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Comparative Assessment of Emerging Technologies for Body Fluid Identification

NCJ Number
Date Published
13 pages

This research paper provides an assessment of new technologies used for body fluid identification.


The goal of this study is to perform a comparative assessment of these emerging “omic” based technologies for body fluid identification (epigenome, transcriptome, proteome). The work will entail a thorough evaluation of error rates, sensitivity, and specificity of several approaches: epigenetics, mRNA profiling, and proteomics, as compared to conventional workflows using immunochromatographic assays. The data from this study represents a snapshot in time for the development of these “omic” methods. Extensive research and validation still remain for these procedures; however, the technology has been widely heralded and applied in medical diagnostics and its implementation in forensics is long overdue. Operational laboratories require distinct and detailed guidelines for these technologies to be effectively transferred. The comparative assessment of the strategies discussed in this study provides valuable information to the forensic community which can aid in the development of new research as well as to facilitate technology transfer. Biological fluid detection and identification provides important contextual information to a forensic investigation. While genetic testing can help establish from whom DNA may have come from, only serological testing can provide an indication of the body fluid or tissue from which a DNA profile may have originated. Given the limitations, current serological techniques lack sufficient sensitivity and specificity. As a result, several novel approaches to identifying biological fluids have been explored in recent years. These include the use of epigenetic modifications (DNA methylation), messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA) markers, and proteomic identification of protein biomarkers.

Date Published: January 1, 2024