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Forensic biology

Chang Chen, Ariane Wohlfarth, Hui Xu, Dan Su, Xin Wang, Hongliang Jiang, Yulin Feng, Mingshe Zhu
A novel analytical workflow was developed and applied for the detection and identification of unknown xenobiotics in biological samples. High-resolution mass spectrometry (HRMS)-based data-independent MS(E) acquisition was employed to record full scan MS and fragment spectral datasets of test and control samples. Then, an untargeted data-mining technique, background subtraction, was utilized to find xenobiotics present only in test samples. Structural elucidation of the detected xenobiotics was accomplished by database search, spectral interpretation, and/or comparison with reference standards...
November 9, 2016: Analytica Chimica Acta
Félix Zapata, Mª Ángeles Fernández de la Ossa, Elizabeth Gilchrist, Leon Barron, Carmen García-Ruiz
Concerning the dreadful global threat of terrorist attacks, the detection of explosive residues in biological traces and marks is a current need in both forensics and homeland security. This study examines the potential of Raman microscopy in comparison to liquid chromatography (ion chromatography (IC) and reversed-phase high performance liquid chromatography (RP-HPLC)) to detect, identify and quantify residues in human handmarks of explosives and energetic salts commonly used to manufacture Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) including dynamite, ammonium nitrate, single- and double-smokeless gunpowders and black powder...
December 1, 2016: Talanta
V A Fetisov, A A Gusarov, Eksp Smirenin
The results of analysis of forensic medical expertises carried out by different state institutions of forensic medical expertise of this country are presented. It was shown that the practice of standardized expertises of the injuries inflicted inside the passenger compartment of the car remains to be established. The comprehensive approach to the solution of the problem of the circumstances of the road traffic accident and the positions of its participants in the passenger compartment of the car is possible based only on the multi-faceted investigation...
2016: Sudebno-meditsinskaia Ekspertiza
Yuttamol Muangkram, Worawidh Wajjwalku, Akira Amano, Manakorn Sukmak
We presented the powerful techniques for species identification using the short amplicon of mitochondrial cytochrome b gene sequence. Two faecal samples and one single hair sample of the Asian tapir were tested using the new cytochrome b primers. The results showed a high sequence similarity with the mainland Asian tapir group. The comparative sequence analysis of the reserved wild mammals in Thailand and the other endangered mammal species from Southeast Asia comprehensibly verified the potential of our novel primers...
October 19, 2016: Mitochondrial DNA. Part A. DNA Mapping, Sequencing, and Analysis
Pamela L Geller, Christopher M Stojanowksi
OBJECTIVES: This article uses craniometric allocation as a platform for discussing the legacy of Samuel G. Morton's collection of crania, the process of racialization, and the value of contextualized biohistoric research perspectives in biological anthropology. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Standard craniometric measurements were recorded for seven Seminoles in the Samuel G. Morton Crania Collection and 10 European soldiers from the Fort St. Marks Military Cemetery; all individuals were men and died in Florida during the 19th century...
October 18, 2016: American Journal of Physical Anthropology
Christian Brinch Mollerup, Petur Weihe Dalsgaard, Marie Mardal, Kristian Linnet
High-resolution mass spectrometry (HRMS) is widely used for the drug screening of biological samples in clinical and forensic laboratories. With the continuous addition of new psychoactive substances (NPS), keeping such methods updated is challenging. HRMS allows for combined targeted and non-targeted screening; first, peaks are identified by software algorithms, and identifications are based on reference standard data. Remaining unknown peaks are attempted identified with in silico and literature data. However, several thousand peaks remain where most are unidentifiable or uninteresting in drug screening...
October 17, 2016: Drug Testing and Analysis
Habteab Habtom, Sandrine Demanèche, Lorna Dawson, Chen Azulay, Ofra Matan, Patrick Robe, Ron Gafny, Pascal Simonet, Edouard Jurkevitch, Zohar Pasternak
The ubiquity and transferability of soil makes it a resource for the forensic investigator, as it can provide a link between agents and scenes. However, the information contained in soils, such as chemical compounds, physical particles or biological entities, is seldom used in forensic investigations; due mainly to the associated costs, lack of available expertise, and the lack of soil databases. The microbial DNA in soil is relatively easy to access and analyse, having thus the potential to provide a powerful means for discriminating soil samples or linking them to a common origin...
