DNA

British Cat DNA Database Helps Catch Killer

Tied man's pet to the victim's corpse

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A newly created DNA database of British cats has helped convict a killer, a British university said Wednesday, illustrating how even pets' genetic material can be a boon to forensic scientists.

The University of Leicester says its catalogue of feline DNA buttressed the prosecution case against David Hilder, who was convicted of manslaughter last month at a court in the English city of Winchester.

"This is the first time cat DNA has been used in a criminal trial in the UK," said Jon Wetton, who led the project. "This could be a real boon for forensic science, as the 10 million cats in the UK are unwittingly tagging the clothes and furnishings in more than a quarter of households."