Dundee Uni ‘forensic toolkit’ on show tonight

Award-winning forensic science program on display at Cafe Science event at Avery & Co, South Tay Street

University of Dundee's iGEM team with crime author Stuart MacBride. Photo: University of Dundee.

Fresh from their gold medal-winning demonstration at the International Genetically Engineered Machine competition (iGEM) in Boston, the University of Dundee’s student iGEM team will display their work at Café Science in Dundee tonight.

The iGEM (International Genetically Engineered Machine) competition is a global challenge for students which asks them to tackle a real world problem by designing and building a new device from a kit of biological parts.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Dundee’s entry this year has developed a forensic “toolkit” that will allow investigators to determine the age of fingerprints, detect traces of steel on bone from stabbings, and produce a biosensitive spray that can reveal traces of bodily fluids at crime scenes.

The team will display and discuss their toolkit at the Café Science event tonight at Avery & Co,34 South Tayside Street. The event starts at 7pm and is free.

Dundee has had previous successes in this competition, having earned awards over the years.

Forensic science is used to provide evidence in courts and plays a decisive part in influencing the court’s decision. However, very few new techniques with a sound scientific basis have been developed in the last 30 years.

The student team hope their toolkit, which they have developed with the help of the world-leading researchers working at the University’s Centre for Anatomy and Human Identification (CAHID), will improve the efficiency at which crime scene investigators detect and analyse evidence.

Niamh Nic Daeid, Professor of Forensic Science at CAHID, said: “This is a fantastic project and the great benefit for the forensic community, apart from tackling some important challenges, is that the project is starting out with a strong scientific foundation and building the applications from there, whereas in many contemporary forensic science methods the science is still lacking behind the applications.

“We need to develop a stronger scientific base across much of forensic science and this is an important contribution.”