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forensic science

Robert E Barsley, Mark L Bernstein, Paula C Brumit, Robert B J Dorion, Gregory S Golden, James M Lewis, John D McDowell, Roger D Metcalf, David R Senn, David Sweet, Richard A Weems
Critics describe forensic dentists' management of bitemark evidence as junk science with poor sensitivity and specificity and state that linkages to a biter are unfounded. Those vocal critics, supported by certain media, characterize odontologists' previous errors as egregious and petition government agencies to render bitemark evidence inadmissible. Odontologists acknowledge that some practitioners have made past mistakes. However, it does not logically follow that the errors of a few identify a systemic failure of bitemark analysis...
March 20, 2018: American Journal of Forensic Medicine and Pathology
Mehdi Moini
In the past few years, there has been a significant effort by the forensic science community to develop new scientific techniques for the analysis of forensic evidence. Forensic chemists have been spearheaded to develop information-rich confirmatory technologies and techniques and apply them to a broad array of forensic challenges. The purpose of these confirmatory techniques is to provide alternatives to presumptive techniques that rely on data such as color changes, pattern matching, or retention time alone, which are prone to more false positives...
March 12, 2018: Electrophoresis
A Biedermann, S Bozza, F Taroni
There is ongoing discussion in forensic science and the law about the nature of the conclusions reached based on scientific evidence, and on how such conclusions - and conclusion criteria - may be justified by rational argument. Examples, among others, are encountered in fields such as fingermarks (e.g., 'this fingermark comes from Mr. A's left thumb'), handwriting examinations (e.g., 'the questioned signature is that of Mr. A'), kinship analyses (e.g., 'Mr. A is the father of child C') or anthropology (e.g...
March 2018: Science & Justice: Journal of the Forensic Science Society
Nathan Scudder, Dennis McNevin, Sally F Kelty, Simon J Walsh, James Robertson
Use of DNA in forensic science will be significantly influenced by new technology in coming years. Massively parallel sequencing and forensic genomics will hasten the broadening of forensic DNA analysis beyond short tandem repeats for identity towards a wider array of genetic markers, in applications as diverse as predictive phenotyping, ancestry assignment, and full mitochondrial genome analysis. With these new applications come a range of legal and policy implications, as forensic science touches on areas as diverse as 'big data', privacy and protected health information...
March 2018: Science & Justice: Journal of the Forensic Science Society
R S Corrêa, V F Melo, G G F Abreu, M H Sousa, J A Chaker, J A Gomes
Soil traces are useful as forensic evidences because they frequently adhere to individuals and objects associated with crimes and can place or discard a suspect at/from a crime scene. Soil is a mixture of organic and inorganic components and among them soil clay contains signatures that make it reliable as forensic evidence. In this study, we hypothesized that soils can be forensically distinguished through the analysis of their clay fraction alone, and that samples of the same soil type can be consistently distinguished according to the distance they were collected from each other...
March 2018: Science & Justice: Journal of the Forensic Science Society
M Hubig, H Muggenthaler, S Schenkl, G Mall
Stomach content based death time estimation (SCE), is a well-known technique in forensic sciences. Among more qualitatively oriented approaches the content percentage based method SCE by Tröger, Baur and Spann yields quantitative results and gives stochastic error measures for its outputs. This is possible since the methods estimator, which we call transformed expectation estimator (TEE) as well as the probability distribution of the time between last meal and death are determined numerically, though in SCE the estimator and confidence intervals are presented graphically only...
February 12, 2018: Forensic Science International
Gary A Toranzos, Raúl J Cano
Environmental forensics is a tool that uses chemical, physical, and statistical techniques to investigate contaminants in the environment as a means to determine attribution for legal purposes. Environmental microbiology is a branch of science that has benefited from the use of metagenomics. The term microbial forensics, which includes nucleic acid sequencing methods, is now used to investigate the sources of microorganisms for attribution purposes as well. Environmental microbial forensics can fully address the questions that must be answered for attribution of causation and subsequent remedial actions within a reasonably short time frame...
