This study investigated whether the detection of HBG messenger RNA in a bloodstain could determine whether the blood came from a newborn.
This study on the use of HBG (gamma hemoglobin) messenger RNA to determine the biological age of an individual through bloodstain analysis found that two novel isoforms of HBG messenger RNA exhibit an extremely restricted pattern of gene expression, and that this pattern is confined strictly to newborns. The primary purpose of this study was to determine whether patterns of gene expression that are age specific could be used as a tool for forensic investigators examining bloodstains from a crime scene. This tool could be used to differentiate tissue samples that originate from individuals of different ages. Data for the study came from human blood and other body fluid samples obtained from donors at Florida Hospital in Orlando, FL. Multiplex quantitative reverse transcription PCR (qRT-PCR) assays were designed and tested on the blood and fluid samples, and the results were evaluated for their potential use in forensic analysis. The testing of the blood samples identified two novel gamma hemoglobin transcripts (HBG1n and HBG2n) that exhibit restricted expression in the blood of newborns. This finding has important implications for determining whether a bloodstain found at a crime scene originated from a newborn. Tables, figures, appendix, and references