Forensic Analytical Methods
CHAPTER 11: Epigenetics to Solve Crimes
Published:13 Aug 2019
Special Collection: 2019 ebook collectionSeries: Detection Science
Joana Antunes, Bruce McCord, 2019. "Epigenetics to Solve Crimes", Forensic Analytical Methods, Thiago R L C Paixão, Wendell K T Coltro, Maiara Oliveira Salles
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The study of DNA methylation for forensic sciences provides great potential to aid forensic applications by permitting investigators to track variations in gene expression. As a result, this procedure provides additional information over and above the basic DNA typing used in standard forensic human identification. For example, epigenetic methods have the potential to provide a whole new level of specificity in forensic body fluid analysis. Tissue-specific methylation differences result from differences in cell transcription based on variations in a cell’s application in the body. The detection of these differences by epigenetic methods permits a more specific and sensitive technique to detect human cells left behind by suspects at crime scenes. Epigenetic modifications, such as DNA methylation, can also be used in identifying a suspect’s age, lifestyle and diet. As a result, this technique represents a growing new and important procedure in crime scene analysis.