A cat hair would solve crimes

That? Yes, as you hear it. And none other than British researchers say so. They suggest that cat hair transferred to a person’s clothing contains its own DNA. That could provide a link between a suspect and a crime scene, or a victim. Yes, a cat hair would solve crimes.

Cats are some of the most popular pets in the world. There are around 370 million pet cats worldwide. They are in millions of homes. How could this help solve crimes? Researchers at the University of Leicester, United Kingdom, have an idea.

A cat hair would solve crimes.  Find out how.
A cat hair would solve crimes. Find out how.

feline DNA

Cat hair could be the perfect way to catch criminals. A single hair from these cats contains DNA that could link a suspect to a crime scene. The average feline sheds thousands of hairs a year. It is inevitable that, when leaving a house where there is one, there will be some evidence of the furry resident. This is potentially useful in the forensic investigation of criminal activities.

The article was published in the magazine Forensic Science International: Genetics. They explain their point. A human criminal can take great pains not to leave behind his own DNA. But the transferred cat hair contains its own genetic information. Additionally, British researchers developed a method to extract maximum DNA information from a single cat hair.

«The hair shed by the cat lacks roots, so it contains very little usable DNA. “In practice, we can only analyze mitochondrial DNA.” This was said by Emily Patterson, lead author of the study and a PhD student at Leicester. The new method identified allows determining the sequence of all mitochondrial DNA. It is about ten times more discriminating than the usual technique, which only analyzed a short fragment.

It is almost inevitable to take a cat hair from a house in which one lives.
It is almost inevitable to take a cat hair from a house in which one lives.

Detective Cat

The team tested the method on a lost cat case. DNA could be matched from the skeletal remains of a missing female feline. The comparison was with DNA from the hair of her surviving male offspring.

“In crimes where there is no human DNA to analyze, pet hair is a source of linkage evidence. A cat hair would solve crimes. The same method could be applied to other species, particularly dogs,” the researchers conclude.

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