October 6, 2016: Forensic Science International. Genetics
Natalie R Langley, Sandra Cridlin
Secular changes refer to short-term biological changes ostensibly due to environmental factors. Two well-documented secular trends in many populations are earlier age of menarche and increasing stature. This study synthesizes data on maximum clavicle length and fusion of the medial epiphysis in 1840-1980 American birth cohorts to provide a comprehensive assessment of developmental and morphological change in the clavicle. Clavicles from the Hamann-Todd Human Osteological Collection (n = 354), McKern and Stewart Korean War males (n = 341), Forensic Anthropology Data Bank (n = 1,239), and the McCormick Clavicle Collection (n = 1,137) were used in the analysis...
January 2016: Human Biology
Zhizhen Qi, Yujun Cui, Qingwen Zhang, Ruifu Yang
This chapter summarized the taxonomy and typing works of Yersinia pestis since it's firstly identified in Hong Kong in 1894. Phenotyping methods that based on phenotypic characteristics, including biotyping, serotyping, antibiogram analysis, bacteriocin typing, phage typing, and plasmid typing, were firstly applied in classification of Y. pestis in subspecies level. And then, with the advancement of molecular biological technology, the methods based on outer membrane protein profiles, fatty acid composition, and bacterial mass fingerprinting were also used to identify the populations within Y...
2016: Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology
Katalin Solymosi, Attila Köfalvi
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...
October 4, 2016: Mini Reviews in Medicinal Chemistry
Molly M Rathbun, Jennifer A McElhoe, Walther Parson, Mitchell M Holland
Resolution of mitochondrial (mt) DNA heteroplasmy is now possible when applying a massively parallel sequencing (MPS) approach, including minor components down to 1%. However, reporting thresholds and interpretation criteria will need to be established for calling heteroplasmic variants that address a number of important topics, one of which is DNA damage. We assessed the impact of increasing amounts of DNA damage on the interpretation of minor component sequence variants in the mtDNA control region, including low-level mixed sites...
September 28, 2016: Forensic Science International. Genetics
Christoph Heier, Hao Xie, Robert Zimmermann
Ethanol is a widely used psychoactive drug whose chronic abuse is associated with organ dysfunction and disease. Although the prevalent metabolic fate of ethanol in the human body is oxidation a smaller fraction undergoes nonoxidative metabolism yielding ethyl glucuronide, ethyl sulfate, phosphatidylethanol and fatty acid ethyl esters. Nonoxidative ethanol metabolites persist in tissues and body fluids for much longer than ethanol itself and represent biomarkers for the assessment of ethanol intake in clinical and forensic settings...
October 6, 2016: IUBMB Life
Dayong Lee, Chris W Chronister, Wilson A Broussard, Suzanne R Utley-Bobak, Daniel L Schultz, Russell S Vega, Bruce A Goldberger
Fentanyl induces pharmacological effects and abuse liability comparable to other prescription opioids and heroin. A surge in fentanyl-related fatalities has been periodically reported throughout the USA. The University of Florida Forensic Toxicology Laboratory observed a significant increase in fentanyl-related deaths starting in mid-2014. The present report evaluated toxicological findings, demographics of the decedents and circumstances of death in the postmortem cases that were submitted to the laboratory for toxicological analysis from July 2014 to January 2015 and that were tested for fentanyl in biological specimens...
October 2016: Journal of Analytical Toxicology
Lindsay Glicksberg, Kelsie Bryand, Sarah Kerrigan
Synthetic cathinones continue to present a formidable challenge to forensic toxicology laboratories despite the fact that they are often encountered in impaired driving and death investigations. Due to limitations in immunoassay-based screening technologies, many forensic toxicology laboratories must rely on more labor intensive chromatographic-based screening approaches in order to detect these drugs in biological evidence. Solid phase extraction (SPE) and liquid chromatography-quadrupole/time of flight (LC-Q/TOF) mass spectrometry were used to identify twenty-two synthetic cathinones in urine and blood...
