Science.gov

Sample records for postmortem forensic toxicology

  1. Interpretation of postmortem forensic toxicology results for injury prevention research.

    PubMed

    Drummer, Olaf H; Kennedy, Briohny; Bugeja, Lyndal; Ibrahim, Joseph Elias; Ozanne-Smith, Joan

    2013-08-01

    Forensic toxicological data provides valuable insight into the potential contribution of alcohol and drugs to external-cause deaths. There is a paucity of material that guides injury researchers on the principles that need to be considered when examining the presence and contribution of alcohol and drugs to these deaths. This paper aims to describe and discuss strengths and limitations of postmortem forensic toxicology sample selection, variations in analytical capabilities and data interpretation for injury prevention research. Issues to be considered by injury researchers include: the circumstances surrounding death (including the medical and drug use history of the deceased person); time and relevant historical factors; postmortem changes (including redistribution and instability); laboratory practices; specimens used; drug concentration; and attribution of contribution to death. This paper describes the range of considerations for testing and interpreting postmortem forensic toxicology, particularly when determining impairment or toxicity as possible causal factors in injury deaths. By describing these considerations, this paper has application to decisions about study design and case inclusion in injury prevention research, and to the interpretation of research findings. PMID:23197673

  2. Forensic toxicology.

    PubMed

    Drummer, Olaf H

    2010-01-01

    Forensic toxicology has developed as a forensic science in recent years and is now widely used to assist in death investigations, in civil and criminal matters involving drug use, in drugs of abuse testing in correctional settings and custodial medicine, in road and workplace safety, in matters involving environmental pollution, as well as in sports doping. Drugs most commonly targeted include amphetamines, benzodiazepines, cannabis, cocaine and the opiates, but can be any other illicit substance or almost any over-the-counter or prescribed drug, as well as poisons available to the community. The discipline requires high level skills in analytical techniques with a solid knowledge of pharmacology and pharmacokinetics. Modern techniques rely heavily on immunoassay screening analyses and mass spectrometry (MS) for confirmatory analyses using either high-performance liquid chromatography or gas chromatography as the separation technique. Tandem MS has become more and more popular compared to single-stage MS. It is essential that analytical systems are fully validated and fit for the purpose and the assay batches are monitored with quality controls. External proficiency programs monitor both the assay and the personnel performing the work. For a laboratory to perform optimally, it is vital that the circumstances and context of the case are known and the laboratory understands the limitations of the analytical systems used, including drug stability. Drugs and poisons can change concentration postmortem due to poor or unequal quality of blood and other specimens, anaerobic metabolism and redistribution. The latter provides the largest handicap in the interpretation of postmortem results. PMID:20358697

  3. A forensic toxicological dilemma: the interpretation of post-mortem concentrations of central acting analgesics.

    PubMed

    Daldrup, Th

    2004-06-10

    Dora V., a 88-year-old pensioner suffering from a hiatus hernia, died at the home of an orthopaedist and his wife, an anaesthetist, immediately after she had received a dose of 300 mg pethidine via intravenous infusion in a timeframe of about 90 min. One day before her death a befriended notary of the couple visited Dora V. and obtained a blank signature. After her death, a will was forged using this signature, rendering the couple sole heirs of Dora V.'s estate with a value of several million euros. Post-mortem toxicology was performed in three different institutes of legal medicine. The concentrations of pethidine in peripheral venous blood were between 6.1 and 6.5mg/l and 9.5 and 17.2mg/kg in brain. Pharmacokinetic calculation confirms the given dose. There was no doubt that the cause of death was acute pethidine intoxication. The accused couple claimed that this dose of pethidine was indicated to relief pain, and as the pathologists said in their expert opinions that the hiatus hernia could explain her death, the court had to acquit the accused. This very special case demonstrates that preconceived murder of a sick person with suitable analgesics cannot be proven--at least not with the methods available to forensic toxicology and pathology. This has to be taken into consideration if euthanasia will be legalised under special circumstances. PMID:15172078

