Date of Award

Spring 2020

Degree Type

Masters Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

School

Criminal Justice, Forensic Science, and Security

Committee Chair

Kuppareddi Balamurugan

Committee Chair School

Criminal Justice, Forensic Science, and Security

Committee Member 2

Dean Bertram

Committee Member 2 School

Criminal Justice, Forensic Science, and Security

Committee Member 3

Xuyang He

Committee Member 3 School

Criminal Justice, Forensic Science, and Security

Abstract

Forensic Science is a vital aspect of criminal investigations and new techniques that could be used to advance this field are constantly being investigated. There are current forensic techniques to identify relevant tissues, but tissue specific methylation markers are being examined as a new way for identifying tissue type. In addition, methylation markers are being investigated as a method to determine other relevant information about donors, such as the age of the individual.

In this study, methylation markers were investigated to determine tissue specific markers to differentiate sperm from blood, saliva, and vaginal epithelial cells, and age specific markers to estimate the age group of a donor using semen samples. Samples were collected of the four relevant tissue types and the genomic DNA was extracted, quantitated, and bisulfite converted. The markers were amplified and pyrosequenced to identify the percentage of methylation at the CpG sites. One way ANOVA Tukey’s posthoc test by SPSS statistical package was used to determine the level of significance in the difference between tissue types and age groups. Three age markers and two sperm specific markers were tested. The age markers, cg6304190, SLC22A18AS, and N23, were able to differentiate one age group from others with statistical significance, and the SLC22A18AS marker could be used to predict the approximate age of an individual. The sperm specific markers, ZAP70_01 and Custom_MDFI_2, were able to differentiate semen samples from other tissue types with statistical significance.

Available for download on Thursday, May 14, 2020

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