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History of forensic science

Colin G G Aitken
Statistical modeling of the evaluation of evidence with the use of the likelihood ratio has a long history. It dates from the Dreyfus case at the end of the nineteenth century through the work at Bletchley Park in the Second World War to the present day. The development received a significant boost in 1977 with a seminal work by Dennis Lindley which introduced a Bayesian hierarchical random effects model for the evaluation of evidence with an example of refractive index measurements on fragments of glass. Many models have been developed since then...
2018: Frontiers in Genetics
Douglas H Ubelaker
Forensic anthropology represents a dynamic and rapidly evolving complex discipline within anthropology and forensic science. Academic roots extend back to early European anatomists but development coalesced in the Americas through high-profile court testimony, assemblage of documented collections and focused research. Formation of the anthropology section of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences in 1972, the American Board of Forensic Anthropology in 1977/1978 and other organizational advances provided important stimuli for progress...
April 2018: American Journal of Physical Anthropology
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...
March 12, 2018: Analyst
Tess M S Neal
This article delineates 2 separate but related subfields of psychological science and practice applicable across all major areas of the field (e.g., clinical, counseling, developmental, social, cognitive, community). Forensic and correctional psychology are related by their historical roots, involvement in the justice system, and the shared population of people they study and serve. The practical and ethical contexts of these subfields is distinct from other areas of psychology-and from one another-with important implications for ecologically valid research and ethically sound practice...
February 12, 2018: American Psychologist
Saty Satya-Murti, Joseph J Lockhart
Previously, we reviewed how general cognitive processes might be susceptible to bias across both forensic and clinical fields, and how interdisciplinary comparisons could reduce error. We discuss several examples of clinical tasks which are heavily dependent on visual processing, comparing them to eyewitness identification (EI). We review the "constructive" nature of visual processing, and how contextual factors influence both medical experts and witnesses in decision making and recall. Overall, studies suggest common cognitive factors uniting these visual tasks, in both their strengths and shortcomings...
January 16, 2018: Journal of Forensic Sciences
S M Yang, Y B Cheng
OBJECTIVES: To collect cases of non-violent death occurred in custody for analyzing the forensic characteristics and related influencing factors. METHODS: Sixty-three cases of non-violent death among detainees in custody that handled by a forensic science center from 2000 to 2015 were collected. The type, onset season, medical history, clinical manifestation, treatment and duration of related fatal diseases were analyzed retrospectively. RESULTS: The deaths due to diseases in custody were common in male, and with a high incidence in middle aged adults...
October 2017: Fa Yi Xue za Zhi
Zuzana Obertová, Cristina Cattaneo
Trafficking in children is one of the worst forms of human rights violation and is categorised as a serious crime. Children at high risk of becoming victims of trafficking are runaways, children with a history of abuse, and migrant children. Internationally, cases of child trafficking are increasing the most in Europe, which is likely the result of the current migration crisis. In crises, preventing and combating human trafficking needs to be prioritized, considering that the aims of humanitarian action include saving lives, easing suffering and preserving human dignity...
January 2018: Forensic Science International
Ute Hofmeister, Susana Navarro
Forensic humanitarian action is aimed at alleviating suffering and maintaining human dignity, with the victims and their families at the core. International recommendations emphasize the importance of psychological support and psychosocial work as an integral part of forensic investigations into missing persons. Psychosocial action does not simply refer to emotional support but is based on the idea of the individual being the holder of rights, encouraging decision taking, affirming actions, and elaborating personal and collective histories...
November 2017: Forensic Science International
Sylvester Fernandes
INTRODUCTION: The causation of tinnitus continues to intrigue. Despite the plethora of publications there is no definitive path available to concentrate our efforts, in alleviating the symptom. Several mechanical theories are available in standard tinnitus literature with varying empiricism. Purpose/aim of the study: To investigate a possible way forward. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Employing a forensic methodology ("crime scene analysis" technique) and utilizing available evidence from the related sciences, inductive and abstract reasoning, a pragmatic model incorporating the known features of tinnitus is available...
February 2018: International Journal of Neuroscience
Alfredo A González, Jessica I Rivera-Pérez, Gary A Toranzos
Many biological agents have been strategic pathogenic agents throughout history. Some have even changed history as a consequence of early discoveries of their use as weapons of war. Many of these bioagents can be easily isolated from the environment, and some have recently been genetically manipulated to become more pathogenic for biowarfare. However, it is difficult to determine accidental outbreaks of disease from intentional exposures. In this review, we examine how molecular tools have been used in combination with forensic research to resolve cases of unusual outbreaks and trace the source of the biocrime...
