(centre) Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of The Executive Council of Dubai, at Dubai Police Officers Club on Wednesday to launch the new facility Image Credit: Dubai Media Office

Dubai: Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of The Executive Council of Dubai, on Wednesday launched the Genome Centre at Dubai Police’s General Department of Forensic Science and Criminology.

The initiative strengthens Dubai Police’s leadership in the technological and scientific domains.

The centre is dedicated to supporting policing work by developing advanced tests in forensic identification, genetics and metagenomics. The initiative is aligned with the UAE’s National Genomics Strategy aimed at establishing an integrated framework for genomic programmes and turning the country into a hub for research and innovation in the field. This move places Dubai Police at the forefront of law enforcement agencies worldwide in terms of genomic science.

The launch took place during Sheikh Hamdan’s visit to the Dubai Police Officers Club, where he was received by Lieutenant General Abdullah Khalifa Al Marri, Commander-in-Chief of Dubai Police, and senior officials.

During the visit, Sheikh Hamdan reviewed the Genome Centre’s organisational structure, which features four main sections: Human Genome, Metagenome, Bioinformatics, and Biotechnology.

The Human Genome section is responsible for analysing degraded samples to determine the genetic background of individuals and molecular autopsy testing.

The Metagenome section specialises in examining non-human and environmental samples to identify their species or strains.

The Bioinformatics and Biotechnology sections are dedicated to using artificial intelligence to conduct statistical analysis of variants based on genomic data.

The new centre is supported by the force’s initiative to sponsor select employees and students for specialised education in genomics at prestigious international universities.

Forensic entomology project

Sheikh Hamdan was also briefed on Dubai Police’s forensic entomology project, the first initiative of its kind in the Middle East to use a regional database in this field. Dubai Police has acquired specialised expertise in this domain as part of developing its forensic science competencies for determining the causes of death.

The forensic entomology project team at the Genome Centre achieved a significant milestone by reducing the time required for obtaining critical forensic results to less than 24 hours. This sets a new global standard, far surpassing the average duration of 3 to 14 days seen in various countries worldwide.

This outstanding achievement adds tremendous value to the Dubai Police’s capabilities. The force has trained experts and built a scientific database using information from diverse geographic and climatic simulations. With these efforts, Dubai Police has achieved proficiency in five key objectives: cataloguing local insect species, studying their life cycles, examining climatic and geographical impact, measuring growth rates and applying this data to real-world cases effectively.

'Brain Fingerprint'

Dubai Crown Prince also examined the remarkable outcomes of using Dubai Police’s ‘Brain Fingerprint’ system to solve various criminal cases. The advanced system uses a specialised device to measure the brainwave activity of suspects when they are exposed to images associated with the crime scene or tools used in committing the crime. The system offers precise insights into the suspect’s memory of the crime, raising the professionalism and accuracy of security operations.

Lt Gen Al Marri expressed gratitude for the unwavering support of Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed. He emphasised Dubai Police’s dedication to continuously improving its capabilities to ensure safety and security, affirming the UAE’s position as a regional and global role model for progress and prosperity.