  4. Veterinary Forensic Toxicology.

    PubMed

    Gwaltney-Brant, S M

    2016-09-01

    Veterinary pathologists working in diagnostic laboratories are sometimes presented with cases involving animal poisonings that become the object of criminal or civil litigation. Forensic veterinary toxicology cases can include cases involving animal cruelty (malicious poisoning), regulatory issues (eg, contamination of the food supply), insurance litigation, or poisoning of wildlife. An understanding of the appropriate approach to these types of cases, including proper sample collection, handling, and transport, is essential so that chain of custody rules are followed and proper samples are obtained for toxicological analysis. Consultation with veterinary toxicologists at the diagnostic laboratory that will be processing the samples before, during, and after the forensic necropsy can help to ensure that the analytical tests performed are appropriate for the circumstances and findings surrounding the individual case. PMID:27090769

  5. Postmortem toxicology of drugs of abuse.

    PubMed

    Drummer, Olaf H

    2004-06-10

    Conducting toxicology on post-mortem specimens provides a number of very significant challenges to the scientist. The range of additional specimens include tissues such as decomposing blood and other tissues, hair, muscle, fat, lung, and even larvae feeding on the host require special techniques to isolate a foreign substance and allow detection without interference from the matrix. A number of drugs of abuse are unstable in the post-mortem environment that requires careful consideration when trying to interpret their significance. Heroin, morphine glucuronides, cocaine and the benzodiazepines are particularly prone to degradation. Moreover, redistributive process can significantly alter the concentration of drugs, particularly those with a higher tissue concentration than the surrounding blood. The designer amphetamines, methadone and other potent opioids will increase their concentration in blood post-mortem. These processes together with the development of tolerance means that no concentration of a drug of abuse can be interpreted in isolation without a thorough examination of the relevant circumstances and after the conduct of a post-mortem to eliminate or corroborate relevant factors that could impact on the drug concentration and the possible effect of a substance on the body. This article reviews particular toxicological issues associated with the more common drugs of abuse such as the amphetamines, cannabinoids, cocaine, opioids and the benzodiazepines. PMID:15172074

  6. Computer-assisted systems for forensic pathology and forensic toxicology.

    PubMed

    Druid, H; Holmgren, P; Löwenhielm, P

    1996-09-01

    A computer software, RättsBASE (RB), was developed for all forensic pathology units in Sweden and introduced in 1992. Simultaneously, a corresponding software, ToxBASE (TB), was developed for the Department of Forensic Toxicology, where all forensic toxicology in Sweden is managed. Both of the databases were created using dBASE IV, and the programming was carried out according to specifications from the staff at the forensic toxicology and forensic pathology units. since the development or RB and TB was coordinated, the systems can run together smoothly. The purpose of both systems was to automate the offices and to enable compilation of detailed statistics. Installation of Novell Netware and ISDN-connections (Integrated Service Digital Network) has enabled rapid communication between the units and easy compilation of nationwide statistics of forensic pathology and forensic toxicology. the systems offer a wide spectrum of reports and include a simple module for evaluation of the importance of the forensic efforts for th whole death investigation. The configuration of the softwares has also enabled processing of a large amount of related toxicological and autopsy data that in turn has yielded a base for compilation of toxicology interpretation lists. This article includes a summary of the features of the software and a discussion of its benefits and limitations. PMID:15637819

  7. Modern Instrumental Methods in Forensic Toxicology*

    PubMed Central

    Smith, Michael L.; Vorce, Shawn P.; Holler, Justin M.; Shimomura, Eric; Magluilo, Joe; Jacobs, Aaron J.; Huestis, Marilyn A.

    2009-01-01

    This article reviews modern analytical instrumentation in forensic toxicology for identification and quantification of drugs and toxins in biological fluids and tissues. A brief description of the theory and inherent strengths and limitations of each methodology is included. The focus is on new technologies that address current analytical limitations. A goal of this review is to encourage innovations to improve our technological capabilities and to encourage use of these analytical techniques in forensic toxicology practice. PMID:17579968

  8. Olanzapine-induced hyperglycemic ketoacidosis and corresponding acetone concentrations post-mortem: a forensic interpretation.

