science

Scientists have shown that you can collect DNA from the air

Jon Fingas

Scientists and investigators may not need this Captures DNA Of future roofs. As to Focus on scienceResearchers at Queen Mary University of London I showed That you can collect “environmental DNA” (eDNA) from the air.

The team used a peristaltic pump combined with pressure filters to sample naked mole mouse DNA for five to 20 minutes, then used standard kits to find and sequence Genes in the resulting samples. This method not only identified the DNA of mole mice (both in the dormitory and in the room in general), but also captured some human DNA at the same time.

Lead author, Dr Elizabeth Clare, said the original goal of the work was to help conservationists and environmental scientists study biological environments. With enough development, though, it can be used in much more than that. Forensic units can extract DNA from the air to determine if a suspect is present at a crime scene. It may also be useful in medicine – virologists and epidemiologists can understand how airborne viruses spread (like the one behind COVID-19).

Any practical uses are still elusive. The research unit is already working with private companies such as NatureMetrics to develop practical applications. It’s easy to see the limitations – you want to use this in areas where you know what to expect from the DNA, so it might not work well in crowded rooms or outdoors. However, simply having this option can be very useful in situations where the surfaces do not provide clear answers.

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