Jellyfish protein in forensics and DNA extraction after fires

Scientists are studying brain injuries caused by domestic violence. Approx. ⅓ of women report having experienced severe physical violence from a partner, and most of them have suffered at least one traumatic brain injury (TBI). Symptoms often resemble those seen in athletes or military personnel. However, the brains of domestic violence victims were more likely to show signs of hypoxia and changes in blood vessels. Experts hope that the research will help identify patients who have experienced violence but are afraid to talk about it.

Scientists from the University of Bath, among others, have developed a forensic spray using the GFP protein found in the jellyfish Aequorea victoria. Thanks to this, fingerprints can be detected in approximately 10 seconds. The dye contained in the spray can speed up forensic investigations and increase their effectiveness. It is also water-soluble and has low toxicity. Traditional forensic methods use toxic powders that can damage DNA-based evidence or environmentally harmful petrochemical solvents.

According to American researchers, the technique developed to extract DNA from Ice Age megafauna (e.g., woolly mammoths) can be used to identify heavily burned human remains. It allows for the amplification of shorter DNA fragments, which makes it worthwhile in massive fires. So far, scientists have extracted functional DNA from bones exposed to temperatures of 200 to 250°C. Between 350 and 550°C, the DNA concentration decreases rapidly.

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