Scientists have found a simple way to estimate the age range of a culprit through blood residue left at a crime scene, a discovery that may help investigating officers crack criminal cases.
By analysing alkaline phosphatase (ALP) levels, a biomarker found in all body tissues, researchers can tell if the originator is young (under 18) or older, along with the time since deposition (TSD) of the blood spot.
According to Jan Halamek from University at Albany in the US, ALP levels are age dependent, making the correlation relatively simple.
Researchers are able to determine how many hours the sample has been left behind based on ALP’s enzyme activity, which decreases over time.
They have tested both discoveries by using “mimicked crime scene conditions” and real human serum samples, finding close to 100 per cent accuracy for up to two days.
Halamek hopes both discoveries may soon help investigators obtain key information about suspects.
Though not intending to compete with traditional DNA analysis, he believes his tests provide quick results, and are simple to perform.
They also can help match individuals who are not found through an existing DNA database.
“We would like to see our research packaged as a potential forensic kit and utilised by all law enforcement,” Halamek said.
The findings were published in the journal Analytical Chemistry.