Scientists found a way to collect human DNA from air or water


Scientists discovered humans emit a tell-tale cloud of airborne DNA that could identify who was present at a crime scene.The discovery was mad accidentally by a team of the University of Florida. Even footprints on a sandy beach contain enough DNA to identify who walked there, experts believe. The team said the finding could help identify suspects from the DNA floating in the air of a crime scene, or spot undiscovered archaeological sites. The team found quality human DNA in the ocean and rivers surrounding their Whitney Lab, at the University of Florida. For the instant, however, there were concerns about ethical aspects.


“We’re sure the technology exists (to identify anonymous individuals) and the DNA is good enough quality, but because there aren’t ethical frameworks in place we didn’t go to individual identity, but I am certain that could be done in the future.” David Duffy, professor of wildlife disease genomics, who led the project, said. Researchers say the discovery could be invaluable for science and foremsics. They warned that experts may be inadvertently scooping up human genetic information during routine sampling which could throw up problems with consent.