15 Oct 2013

NZ technology used in bomb attack investiations

6:45 am on 15 October 2013

Ground-breaking DNA technology designed by New Zealand scientists may help find out who has carried out terrorist attacks.

The Institute of Environmental Science and Research last year developed a computer programme that can differentiate between four different DNA samples.

The programme, called STAR Mix, can differentiate between DNA samples in weeks - work that used to take months or years for a forensic analyst to do.

The US Army is using the programme to analyse DNA on bombs to determine whether the same person is making, planting and detonating the devices.

ESR general manager for forensics Keith Bedford says that work will help his organisation greatly.

"We think it's a very powerful technique but if you give it to somebody different they will have a different perspective and their feedback is very helpful."

The programme will also be used to analyse a series of bombs, to see whether the same people are involved in all the attacks.