from http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,20867,19164598-1702,00.html JACK the Ripper could well be a Jill. In a bid to crack the identity of one of the greatest murder mysteries of all time, technology developed in Australia has tested 118-year-old DNA the notorious serial killer may have left behind and built a partial female profile. Scientist Ian Findlay today said the partial profile had been created from saliva possibly from the Ripper on the back of stamps on the envelopes of letters sent to London police. Most of the 600 or so letters claiming to have come from the Ripper – who butchered at least five prostitutes in London's East End in 1888 – have been dismissed as hoaxes but a few are thought to be genuine. Brisbane-based Professor Findlay said he used his method, called Cell Track-ID, capable of extracting and compiling a DNA fingerprint from a single cell or strand of hair up to 160 years old. It can amplify information from a single cell and is hundreds of times more powerful than DNA profiling techniques used by crime fighting bodies such as the FBI that require at least 200 human cells. "It's possible the Ripper could be female but the results are inconclusive," said Prof Findlay, who is the chief scientific officer at the Gribbles Molecular Science forensic lab. He said because the samples were so old, very small and poorly preserved, only a partial profile was built that "didn't reach forensic standards" nor identified an individual. "It shows the technology works ... the FBI lab in Virginia got no profiles ... but the samples were just too difficult," Prof Findlay said. The partial profile was built from what is known as the Openshaw letter. "The Dear Boss letter, said to have blood stains from (victim number five) Mary Kelly had a male profile so it wasn't the blood of Mary Kelly," he also said. Prof Findlay tested hair and debunked the belief it was from another mutilated victim, Catherine Eddowes. The detective in charge of the case, Frederick Abberline, suggested the Ripper was a woman following claims Ms Kelly was seen hours after she was killed. Abberline believed this was the killer escaping in Kelly's clothes. Mary Pearcey was the only female suspect and was convicted and hanged for killing her lover's wife shortly after the Ripper murders – and reportedly used the same modus operandi.