Study Shows Scientists Can Now Collect DNA From Thin Air

Scientists can now collect DNA samples from sand footprints, air and even water, according to scientists who were studying sea turtles. Researchers from the University of Florida were studying environmental DNA in which they accidently found human DNA, which can be used to trace individuals.

Species Shed DNA

The experts revealed that when animals move around, they shed parts of their bodies such as dead skin, mucus and even hair, which can later be collected from the air, land and water. The quality of the DNA collected indicated from all the three sources could lead the experts to the individuals who walked in the area around.

Filters Used in The Extraction of Environmental DNA

Ethical Dilemma 

According to experts, the findings hold immense value for scientific and forensic purposes but also poses an ethical dilemma as they were  concerned about the appropriate use of DNA collected without the consent of the individuals. Researchers also revealed that the discovery could help identify crime suspects or even spot centuries old ancient sites.

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