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Forensic botany

Bartosz M Pencakowski, Miron Tokarski, Anna Jonkisz, Matylda Czosnykowska-Łukacka, Ewa Lenard, Małgorzata Małodobra-Mazur
AIM OF THE STUDY: Forensic botany demands tools to verify the value of plant-origin evidence brought into the process of criminal investigation. Molecular biology provides techniques for comparing material from the crime scene with other biological material of evidence. In this paper, we propose a set of seven markers based on Short Tandem Repeats (STRs) loci for DNA profiling of Quercus spp. STR markers of the highest observed heterozygosity were selected, according to available literature...
2018: Archiwum Medycyny Sa̧dowej i Kryminologii
Guillermo Benítez, Martí March-Salas, Alberto Villa-Kamel, Ulises Cháves-Jiménez, Javier Hernández, Nuria Montes-Osuna, Joaquín Moreno-Chocano, Paloma Cariñanos
ETHNOPHARMACOLOGICAL RELEVANCE: The different species of the genus Datura have been used traditionally by some pre-Columbian civilizations, as well as in medieval rituals linked to magic and witchcraft in both Mexico and Europe. It is also noteworthy the use of different alkaloids obtained from the plants for medicinal purposes in the treatment of various groups of diseases, especially of the respiratory and muscularskeletal systems. AIM OF THE STUDY: A review of the ethnobotanical uses of the genus Datura in Mexico and Spain has been conducted...
June 12, 2018: Journal of Ethnopharmacology
Isabella Aquila, Santo Gratteri, Matteo A Sacco, Pietrantonio Ricci
Forensic botany can provide useful information for pathologists, particularly on crime scene investigation. We report the case of a man who arrived at the hospital and died shortly afterward. The body showed widespread electrical lesions. The statements of his brother and wife about the incident aroused a large amount of suspicion in the investigators. A crime scene investigation was carried out, along with a botanical morphological survey on small vegetations found on the corpse. An autopsy was also performed...
September 8, 2017: Journal of Forensic Sciences
Hitomi S Kikkawa, Kouichiro Tsuge, Satoshi Kubota, Masako Aragane, Hikoto Ohta, Ritsuko Sugita
Food poisoning is frequently caused by the accidental ingestion of toxic plants that possess strong morphological similarities to edible plants. False helleborine (Veratrum album) is one of the most common plants involved in such accidents. In cases of poisoning by toxic plants, rapid and accurate identification, usually based on the morphological or chemical analysis of plant parts, is required for appropriate medical treatment or forensic investigation. However, morphological examinations require experience in systematic botany because the samples are fragmentary, and chemical analysis of natural compounds can be difficult...
June 2017: Forensic Science International
Michela Campora, Chiara Trambaiolo Antonelli, Federica Grillo, Alberto Bragoni, Laura Cornara, Paola Migliora, Simona Pigozzi, Luca Mastracci
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
August 2017: Histopathology
Katalin Solymosi, Attila Köfalvi
BACKGROUND & OBJECTIVE: Cannabis is one of the earliest cultivated plants. Cannabis of industrial utility and culinary value is generally termed as hemp. Conversely, cannabis that is bred for medical, spiritual and recreational purposes is called marijuana. The female marijuana plant produces a significant quantity of bio- and psychoactive phytocannabinoids, which regained the spotlight with the discovery of the endocannabinoid system of the animals in the early 90's. Nevertheless, marijuana is surrounded by controversies, debates and misconceptions related to its taxonomic classification, forensic identification, medical potential, legalization and its long-term health consequences...
2017: Mini Reviews in Medicinal Chemistry
Cassandra Schield, Cassandra Campelli, Jennifer Sycalik, Christopher Randle, Sheree Hughes-Stamm, David Gangitano
Advances in plant genomics have had an impact on the field of forensic botany. However, the use of pollen DNA profiling in forensic investigations has yet to be applied. Five volunteers wore a jacket with Pinus echinata pollen-containing cotton swatches for a 14-day period. Pollen decay was evaluated at days 0, 3, 6, 9 and 14 by microscopy. Pollen grains were then transferred to slides using a portable forensic vacuum handle. Ten single grains per swatch were isolated for DNA analysis. DNA was extracted using a high throughput extraction method...
