accounts for 185 of these markers.
The recent discovery can now help scientists determine people’s identity and if there are related to other people too, based on their hair sample. The new method can come in handy not only to archeologists and doctors but police officers as well. Criminalists are always looking for clues, and hairs can be found at a murder scene, for instance. So the hairs’ analysis could lead them one step closer to the killer.
The scientists also noted that a complete human hair analysis which can establish their identity could take up from two to three days. They also claim that the method could be further improved.
The new study on the proteins in the human hair was published in PLOS ONE.
Image courtesy of: Flickr
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