Medicine Magazine

How Old Is That Blood Stain?

Posted on the 22 May 2011 by Dplylemd

Your detective is called because a body has been found dumped in a remote area. The victim is identified as a man who has been missing for four months and the medical examiner determines that his death likely occurred around the time of his disappearance. He had been in a dispute with a business partner over ownership of their company. The business partner has always maintained that the victim sold out and moved away to parts unknown. A fishy story but your detective has little to go on.

The search warrant is executed on the business partner’s home and indeed an old bloodstain is found on the garage floor. Blood typing and DNA analysis proves that it is the victim’s blood but the partner says it was from two years earlier when the victim helped him move some furniture and injured his hand, bleeding on the floor. He said they both cleaned it up at that time but he must’ve missed a spot.

The dilemma facing your detective is how to determine when the blood was shed? Four months ago or two years ago? DNA will only tell him that the blood belongs to the victim but it will not tell him when it was deposited.

Enter Messenger Ribonucleic Acid (Messenger RNA or mRNA).

Our DNA is our instruction manual. It tells each cell of the body what to do and how to do it. But DNA is inert. It does nothing except hold information. The real work is done by the enzymes in the cytoplasm of the cell. They create new proteins, other enzymes, various chemicals, and all the other things required for life.

How Old Is That Blood Stain?

But how does the DNA pass its instructions out to the cytoplasm where the needed worker enzymes are created and ply their trade? By employing mRNA, a temporary molecule, that is synthesized within the nucleus according to the instructions coded within the DNA. The mRNA then migrates into the cell’s cytoplasm where it directs the creation of the enzymes needed to do the job. In effect it carries the DNA’s instruction to the workplace. That’s why it’s called messenger RNA. This is of course a simplified explanation of a very complex process.

So what does this have to do with the age of a blood stain? Anne-Marie Simard of the University of Montréal is studying the degradation of four messenger RNA molecules found within blood, saliva, and semen. Her preliminary findings suggest that these molecules degrade at a measurable rate and if this is proven to be true such studies might be useful for determining the age of crime scene samples.

This could be a very useful tool for homicide investigators, particularly in cases such as the fictional one I outlined above. Determining the blood stain was four months old rather than two years would require an explanation from the business partner.



You Might Also Like :

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog

These articles might interest you :

  • Shilo Sanders- Son Of Deion Sanders Thanks Courts For Allowing Him To Live With...

    Shilo Sanders- Deion Sanders Thanks Courts Allowing Live With Pilar

    ChristianNews Shilo Sanders, the son of NFL Hall of Famer,  Deion Sanders took to twitter to “thank” the courts for allowing him to live with his mother, Pilar... Read more

    The 04 August 2017 by   Firstladyb
    SPIRITUALITY
  • “I Feel Great”

    Feel Great”

    Jakub went to his doctor's office believing that he had a back injury, but returned with a chocking diagnosis instead. He had type 2 diabetes - in spite of... Read more

    The 04 August 2017 by   Dietdoctor
    DIET & WEIGHT
  • July Allotment Recap (2/2)

    July Allotment Recap (2/2)

    Sunday afternoon saw us return bravely to 24a even though there were more thundery showers foretold by the weatherman. I will admit that I guffawed at the... Read more

    The 04 August 2017 by   Chrryblossomtat2
    GARDENING, HOME
  • Culinary Delicacies in Croatia- What to Eat and Drink in Croatia

    Culinary Delicacies Croatia- What Drink Croatia

    In my earlier post, we spoke about how Croatia is a stunning European destination, let us now see what are the culinary delicacies in Croatia or what you can... Read more

    The 04 August 2017 by   Kash Pals
    FOOD & DRINK, A-CLASSER
  • #Golf Training Aids Spotlight: The Delta Putt

    #Golf Training Aids Spotlight: Delta Putt

    Do you consider yourself to be a strong putter or do you feel you could improve your make percentage on the green? Most amateurs could use help with the flat... Read more

    The 04 August 2017 by   Golfforbeginners
    GOLF, SPORTS
  • Three Incredible Hikes in Southern Iceland3 Min Read

    Three Incredible Hikes Southern Iceland3 Read

    Nature takes center stage in Iceland, where there's a stunning view around every bend: massive glaciers, expansive lava fields, powerful waterfalls, black sand... Read more

    The 04 August 2017 by   Healthytravelblog
    TRAVEL
  • What I Wore: Daytime Pajamas

    What Wore: Daytime Pajamas

    Pajama top: ELOQUII (14) | Pajama pants: ELOQUII (14) | Shoes: ASOS (similar) | Earrings: J. Crew ( same in different colors, similar concept in same color) |... Read more

    The 04 August 2017 by   Wardrobeoxygen
    FASHION, SELF EXPRESSION, SHOPPING

Magazine