The field of forensic science has been growing and changing with improvements in DNA analysis. One field affected is forensic entomology, which is exploring many ways in which DNA can increase the application of insects in forensic science. One application being explored is the use of insects as a source of human DNA in a criminal investigation. Using flies as a source of foreign DNA can also be utilized in ecological research to conduct surveys on the various species present in different environments. This experiment intends to determine if flies can act as a viable source of alternate DNA. This will be accomplished by an ecological survey of DNA extracted from flies. DNA extractions were performed on flies gathered from parts of the greater Phoenix area. The DNA was then amplified with primers targeting different animal species and examined to observe what animals the flies had come in contact with. Several samples had contamination due to human error and were not able to be evaluated. One DNA extraction out of fifteen yielded pig DNA, indicating flies can be used as a source of DNA. Future experiments should use different animal primers and amplify sections of DNA that can determine the different species consumed by flies. Further research into flies as a DNA source can increase the amount of information available to forensic scientists as well as improve ecologist’s observation of an environment’s biodiversity.
- Ecological Survey of Southwest Regions Using DNA Gathered From Flies