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Journal of Forensic Sciences

Patricia R Menchaca, Robert C Graham, Theodore Younglove
The research sought to develop and test a forensic database of surface soil variability within previously mapped geologic and soil units in southern California. This type of database could be used to link suspects to crime scenes or determine source locations of soil sample evidence. Variability was evaluated using (i) color, (ii) magnetic susceptibility, and (iii) particle-size distribution. Soil properties were analyzed for their ability to discriminate source areas using stepwise discriminant analysis. The percent correct predictions for geologic unit groups ranged from 30% to 100%...
January 8, 2018: Journal of Forensic Sciences
Wendy C Regoeczi, Thomas Gilson
Research on homicides followed by suicides has relied heavily on small samples and relatively short time spans of data. This study helps to fill this gap by examining 26 years of homicide-suicide data from Cuyahoga County, Ohio, between 1991 and 2016. The main data source for the study is medical examiner files. Analyses of the data indicate the rate of homicide-suicide in Cuyahoga County is consistent with other studies but fluctuates considerably across years studied. The majority of victims are female while perpetrators are overwhelmingly male...
January 8, 2018: Journal of Forensic Sciences
Melissa Connor, Christiane Baigent, Eriek S Hansen
Pigs are a common human analogue in taphonomic study, yet data comparing the trajectory of decomposition between the two groups are lacking. This study compared decomposition rate and gross tissue change in 17 pigs and 22 human remains placed in the Forensic Investigation Research Station in western Colorado between 2012 and 2015. Accumulated degree days (ADD) were used to assess the number of thermal units required to reach a given total body score (TBS) (1) which was used as the measure of decomposition. A comparison of slopes in linear mixed effects model indicated that decomposition rates significantly differed between human donors and pig remains χ2(1) = 5...
December 28, 2017: Journal of Forensic Sciences
Eoghan Casey
This work introduces novel methods for conducting forensic analysis of file allocation traces, collectively called digital stratigraphy. These in-depth forensic analysis methods can provide insight into the origin, composition, distribution, and time frame of strata within storage media. Using case examples and empirical studies, this paper illuminates the successes, challenges, and limitations of digital stratigraphy. This study also shows how understanding file allocation methods can provide insight into concealment activities and how real-world computer usage can complicate digital stratigraphy...
December 28, 2017: Journal of Forensic Sciences
Michael A Brown, Ann W Bunch, Charles Froome, Rebecca Gerling, Shawn Hennessy, Jeffrey Ellison
The postmortem interval (PMI) of skeletal remains is a crucial piece of information that can help establish the time dimension in criminal cases. Unfortunately, the accurate and reliable determination of PMI from bone continues to evade forensic investigators despite concerted efforts over the past decades to develop suitable qualitative and quantitative methods. A relatively new PMI method based on the analysis of citrate content of bone was developed by Schwarcz et al. The main objective of our research was to determine whether this work could be externally validated...
December 26, 2017: Journal of Forensic Sciences
William C Schaffer, Tyler E Dunn
This paper tests the fidelity of a recent method that used the NHANES III dataset as a proxy to estimate total body mass from stature and bi-iliac breadth in U.S. White males and females. The bi-iliac breadths of 230 males and 152 females identified as non-Hispanic U.S. White from the Bass Donated Skeletal Collection were measured, and along with stature from predonor paperwork, total body mass estimates were calculated and then compared to body masses recorded on predonor paperwork. Male and female samples were subdivided by body mass index (BMI [kg/m2 ]) categories established by the World Health Organization...
December 22, 2017: Journal of Forensic Sciences
Eugene Liscio, Helen Guryn, Daniella Stoewner
Three-dimensional (3D) technologies contribute greatly to bullet trajectory analysis and shooting reconstruction. There are few papers which address the errors associated with utilizing laser scanning for bullet trajectory documentation. This study examined the accuracy and precision of laser scanning for documenting trajectory rods in drywall for angles between 25° and 90°. The inherent error range of 0.02°-2.10° was noted while the overall error for laser scanning ranged between 0.04° and 1.98°. The inter- and intraobserver errors for trajectory rod placement and virtual trajectory marking showed that the range of variation for rod placement was between 0...
