Animal experimentation has a long history, and with the continuous development of modern medicine, more and more animal experimental models are being used in biomedical research and so as in forensic medicine. Forensic animal experiments use animals to simulate trauma, poisoning, and other unnatural deaths and observe their various reactions and patterns. Animal experiments in forensic medicine do not simply emphasize experimental results, but their ultimate aim is the application to actual forensic cases. Besides traditional morphological observations of macro-/micro-autopsy findings, molecular pathology (a discipline of life science) has been adopted to identify molecules of DNA or RNA in biological samples in cases related to the human death, presenting its increasing importance in forensic medicine. It uses theories and methods from immunology, biology, biochemistry, molecular biology, and genetics to identify the quantity and quality of molecular markers of biological samples regarding of pathological diagnosis of death. Recent researches on the use of RNA in forensic medicine have achieved great progress. Examples include the use of RNA to estimate the time of death, as well as the time of wound and scar formation. Of more importance, RNA examination can be potentially useful in the diagnosis of the functional status of cells or organs, attracting extensive attention in forensic science fields, and many such studies are currently ongoing. Hereby, typical RNA researches on factors (such as HIF family) involved in hypoxia signaling pathway are summarized in regard of evaluation of tissue ischemia/hypoxia in forensic medicine, in order to throw light on importance of molecular pathology in death investigation.
Animal experiment Forensic science Molecular pathology RNA HIF family
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