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History of forensic science

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...
July 21, 2016: 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
Klaus Mayer, Maria Wallenius, Zsolt Varga
Nuclear forensics is a relatively young discipline in science which aims at providing information on nuclear material of unknown origin. The determination of characteristic parameters through tailored analytical techniques enables establishing linkages to the material's processing history and hence provides hints on its place and date of production and on the intended use.
December 1, 2015: Analytical Chemistry
Rens Bod
While the humanities and the sciences have a closely connected history, there are no general histories that bring the two fields together on an equal footing. This paper argues that there is a level at which some humanistic and scientific disciplines can be brought under a common denominator and compared. This is at the level of underlying methods, especially at the level of formalisms and rule systems used by different disciplines. The essay formally compares linguistics and computer science by noting that the same grammar formalism was used in the 1950s for describing both human and...
June 2015: Isis; An International Review Devoted to the History of Science and its Cultural Influences
José Ramón Bertomeu-Sánchez
This paper analyses the development of three methods for detecting bloodstains during the first half of the nineteenth-century in France. After dealing with the main problems in detecting bloodstains, the paper describes the chemical tests introduced in the mid-1820s. Then the first uses of the microscope in the detection of bloodstains around 1827 are discussed. The most controversial method is then examined, the smell test introduced by Jean-Pierre Barruel in 1829, and the debates which took place in French academies and learned societies during ensuing years are surveyed...
2015: Annals of Science
David Roy Smith
The year 2014 saw more than a thousand new mitochondrial genome sequences deposited in GenBank-an almost 15% increase from the previous year. Hundreds of peer-reviewed articles accompanied these genomes, making mitochondrial DNAs (mtDNAs) the most sequenced and reported type of eukaryotic chromosome. These mtDNA data have advanced a wide range of scientific fields, from forensics to anthropology to medicine to molecular evolution. But for many biological lineages, mtDNAs are so well sampled that newly published genomes are arguably no longer contributing significantly to the progression of science, and in some cases they are tying up valuable resources, particularly journal editors and referees...
January 2016: Briefings in Functional Genomics
Salah Al-Waheeb, Nadia Al-Kandary, Khaldoon Aljerian
Autopsies are performed in the majority of Arab, Muslim countries. Several of these countries face social challenges and others do not have well established academic programs to teach the science. In this article we intend to review the history and practice of the forensic part of autopsies in a few Arab, Muslim countries (Egypt, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) and Kuwait) and compare it with the United States of America (USA) and the United Kingdom (UK), 2 countries where the practice of forensic science and Forensic pathology is well established...
May 2015: Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine
Alison L Tamasi, Kevin S Boland, Kenneth Czerwinski, Jason K Ellis, Stosh A Kozimor, Richard L Martin, Alison L Pugmire, Dallas Reilly, Brian L Scott, Andrew D Sutton, Gregory L Wagner, Justin R Walensky, Marianne P Wilkerson
Chemical signatures correlated with uranium oxide processing are of interest to forensic science for inferring sample provenance. Identification of temporal changes in chemical structures of process uranium materials as a function of controlled temperatures and relative humidities may provide additional information regarding sample history. In this study, a high-purity α-U3O8 sample and three other uranium oxide samples synthesized from reaction routes used in nuclear conversion processes were stored under controlled conditions over 2-3...
April 21, 2015: Analytical Chemistry
Koray Kara, Sait Ozsoy, Hacer Teke, M Ayhan Congologlu, Turker Turker, Tulay Renklidag, Mustafa Karapirli
OBJECTIVE: To investigate risk factors for non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI), and present the relationship between NSSI and depression in children and adolescents who appeared for forensic examination. METHODS: This study consisted of 295 children and adolescents who were brought for judicial examination in the TR Ministry of Justice Forensic Science Department, Council of Forensic Medicine, Ankara, Turkey between May and October 2013. Sociodemographic factors, alcohol and substance abuse, and history of sexual abuse and suicide attempts were assessed using a semi-structured questionnaire...
January 2015: Neurosciences: the Official Journal of the Pan Arab Union of Neurological Sciences
Sofia Lalanda Frazão, Marília Santos Silva, Pedro Norton, Teresa Magalhães
Abuse against elders with disabilities is a growing problem as the world population ages. Though they require mandatory reporting, these cases are most frequently not detected or not reported by health professionals for a variety of reasons, including the difficulty of making an accurate diagnosis. By performing a retrospective analysis of alleged domestic violence cases against elders with moderate or severe disability, presented to medical forensic examination at the North Branch of the National Institute of Legal Medicine and Forensic Sciences of Portugal, in Porto, between 2005 and 2013 (n = 70), we aimed to improve our knowledge of some demographic and forensic characteristics of these cases as well as improve their detection and prevention...
November 2014: Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine
M Ajmal Ali, Gábor Gyulai, Norbert Hidvégi, Balázs Kerti, Fahad M A Al Hemaid, Arun K Pandey, Joongku Lee
The discipline taxonomy (the science of naming and classifying organisms, the original bioinformatics and a basis for all biology) is fundamentally important in ensuring the quality of life of future human generation on the earth; yet over the past few decades, the teaching and research funding in taxonomy have declined because of its classical way of practice which lead the discipline many a times to a subject of opinion, and this ultimately gave birth to several problems and challenges, and therefore the taxonomist became an endangered race in the era of genomics...
July 2014: Saudi Journal of Biological Sciences
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