They say scientists like facts. I tend to disagree but two facts are worth mentioning here:
– This is my first blog ever.
– And it is happening at new beginnings for me.
This journey started with a usual evening of April 2014. I had picked up by then an after-work routine going through PhD possibilities that match with my interests. Nothing however felt more natural than to pursue Project 3 of the INTREPID Forensics programme as I was reading:
“… Research on producing innovative methods of recovering DNA material from surfaces subjected to environmental extremes …”
I believe that the job of a forensic scientist is to reconstruct past events under present investigation. Uncertainty is inherent to the process and the main challenge would be to reduce it when possible. The Quality of the analyzed material is crucial in this respect. For example, a well preserved body tells “more” about the victim than a heavily decomposed one. Going down the scale, the same logic applies to smaller biological entities such as DNA. I have always wanted to explore how we can overcome the loss of genetic information due to both natural and human disruption.
I have therefore applied and was soon recruited for the project.
My current wake-up alarm is the sun light penetrating through the ceiling of my room. If this fails, then a friend makes sure that we share coffee and croissants before we head to work; direction the University of Leicester.
I feel blessed by the company of devoted researchers throughout my day. While I stroll towards my desk, different projects are actively running in every corner of the genetics department. It has been difficult for me to realize the achievements that are happening here.
DNA «fingerprinting» was actually developed in this laboratory by Professor Sir Alec Jeffreys and his team in 1984. Governments and law enforcement were quickly interested in the advantages of this technique and its contribution to forensic identification.
On the 4th of February 2013, king Richard III was discovered and identified by a group of professionals from the University of Leicester. Dr. Turi King, head of the identification through genetics, could be working a couple of benches away from me at the moment.
Quite overwhelming I know !
The reburial of king Richard III is scheduled for Sunday March 22 at the Leicester Cathedral. The whole city is getting prepared for the week-long event and we at INTREPID forensics are no exception. We will be explaining our PhD projects during a poster session to be held on Saturday March 21 at the foyer of George Porter building (main campus). Our aim for this event is to explain our work to the public.
See you there?