ZH Sem Bioinfo - Giancarlo Russo

Degradation of human mRNA transcripts over time as an indicator of the time since deposition (TsD) in biological crime scene traces

Abstract Knowledge about the age of a stain or rather the time since deposition (TsD) would provide law enforcing authorities with valuable information for the prosecution of criminal offences. There is no reliable method for estimation of TsD available yet. The aim of this study is to gain further insight into the RNA degradation pattern of forensically relevant body fluids, and to find markers that allow to estimate the TsD interval. Stain samples from several body fluids were exposed to indoora nd outdoor conditions for up to 1.5 years. We were able to identify degradation as well as body fluid specific signatures in both indoor and outdoor samples. Outdoor samples showed more degrading and less stable genes in comparison to indoor samples. GC-content and size show correlation with the RNA degradation patterns. Moreover, stable housekeeping genes across all body fluids were identified for indoor samples. In conclusion, we were able to detect RNA degradation patterns in samples being aged up to four weeks and thus could add to the exiting knowledge about ex-vivo degradation of forensically relevant body fluids

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