Home > Events > 1 Metabarcoding spring school in French Alps (5-9 March 2012) > Presentations > Cat hair: silent witness of crime scene

Thursday 1 March 2012

Cat hair: silent witness of crime scene

BAKSAY Sandra

The use of non-human DNA found on crime scenes can improve the effectiveness of forensic science. Inorganic (earth, stones) and organic (bacteria, leaves, grass) compounds often provide complementary informations during criminal investigations. It is also possible to use animal DNA such as hair or saliva from domestic animals. Cat hair, which is highly electrostatic, can give important information on the presence of humans on crime scenes. Such samples generally contain highly fragmented DNA in small quantity, requiring the development of specific STR markers. The aim of this study is to develop new highly-specific primers for these microsatellites and new multiplex PCR protocols, allowing the amplification of short DNA sequences. Genetic identification of the housecat Felis silvestris catus is based on twelve markers. Our approach essentially consists in optimising the primers of these existing markers and in elaborating species specific genetic profile which can be used by forensic scientists.

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Editorial board
  • BRANDNER Melissa
    • University of Nordland
    • Bodø (Norway)
  • BROCHMANN Christian
    • National Centre for Biosystematics
    • Oslo (Norway)
  • CHARITON Anthony
    • CSIRO Land and Water
    • Lucas Heights NA (Australia)
  • DEAGLE Bruce
    • University of Victoria
    • Victoria (Canada)
  • Eric Coissac
    • LECA
    • Grenoble (France)
  • KASAPIDIS Panagiotis
    • Hellenic Center for Marine Research
    • Irakleion, Crete (Greece)
  • PAWLOWSKI Jan
    • Université de Genève
    • Genève 4 (Switzerland)
  • TABERLET Pierre
    • LECA,
    • Grenoble (France)
  • WILLERSLEV Eske
    • Centre for GeoGenetics
    • Copenhagen (Denmark)
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    The scientists at the Mammal Research Institute PAS in Białowieża National Park hosted this year’s workshop. And our hats go off to them for the organizational skills, warmth and hospitality. During the week, experienced metabarcoders gave lectures on their trials and tribulations in the field of metabarcoding, sparking conversations between the attendees. The end of the first day saw flash talks from all participants of the event, creating an icebreaker and showing the wide variety of applications for metabarcoding, including, dietary studies, environmental health, fundamental ecology and exploration of rare and ancient habitats.
    Pierre Taberlet (who is rumoured to run 8000 PCR a day!) taught technical aspects such as DNA extraction in (...)

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