We Can Now Tell a Person’s Age Range From Crime Scene Blood:
There might be a way to help nail down a crime suspect in old blood.
Chemists at the University at Albany, SUNY, have described a new method for quickly but accurately determining a person’s age range based only on a blood sample. The test could one day be used to help narrow down suspects in a crime scene investigation as easily as getting results from a glucose or pregnancy test.
“I hope it will change [and] accelerate the investigation, so you can know right away what is happening,” says Jan Halámek, co-author of the paper, which was published in May in Analytical Chemistry.
Traditional DNA analysis can take up to 72 hours and carries no reliable information about a person’s age. So Halámek and his team focused on levels of alkaline phosphatase (ALP), an enzyme found in blood, to determine age.
In adolescence, active bone growth releases ALP, but when people reach adulthood, bone growth slows and ALP levels begin to plummet. This threshold is generally around age 17 for women and 18 for men. That means the method can help differentiate between juveniles and adults, groups who are treated differently by the legal system.
Syndicated from Mind Blowing Science!