27 May 2024

How the microbes we leave behind on our clothing could help solve murders

From Nights, 9:30 pm on 27 May 2024

A new international study has shown how the population of bacteria on a person's skin leaves a trace on the clothes they wear, and can be identified months after the transfer.

It's a discovery that could mean big things for the examination of crime scenes, where clothing often features in the body of evidence.

Paola Magni is an associate professor of forensic science at Murdoch University in Australia, and one of the researchers behind the study.

A composite image, showing a portrait of Paola Magni smiling in a white blazer on the left, and a pile of colourful tshirts on the right.

Paola Magni was part of an international team of researchers testing how long a person's unique microbiome would show up on samples of their clothing. Photo: Supplied