January 2016: Science & Justice: Journal of the Forensic Science Society
Gabriele Margiotta, Giovanni Bacaro, Eugenia Carnevali, Simona Severini, Mauro Bacci, Mario Gabbrielli
The ubiquitous presence of plant species makes forensic botany useful for many criminal cases. Particularly, bryophytes are useful for forensic investigations because many of them are clonal and largely distributed. Bryophyte shoots can easily become attached to shoes and clothes and it is possible to be found on footwear, providing links between crime scene and individuals. We report a case of suicide of a young girl happened in Siena, Tuscany, Italia. The cause of traumatic injuries could be ascribed to suicide, to homicide, or to accident...
August 2015: Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine
P Charlier, J Poupon, G F Jeannel, D Favier, S M Popescu, A Augias, I Huynh-Charlier, L Laquay, O Boudouma, C Dorion-Peyronnet
During the Middle Ages and Renaissance, embalming the cadaver of the elite was common practice, being a highly technical treatment mixing vegetal and mineral substances. To assess the exact kind of embalming reserved for the dead body (with the practical necessities of desiccation and good odour), we performed a full biomedical analysis of the mummified remains of John Plantagenet of Lancaster, first Duke of Bedford, regent of France for his nephew, the English King Henri VI (died 1435 AD). Here, we show, among other aspects, that the body was embalmed using substances whose origins were in apothecary and botany: mercury, myrtle, mint, frankincense, lime and, possibly, cinnamon and copper...
April 2016: Medicine, Science, and the Law
Dominic Salsarola, Pasquale Poppa, Alberto Amadasi, Debora Mazzarelli, Daniele Gibelli, Emma Zanotti, Davide Porta, Cristina Cattaneo
In the field of forensic investigation burial is a relatively common method of hiding a corpse. The location of clandestine graves is, however, a particularly difficult task in which multiple forensic disciplines such as anthropology, botany or archaeology can provide valuable assistance. The use of GPR (ground-penetrating radar) has recently been introduced as a method in the detection of these graves, but what is the true potential of this tool in an operative search scenario? In this study a total of 11 pig carcasses were buried in two wooded areas, each presenting a similar soil composition...
August 2015: Forensic Science International
Carlos Martin Molina, Jamie K Pringle, Miguel Saumett, Orlando Hernández
In most Latin American countries there are significant numbers of missing people and forced disappearances, 68,000 alone currently in Colombia. Successful detection of shallow buried human remains by forensic search teams is difficult in varying terrain and climates. This research has created three simulated clandestine burial styles at two different depths commonly encountered in Latin America to gain knowledge of optimum forensic geophysics detection techniques. Repeated monitoring of the graves post-burial was undertaken by ground penetrating radar...
March 2015: Forensic Science International
G Ferri, B Corradini, F Ferrari, A L Santunione, F Palazzoli, M Alu'
The ambitious idea of using a short piece of DNA for large-scale species identification (DNA barcoding) is already a powerful tool for scientists and the application of this standard technique seems promising in a range of fields including forensic genetics. While DNA barcoding enjoyed a remarkable success for animal identification through cytochrome c oxidase I (COI) analysis, the attempts to identify a single barcode for plants remained a vain hope for a longtime. From the beginning, the Consortium for the Barcode of Life (CBOL) showed a lack of agreement on a core plant barcode, reflecting the diversity of viewpoints...
March 2015: Forensic Science International. Genetics
Isabella Aquila, Francesco Ausania, Ciro Di Nunzio, Arianna Serra, Silvia Boca, Arnaldo Capelli, Paola Magni, Pietrantonio Ricci
Management of a crime is the process of ensuring accurate and effective collection and preservation of physical evidence. Forensic botany can provide significant supporting evidences during criminal investigations. The aim of this study is to demonstrate the importance of forensic botany in the crime scene. We reported a case of a woman affected by dementia who had disappeared from nursing care and was found dead near the banks of a river that flowed under a railroad. Two possible ways of access to crime scene were identified and denominated "Path A" and "Path B...
