All the cat hair that's been sticking to every possession you have ever had has a good reason to be there now.
Dogs have always been the chosen housepet, owing to their friendly nature and ability to scare off robbers and intruders. However, owing to a new study published on FSI Genetics that's come into the picture, CSI agents now have a sure-shot way to place a criminal in the location of their crime, that is, the house of the victim, provided that there is a cat at the scene.
Forensic science is ever-evolving, but it is breakthroughs like this one that show us just how interesting and intriguing this subject is. The core of this study lies in the fact that cats shed insane amounts. Anyone who has ever played with a cat or owned one knows that there is fur everywhere and that it is inevitable. That said, the fur of the cat which we see shedding isn't from the roots per se. Emily Patterson, who is the lead author of this study says, "Hair shed by your cat lacks the hair root, so it contains very little useable DNA. In practice, we can only analyze mitochondrial DNA, which is passed from mothers to their offspring and is shared among maternally related cats."
The good news, however, is that she and her team have found a way which make this mitochondrial DNA very powerful resulting in almost perfect matches when trying to find connecting evidence to incriminate a suspect of a crime. After all, a robber going through your things might be able to make sure that they don't leave their own DNA on the scene. However, all that stealing and going through your things will definitely result in them being unable to leave your house without getting a single strand of your cat's hair. Patterson and her team also used this theory in a murder case in order to identify the DNA of the perpetrator’s cat.
This study was also tested and proven at the University of Leicester during the case of a lost cat. By applying this technique to match cat hairs with the skeletal remains of a missing cat and its surviving male offspring, the researchers showcased its real-world applications. This theory doesn't just work with cats and can potentially also work with dog hair. However, that remains yet to be proven. Mark Jobling, who is the Professor of Genetics and the study co-lead, said, "In criminal cases where there is no human DNA available to test, pet hair is a valuable source of linking evidence and our method makes it much more powerful." He also added, "The same approach could also be applied to other species—in particular, dogs."
This study demonstrates how everything is made feasible by science nowadays. The practical uses of this novel approach demonstrate its adaptability and reliability. In a world where forensic science is always evolving, the development of the cat hair DNA analysis technology is a new development. This creative method highlights the tremendous advancements in the industry as well as the crucial part that cats may play in helping solve crimes. Our ability to discover the truth advances along with science and this new approach is evidence of the countless opportunities that lie ahead in the field of forensic science.