Boise State professor invents DNA tool to help prevent contamination

Eric Fink

Photo: Video by IdahoOnYourSide.com

Boise State professor invents DNA tool to help prevent contamination

CREATED Apr. 29, 2013

A Boise State professor's new discovery in the world of science could keep more innocent people from going to prison.

For more than 15 years, Dr. Greg Hampikian, the director of the Idaho Innocence Project, worked to find a way to safeguard individuals DNA from contamination and now he's invented a tool to do the job.

DNA samples from suspects and victims alike are processed in the same lab as DNA samples from crime scenes. Hampikian's team invented a solution that marks a sample as a voluntary swab from a human. 

"If it shows up in a profile that the government claims is associated with a weapon or a piece of evidence," Hampikan said, "that marker will say no this was from a reference sample somebody gave a voluntary buccial swab, a mouth swab and that's what that is."

Hampikian's team tested this invention at BSU through a grant from the Department of Defense. The DNA expert recently applied for a patent.

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