    PubMed

    House, Chris J

    2007-08-24

    Olanzapine has been shown to cause or have a contributory role in the development of hyperglycemia and diabetes mellitus. Without careful monitoring for the development of these conditions and control of the resulting adverse effects, patients receiving olanzapine may be at risk of developing fatal ketoacidosis. A review of post-mortem toxicological reports has revealed an increase in the incidence of post-mortem findings of acetone in decedents who were taking olanzapine over the past decade. A review of the current literature and a comprehensive review of case histories and toxicological findings were conducted at the Centre of Forensic Sciences (Toronto, Ontario). Olanzapine concentrations ranging from <62.5 to 858 ng/mL and acetone concentrations as high as 95 mg/dL were detected concurrently. Due to the unstable nature of olanzapine, in several instances quantitation was not possible despite elevated responses during qualitative screening procedures. Five cases suggesting olanzapine-induced ketoacidosis were identified based on the case history and toxicological findings. These data have been compiled and examined with respect to acetone concentrations following olanzapine use and the forensic relevance of post-mortem olanzapine and acetone concentrations are discussed. PMID:17084052

  9. [Research Progress on Forensic Toxicology of Z-drugs].

    PubMed

    Zhang, Yong-zhi; He, Hong-yuan; She, Cai-meng; Lian, Jie

    2015-08-01

    The Z-drugs (zolpidem, zopiclone, and zaleplon), as the innovative hypnotics, have an improvement over the traditional benzodiazepines in the management of insomnia. Z-drugs have significant hypnotic effects by reducing sleep latency and improving sleep quality, though duration of sleep may not be significantly increased. As benzodiazepines, Z-drugs exert their effects through increasing the transmission of γ-aminobutyric acid. Z-drugs overdose are less likely to be fatal, more likely would result in poisoning. Z-drugs can be detected in blood, urine, saliva, and other postmortem specimens through liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry techniques. Zolpidem and zaleplon exhibit significant postmortem redistribution. Z-drugs have improved pharmacokinetic profiles, but incidence of neuropsychiatric sequelae, poisoning, and death may prove to be similar to the other hypnotics. This review focuses on the pharmacology and toxicology of Z-drugs with respect to their adverse effect profile and toxicity and toxicology data in the field of forensic medicine. PMID:26665884

  10. Postmortem diagnosis and toxicological validation of illicit substance use.

    PubMed

    Lehrmann, Elin; Afanador, Zoan R; Deep-Soboslay, Amy; Gallegos, Gloria; Darwin, William D; Lowe, Ross H; Barnes, Allan J; Huestis, Marilyn A; Cadet, Jean L; Herman, Mary M; Hyde, Thomas M; Kleinman, Joel E; Freed, William J

    2008-03-01

    The present study examines the diagnostic challenges of identifying ante-mortem illicit substance use in human postmortem cases. Substance use, assessed by clinical case history reviews, structured next-of-kin interviews, by general toxicology of blood, urine and/or brain, and by scalp hair testing, identified 33 cocaine, 29 cannabis, 10 phencyclidine and nine opioid cases. Case history identified 42% cocaine, 76% cannabis, 10% phencyclidine and 33% opioid cases. Next-of-kin interviews identified almost twice as many cocaine and cannabis cases as Medical Examiner (ME) case histories, and were crucial in establishing a detailed lifetime substance use history. Toxicology identified 91% cocaine, 68% cannabis, 80% phencyclidine and 100% opioid cases, with hair testing increasing detection for all drug classes. A cocaine or cannabis use history was corroborated by general toxicology with 50% and 32% sensitivity, respectively, and with 82% and 64% sensitivity by hair testing. Hair testing corroborated a positive general toxicology for cocaine and cannabis with 91% and 100% sensitivity, respectively. Case history corroborated hair toxicology with 38% sensitivity for cocaine and 79% sensitivity for cannabis, suggesting that both case history and general toxicology underestimated cocaine use. Identifying ante-mortem substance use in human postmortem cases are key considerations in case diagnosis and for characterization of disorder-specific changes in neurobiology. The sensitivity and specificity of substance use assessments increased when ME case history was supplemented with structured next-of-kin interviews to establish a detailed lifetime substance use history, while comprehensive toxicology, and hair testing in particular, increased detection of recent illicit substance use. PMID:18201295

