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Exploring the relative DNA contribution of first and second object's users on mock touch DNA mixtures
Forensic Science International: Genetics Supplement Series
Contact stains recovered at break-in crime scenes are frequently characterized by mixtures of DNA from several persons. Broad knowledge on the relative contribution of DNA left behind by different users overtime is of paramount importance. Such information might help crime investigators to robustly evaluate the possibility of detecting a specific (or known) individual's DNA profile based on the type and history of an object. To address this issue, a contact stain simulation-based protocol was designed. Fourteen volunteers either acting as first or second object's users were recruited. The first user was required to regularly handle/wear 9 different items during an 8-10-day period, whilst the second user for 5, 30 and 120 min, in three independent simulation sessions producing a total of 231 stains. Subsequently, the relative DNA profile contribution of each individual pair was investigated. Preliminary results showed a progressive increase of the percentage contribution of the second user compared to the first. Interestingly, the second user generally became the major DNA contributor when most objects were handled/worn for 120 min, Furthermore, the observation of unexpected additional alleles will then prompt the investigation of indirect DNA transfer events.
Touch DNA, Contact stain, DNA transfer
Web of science
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