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Forensic Sci Int. 2010 Dec 15;203(1-3):106-11. doi: 10.1016/j.forsciint.2010.07.002. Epub 2010 Jul 31.

Micro-RNA - A potential for forensic science?

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Institute of Forensic Medicine, University of Bonn, Bonn, Germany.


Micro-RNAs (miRNAs) are a class of small non-coding RNA (ncRNA) molecules with a length of 18 to 24 nucleotides which play an essential regulative role for many cellular processes. Whereas mRNA-analysis has become a well established technique in many forensic laboratories, micro-RNA has only recently been introduced to forensic science. Herein we provide a short outline of biogenesis, mode of function and regulation of miRNAs and take a look at tissue and cell specific miRNA expression. After recapitulating the role of mRNA analysis in forensic science we compare it to miRNA analysis and discuss the results of two recent studies applying miRNA analysis to a forensic research setting. We conclude that analysis of miRNA and perhaps small non-coding RNAs in general clearly has potential for forensic applications and merits attention of forensic scientists.

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