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DNA Evidence Uncompromised by Active Oxygen

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  • Genetics
  • Communication
  • Criminology


Currently, forensic sciences can make use of the potential of instrumental analysis techniques to obtain information from the smallest, even invisible, samples. However, as laboratory techniques improve, so too should the procedures applied in the search for and initial testing of clues in order to be equally effective. This requires continuous revision so that those procedures may resolve the problems that samples present. As far as bloodstains are concerned, there are methods available that are recognized as being both highly sensitive and effective. Nevertheless, the marketing of new cleaning products, those that contain active oxygen, has raised doubts about the ability of those procedures to detect blood. It has been shown that stains washed with these detergents (and still visible) invalidated both the presumptive test (reduced phenolphthalein, luminol, and Bluestar®) and that applied for determining human hemoglobin. These findings have caused considerable concern both within the forensic and scientific community, and among the general public, so obliging us to seek solutions. In this work, the effect of these new cleaning products on DNA analyses is studied. The results, encouraging ones, show that these detergents, despite invalidating all other tests, do not hinder the extraction, or the subsequent analysis, of DNA.

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