Rotterdam, Netherlands (UPI) Nov 22, 2010
Dutch researchers say they've developed a way to tell a person's approximate age from one drop of blood, a test that could be used in crime investigation.
Scientists at Erasmus University Medical Center in Rotterdam say as a forensic technique it could be used to revive police investigations that have hit a dead end, AAAS ScienceMag.org reported Monday.
The blood-age test relies on a peculiarity of T cells, immune cells in the body that recognize and fight microbial infections.
As T cells develop, they modify their DNA to recognize a wide variety of bacteria and other pathogens.
In the modification, some DNA is left over that is useless to the T cell, which discards it, researchers say.
The amount of discards in the body can be used to estimate a person's age since people produce fewer and fewer T cells as they get older.
"We take advantage of this waste product" in estimating a person's age from a sample of blood, forensic molecular biologist Manfred Kayser says.
The researchers found a correlation between the number of T cell DNA fragments and age, allowing them to pinpoint how old a person was to within plus or minus 9 years.
It's a wide range but enough to place suspects into generational categories, which could be helpful to police, Peter de Knijff, head of the forensic laboratory at Leiden University Medical Center in the Netherlands, says.
With this new test, de Knijff says, at least police can narrow down their suspect pool.
"This is the best we have right now," he says.
Share This Article With Planet Earth
All About Human Beings and How We Got To Be Here
Atlanta GA (SPX) Nov 23, 2010
You detect an object flying at your head. What do you do? You probably first move out of the way - and then you try to determine what the object is. Your brain is able to quickly switch from detecting an object moving in your direction to determining what the object is through a phenomenon called adaptation. A new study in the Nov. 21 advance online edition of the journal Nature Neuroscien ... read more
Gates backs crisis cells to aid Latin America in disasters|
US Socially Responsible Investing Thrives In Recession
Chinese worker saved after 80 hours in underwater pipe
Italian quake victims denounce reconstruction pace
Thales announces venture for Chinese in-flight systems
News Corp. set to unveil iPad newspaper, 'The Daily'
FASTRAC Team Ready To Enjoy Launch
Amazon lets gift-givers send Kindle books by email
More than a million Atlantic sharks killed yearly: study
Busy Microbial World Discovered In Deepest Ocean Crust Ever Explored
Fall Bonefish Census Sounds Warning Bell That Warrants Careful Future Monitoring
Indonesia declares protected zone to save coral reefs
Operation IceBridge Completes Another Successful Antarctic Campaign
Delayed ice threatening Canada polar bears
As Arctic Temperatures Rise, Tundra Fires Increase
Drumlin Field Provides Answers About Glaciation And Climate
Gene Find Could Lead To Healthier Food And Better Biofuel
New Disease-Resistant Food Crops In Prospect
More Efficient Use Of Farm Inputs Key To Growth
China milk campaigner 'forced to sack lawyers': rights group
Safe water out of reach for poor Haitians
Indonesia volcano death toll passes 300
Villagers flee as Philippine volcano shoots ash
Danger zone reduced as Indonesian eruption weakens
I. Coast army deploys in north ahead of election
Madagascan army crushes three-day mutiny
China, Angola sign agreements as vice-president Xi visits
Swazi life expectancy halved by AIDS, TB: health charity
Study Reveals Neural Basis Of Rapid Brain Adaptation
Human Children Outpaced Neanderthals By Slowing Down
Paraguay nixes British expedition to remote tribal region
Origin Of Cells Associated With Nerve Repair Discovered
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2010 - SpaceDaily. AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by SpaceDaily on any Web page published or hosted by SpaceDaily. Privacy Statement|