Fans of television's forensic crime dramas know the drill -- hunt for fingerprints, DNA evidence, footprints, hair samples at the scene of a crime. But what about taking bacterial swabs from something a suspect may have touched, such as a computer keyboard? Can samples of the bacteria left behind by a person's hands be enough to identify them?
Writing in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences this week, researchers from the University of Colorado say that it's possible to compare the bacterial communities on objects and skin to match an object to an individual with a high degree of certainty. "This series of studies introduces a forensics approach that could eventually be used to independently evaluate results obtained using more traditional forensic practices," they wrote. We'll get the evidence.
Produced by Annette Heist, Senior Producer