"Total Human DNA Sampling" - Forensic DNA profiles from large areas.

Neves, Colino; Zieger, Martin (2023). "Total Human DNA Sampling" - Forensic DNA profiles from large areas. Forensic science international. Genetics, 67(102939), p. 102939. Elsevier 10.1016/j.fsigen.2023.102939

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Employed for the first time in 1986, DNA profiling is nowadays established as one of the most widely used forensic techniques worldwide. However, until today, no efficient sampling technique existed to collect DNA from human skin cells from a large area, not to say from the floor of an entire room. This has been extremely unfortunate, as there is enormous forensic potential in these DNA traces from the ground to provide clues as to who has been present at a particular location, i.e. at the crime scene. By desquamation, humans loose several millions of skin cells per day, everywhere they stand, sit or walk; and they can do little about it. We developed a fast and simple method by which we can make use of all those lost skin cells. We use a vacuum cleaner equipped with a specialized filter cartridge to sample the ground. Fragmentation of the filter membrane and subsequent parallel processing of the filter fragments, using a modified Chelex® 100 extraction protocol, significantly reduce the complexity of the dust mixture. In this way, a large number of interpretable major contributor DNA profiles can be generated from individuals who have been present on the sampled surface. Overall, at least 38 % of the generated DNA profiles from all sampled test areas fulfilled the criteria for submission of single major contributor profiles to the Swiss DNA database. As demonstrated through a mock crime scene scenario simulating an indoor stabbing event, the perpetrator's DNA could be found on the floor even after a very short stay in the room of less than one minute. Furthermore, already the first application of the method at a real crime scene led to relevant case information for the police. Given its large investigative potential, we recommend Total Human DNA Sampling as a helpful complemental forensic tool to conventional DNA trace collection in major crimes.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Service Sector > Institute of Legal Medicine
04 Faculty of Medicine > Service Sector > Institute of Legal Medicine > Forensic Molecular Biology

UniBE Contributor:

Neves, Colino, Zieger, Martin


500 Science > 570 Life sciences; biology
300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 360 Social problems & social services
600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health








Pubmed Import

Date Deposited:

02 Oct 2023 16:10

Last Modified:

30 Oct 2023 00:15

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Uncontrolled Keywords:

DNA profile Database Dust Extraction Filter Total Human DNA Sampling Vacuum cleaner





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