The use of genetic evidence in criminal cases is well established and has improved the public opinion and credibility of forensic science. However, several shortcomings associated with current genetic profiling techniques exist. Scientific research aimed at increasing the overall knowledge and understanding of biological factors will lead to the development of methods capable of improving the discriminating power of DNA evidence, overcoming limitations associated with DNA evidence, or complementing current methods of DNA profiling. Increased research in the fields of epigenetics and proteomics are particularly promising and relevant to forensic science. Research suggests that epigenetic biomarkers can be used to approximate the age of biological sample donors, differentiate between DNA of monozygotic twins, distinguish between natural and synthesized DNA, and identify body fluid sources from forensic material. Proteomic research studies indicate that mass spectrometry can be used to identify biological matrices and tissue sources from forensic biological samples without compromising DNA evidence. The demand for improved forensic techniques necessitates further research into these fields and, specifically, how the associated methods can be used in forensic science.
Eilerts, Diane F.
"Beyond DNA: Epigenetics and Proteomics in Forensic Science,"
Themis: Research Journal of Justice Studies and Forensic Science:
Vol. 4, Article 10.
Available at: http://scholarworks.sjsu.edu/themis/vol4/iss1/10