Previously, an age-predictive method based on DNA-methylation patterns in semen was developed, using three CpG sites (cg06304190 in the TTC7B gene, cg12837463, and cg06979108 in the NOX4 gene). Before considering the routine use of a new method in forensics, validation studies such as concordance and sensitivity tests are essential for obtaining expanded and more reliable forensic information. Here, we evaluated a previously described age-predictive method for semen for routine forensic use. Concordance testing showed a high correlation between the predicted and chronological age, with a mean absolute deviation from the chronological age of 4.8 years. Sensitivity testing suggested that age prediction with reliable accuracy and consistency was possible with >5 ng of bisulfite-converted DNA. We also confirmed the applicability of the age-predictive method in forensic casework, using forensic samples. Thus, the proposed method could serve as a very valuable forensics tool for accurate age prediction with semen samples.
Keywords: Age prediction; DNA methylation; Forensic casework sample; Semen; Validation study.
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