December 22, 2017: Journal of Forensic Sciences
Marilou Caron-Cantin, Marcia Abbott, Elizabeth Brooks-Lim, Bamidele Adeagbo
Thromboembolic events in the context of carbon monoxide (CO) exposure have been well described in the literature. Six cases of clinically significant coronary thrombosis following CO exposure were previously reported. However, factors affecting the development of coronary thrombus in CO exposure are poorly understood, and the significance of this finding in a forensic context is not clear. This article discusses a case of coronary thrombosis found at autopsy following a death in which CO poisoning was suspected...
December 22, 2017: Journal of Forensic Sciences
Erwin J A T Mattijssen, Wim Kerkhoff, Marlies E Bestebreurtje
When reconstructing a bullet's trajectory prior to impact using the spatial orientation between two consecutive bullet defects (e.g., by probing), it is important to take the bullet's deflection into account. The (critical) ricochet angles as well as the vertical and horizontal deflection angles of eight cartridge types on laminated particle board have been studied. For all eight of the cartridge types combined, the critical ricochet angles lie between approximately 14° and 26°, while for the subgroup of the jacketed bullets, this range lies lower, between approximately 14° and 18°...
December 19, 2017: Journal of Forensic Sciences
Erik L Jennings Simões
Piracatinga (Callophysius macropterus) are a type of bottom feeder catfish encountered in the Amazon River and its tributaries. We report two cases in which human remains were first located based on a characteristic circular distortion of the surface of the river that the Piracatinga make while they feed. Human skin samples of one of the victims recovered from the Piracatinga digestive tract were subjected to mitochondrial DNA analysis that allowed identification of the body of Case 1; the family recognized body parts of Case 2...
December 15, 2017: Journal of Forensic Sciences
Katja Volz, Lisa-Marie Bahr, Markus Heinrichs, Dieter Vaitl, Wolfgang Ambach
An approach toward detecting hidden knowledge is the Concealed Information Test (CIT). It relies on the memory of crime-relevant information. This study investigated whether its validity is susceptible to memory distortion by misleading information. A misleading information paradigm was employed to distort memory prior to an interrogation with a CIT. Forty-one participants watched a video with specific crime-related information. After a 1-week retention interval, misleading information was introduced. Afterward, a CIT was performed, followed by a threefold memory test...
December 15, 2017: Journal of Forensic Sciences
Qiqi Liu, Liyan Liu, Minli Zhang, Qingzhen Zhang, Qiong Wang, Xiaoran Ding, Liting Shao, Zhe Zhou, Shengqi Wang
DNA is often difficult to extract from old bones and teeth due to low levels of DNA and high levels of degradation. This study established a simple yet efficient method for extracting DNA from 20 aged bones and teeth (approximately 60 years old). Based on the concentration and STR typing results, the new method of DNA extraction (OM) developed in this study was compared with the PrepFiler™ BTA Forensic DNA Extraction Kit (BM). The total amount of DNA extracted using the OM method was not significantly different from that extracted using the commercial kit (p > 0...
December 14, 2017: Journal of Forensic Sciences
Chong Zhou, Roger W Byard
To investigate the spectrum of diseases seen in diabetes mellitus in a forensic context, all autopsy reports of diabetic individuals who presented to Forensic Science, South Australia (FSSA), over a 5-year period from 2005 to 2009 were studied. The leading cause of death was cardiovascular disease (55.0%), followed by unnatural deaths (15.4%) and infections (9.4%). In type 1 diabetics, principal causes of death included cardiovascular disease (44.7%), acute metabolic complications (18.7%), unnatural deaths (17...
