So there they have a dead body, murder signs, a crime scene, DNA samples and two suspects which are identical twins. How will investigators find out the identity of the real murderer?
Researchers from the UK have come across a scientific discovery that might change the faith of criminal investigations. The findings have been published in the Analytical Biochemistry journal.
Science now knows how to differentiate two identical twin by analyzing the difference in the melting points of their DNA.
This new discovery might be the holy grail of police investigations when dealing with murder suspects who are identical twins.
The occurrence rate of this type of situations are quite rare but it’s the only thing that can come with a solution when there is just one criminal and both suspects are identical twins blaming each other or denying the accusations, explained legal specialist Jennifer Mnookin.
The new discovered process requires for both DNA samples to be heated up to the point when the hydrogen connections in the DNA separates. This is what melting DNA stands for. If looking to separate more DNA connections (bonds) the melting temperature has to be higher.
The DNA of every twin melts at different temperatures which may be related to the differences of lifestyle and the conditions their body are used to, like sun exposure or smoking.
For the experiment, there have been used five pairs of identical twins. Researchers have taken a cheek swab from each in order to obtain their DNA and have managed to differentiate every single genome sample.
Even if the experiment turned out to be a success, scientists are not that confident that it will work 100% in real life situations. The DNA samples taken from crime scenes might not provide the best quality in order to obtain accurate results or the quantities might be too small, stated the leader of the study, doctor Graham Williams.
However, the newly discovered procedure is definitely an evolution explained Georgiana Meakin from the University College London. Still, there is a factor that should be taken into consideration. When dealing with identical twins that have the same habits and share the same environment, it is possible for their bodies to have very small DNA differences.
For example, if scientists had to help police solve a case using the present genome differentiation method they would require a full month to receive the final results compared to the new method which shows the results in a matter of hours.
So far, researchers have used genetic mutations, as a manner to bring out the difference in identical twins. Scientists would find a particular mutation in the body of one twin and then look for the same mutation in DNA samples found at the crime scene. But his procedure has a very high price and takes a long time, explained Williams trough a press release.
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