March 2018: Microbiology Spectrum
B K Apaydin, F Yasar
Background and Aim: Age estimation plays a significant role in forensic science, archeology, pediatric endocrinology and clinical dentistry. Tooth development is a reliable pathway for age estimation, especially in children. The aim of this study was to evaluate the accuracy of the Demirjian method (DM), Willems method (WM) and Cameriere method (CM). Materials and Methods: This study included panaramic radiographs of 330 individuals (165 girls, 165 boys) aged between 5 and 15...
March 2018: Nigerian Journal of Clinical Practice
Jack Morrison, Giles Watts, Glyn Hobbs, Nick Dawnay
Field based forensic tests commonly provide information on the presence and identity of biological stains and can also support the identification of species. Such information can support downstream processing of forensic samples and generate rapid intelligence. These approaches have traditionally used chemical and immunological techniques to elicit the result but some are known to suffer from a lack of specificity and sensitivity. The last 10 years has seen the development of field-based genetic profiling systems, with specific focus on moving the mainstay of forensic genetic analysis, namely STR profiling, out of the laboratory and into the hands of the non-laboratory user...
February 21, 2018: Forensic Science International
Peter Mahoney, Debra Carr, Karl Harrison, Ruth McGuire, Alan Hepper, Daniel Flynn, Russ J Delaney, Iain Gibb
Six synthetic head models wearing ballistic protective helmets were used to recreate two military combat-related shooting incidents (three per incident, designated 'Incident 1' and 'Incident 2'). Data on the events including engagement distances, weapon and ammunition types was collated by the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory. The models were shot with 7.62 × 39 mm ammunition downloaded to mean impact velocities of 581 m/s (SD 3.5 m/s) and 418 m/s (SD 8 m/s), respectively, to simulate the engagement distances...
March 7, 2018: International Journal of Legal Medicine
Hanneke Kip, Yvonne H A Bouman, Saskia M Kelders, Lisette J E W C van Gemert-Pijnen
Background: Treatment of offenders in forensic mental health is complex. Often, these in- or outpatients have low treatment motivation, suffer from multiple disorders, and have poor literacy skills. eHealth may be able to improve treatment outcomes because of its potential to increase motivation and engagement, and it can overcome the predominant one-size-fits-all approach by being tailored to individual patients. Objective: To examine its potential, this systematic review studies the way that eHealth has been used and studied in forensic mental health and identifies accompanying advantages and disadvantages for both patients and treatment, including effectiveness...
2018: Frontiers in Psychiatry
Thomas Kamphausen, Katharina Janßen, Sibylle Banaschak, Markus Alexander Rothschild
From time to time, severe or fatal injuries caused by small caliber air rifle projectiles are seen. In forensic sciences, the theoretical wounding potential of these weapons and projectiles is widely known. Usually, shots against the skull were reported and, in these cases, penetrating the eyes or thin bone layers of the temporal region. Amongst a huge number of different projectiles available for air guns, sub-caliber 4.4-mm (.173) caliber steel ball projectiles were used in an unusual suicide case. This case led to fundamental questions concerning wound ballistics...
March 6, 2018: International Journal of Legal Medicine
Marisia A Fikiet, Shelby R Khandasammy, Ewelina Mistek, Yasmine Ahmed, Lenka Halámková, Justin Bueno, Igor K Lednev
Surface enhanced Raman spectroscopy has many advantages over its parent technique of Raman spectroscopy. Some of these advantages such as increased sensitivity and selectivity and therefore the possibility of small sample sizes and detection of small concentrations are invaluable in the field of forensics. A variety of new SERS surfaces and novel approaches are presented here on a wide range of forensically relevant topics.
