DNA Methylation-Based Age Estimation in the Forensic Field
Korean Journal of Legal Medicine (대한법의학회지)
Korean Journal of Legal Medicine (대한법의학회지), Vol.37(1) : 1~8, 2013
The estimation of age is an important issue in forensic science, and the forensic community has attempted many times to establish methods for solving this issue. Aging leads to alterations in tissues and organs at the molecular level. These alterations at the molecular level may aid forensic scientists to estimate the age of a living person or a dead body. Initially, the focus was on the genetic components of aging, but recently, epigenetic mechanisms have emerged as the key contributors to the alterations in genome structure and function that accompany aging. In particular, DNA methylation is one of the best-understood mechanisms, and it has been suggested as a promising biomarker for age estimation in many studies. In this review, we summarize the recent studies on age-associated DNA methylation changes in different tissues and discuss its possible and practical applications in forensics.