Molecular-Genetic Methods for Predicting Bio-Geographical Ancestry From Bone Specimens to Aid in Forensic Identification
Positive identification of a deceased individual is one of the major aspects of modem forensic death investigations. Incomplete or fragmented skeletal remains pose a problem for identification because the normal methods forensic anthropologists employ for compiling a biological profile of the decedent are of no use. Ancestry is an important aspect of the biological profile that, when known, can help narrow the focus of investigations by excluding many individuals from the search scope. This thesis describes molecular genetic methods which can be used to estimate ancestry in order to aid in forensic identification when other methods fail.
The Y chromosome is one aspect of the genome shown to contain markers which are associated with the geographical origins of its possessor. The laboratory aspect of this research involved taking bone samples from humerii, extracting DNA from these samples and then sequencing a number of Y-SNPs in order to predict the biogeographical origins of each sample. Performing this research demonstrated the steps involved in this type of genetic ancestral analysis. At present, anthropology can only distinguish between major population groups. However, as research continues to be performed, the discriminatory power of molecular genetic ancestral analyses such as this has the potential to be further refined so that sub-populations may be distinguished between. This could be of great value if introduced into the forensic community.
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Bachelor of Science (B.S.)
College of Sciences
Dissertations, Academic -- Sciences; Sciences -- Dissertations, Academic
Length of Campus-only Access
Honors in the Major Thesis
Josey, Michelle, "Molecular-Genetic Methods for Predicting Bio-Geographical Ancestry From Bone Specimens to Aid in Forensic Identification" (2007). HIM 1990-2015. 674.