Interest in the human microbiome has grown in recent years because of increasing applications to biomedicine and forensic science. However, the potential for dating evidence at a crime scene based upon time-dependent changes in microbial signatures has not been established, despite a relatively straightforward scientific process for isolating the microbiome. We hypothesize that modifications in microbial diversity, abundance, and succession can provide estimates of the time a surface was touched for investigative purposes. In this proof-of-concept research, the sequencing and analysis of the 16 S rRNA gene from microbes present in fresh and aged latent fingerprints deposited by three donors with pre- and post-washed hands is reported. The stability of major microbial phyla is confirmed while the dynamics of less abundant groups is described up to 21 days post-deposition. Most importantly, a phylum is suggested as the source for possible biological markers to date fingerprints: Deinococcus-Thermus.
- Time since deposition
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine