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Type: Journal article
Title: Dentine and cementum as sources of nuclear DNA for use in human identification
Author: Higgins, D.
Kaidonis, J.
Austin, J.
Townsend, G.
James, H.
Hughes, T.
Citation: Australian Journal of Forensic Sciences, 2011; 43(4):287-295
Publisher: Australian Academy of Forensic Sciences
Issue Date: 2011
ISSN: 0045-0618
Statement of
Denice Higgins, John Kaidonis, Jeremy Austin, Grant Townsend, Helen James and Toby Hughes
Abstract: Teeth are increasingly utilized as a source of nuclear DNA to aid identification of human remains. DNA extraction and the results of genetic analysis from these tissues are extremely variable and to some extent unpredictable. This study examines the availability of nuclear DNA in different areas of the dental hard tissues and explores the extent and nature of the variation within and between individuals. Results of this study indicate that nuclear DNA is available in widely variable quantities in dentine and cementum. This variation exists within teeth and between teeth, even between comparable teeth from the same individual. The quantity of DNA available in dentine is affected by age and dental disease, whereas that in cementum is not. Forensically useful genetic profiles were obtained from as little as 20 mg of tooth powder, thus avoiding the necessity for complete destruction of the tooth. A better understanding of why there is more DNA in one tooth tissue or region compared with another, and of the effects of disease and age, will aid in the selection of which tooth and tissue to sample and will increase the validity of the use of teeth as a source of nuclear DNA for human identification.
Keywords: Forensic science; DNA; dentine; cementum; teeth; human identification
Rights: © 2011 Australian Academy of Forensic Sciences
RMID: 0020115606
DOI: 10.1080/00450618.2011.583278
Appears in Collections:Australian Centre for Ancient DNA publications
Environment Institute Leaders publications

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