The level of DNA an individual transfers to untouched items in their immediate surroundings

Lucas Puliatti, Oliva Handt, Duncan Taylor

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    6 Citations (Scopus)


    Due to advances in DNA profiling sensitivity as well as the implementation of various types of software to analyse these profiles, forensic biologists can provide opinions about results generated from very low levels of template DNA. The ability to obtain DNA profiles from such ‘trace’ DNA brings into question the mechanisms of transfer which led to it being deposited. This study investigates the level of DNA that is deposited by an individual to their work environment. DNA collection plates were placed at distances from 0.5 to 5 m from individuals’ office desks and left for 1 day to 6 weeks before being swabbed and profiled with GlobalFiler. The results from this study indicate that an individual can deposit DNA in areas they were present, even if surfaces and/or objects were not directly contacted and even after only one day. Distance from a person, the length of time and the person themselves all play a role in the quantity of DNA that is deposited to one's surroundings.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number102561
    Number of pages7
    JournalForensic Science International: Genetics
    Publication statusPublished - Sep 2021


    • Activity level reporting
    • DNA transfer
    • Shedder
    • Trace-DNA diffusion


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