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Nuclear DNA from Rootless Hair for Forensic Purposes

NCJ Number
Richard E. Green
Date Published
8 pages

This document briefly reports on a project that aimed to determine the forensic suitability and limitations of DNA from rootless hair; it summarizes the research methodology, including sample collection and analysis, and outcomes; and reports the resultant technology’s commercialization and application to active forensic casework.


This project summary document provides a brief description of a research project that aimed to determine the suitability and limitations of DNA from rootless hair for forensic purposes. It reports that all project goals were met as well as the additional development of a bioinformatic method not described in the original proposal, which allows practitioners to compare DNA sequence information from a limited sample, such as a single, rootless hair to a known genotype file. Research outcomes produced the following findings: five centimeters of rootless hair yielded in 77 of 80 hairs, enough DNA data from 300 M sequence reads to achieve 1-fold average genome coverage, which is enough DNA information to accurately infer genotypes to perform genetic genealogy analysis. The report cites resultant artifacts, including journal publications, presentations, and technologies with patent information, as well as datasets.