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Identification of Forensically Relevant Fluids and Tissues by Small RNA Profiling

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Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2009, $328,962)

Recently, there has been an explosion of interest in a novel class of small non-coding RNAs, microRNAs (~20-25 bases in length), with numerous published studies reporting that some miRNAs are expressed in a tissue specific manner. Additionally, another novel class of small regulatory RNAs, piwi-interacting RNAs (~26-30 bases in length), have been identified only in sperm-producing cells in mammals. It is therefore possible that this class of small RNAs could be ideally suited for the identification of semen. This research seeks to provide a novel strategy for the identification of the body fluid origin of dried forensic biological material (blood, semen, saliva, vaginal secretions, menstrual blood, skin) through expression profiling of body fluid specific small RNAs (miRNAs and piRNAs).


Date Created: September 22, 2009