April 2017: Microbiology Spectrum
Ian Burney
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
February 6, 2017: Ambix
Lindsay A Smith
In 1984, a group of Argentine students, trained by US academics, formed the Argentine Forensic Anthropology Team to apply the latest scientific techniques to the excavation of mass graves and identification of the dead, and to work toward transitional justice. This inaugurated a new era in global forensic science, as groups of scientists in the Global South worked outside of and often against local governments to document war crimes in post-conflict settings. After 2001, however, with the inauguration of the war on terror following the September 11(th) attacks on the World Trade Center in New York, global forensic science was again remade through US and European investment to increase preparedness in the face of potential terrorist attacks...
December 1, 2016: Social Studies of Science
Jonathan D Bethard
The history of forensic anthropology has been documented by numerous scholars. These contributions have described the work of early pioneers in the field and have described important milestones, such as the founding of the Physical Anthropology Section of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences (AAFS) in 1972 and the American Board of Forensic Anthropology (ABFA) in 1977. This paper contributes to the growing literature on the history of forensic anthropology by documenting the academic training of all individuals who have been granted diplomate status by the ABFA (n = 115)...
January 2017: Journal of Forensic Sciences
Francesc Calafell, Maarten H D Larmuseau
The Y chromosome is currently by far the most popular marker in genetic genealogy that combines genetic data and family history. This popularity is based on its haploid character and its close association with the patrilineage and paternal inherited surname. Other markers have not been found (yet) to overrule this status due to the low sensitivity and precision of autosomal DNA for genetic genealogical applications, given the vagaries of recombination, and the lower capacities of mitochondrial DNA combined with an in general much lower interest in maternal lineages...
May 2017: Human Genetics
Jason J Dickinson, Debra Ann Poole
We tested a new paradigm for child eyewitness research that incorporates children's disclosure histories into analog study designs. Mr. Science-Germ Detective creates meaningful touching experiences and varied patterns of preinterview disclosures by convincing children that touching in the laboratory is potentially contaminating (germy). Children (N = 287, 4 to 8 years) heard that Mr. Science could no longer touch children's skin and then participated in an educational program involving 2 attempted touches...
February 2017: Law and Human Behavior
Melissa Thompson, Stephen Wills, Roger W Byard
Diaphragmatic defects are a relatively common and benign finding in adults which may be congenital or secondarily acquired. The case files at Forensic Sciences South Australia were reviewed over a 10-year period from July 2005 to June 2015 for all adult (>17 years) cases in which diaphragmatic hernias were identified at postmortem examination that had either caused or contributed to death. Five cases were found: age range 49-90 years (average 67.2 years); male:female ratio 2:3. Herniated organs included the stomach (N = 3), small (N = 3) and large intestines (N = 2)...
September 2016: Journal of Forensic Sciences
Trista Haupt Wright, Chad Harris
Twenty-one cases involving alpha-pyrrolidinovalerophenone (α-PVP) were submitted between 2012 and 2015 to the Western Department of Forensic Science Laboratory. Eighteen suspected impaired driving cases were determined to have α-PVP concentrations <0.005-0.09 mg/L. Three fatalities during this period were determined to have α-PVP concentrations ranging from 0.03 to >20 mg/L. Human use of synthetic cathinones like α-PVP has been reported to induce psychological effects such as delusions, paranoia, hallucinations and deleterious cardiovascular effects...
June 2016: Journal of Analytical Toxicology
José Ramón Bertomeu-Sánchez
This paper reviews the cultural meanings, social uses and circulations of arsenic in different legal, medical and popular settings. The focus is on nineteenth-century France. In the first section, I review the advent of the Marsh test for arsenic, which is commonly regarded as a milestone in the history of toxicology. I claim that the high sensitivity of the Marsh test introduced puzzling problems for forensic doctors, the most disturbing one being the so-called 'normal arsenic.' I reconstruct early research on normal arsenic and the ensuing controversies in courts, academies and salons...
June 2016: Endeavour
T C Viner, B C Hamlin, P J McClure, B C Yates
The application of medical knowledge to the purpose of law is the foundation of forensic pathology. A forensic postmortem examination often involves the expertise of multiple scientific disciplines to reconstruct the full story surrounding the death of an animal. Wildlife poses additional challenges in forensic investigations due to little or no associated history, and the disruptive effects of decomposition. To illustrate the multidisciplinary nature of wildlife forensic medicine, the authors outline a case of secondary pentobarbital/phenytoin toxicosis in a bald eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus)...
September 2016: Veterinary Pathology
Scheila Mânica
This work is a discussion on a report of dental examination and exclusion made by a British dentist Francis Robertus Lloyd on 30th April 1861. The report entitled: 'Dentistry as a means of Identification' was published in the 'British Journal of Dental Science' under the section 'Miscellanea' in 1861; Mr. Lloyd was contacted by the Indian authorities in order to identify a skull. He may well be the first British dentist to officially report a dental examination in an academic journal. The aims of this discussion are to briefly analyze the difficulties of access to scientific techniques in that century and to provide Mr...
January 2016: Dental Historian: Lindsay Club Newsletter
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