Scientist develops technique to sequence DNA from hair without roots

hair DNA sequencing
Representational Picture Pixabay

DNA sequencing plays a crucial role in solving crimes and it has helped investigators to nab the culprits who used to leave zero physical evidence at crime sites. One of the most difficult tasks detectives used to face is to find a stranded hair of the culprit that contains the root. But now, Ed Green, a palaeontologist at the University of California, Santa Cruz has successfully developed a technique that will help to recover and sequence DNA from the hair without the root.

Interestingly, for the past 18 months, Ed Green has been working vigorously with several law enforcement agencies to create genetic profiles of various criminals to solve long-unsolved crimes.

Several experts in this area are now lauding Ed Green for his milestone achievement that will help to give hints to several unsolved crimes. Justin Leo, the chief executive of Full Genomes, a genetics services company called this new technique of DNA sequencing without hair root a 'game-changer' in the sector.

"Criminals think of wearing gloves or wiping down blood, but fewer think to shave their head," said Green.

Experts believe that this new technique developed by Green could revolutionize the future of criminal investigation, and soon, investigators will be carefully sweeping up hair from the crime scene.

"It was kind of written in stone that you can't do it, and now he's doing it," Pete Headley, Deputy of the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department in California, who availed the help of Green to solve a case, New York Times reports.

It should be noted that nuclear DNA is required to identify a person, and until now, traditional methods of DNA sequencing demand the root of the hair to spot the nuclear DNA. However, the new method is free from this limitation, and as a result, sequencing can be completed using stranded hair.

Unfortunately, Green believes that this new technique of DNA sequencing will not be embraced by forensic labs anytime soon, as it is pretty much expensive.