May 2014: Journal of Forensic Sciences
Massimo Lancia, Federica Conforti, Michele Aleffi, Marco Caccianiga, Mauro Bacci, Riccardo Rossi
The estimation of the postmortem interval (PMI) is still one of the most challenging issues in forensic investigations, especially in cases in which advanced transformative phenomena have taken place. The dating of skeletal remains is even more difficult and sometimes only a rough determination of the PMI is possible. Recent studies suggest that plant analysis can provide a reliable estimation for skeletal remains dating, when traditional techniques are not applicable. Forensic Botany is a relatively recent discipline that includes many subdisciplines such as Palynology, Anatomy, Dendrochronology, Limnology, Systematic, Ecology, and Molecular Biology...
January 2013: Journal of Forensic Sciences
J Taylor
Today we consider forensic odontology to be a specialised and reliable method of identification of the deceased, particularly in multiple fatality incidents. While this reputation has been gained from the application of forensic odontology in both single identification and disaster situations over a number of years, the professional nature of the discipline and its practices have evolved only recently. This paper summarises some of early uses of forensic odontology internationally and in Australia and discusses the development of both forensic odontology and Disaster Victim Identification (DVI) practices in each of the states and territories of Australia...
December 2009: Journal of Forensic Odonto-stomatology
David N Zaya, Mary V Ashley
An emerging application for plant DNA fingerprinting and barcoding involves forensic investigations. Examples of DNA analysis of botanical evidence include crime scene analysis, identifying the source of commercial plant products, and investigation of trade in illicit drugs. Here, we review real and potential applications of DNA-based forensic botany and provide a protocol for microsatellite genotyping of leaf material, a protocol that could be used to link a suspect to a victim or to a crime scene.
2012: Methods in Molecular Biology
Gianmarco Ferri, Beatrice Corradini, Milena Alù
The analysis of nonhuman biological evidence both animal and botanical to find out the correct species of a sample comes as a great help to crime investigators. Particularly, forensic botany may be useful in many criminal and civil cases, e.g., for linking an individual to a crime scene or physical evidence to a geographic location, or tracking marijuana distribution patterns.Despite many molecular techniques for species identification so far applied, botanical evidences are still overlooked by forensic scientists due to the lack of reproducible and efficient protocols standardized across a wide range of different organisms and among different laboratories...
2012: Methods in Molecular Biology
Philip Ball
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
June 2010: Nature Materials
Ilaria Bruni, Fabrizio De Mattia, Andrea Galimberti, Gabriele Galasso, Enrico Banfi, Maurizio Casiraghi, Massimo Labra
The plant exposures are one of the most frequent poisonings reported to poison control centres. The diagnosis of intoxicated patients is usually based on the morphological analysis of ingested plant portions; this procedure requires experience in systematic botany, because the plant identification is based on few evident traits. The objective of this research is to test DNA barcoding approach as a new universal tool to identify toxic plants univocally and rapidly. Five DNA barcode regions were evaluated: three cpDNA sequences (trnH-psbA, rpoB and matK) and two nuclear regions (At103 and sqd1)...
November 2010: International Journal of Legal Medicine
Jodie Ward, Simon R Gilmore, James Robertson, Rod Peakall
Plant material is frequently encountered in criminal investigations but often overlooked as potential evidence. We designed a DNA-based molecular identification system for 100 Australian grasses that consisted of a series of polymerase chain reaction assays that enabled the progressive identification of grasses to different taxonomic levels. The identification system was based on DNA sequence variation at four chloroplast and two mitochondrial loci. Seventeen informative indels and 68 single-nucleotide polymorphisms were utilized as molecular markers for subfamily to species-level identification...
November 2009: Journal of Forensic Sciences
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