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Evaluation of Six Presumptive Tests for Blood, Their Specificity, Sensitivity, and Effect on High Molecular-Weight DNA

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Luminol, leuchomalachite green, phenolphthalein, Hemastix®, Hemident, and Bluestar© are all used as presumptive tests for blood. In this study, the tests were subjected to dilute blood (from 1:10,000 to 1:10,000,000), many common household substance, and chemicals. Samples were tested for DNA to determine whether the presumptive tests damaged or destroyed DNA. The DNA loci tested were D2S1338 and D19S433. Leuchomalachite green had a sensitivity of 1:10,000, while the remaining tests were able to detect blood to a dilution of 1:100,000. Substances tested include saliva, semen, potato, tomato, tomato sauce, tomato sauce with meat, red onion, red kidney bean, horseradish, 0.1 M ascorbic acid, 5% bleach, 10% cupric sulfate, 10% ferric sulfate, and 10% nickel chloride. Of all the substances tested, not one of the household items reacted with every test; however, the chemicals did. DNA was recovered and amplified from luminol, phenolphthalein, Hemastix®, and Bluestar©, but not from leuchomalachite green or Hemident.
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Keywords: Bluestar©; DNA recovery; Hemastix®; Hemident™; forensic science; leuchomalachite green; luminol; phenolphthalein; presumptive tests; sensitivity; specificity

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Pure and Applied Chemistry, Centre for Forensic Science, Strathclyde University, 204 George Street, Glasgow G1 1XW, U.K.

Publication date: January 1, 2007

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