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Forensic Science International

Andreas Bertsatos, Maria-Eleni Chovalopoulou
The diaphyseal cross-sectional geometric properties of the humerus, femur and tibia have been extensively used for studying their adaptation to mechanical loading. To date common practices for such studies involve either computed tomography or the latex cast method in conjunction with image analysis for calculating such properties. With the advent of modern laser scanning and photogrammetry technologies in biological anthropology, the computation of the cross-sectional geometric properties directly from 3D models is a viable and sensible alternative...
February 5, 2019: Forensic Science International
Efthymia Nikita, Panos Nikitas
Age-at-death estimation in a skeletal assemblage (target sample) is biased by the demographic profile of the material used for age prediction (training sample) when this profile is different from that of the target sample. This bias is minimized if the demographic profile of the target sample is properly taken into account in the method developed for age-at-death estimation. In the Bayesian approach this is accomplished via the informative prior. For methods based on regression, we propose two techniques: (a) using weighting factors taken from the demographic profile of the target sample, and (b) creating a new hypothetical training sample that has a demographic profile similar to that of the target sample...
February 5, 2019: Forensic Science International
Cristian Palmiere, Silke Grabherr
Postmortem biochemical investigations in vitreous humor samples collected before and after performing multiphase postmortem computed tomography angiography were performed in the past and demonstrated that specific contrast material injection allowed perfusion and radiological identification of the main vessels of the eye to be obtained without any changes in vitreous humor composition. In the study presented herein, we aimed to test whether the injection of the same contrast material using the same postmortem angiography protocol might influence pericardial fluid composition...
February 2, 2019: Forensic Science International
Waltraud Baier, Chas Mangham, Jason M Warnett, Mark Payne, Michelle Painter, Mark A Williams
Forensic imaging technology has rapidly advanced over the past several decades and is gaining increasing significance in medico-legal death investigations. Medical-grade computed tomography (CT) is now routinely used in post-mortem examinations at numerous institutions across the globe. However, the resolution of medical-grade CT is limited and unsuitable when used to depict some smaller anatomical structures or micro-trauma. High-resolution micro-CT offers up to 100× the resolution to overcome this problem but is a very recent addition to the field of forensic radiology...
February 1, 2019: Forensic Science International
S C Modina, M E Andreis, M Moioli, M Di Giancamillo
Age estimation in growing dogs is crucial not only in clinical practice but increasingly so in forensic practice as well. In the last few years, it has assumed great importance for correctly identifying the age of puppies illegally imported to Italy as well as to other European countries. Puppies are, in fact, transported when they are too young to be moved, which can cause both animal/public health and animal welfare issues. Therefore, the movement of animals within the European Community is governed by strict rules, and veterinarians are often required to evaluate the age of the imported puppies in a forensic scenario as accurately as possible...
January 29, 2019: Forensic Science International
Ning He, Mingliang Gao, Dunpu Shen, Hongda Li, Zhengbo Han, Pengcheng Zhao
Rapid field screening is enormously important in forensic analysis of explosives. In this article, we used a methodology based on a strong red-fluorescent europium-organic framework (Eu-MOF) material for sensitive and selective detection of picric acid, TNT, and tetryl using the fluorescence quenching effect. Results indicate that Eu-MOF can be used for the visual detection of these three explosives with low detection limits (20-140 μg/mL) and high quenching efficiency (Ksv > 104  M-1 ). Furthermore, this material can be recycled just by washing it with ethanol...
January 29, 2019: Forensic Science International
Glinda S Cooper, Vanessa Meterko
The extent to which cognitive biases may influence decision-making in forensic science is an important question with implications for training and practice. We conducted a systematic review of the literature on cognitive biases in forensic science disciplines. The initial literature search including electronic searching of three databases (two social science, one science) and manual review of reference lists in identified articles. An initial screening of title and abstract by two independent reviewers followed by full text review resulted in the identification of 29 primary source (research) studies...
January 22, 2019: Forensic Science International
Kai-Uwe Goss
Search dogs are used throughout the world in the search for illicit compounds or human individuals and similar tasks. Such search work is complex and not well understood in all its details which makes training of the dogs difficult. One important component for a successful education and deployment of search dogs is a good understanding of the behavior of scents under typical environmental conditions. This work summarizes up-to-date knowledge on the physico-chemistry of scents and discusses the consequences for the every-day work of dog handlers and trainers...
January 22, 2019: Forensic Science International
C Schyma, C Infanger, R Müller, K Bauer, J Brünig
The velocity of a projectile is of crucial importance to calculate its kinetic energy. The study was performed to investigate if a measurement of the velocity profile of a bullet in gelatine was feasible using high-speed video. More than 50 records captured with a SA-X2 Photron camera at 40,000 fps (40k) and 10 μs exposure time were analysed frame by frame. A measurement accuracy of one pixel could be realised. Records of free flying bullets with known velocity served as a control. In further experimental shots from distance the "12 cm reference cube" was used as target model...
January 22, 2019: Forensic Science International
Sonja Bitzer
Forensic Advisors, at the Belgian National Institute for Criminalistics and Criminology, occupy a centralising role in regards to analytical information and forensic questions in the judicial cases. Magistrates can request their advice but remain formally responsible for all decisions regarding trace processing. Nevertheless, magistrates' decisions are guided by the fact that a trace is recommended for analysis by a Forensic Advisor in all three types of cases studied (homicide, robbery, burglary). Moreover, this advice leads to more potentially useful information (in the case of biological traces)...