February 16, 2018: Spectrochimica Acta. Part A, Molecular and Biomolecular Spectroscopy
Aran Kim, Seung-Jin Ryu, Jihye Lee, Hyun Jung
In forensic science, developing latent fingermarks using powders is a critical, general method to identify individuals. Photoluminescent Eu(Phen)2 complex intercalated clay hybrids have been used to improve the visualization of fingermarks on nonporous (glass and polymer film) and semiporous (euro and dollar banknotes) substrates. An ion exchange reaction has been successfully used to intercalate Eu(Phen)2 complex ions into the interlayer spacing of two different Na+ -clays, Na+ -montmorillonite and Na+ -hectorite, with different primary particle sizes...
March 1, 2018: Journal of Forensic Sciences
Neeraj Sharma, Mohan Bairwa, B Gowthamghosh, S D Gupta, D K Mangal
BACKGROUND: Globally, road traffic injuries are the leading cause of death among those aged 15-29 years. However, road traffic injury research has not received adequate attention from the scientific community in low- and middle-income countries, including India. The present study aims to provide a bibliometric overview of research assessing road traffic injuries in India. METHODS: We used Scopus to extract relevant research in road traffic injuries published from 1991 to 2017...
March 1, 2018: Health Research Policy and Systems
Clifford A Kapono, James T Morton, Amina Bouslimani, Alexey V Melnik, Kayla Orlinsky, Tal Luzzatto Knaan, Neha Garg, Yoshiki Vázquez-Baeza, Ivan Protsyuk, Stefan Janssen, Qiyun Zhu, Theodore Alexandrov, Larry Smarr, Rob Knight, Pieter C Dorrestein
One of the goals of forensic science is to identify individuals and their lifestyle by analyzing the trace signatures left behind in built environments. Here, microbiome and metabolomic methods were used to see how its occupants used an office and to also gain insights into the lifestyle characteristics such as diet, medications, and personal care products of the occupants. 3D molecular cartography, a molecular visualization technology, was used in combination with mass spectrometry and microbial inventories to highlight human-environmental interactions...
February 27, 2018: Scientific Reports
J I Pacold, A B Altman, K B Knight, K S Holliday, M J Kristo, S G Minasian, T Tyliszczak, C H Booth, D K Shuh
Synchrotron radiation spectromicroscopy provides a combination of submicron spatial resolution and chemical sensitivity that is well-suited to analysis of heterogeneous nuclear materials. The chemical and physical characteristics determined by scanning transmission X-ray microscopy (STXM) are complementary to information obtained from standard radiochemical analysis methods. In addition, microscopic quantities of radioactive material can be characterized rapidly by STXM with minimal sample handling and intrusion, especially in the case of particulate materials...
February 26, 2018: Analyst
Andrea Porzionato, Marianna Russo, Veronica Macchi, Anna Aprile, Raffaele De Caro
Plastination is a technique renowned for its use in the preservation of human tissues or organs, and is mainly employed in anatomical training and in research regarding various scientific fields. The advantages of this method are related to the natural appearance, absence of odor, and easy-handling of the plastinated products. The use of plastinates in forensic sciences, their potential role in personal identification, and their usefulness in interpretation of post-mortem findings has been described, although literature on this topic is poor...
February 24, 2018: Forensic Science, Medicine, and Pathology
M Albéric, A Gourrier, W Wagermaier, P Fratzl, I Reiche
Elephant tusks are composed of dentin or ivory, a hierarchical and composite biological material made of mineralized collagen fibers (MCF). The specific arrangement of the MCF is believed to be responsible for the optical and mechanical properties of the tusks. Especially the MCF organization likely contributes to the formation of the bright and dark checkerboard pattern observed on polished sections of tusks (Schreger pattern). Yet, the precise structural origin of this optical motif is still controversial...
February 22, 2018: Acta Biomaterialia
Wonjoon Kim, Yong Min Kim, Myung Hwan Yun
The estimation of stature using foot and hand dimensions is essential in the process of personal identification. The shapes of feet and hands vary depending on races and gender, and it is of great importance to design an adequate equation in consideration of variances to estimate stature. This study is based on a total of 5,195 South Korean males and females, aged from 20 to 59 years. Body dimensions of stature, hand length, hand breadth, foot length, and foot breadth were measured according to standard anthropometric procedures...
February 13, 2018: Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine
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