Hair Proteins Could Be Used For Human Identification

Posted: Sep 8 2016, 11:05am CDT | by , in News | Latest Science News


Hair Proteins Could be Used for Human Identification
Glendon Parker, a biochemist with Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory's Forensic Science Center, examines a 250-year-old archaeological hair sample that has been analyzed for human identification using protein markers from the hair. Researchers from LLNL and a Utah startup company have developed the first-ever biological identification method that exploits the information encoded in proteins of human hair. Photo by Julie Russell/LLNL
  • Your Hair Proteins Can Identify You

Apparently, human identification is possible through protein found in hair.

Protein markers could be employed alongside with DNA profiling methods to identify individual human beings. The study was published on September 7, 2016 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Glendon Parker from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, USA, and colleagues.

DNA profiling is normally utilized in forensics and archaeology. That is because the DNA is different for each human being on earth.

Yet the milieu and chemical agents in it can destroy the DNA over time thereby reducing the utility of DNA. Protein is more stable than DNA though. Protein can have differences that mark each individual. 

The protein in human hair can serve as a marker for any individual. Scientists found out more about this aspect of identification. Archaeological samples from six human beings were examined by scientists.

These human beings were 250 years old. Thus while a lot of time had elapsed, their proteins were still extant and provided proof of their identification.

These human beings were analyzed and they were compared to people who were from European American and African descent. These individuals were living and were 76 in number.   

Over 185 hair protein markers were found among them. The uniqueness of these markers is such that an individual can be distinguished from a million others via this methodology.

A core consisting of 100 protein markers will be isolated from these samples. All that would thus be needed to identify an individual would be a single strand of hair.

Such a state of affairs would be marvelous. Thus the law could get tough on criminals through this finely honed method of examination of crime scenes. Also archaeologists could better fine tune their results from various ancient sites via this method. 

Like DNA profiling was a very revolutionary and exciting thing during its early days, this method too is just in its infancy. It still has a long way to go and may be honed to a razor blade in the future.

Then it will work with the proper efficacy suitable to forensics and archaeology. It will be a mover and shaker among scientific methods for identifying individuals.

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<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/20" rel="author">Sumayah Aamir</a>
Sumayah Aamir (Google+) has deep experience in analyzing the latest trends.




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