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UWC’s new DNA testing kit to assist with sexual assault cases

The University of the Western Cape’s DNA Forensic Laboratory has developed the testing device known as the UniQ-TyperTM Y-10.

Picture: pixabay.com

CAPE TOWN - A revolutionary new DNA testing kit is set to narrow down the search for sexual assault perpetrators.

The University of the Western Cape (UWC)’s DNA Forensic Laboratory has developed the testing device known as the UniQ-TyperTM Y-10.

It extracts genetic information from the Y-chromosome that is only carried by men.

Scientists have created a referencing database against which these DNA samples will be compared to point out specific ethnic groups and their location.

More than 50,000 sexual assault cases in the country have been recorded in the 2017/2018 financial year.

UWC's Professor Eugenia D'Amato says the new testing kit can also be used in the tracing of family lineage and anthropological studies.

“We can also look at the geographic occurrence of a certain type of profile. There are certain types of variation that occur in their restricted geographic area that could be potentially used as a forensic investigation.”

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