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Cat hairs to be used to solve crimes

Posted by: Laura Varley  Date: 27/08/2013   Category: Latest News

A database made up of cat DNA, obtained from cat hairs, is to be set up to help solve crimes in the UK.

Cat hairs get absolutely everywhere – in cat beds, on clothes and therefore can unwittingly be taken with their owners everywhere, without them realising. Although it can be rather annoying, it seems this carrying of cat’s hairs could actually come in handy.

Cat DNA has already been successfully used to solve a murder, as David Hilder was successfully convicted when police discovered cat hairs from his pet Tinker on the victim’s body, reports theweek.co.uk.

During the investigation, Mr Hilder was already a suspect for David Guy’s murder but police were struggling to place him at the scene of the crime. They decided to send the cat hairs over to the USA to have them analysed by scientists in California. The scientists discovered that the strain of DNA didn’t match any of their 500 US cats already on their database and they confirmed it belonged to Mr Hilder’s cat Tinker.

According to telegraph.co.uk, forensic scientists from the university of Leicester have taken DNA data from 152 cats from around the UK and plan to publish the database in order to help solve more crimes in the future.

Dr Jon Wetton, who led the project, said: “This is the first time cat DNA has been used in a criminal trial in the UK. We now hope to publish the database so it can be used in future crime investigations. This could be a real boon for forensic science, as the ten million cats in the UK are unwittingly tagging the clothes and furnishings in more than a quarter of households.”