News24

UWC develops DNA test kit for rape

2011-03-09 22:34

Johannesburg - The forensic DNA laboratory of the University of the Western Cape has developed a forensic kit to identify male perpetrators in rape cases, UWC said on Wednesday.

The kit, developed under the leadership of Professor Sean Davidson, was similar to those made in America and Europe, but was more accurate with South Africa's population groups, spokesperson An Wentzel said.

The breakthrough was headed by Dr Eugenia D Amato, also of UWC.

The test isolated information of the Y-chromosome - which is present only in males - and was able to narrow down suspects to the range of father, son or brother.

This is because a father passes his Y-chromosome to his son, meaning that they have identical Y-chromosomes and therefore they would both be suspects based on Y-DNA evidence.

Davidson said that the test takes "a matter of days". However it would not eliminate the time taken in the administration of DNA processing.