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Anal Biochem. 2006 Oct 1;357(1):21-34. Epub 2006 Jul 7.

The identification of newborns using messenger RNA profiling analysis.

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  • 1Graduate Program in Biomolecular Science, University of Central Florida, Orlando, 32816, USA.

Abstract

The ability to determine the physical characteristics of an individual depositing a bloodstain at a crime scene would be an invaluable tool to investigators, akin to eyewitness information. One useful biometric that may be amenable to molecular genetic analysis is the biological age of an individual. In theory, it may be possible to determine patterns of gene expression that are age specific, thereby permitting the distinction among tissue samples originating from individuals of different ages (e.g., newborn, adolescent, middle-age, elderly). We have discovered two novel isoforms of gamma hemoglobin messenger RNA, designated HBG1n and HBG2n, which exhibit an extremely restricted pattern of gene expression, being confined to newborn individuals. Multiplex quantitative reverse transcription PCR (qRT-PCR) assays incorporating these novel mRNAs have been designed, tested, and evaluated for their potential forensic use. The results indicate that the assays provide the ability to determine whether a bloodstain originated from a newborn.

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