Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Hair color of unknown offenders is no longer a secret

Date:
January 3, 2011
Source:
Springer
Summary:
The hair color of an unknown perpetrator who has committed a crime will soon no longer be a secret for forensic investigators. Scientists have discovered that DNA can be used to predict people's probable hair color.

The hair color of an unknown perpetrator who has committed a crime will soon no longer be a secret for forensic investigators. Erasmus MC scientists, in collaboration with their Polish colleagues, have discovered that DNA can be used to predict people's probable hair color.

Related Articles


Their findings are published in the Springer journal Human Genetics.

The research findings demonstrate that on the basis of DNA information it is possible to determine with an accuracy of more than 90 percent whether a person has red hair, with a similarly high accuracy whether a person has black hair, and with an accuracy of more than 80 percent whether a person's hair color is blond or brown. This new DNA approach even allows differentiating hair colors that are similar, for example, between red and reddish blond, or between blond and dark blond hair. The necessary DNA can be taken from blood, sperm, saliva or other biological materials relevant in forensic case work.

Prof. Manfred Kayser, Chair of the Department of Forensic Molecular Biology at Erasmus MC, who led the study, said, "That we are now making it possible to predict different hair colors from DNA represents a major breakthrough because, so far, only red hair color, which is rare, could be estimated from DNA. For our research we made use of the DNA and hair color information of hundreds of Europeans and investigated genes previously known to influence the differences in hair color. We identified 13 'DNA markers' from 11 genes that are informative to predict a person's hair color."

Prof. Ate Kloosterman of the Department of Human Biological Traces at the Netherlands Forensic Institute (NFI) said: "This research lays the scientific basis for the development of a DNA test for hair color prediction. A validated DNA test system for hair color shall become available for forensic research in the not too distant future. These researchers have previously published articles on predicting eye color and estimating age on the basis of DNA material. This type of objective information can be used to refine the description of an unknown but wanted person. This new development results in an important expansion of the future DNA toolkit used by forensic investigators to track down unknown offenders."

The current study was directed at the predictability of the color of the hair on the head. Further research would be necessary to predict the color of body hair.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Springer. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Wojciech Branicki, Fan Liu, Kate Duijn, Jolanta Draus-Barini, Ewelina Pośpiech, Susan Walsh, Tomasz Kupiec, Anna Wojas-Pelc, Manfred Kayser. Model-based prediction of human hair color using DNA variants. Human Genetics, 2011; DOI: 10.1007/s00439-010-0939-8

Cite This Page:

Springer. "Hair color of unknown offenders is no longer a secret." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 3 January 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/01/110103110329.htm>.
Springer. (2011, January 3). Hair color of unknown offenders is no longer a secret. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/01/110103110329.htm
Springer. "Hair color of unknown offenders is no longer a secret." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/01/110103110329.htm (accessed October 25, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Texas Nurse Nina Pham Cured of Ebola

Texas Nurse Nina Pham Cured of Ebola

AFP (Oct. 25, 2014) — An American nurse who contracted Ebola while caring for a Liberian patient in Texas has been declared free of the virus and will leave the hospital. Duration: 01:01 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

Buzz60 (Oct. 24, 2014) — IKEA is out with a new convertible desk that can convert from a sitting desk to a standing one with just the push of a button. Jen Markham explains. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

AFP (Oct. 24, 2014) — A factory in China is busy making Ebola protective suits for healthcare workers and others fighting the spread of the virus. Duration: 00:38 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
WHO: Millions of Ebola Vaccine Doses by 2015

WHO: Millions of Ebola Vaccine Doses by 2015

AP (Oct. 24, 2014) — The World Health Organization said on Friday that millions of doses of two experimental Ebola vaccines could be ready for use in 2015 and five more experimental vaccines would start being tested in March. (Oct. 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins