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Forensic biology

Arezou Taghvimi, Marjan Ghorbani, Hamed Hamishehkar
A novel pH-responsive block copolymer (Poly ethylene glycol-b-poly (N,N-dimethylaminoethylmethacrylate-co-maleic acid) was designed for the decoration and stabilization of magnetic nanoparticles (MNPs) to apply as an efficient magnetic nano adsorbent for extraction of amphetamine (AM) from biological urine samples to be determined by high performance liquid chromatography ultra violet detector (HPLC-UV). Full characterization of the synthesized Polymeric magnetic nanoparticles (PMNPs) were followed by various techniques like Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR) spectroscopy, powder x-ray diffraction (XRD), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and vibrating sample magnetometer (VSM)...
November 18, 2017: Drug Testing and Analysis
Sho Manabe, Chie Morimoto, Yuya Hamano, Shuntaro Fujimoto, Keiji Tamaki
In criminal investigations, forensic scientists need to evaluate DNA mixtures. The estimation of the number of contributors and evaluation of the contribution of a person of interest (POI) from these samples are challenging. In this study, we developed a new open-source software "Kongoh" for interpreting DNA mixture based on a quantitative continuous model. The model uses quantitative information of peak heights in the DNA profile and considers the effect of artifacts and allelic drop-out. By using this software, the likelihoods of 1-4 persons' contributions are calculated, and the most optimal number of contributors is automatically determined; this differs from other open-source software...
2017: PloS One
Annalisa Durdle, Timothy J Verdon, Robert John Mitchell, Roland A H van Oorschot
Human DNA profiles can be obtained from fly artifacts (feces and regurgitant) when a fly has been feeding on biological material, sometimes 2 years after deposition. Morphological similarity between artifacts and spots of unaltered biological material make it difficult to distinguish between them, and presumptive and confirmatory forensic tests are unreliable in making the distinction. Knowing possible artifact locations will assist investigators in recognizing where DNA contamination might occur. Flies were released into a house with human blood available under a variety of different climatic and lighting conditions...
November 16, 2017: Journal of Forensic Sciences
Francesca Maghin, Salvatore Ambrogio Andreola, Michele Boracchi, Guendalina Gentile, Francesca Maciocco, Riccardo Zoja
The authors applied scanning electron microscopy with energy-dispersive x-ray spectrometry to the furrow derived from hanging means. The study was conducted with the purpose to detect possible extraneous microtraces, deriving from the ligature, that could have had an interaction with the cutaneous biological matrix, thanks to a transfert mechanism, in the proximities of the lesion.Fifteen cutaneous samples of the furrow and an equal number of fragments of graphite tape, directly positioned on the lesion produced by the ligature mean and used as a "conductor" of possible traces, were analyzed using scanning electron microscopy with energy-dispersive x-ray spectrometry...
November 15, 2017: American Journal of Forensic Medicine and Pathology
Kelsey M Kyllonen, Terrie Simmons-Ehrhardt, Keith L Monson
Stature estimation is an important component of the biological profile. Human crania are sometimes recovered in the absence of other skeletal material in forensic casework, and stature estimation equations using cranial measurements have not been developed for populations in the United States. Both simple and multiple regression equations for estimating stature were developed from standard cranial measurements taken from both a cranial CT dataset and the Forensic Data Bank, and the resulting equations were tested using a separate dataset...
October 18, 2017: Forensic Science International
Marie Mardal, Pieter Annaert, Carolina Noble, Marlies Oorts, Kristian Linnet
Analytical strategies for detecting drugs in biological samples rely on information on metabolism and elimination. 5F-PY-PICA belongs to the group of synthetic cannabinoids that are known to undergo excretion into the bile. The aims of this study were the in vitro identification of metabolites of 5F-PY-PICA and to determine which analytical targets are excreted into the bile and urine. Metabolites identified after incubation of 5F-PY-PICA with pooled human liver microsomes (pHLM), pooled human hepatocytes (pHH), or suspended and sandwich-cultured rat hepatocytes (SCRH)...
November 7, 2017: Journal of Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Analysis
Ke Ma, Xueying Zhao, Hui Li, Yu Cao, Wei Li, Jian Ouyang, Lu Xie, Wenbin Liu
Mitochondrial genome analysis is a potent tool in forensic practice and in the understanding of human phylogeny in the maternal lineage. With the development of molecular biology and bioinformatics techniques, high-throughput sequencing has enabled mtDNA analysis during whole genome sequencing, which provides more comprehensive information and raises the power of discrimination. In this study, peripheral blood samples were taken from 194 mother-offspring pairs and sequenced by Ion Torrent Personal Genome Machine and obtained high-coverage mitochondrial sequencing data, demonstrating the mutation levels at each position in the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) between maternally related pairs...
November 6, 2017: Forensic Science International. Genetics
Vishakha Sharma, Hoi Yan Chow, Donald Siegel, Elisa Wurmbach
Massively parallel sequencing (MPS) is a powerful tool transforming DNA analysis in multiple fields ranging from medicine, to environmental science, to evolutionary biology. In forensic applications, MPS offers the ability to significantly increase the discriminatory power of human identification as well as aid in mixture deconvolution. However, before the benefits of any new technology can be employed, a thorough evaluation of its quality, consistency, sensitivity, and specificity must be rigorously evaluated in order to gain a detailed understanding of the technique including sources of error, error rates, and other restrictions/limitations...
2017: PloS One
Kirsten Langstraat, Alwin Knijnenberg, Gerda Edelman, Linda van de Merwe, Annelies van Loon, Joris Dik, Arian van Asten
This study introduces the use of macroscopic X-ray fluorescence (MA-XRF) for the detection, classification and imaging of forensic traces over large object areas such as entire pieces of clothing and wall paneling. MA-XRF was sufficiently sensitive and selective to detect human biological traces like blood, semen, saliva, sweat and urine on fabric on the basis of Fe, Zn, K, Cl and Ca elemental signatures. With MA-XRF a new chemical contrast is introduced for human stain detection and this can provide a valuable alternative when the evidence item is challenging for conventional techniques...
November 8, 2017: Scientific Reports
Temitope Ayodeji Esan, Veerasamy Yengopal, Lynne A Schepartz
BACKGROUND: The accuracy of radiographic methods for dental age estimation is important for biological growth research and forensic applications. Accuracy of the two most commonly used systems (Demirjian and Willems) has been evaluated with conflicting results. This study investigates the accuracies of these methods for dental age estimation in different populations. METHODS: A search of PubMed, Scopus, Ovid, Database of Open Access Journals and Google Scholar was undertaken...
2017: PloS One
Siobhan Sullivan, Ambika Flavel, Daniel Franklin
The accurate and precise estimation of skeletal age by a forensic anthropologist is both a professional and judicial requirement. When unknown skeletal remains are referred to the anthropologist, the estimation of the requisite biological attributes (e.g., age and sex) should accordingly be based on the application of population-specific standards (statistical data). Deviations from the latter practice may result in reduced accuracy and compromised identification. Towards informing appropriate forensic practice, the aim of the present study is to develop statistically quantified age estimation models for a contemporary sub-adult Western Australian population based on the timing of fusion in the os coxa and proximal femur...
October 16, 2017: Forensic Science International
Suguru Torimitsu, Yohsuke Makino, Hisako Saitoh, Namiko Ishii, Daisuke Yajima, Go Inokuchi, Ayumi Motomura, Fumiko Chiba, Rutsuko Yamaguchi, Yumi Hoshioka, Hirotaro Iwase
Sex determination for unidentified human remains is important because the determined sex is usually used as a foundation for the estimation of other biological profiles. This study investigated the sexual dimorphism of the adult hyoid bone and developed discriminant equations to accurately estimate sex in a contemporary Japanese population using measurements on two-dimensional computed tomography (CT) images. The study sample comprised 280 cadavers (140 males, 140 females) of known age and sex that underwent postmortem CT and subsequent forensic autopsy...
November 2, 2017: International Journal of Legal Medicine
Hannah Holtkötter, Kristina Schwender, Peter Wiegand, Heidi Peiffer, Marielle Vennemann
Body fluid identification is a substantial part of forensic trace analyses. The correct determination of the origin of a biological stain may give valuable information regarding the circumstances of a crime. A simple way to detect a body fluid in a stain is the use of immunochromatographic strip tests. They are easy to use, user-independent, quick, and cheap. Currently, however, it is only possible to analyze one body fluid at a time, requiring the analyst to make previous, possibly subjective, assumptions on the body fluid at hand...
