Bacterial fingerprint in soil to solve murder cases

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London, Feb 27 (UNI) The soil found on a victim or a suspect can provide vital leads in a murder case, researchers say.

Forensic scientists have developed a new technique which can pinpoint the origins of soil found on a victim or a suspect through DNA analysis and could be used to prove whether either of the two visited the crime scene.

''This allows you to take a soil sample from the shoe of a suspect or from the victim and tell where it came from originally,'' the Guardian quoted scientist Erin Lenz from Michigan State University as saying.

Soil found on a suspect's clothing or in the tread of a car's tyres is frequently used as evidence in criminal cases. It could link a person or a vehicle to the crime scene.

''Soil samples can also ensure that a body or other evidence was not moved from another location, causing confusion as to the identity of the individual or in reconstructing the crime itself,'' wrote Dr Lenz and her supervisor David Foran in the Proceedings of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences.

UNI XC PD PM1033

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