Protein Found at the Scene of the Crime: The Potential for Using Proteomics for Identification

49 Pages Posted: 31 Jan 2017

See all articles by Gavin Tisdale

Gavin Tisdale

University of Connecticut, School of Law, Students

Date Written: December 16, 2016

Abstract

Hair has long been collected from crime scenes as part of trace evidence. Originally, hair was used for some exclusionary purposes — only general qualities about an unknown source could be determined. Eventually, DNA was used to help identify the source but only if the root was still attached. Within the last two years, however, two major studies have used proteomics — the study of human protein sequences — to extract and identify protein sequences in an unknown source in order to match it to a known source. These two studies support the same hypothesis: proteomics is currently a viable method for narrowing down the source of the hair and will soon be able to identify an individual source. While the science is about a decade away from being comparable to nuclear DNA, the potential of proteomics is undeniable. This paper explores the current status, methods, and future of the science as well as the impact it may have on forensic investigation and criminal prosecution. This paper also explores the potential admissibility of expert testimony on proteomics for identification.

Keywords: proteomics, protein, hair, DNA, admissibility, Daubert, evidence, crime, forensics

Suggested Citation

Tisdale, Gavin, Protein Found at the Scene of the Crime: The Potential for Using Proteomics for Identification (December 16, 2016). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2907742 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2907742

Gavin Tisdale (Contact Author)

University of Connecticut, School of Law, Students ( email )

Storrs, CT
United States

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