CRG: Gene expression patterns may help determine time of death

CRG: Gene expression patterns may help determine time of death

News from the CRG

International team of scientists led by Roderic Guigó at the Centre for Genomic Regulation in Barcelona showed that changes in gene expression in different tissues triggered by death can be used to predict the time of death of an individual. As reported in a paper published in Nature Communications today, researchers suggest that by analysing a few readily available tissues (for example lung or skin tissue), the post-mortem interval (time elapsed since death) can be determined with considerable accuracy and may have implications for forensic analyses.

“We found that many genes change expression over relatively short post-mortem intervals, in a largely tissue specific manner. This information helps us to better understand variation and also it allows us to identify the transcriptional events triggered by death in an organism,” adds Pedro G. Ferreira, CRG Alumnus currently at the Institute of Molecular Pathology and Immunology, University of Porto in Portugal.

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Reference article:
Ferreira G. Pedro, et al. “The effects of death and post-mortem cold ischemia on human tissue transcriptomesNature Communications (2018)