Date of Graduation
Eberly College of Arts and Sciences
DNA evidence is considered the gold standard of evidence in forensic investigations. DNA is one of the most highly discriminatory pieces of evidence found at crime scenes and can link individuals to scenes. It is not relied on to perform temporal estimates to help establish a timeline for when a crime took place. Previous studies have shown that measurement of the degradation of RNA is a potential tool to establish a temporal estimate of when a blood sample was left at a crime scene. This experiment attempts to improve on previous RNA degradation studies by evaluating the validity of mitochondrial ribosomal RNA and quantitative PCR as method of age determination of a bloodstain. This approach was unsuccessful in estimating the age of a bloodstain due to the lack of consistent degradation as samples aged. The expected starting ratio of mitochondrial ribosomal RNA was also found to be inconsistent. While this approach was unsuccessful, it provides insights that may allow for further refinement of this assay to estimate the age of a bloodstain.
Flesher, Jordan R., "Estimating the Age of a Bloodstain Using Mitochondrial rRNA" (2020). Graduate Theses, Dissertations, and Problem Reports. 7514.