Maggot DNA Identifies Corpse

12 Oct

Corpse identification is as much art as science. Sometimes no ID is possible and at other times creativity is required. In a recent case, where a badly charred body could not be identified due to the damage, DNA was extracted from the GI tracks of the fly maggots that had populated the corpse. Using the STR technique, DNA from the maggots was compared with DNA from the suspected victim’s father and a paternity-type match was made, proving the ID of the corpse to an accuracy of 99.685% according to the authors of the study.

This is the first time this technique has been used in this manner.



10 responses to “Maggot DNA Identifies Corpse

  1. amyshojai

    October 12, 2012 at 8:27 am

    Oh that is WAY KEWL! *making notes* Planning on using some cat hair DNA in future plot points but this takes it to a whole new level. I can always rely on your blog to give me chills (in a good way!).


  2. Bridget

    October 12, 2012 at 2:45 pm

    Maggots are our friends!


  3. Wally Lind

    October 12, 2012 at 6:46 pm



  4. Denise M. Hartman

    October 13, 2012 at 4:11 am

    ewwww, but terribly interesting too.


  5. kaye george

    October 13, 2012 at 7:53 am

    Brilliant! Now that someone thought of it, one wonders why it took so long.


  6. Pat Marinelli

    October 13, 2012 at 8:20 am

    Another way maggots proved to be helpful. Uck! but awesome.


  7. Meb Bryant

    October 13, 2012 at 9:16 am

    Just the sight of maggots activate my gag reflex. I must apologize to them.


  8. thelma straw

    October 13, 2012 at 1:08 pm

    You are one huge amazing person, Doug! How you manage to keep up with so much and still write novels!!! An admirer without apology! Thelma Straw in Manhattan


    • D.P. Lyle, MD

      October 14, 2012 at 5:59 am

      Cats. The answer is cats. With them you don’t sleep much so you might as well be up and working.


      • amyshojai

        October 14, 2012 at 7:47 am

        Cats? I resemble that remark…



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