WHY IN THE NEWS?
Delhi’s first “Animal DNA Laboratory” was set up at Forensic Science Laboratory in Rohini. Wildlife forensics is a new field of a criminal investigation.
Earlier, animal samples used to be sent to other States with animal DNA testing facilities to test results. Sometimes, this process delayed investigations. The animal DNA lab also procured two machines namely, automate DNA extraction instrument and Real-Time PCR instrument which is based on mitochondrial DNA technology.
How this DNA lab will help the police?
The animal DNA laboratory will be used by Delhi Police for timely disposal of cases of cow slaughter, illegal trade of animals and other such animal-related cases. Forensic lab analyses evidence from any part of the animal, such as blood and tissue samples, hair, teeth, carcasses and bones contents. Laboratory will be used to examine and identify the animal species of meat products, frozen meatpacking, slaughter cases etc.
How DNA samples are used?
Experts analyse DNA to provide information regarding the identity of sample. DNA tests will be used for identification and characterisation of relationships between animals. It will also evaluate two different samples in order to determine if the animals are originated from same individual.
Challenge before forensic scientist
Primary challenge that any forensic scientist witness is identification of a particular species from crime scene evidence. It gets difficult for scientist to distinguish if piece of flesh is found at crime scene is from a protected animal or if it from non-protected animal. New DNA lab will address this challenge.
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