November 1, 2016: Journal of Chromatography. B, Analytical Technologies in the Biomedical and Life Sciences
Jiachang Li, Xingjun Zhu, Meng Xue, Wei Feng, Rongliang Ma, Fuyou Li
Lanthanide upconversion nanophosphors (Ln-UCNPs) have attracted great attention in a variety of fields, benefiting from low background fluorescence interference and a high signal-to-noise ratio of upconversion luminescence. However, the establishment of Ln-UCNPs with dual near-infrared (NIR) emission channels still remains challenging. Herein, we report the design and synthesis of Nd(3+)-sensitized NaYbF4:Tm@NaYF4:Yb@NaNdF4:Yb hierarchical-structured nanoparticles that emit NIR luminescence at 696 and 980 nm under excitation at 808 nm...
October 17, 2016: Inorganic Chemistry
Jason W Sahl, Talima Pearson, Richard Okinaka, James M Schupp, John D Gillece, Hannah Heaton, Dawn Birdsell, Crystal Hepp, Viacheslav Fofanov, Ramón Noseda, Antonio Fasanella, Alex Hoffmaster, David M Wagner, Paul Keim
: Anthrax is a zoonotic disease that occurs naturally in wild and domestic animals but has been used by both state-sponsored programs and terrorists as a biological weapon. A Soviet industrial production facility in Sverdlovsk, USSR, proved deficient in 1979 when a plume of spores was accidentally released and resulted in one of the largest known human anthrax outbreaks. In order to understand this outbreak and others, we generated a Bacillus anthracis population genetic database based upon whole-genome analysis to identify all single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) across a reference genome...
2016: MBio
Jiewei Deng, Wenwen Wang, Yunyun Yang, Xiaowei Wang, Baowei Chen, Zhong-Ping Yao, Tiangang Luan
Analysis of trace compounds in small-volume complex samples is of importance for forensic, clinical, pharmaceutical, environmental, and life science investigation. In this study, we reported the coupling of slug-flow microextraction with paper spray mass spectrometry for rapid analysis of trace analytes in small volume of complicated biological samples such as whole blood, milk, and body fluid, etc. The method is performed by applying a disposable glass capillary for rapid extraction of a small amount of complex samples using a small amount of organic solvent; the loaded organic solvent was then spotted onto a paper triangle and dried out; subsequently, a high voltage and some spray solvent were applied onto the paper triangle for mass spectrometric analysis...
October 12, 2016: Analytica Chimica Acta
Elham Bazmi, Behnam Behnoush, Maryam Akhgari, Leila Bahmanabadi
OBJECTIVE: Benzodiazepines are frequently screened drugs in emergency toxicology, drugs of abuse testing, and in forensic cases. As the variations of benzodiazepines concentrations in biological samples during bleeding, postmortem changes, and redistribution could be biasing forensic medicine examinations, hence selecting a suitable sample and a validated accurate method is essential for the quantitative analysis of these main drug categories. The aim of this study was to develop a valid method for the determination of four benzodiazepines (flurazepam, lorazepam, alprazolam, and diazepam) in vitreous humor using liquid-liquid extraction and high-performance liquid chromatography...
2016: SAGE Open Medicine
Eduardo Saldías, Assumpció Malgosa, Xavier Jordana, Albert Isidro
Sexual estimation is fundamental to reconstruct the biological profile of individuals, but postdepositional factors can alter the resistance of the bones, thereby preventing accurate diagnosis especially when the skull and the pelvis are absent. Navicular bones are usually well preserved in archeological and forensic contexts and can a good alternative to discriminate sex. On the basis of these aspects, the present investigation analyzed the sexual dimorphism in 231 pairs of navicular bones from documented contemporary collections from Spain...
October 2016: Forensic Science International
Chiara Villa, Jo Buckberry, Niels Lynnerup
Age at death estimation of human skeletal remains is one of the key issues in constructing a biological profile both in forensic and archaeological contexts. The traditional adult osteological methods evaluate macroscopically the morphological changes that occur with increasing age of specific skeletal indicators, such as the cranial sutures, the pubic bone, the auricular surface of the ilium and the sternal end of the ribs. Technologies such as computed tomography and laser scanning are becoming more widely used in anthropology, and several new methods have been developed...
September 13, 2016: Journal of Anatomy
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