Now, microbes can help trace burglars

Burglars could be caught by tracing the unique imprint of bacteria and other tiny creatures they leave at a crime scene. The ‘microbial signature’, a technique being developed by a team of microbiologists and forensic experts, could become a new tool in the arsenal of law enforcement alongside fingerprinting and DNA evidence Humans emit around 36 million microbial cells per hour, and these emissions could provide a trail that leads to the perpetrator. PhD candidate Jarrad Hampton-Marcell explained the concept of his team’s “Burglary Microbiome Project”. The concept was sparked by another study that revealed the existence of a “home microbiome” – a community of tiny organisms unique to every home. They ended up looking for bacteria that were solely present in one individual in order to find a specific microbial fingerprint that would allow them to pinpoint individuals. Using this data, the team of researchers were able to identify individuals who had entered homes with 70% accuracy. Get latest news & live updates on the go on your pc with News App. Download The Times of India news app for your device. Read more Home news in English and other languages.