If you bought influencer bathwater, could you test it for DNA?

A Reddit post made a major splash on the internet this week when it claimed that the infamous, $30 “GamerGirl bathwater” being sold by social media star Belle Delphine contained no human DNA — and therefore might not be her bathwater at all. This was promptly challenged by other Reddit users and debunked: the shipments of said bathwater hadn’t even been sent out yet. As the news of the non-scandal broke around The Verge offices, reporters began pelting the science desk with questions, including; “wait, you can test bathwater for DNA?”

“Yes, you can,” says forensic biologist Helen Page. Page is a senior lecturer at Teesside University in the UK, and has actually studied how to recover very specific samples of DNA from a bath.

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Author: Mary Beth Griggs