January 21, 2019: Forensic Science International
Angélica Rocha Martins, Camila Santos Dourado, Márcio Talhavini, André Braz, Jez Willian Batista Braga
Determining the chronological order of crossed lines is a recurrent problem in forensic analysis of documents. One of the most important requirement of these analyses is the use of non-destructive techniques to maintain the integrity of the documents for further analysis as judicial evidences. Thus, this work proposes an objective, non-destructive, easy-to-execute analysis protocol for forensic analysis, using the hyperspectral mode of the VSC6000®, which is an equipment found in most laboratories of questioned documents...
January 21, 2019: Forensic Science International
A Williams, C J Rogers, J P Cassella
Human Taphonomy Facilities (HTFs) are outdoor laboratories where scientific research is carried out on donated human cadavers in order to understand how human decomposition progresses in a variety of conditions. There are currently eight such facilities in the USA, one in Australia and one on mainland Europe. Forensic scientists in the UK have started to ask the question 'Does the UK need a Human Taphonomy Facility?'. A review of the literature produced by the existing HTFs, as well as published opinion and commentaries about these facilities and the feasibility of one in the UK has been undertaken...
January 21, 2019: Forensic Science International
Kai Zindler, Wolfgang Grellner
Killings of human beings involving animals have rarely been described in the forensic literature. In the present case, the decapitated corpse of a woman as well as the decapitated, castrated and partially disemboweled corpse of a dog were found together. Both bodies also exhibited analogous, distributed massive sharp-force traumas. The approximately same pattern of actions as well as findings consistent with an exaggerated killing are particularly noteworthy. The perpetrator was found to be the son of the victim and had long exhibited psychological abnormalities...
January 21, 2019: Forensic Science International
Frédérique Lagacé, Emeline Verna, Pascal Adalian, Eric Baccino, Laurent Martrille
Histomorphometric methods for age-at-death estimation constitute alternatives to macroscopic ones in the forensic context. However, all new methods must be tested on independent samples to justify their use and assure their accuracy. The main goal of this study was to test a new age-at-death method presented by Goliath et al. (2016) on a sample of 29 decalcified femur sections from individuals autopsied in the Institute of Legal Medicine of Montpellier, France. The formula proposed by the authors was not efficient to estimate the age-at-death in our sample, with only four out of 29 individuals well estimated...
January 21, 2019: Forensic Science International
Yosuke Usumoto, Keiko Kudo, Akiko Tsuji, Yoko Ihama, Noriaki Ikeda
The colour of post-mortem lividity and control skin of 86 cadavers was measured spectrophotometrically to obtain L* (value), a* (chroma) and b* (hue) values. In addition, left heart blood (n = 58), right heart blood (n = 57) and blood from the femoral vein (n = 21) were measured. Using these data, we analysed the relationship between post-mortem lividity, control skin and blood colours. L* of post-mortem lividity (L* p ) and control skin (L* c ) were strongly correlated ( r = 0.64). a* and b* of post-mortem lividity (a* p and b* p ) significantly increased with an increasing post-mortem interval (PMI) but r2 values were low (0...
January 19, 2019: Forensic Science International
Caroline Costedoat, Pascal Adalian, Eric Bouzaid, Annick Martinet, Luc Vanrell, Lino von Gartzen, Philippe Castellano, Michel Signoli, Stéfan Tzortzis, Alain Stevanovitch
This case study reports the anthropological analysis of bones remains discovered on Riou Island (Marseille, France) and the story of two World War II fighter pilots. The discovery of bones on "The Fountain of the Greeks" square on Riou Island occurred in the 1960's and a first anthropological study described a 35-year-old man, about 1.77 m tall, buried since an estimated period between the 13th and 16th centuries. The case was "closed" and the bones were considered as isolated archaeological remains...
January 19, 2019: Forensic Science International
Karen Bonde Larsen, Zoe Barber, Waney Squier
In infants, traumatic surface contusions of the brain are rare but subcortical clefts or cysts, variously labelled "contusional tears", "contusional clefts", "cortical tears" or "parenchymal lacerations" have been ascribed to trauma, and are even said to be characteristic of shaking and abuse. We describe the pathology of subcortical clefts or haemorrhages in seven infants. In none were the axonal swellings characteristic of traumatic axonal injury seen in relation to the clefts...
January 19, 2019: Forensic Science International
Sirkku L Sarenbo
The inspection protocols of the Swedish police, based on the Act (2007:1150) on Supervision of Dogs and Cats, were used to examine the characteristics of 101 seized dogs, their owners, and the circumstances in which the attacks occurred. Most common reasons to seize a dog was that the dog owner was not following a previous order or ban, or that the dog had attacked and caused damage to humans or animals. The most common circumstances of the attacks involved dogs that escaped from gardens, unleashed dogs on walks and attacks by dogs on a leash...
January 19, 2019: Forensic Science International
S Acosta, L Andersson, A Bagher, C J Wingren
BACKGROUND: The main aim of the present population-based study was to compare drugs in fall versus non-fall accidents causing major trauma, including both clinical and medico-legal autopsy data. METHODS: All individuals with accidents resulting in major trauma, a new injury severity score (NISS)>15 or lethal outcome was identified at hospital and/or the Department of Forensic Medicine between 2011 and 2013. Modified Downton Fall Risk Index ranged from 0 to 7, and was based on specific pharmaceuticals (max 5 points), previous fall (1 point) and cognitive impairment (1 point)...
January 19, 2019: Forensic Science International
Marisa N S Forbes, Devin A Finaughty, Kelly L Miles, Victoria E Gibbon
In forensic death investigations, estimating the postmortem interval (PMI) is critical. An accurate PMI estimate increases the speed and accuracy of identifying the remains by narrowing the time frame in which the death occurred, thus reducing the pool of possible decedents. Cape Town, South Africa has a high level of unnatural death, and due to a burdened death investigation system, many remain unidentified. There has been a tendency to broadly apply quantitative models of decomposition across biogeographically unique circumstances...
January 19, 2019: Forensic Science International
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