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Investigating the Isolation and Amplification of microRNAs for Forensic Body Fluid Identification

[ Vol. 7 , Issue. 3 ]

Author(s):

Kelsie R O`Leary and Claire L Glynn*   Pages 187 - 194 ( 8 )

Abstract:


Background: The discovery of forensic DNA typing evolved molecular biology far beyond what could have been expected in terms of its forensic application, and now there exists other developments in molecular biology which are ready for application to forensic challenges. One such challenge is the identification of the body fluid source of stains recovered from evidence items and crime scenes. Currently, there are significant efforts in the research field to develop novel methods for the molecular identification of body fluids, with microRNAs (miRNAs) revealing great potential. MiRNAs have been shown to have high tissue specificity and are less susceptible to degradation as a result of their small size, which infers great advantages to their potential role for identifying forensically relevant body fluids.

Objective: This study investigated the isolation and amplification of miRNAs from forensically relevant body fluids.

Method: Venous blood, menstrual blood, semen, saliva, and vaginal material samples were extracted using; miRNeasy® mini kit (Qiagen), mirVana™ miRNA isolation kit (Ambion), and a modified mir- Vana™ method, and the quality/quantity of isolated miRNA was determined. miRNAs previously identified to show specificity for particular forensically relevant body fluids were examined. Real Time-Quantitative PCR (RT-qPCR) was performed targeting 5 miRNAs of interest, miR-451, miR- 412, miR-891a, miR-205 and miR-124a.

Results: This study identified the miRNeasy® mini kit as the optimal method of the three methods investigated for the extraction of miRNAs from body fluids and further validates a selection of miRNAs previously suggested as potential biomarkers.

Conclusion: This research highlights the potential of miRNAs as novel markers for the identification of forensically relevant body fluids.

Keywords:

Body fluid identification, DNA, expression analysis, extraction, forensic science, microRNA.

Affiliation:

University of New Haven - Forensic Science Department West Haven, Connecticut, University of New Haven - Forensic Science Department West Haven, Connecticut



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