Our academics present at British Science Festival

Researchers have revealed a revolutionary DNA swab they predict will increase prosecutions of sexual violence perpetrators on a global scale.

The novel self-examination technique will allow victims to recover DNA following a sexual assault, without the need for access to proper medical care or forensic examinations. The swab is the first of its kind.

Researchers from our University developed this technique to collect DNA evidence from victims of sexual violence in low-resource environments, such as conflict zones, developing countries, and displaced communities, including refugee camps.

It is hoped that the swab will offer access to forensic evidence for millions of women worldwide, providing victims with access to justice that may otherwise be unavailable.

The research project is led by Dr Lisa Smith from our Department of Criminology. Together with industry partners Thermo Fisher Scientific and Copan Technologies, they’re finalising the design following a successful pilot test of the prototype.