Monday, February 02, 2009

A hairy situation

by blogger msb

Casemaking clothes moth caterpillars are mostly a rural dweller that will feed on human remains and can digest human hair. Entomologists have recently found that the larvae casings, which are constructed of nearby hair and fibers, can yield enough mitochondrial DNA to identify a corpse as well as link a body to the crime scene if it has been moved.

Bucheli and her colleagues discovered human hair in caterpillar cases when a forensics team asked for help with an abandoned body discovered in August 2007 in a Galveston County, Texas house...The hair shafts yielded enough mitochondrial DNA for Bucheli and her lab to sequence a repetitive bit of genetic material commonly used for forensic identification.


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