Quick DNA Test Could Identify Suspects

WASHINGTON, Aug. 4 (UPI) — Researchers say a new DNA forensic test is so fast it could match crime scene samples with suspects’ DNA within hours with the suspects still in custody.

Checking DNA from people arrested for crimes with samples stored in forensic databases could be almost as easy as matching fingerprints, an American Chemical Society release said Wednesday.

With the test, police could determine whether a person’s DNA matches samples found at past crime scenes while suspects are still being processed and before a decision on whether to release them on bail, researchers say.

Currently, most DNA tests take 24 to 72 hours, and suspects are often released before the results come back.

To make the tests faster, scientists developed a computer chip that can copy and analyze DNA from a cotton swab used to take a sample from a suspect’s mouth.

The DNA-testing-lab-on-a-chip does the rest in 4 hours, and researchers say they’ll soon have that down to 2 hours.

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