Forensic molecular pathology of violent deaths.
Summary of "Forensic molecular pathology of violent deaths."
In forensic pathology, while classical morphology remains a core procedure to investigate deaths, a spectrum of ancillary procedures has been developed and incorporated to detail the pathology. Among them, postmortem biochemistry is important to investigate the systemic pathophysiological changes involved in the dying process that cannot be detected by morphology. In addition, recent advances in molecular biology have provided a procedure to investigate genetic bases of diseases that might present with sudden death, which is called 'molecular autopsy'. Meanwhile, the practical application of RNA analyses to postmortem investigation has not been accepted due to rapid decay after death; however, recent experimental and practical studies using real-time reverse transcription-PCR have suggested that the relative quantification of mRNA transcripts can be applied in molecular pathology for postmortem investigation of deaths, which may be called 'advanced molecular autopsy'. In a broad sense, forensic molecular pathology implies applied medical sciences to investigate the genetic basis of diseases, and the pathophysiology of diseases and traumas leading to death at a biological molecular level in the context of forensic pathology. The possible applications include analyses of local pathology, including tissue injury, ischemia/hypoxia and inflammation at the site of insult or specific tissue damage from intoxication, systemic responses to violence or environmental hazards, disorders due to intoxication, and systemic pathophysiology of fatal process involving major life-support organs. A review of previous studies suggests that systematic postmortem quantitative analysis of mRNA transcripts can be established from multi-faceted aspects of molecular biology and incorporated into death investigations in forensic pathology, to support and reinforce morphological evidence.
Department of Legal Medicine, Osaka City University Medical School, Asahi-machi 1-4-3, Abeno, 545-8585 Osaka, Japan.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Forensic science international
- PubMed Source: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20719442
- DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.forsciint.2010.07.024
Medical and Biotech [MESH] Definitions
The application of pathology to questions of law.
A subspecialty of pathology concerned with the molecular basis (e.g., mutations) of various diseases.
Disciplines that apply sciences to law. Forensic sciences include a wide range of disciplines, such as FORENSIC TOXICOLOGY; FORENSIC ANTHROPOLOGY; FORENSIC MEDICINE; FORENSIC DENTISTRY; and others.
Scientific study of human skeletal remains with the express purpose of identification. This includes establishing individual identity, trauma analysis, facial reconstruction, photographic superimposition, determination of time interval since death, and crime-scene recovery. Forensic anthropologists do not certify cause of death but provide data to assist in determination of probable cause. This is a branch of the field of physical anthropology and qualified individuals are certified by the American Board of Forensic Anthropology. (From Am J Forensic Med Pathol 1992 Jun;13(2):146)
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