Doctor Shines Light on DNA in ForensicsJul 03, 2012
By Kalifa Sarah Clyne
|Forensic Pathologist Dr. Valery Alexandrov looks through a microscope at DNA samples in his office at the Police Forensic Science Centre, Port-of-Spain. Courtesy of Kalifa Sarah Clyne
Any contact between human beings leaves behind DNA (Deoxyribonucleic acid.) “When we shake hands we exchange sweat and this as well as saliva, hair and anything containing nucleated cells hold DNA,” explained Dr. Valery Alexandrov, a forensic pathologist for the past 40 years who is currently based at the Forensic Science Centre in St James, Trinidad. Alexandrov, who has studied and worked with DNA exclusively, spends most of his working hours uncovering evidence to help police solve murders — the type found on a victim’s body and left, usually unknowingly, by attackers. DNA is found in any nucleus containing cell in the body — every cell except for red blood cells and the skin keratin. The millions of DNA in the human body are contained in sweat, saliva and even hair. Every human being gets 50 percent of their DNA from their mother and 50 percent from their father. “This is the basis for paternity testing,” said Alexandrov.