Jack Ballantyne, Assoc Director; National Center For Forensic Science
The serology-based methods routinely used in forensic casework for the identification of biological fluids have varying and often limited degrees of sensitivity and specificity. A novel strategy for the identification of the body fluid origin of dried forensic biological material (blood, semen, saliva, vaginal secretions and menstrual blood) involves expression profiling of body fluid specific messenger and small RNAs (mRNA and miRNA). RNA analysis may permit not only a molecular-based approach with a greater specificity than that of conventional methodologies for the identification of forensically relevant biological fluids, but may also provide strategies particularly suited for the analysis of environmentally impacted or degraded samples frequently encountered in forensic casework. This presentation will describe highly specific RNA methods for body fluid identification that exhibit promise for forensic casework analysis.