December 11, 2017: Journal of Forensic Sciences
Celestina Rossi, Lynne D Herold, Tom Bevel, Leslie McCauley, Stephanie Guadarrama
A backspatter pattern results from blood drops that travel retrograde to an applied external force. Historically, an array of animals and nonhuman objects have been used to create and study backspatter patterns. In this study, backspatter patterns captured on foam core targets that were placed 45.72 cm (18 in) behind the impact site (occipital area of the skull) were produced by cranial gunshots to human cadavers that were reinfused with fresh defibrinated bovine blood. These patterns were compared to the backspatter patterns produced by shooting blood-soaked sponges, a typical simulant used in controlled studies of backspatter pattern production and characteristics...
December 11, 2017: Journal of Forensic Sciences
John J Schultz, Alexander T Mitchell
Scavengers can significantly alter a forensic scene and consume, modify, disarticulate, and disperse bodies on the ground surface. The research purpose was to examine vulture scavenging in central Florida, USA. Four small-sized pig (Sus scrofa) carcasses were left on the ground surface of two microenvironments (shaded and open) at a secure site with game cameras. Dispersal data were mapped and analyzed using geographical information systems spatial analysis digital mapping tools. The primary avian scavengers recorded included black vultures (Coragyps atratus) and turkey vultures (Cathartes aura), as well as bald eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus)...
December 6, 2017: Journal of Forensic Sciences
Ashley F Cowan, Kelly M Elkins
Psilocybe cubensis, or "magic mushroom," is the most common species of fungus with psychedelic characteristics. Two primer sets were designed to target Psilocybe DNA using web-based software and NBCI gene sequences. DNA was extracted from eighteen samples, including twelve mushroom species, using the Qiagen DNeasy® Plant Mini Kit. The DNA was amplified by the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) using the primers and a master mix containing either a SYBR® Green I, Radiant™ Green, or LCGreen Plus® intercalating dye; amplicon size was determined using agarose gel electrophoresis...
December 1, 2017: Journal of Forensic Sciences
Tushar Srivastava, Michael Wu, Julia Kakhnovich, Bridgit Waithaka, Nathan H Lents
Plant residue is currently an underutilized resource in forensic investigations despite the fact that many crime scenes, as well as suspects and victims, harbor plant-derived residue that could be recovered and analyzed. Notwithstanding the considerable skill of forensic botanists, current methods of species determination could benefit from tools for DNA-based species identification. However, DNA barcoding in plants has been hampered by sequence complications in the plant genome. Following a database search for usable barcodes, broad-spectrum primers were designed and utilized to amplify and sequence the rbcL, trnL-F, and rrn18 genetic loci from a variety of household plants...
December 1, 2017: Journal of Forensic Sciences
Hisae Ogawa, Yuuji Hiroshige, Takashi Yoshimoto, Akira Ishii, Toshimichi Yamamoto
In this sexual assault case, the standard preliminary semen examinations could not confirm physically or biochemically whether the accused's semen had stained the victim's skirt because the skirt had been dry-cleaned for stain removal and had been worn for more than a year after the assault. Fortunately, however, a photograph taken just after the assault was found in the court records that showed white stains on the checkered skirt. The locations of the stains were estimated based on the checkered pattern of the fabric, and microscopic examination using Baecchi's staining revealed the presence of spermatozoa...
December 1, 2017: Journal of Forensic Sciences
Anthea B Mahesan Paul, Lary Simms, Saeideh Amini, Abraham Ebenezer Paul
Synthetic cannabinoids (SCs) are commonly abused by adolescents with reported past year (2013) use in high school students between 3 and 10%. Standard adolescent postmortem toxicology does not include routine SC analysis, and thus, the true burden of fatalities related to SCs is unknown. A retrospective case review of two cases included scene investigation, interviews, autopsy, and toxicology. SCs were confirmed by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS). Review of the eight adolescent SC-associated fatalities in the literature revealed five of eight cases had no other discernible cause of death on autopsy...
December 1, 2017: Journal of Forensic Sciences
Colin Aitken, Anders Nordgaard
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
December 1, 2017: Journal of Forensic Sciences
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