October 29, 2017: International Journal of Legal Medicine
Kate Megan Reid, Sairita Maistry, Raj Ramesar, Laura Jane Heathfield
Molecular analyses in a post-mortem setting are becoming increasingly common, particularly in cases of sudden unexplained death, with the aim of identifying genetic mutations which may be responsible for causing death. In retrospective investigations, the access to suitable autopsy biological samples may be limited, and often formalin fixed paraffin embedded (FFPE) tissue is the only sample available. The preservation of tissue in formalin is known to damage DNA through crosslinking activity. This results in the extraction of severely fragmented DNA of variable yields, which subsequently reduces the ability to perform downstream molecular analyses...
October 13, 2017: Forensic Science International
Katie E Faillace, Jonathan D Bethard, Murray K Marks
OBJECTIVES: Though applied in bioarchaeology, dental wear is an underexplored age indicator in the biological anthropology of contemporary populations, although research has been conducted on dental attrition in forensic contexts (Kim et al., , Journal of Forensic Sciences, 45, 303; Prince et al., , Journal of Forensic Sciences, 53, 588; Yun et al., , Journal of Forensic Sciences, 52, 678). The purpose of this study is to apply and adapt existing techniques for age estimation based on dental wear to a modern American population, with the aim of producing accurate age range estimates for individuals from an industrialized context...
October 27, 2017: American Journal of Physical Anthropology
Christina L Fojas, Jieun Kim, Jocelyn D Minsky-Rowland, Bridget F B Algee-Hewitt
OBJECTIVES: Skeletal age estimation is an integral part of the biological profile. Recent work shows how multiple-trait approaches better capture senescence as it occurs at different rates among individuals. Furthermore, a Bayesian statistical framework of analysis provides more useful age estimates. The component-scoring method of Transition Analysis (TA) may resolve many of the functional and statistical limitations of traditional phase-aging methods and is applicable to both paleodemography and forensic casework...
October 26, 2017: American Journal of Physical Anthropology
Kayla M Sheets, Michael L Baird, Julie Heinig, Debra Davis, Mary Sabatini, D Barry Starr
In the fertility clinic setting, a negative DNA paternity test result usually suggests a sample mix-up likely occurred at the testing company or in the clinic. However, we report a case where, despite repeat negative paternity test results, the alleged father (referred to as "the proband") was confirmed to be the baby's father. The proband, a 34 year-old male, contacted our research group when routine blood testing revealed discrepant blood types between the parents and the baby, repeat paternity tests were negative (excluding the proband as the baby's father), and the fertility clinic found no evidence of any wrongdoing...
October 23, 2017: Journal of Assisted Reproduction and Genetics
Claudia Conti, Alessandra Botteon, Chiara Colombo, Marco Realini, Pavel Matousek
A recently developed technique of Micro-Spatially Offset Raman Spectroscopy (micro-SORS) extends the applicability of Raman spectroscopy to probing thin, highly diffusely scattering layers such as stratified paint samples, enabling their nondestructive chemical characterization. The technique has a wide applicability across areas such as cultural heritage, polymer research, forensics, and biological fields; however, currently, it suffers from a major unaddressed issue related to its ineffectiveness with highly heterogeneous samples...
November 7, 2017: Analytical Chemistry
Rachel Wiley, Kelly Sage, Bobby LaRue, Bruce Budowle
Traditionally, forensic DNA analysis has required highly skilled forensic geneticists in a dedicated laboratory to generate short tandem repeat (STR) profiles. STR profiles are routinely used either to associate or exclude potential donors of forensic biological evidence. The typing of forensic reference samples has become more demanding, especially with the requirement in some jurisdictions to DNA profile arrestees. The Rapid DNA (RDNA) platform, the RapidHIT(®) ID (IntegenX(®), Pleasanton, CA), is a fully automated system capable of processing reference samples in approximately 90min with minimal human intervention...
September 23, 2017: Forensic Science International. Genetics
Nathalie Allibe, Camille Richeval, Mélodie Phanithavong, Amandine Faure, Delphine Allorge, François Paysant, Françoise Stanke-Labesque, Hélène Eysseric-Guerin, Jean-Michel Gaulier
New psychoactive substances (NPS) use has rapidly increased over the last decade, and in the last 4 years producers increasingly appear to be targeting non-controlled synthetic opioids, involving fentanyl derivatives such as ocfentanil (OcF). Identification of metabolites is of major importance in the context of NPS use as it could improve detection window in biological matrices in clinical and forensic intoxication cases. Hence, this work aims to report a fatality involving OcF documented by the identification of metabolites...
October 16, 2017: Drug Testing and Analysis
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