(NEWSER) – DNA testing has been the forensic scientist’s workhorse for identification purposes, but it comes with major issues, reports the Los Angeles Times, and scientists now say they’ve got a possible substitute: hair proteins. Per a study published in PLoS One, these proteins are like replicas of a person’s DNA, which is more prone to degradation over time and due to exposure; plus, the DNA found in hair is of the mitochondrial kind (originating only from the mother) instead of the nuclear kind (from both parents).
By adding this type of testing to one’s forensics arsenal, we could soon see hair protein testing take the place of DNA testing not only on shows like Bones, but also in real-life labs. “Currently forensic science is very dependent on DNA,” lead author Glendon Parker tells Popular Science. “But analyzing proteins can add information that can help make a case stronger.”.. see more