Protein radioimmunoassay (pRIA) offers the potential to identify species in small skeletal fragments submitted as forensic evidence. The technique consists of protein extraction followed by a solid-phase double-antibody radioimmunoassay using controls of antisera (raised in rabbits) and radioactive (iodine-125) antibody of rabbit gamma globulin (produced in donkeys). Species determination results from evaluation of radioactivity uptake. To demonstrate the potential of this technique, six known bone samples (three human and three nonhuman, including one from a deer [Odocoileus virginianus]) were submitted for blind analysis. pRIA correctly distinguished the human from the nonhuman samples. Using 200 mg or less of each sample, species of the deer specimen was identified correctly, given the choices of cow, deer, dog, goat, and pig.
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