  11. Essentials of forensic post-mortem MR imaging in adults

    PubMed Central

    Ruder, T D; Thali, M J; Hatch, G M

    2014-01-01

    Post-mortem MR (PMMR) imaging is a powerful diagnostic tool with a wide scope in forensic radiology. In the past 20 years, PMMR has been used as both an adjunct and an alternative to autopsy. The role of PMMR in forensic death investigations largely depends on the rules and habits of local jurisdictions, availability of experts, financial resources, and individual case circumstances. PMMR images are affected by post-mortem changes, including position-dependent sedimentation, variable body temperature and decomposition. Investigators must be familiar with the appearance of normal findings on PMMR to distinguish them from disease or injury. Coronal whole-body images provide a comprehensive overview. Notably, short tau inversion–recovery (STIR) images enable investigators to screen for pathological fluid accumulation, to which we refer as “forensic sentinel sign”. If scan time is short, subsequent PMMR imaging may be focussed on regions with a positive forensic sentinel sign. PMMR offers excellent anatomical detail and is especially useful to visualize pathologies of the brain, heart, subcutaneous fat tissue and abdominal organs. PMMR may also be used to document skeletal injury. Cardiovascular imaging is a core area of PMMR imaging and growing evidence indicates that PMMR is able to detect ischaemic injury at an earlier stage than traditional autopsy and routine histology. The aim of this review is to present an overview of normal findings on forensic PMMR, provide general advice on the application of PMMR and summarise the current literature on PMMR imaging of the head and neck, cardiovascular system, abdomen and musculoskeletal system. PMID:24191122

  12. Historic development of forensic toxicology in America up to 1978.

    PubMed

    Niyogi, S K

    1980-09-01

    The development of forensic toxicology in the United States is reviewed from colonial times. Medical education started expanding after Independence, but no program in medical jurisprudence existed until 1804, when Dr. James S. Stringham initiated such a teaching program at Columbia University in New York City. Since then, instruction in medical jurisprudence has become more or less a part of the medical school's curriculum. Little has been written in the field of toxicology in contrast to overall European development. With the availability of contributions from European and British authors, the development of chemical toxicology in this country started to take shape, with significant progress occurring after the Civil War. The original contributions in toxicology were done by Drs. Wormley, Reese, and Witthaus. The faults of the coroner system led its replacement in Massachusetts with the office of medical examiner in 1877. The Chief Medical Examiner's Office of New York started functioning in 1918 and a toxicology laboratory was founded under the direction of Dr. Alexander Gettler, whose students spread the ideas of toxicology throughout the country. This institution is regarded as the birthplace of American forensic toxicology. Other significant events include the formation of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences after World War II and the establishment of the American Board of Forensic Toxicology in 1975; both have contributed greatly to the development of forensic toxicology in the United States. PMID:7015839

  13. Evaluation of Postmortem Drug Concentrations in Bile Compared with Blood and Urine in Forensic Autopsy Cases.

    PubMed

    Tominaga, Mariko; Michiue, Tomomi; Oritani, Shigeki; Ishikawa, Takaki; Maeda, Hitoshi

    2016-06-01

    For drug screening and pharmaco-/toxicokinetic analysis, bile as a major drug excretion route in addition to urine may be used in forensic autopsy cases; however, there are limited published data on correlations between bile and blood or urine drug concentrations. The present study retrospectively investigated drug concentrations in bile, compared with blood and urine concentrations, reviewing forensic autopsy cases during 6 years (January 2009-December 2014). Drugs were analyzed using automated gas chromatography-mass spectrometry following solid-liquid phase extraction. Compared with peripheral blood concentrations, bile concentrations were higher for most drugs; however, caffeine concentrations were similar. Bile concentrations were mostly lower than urine concentrations for amphetamines, caffeine and methylephedrine, but were usually similar to or higher for other drugs. Significant correlations were detected between bile and peripheral blood concentrations for amphetamines, several cold remedies, phenobarbital, phenothiazine derivatives and diazepam, as well as between bile and urine concentrations for amphetamines, caffeine, diphenhydramine, phenobarbital and promethazine derivatives. These findings suggest that bile can provide supplemental data useful in routine forensic toxicology, for the spectrum of drugs mentioned above, as well as for investigating pharmaco-/toxicokinetics and postmortem redistribution when analyzed in combination with drug concentrations at other sites. PMID:27185819

  14. Tetrahydrocannabinols in clinical and forensic toxicology.

    PubMed

    Kochanowski, Maciej; Kała, Maria

    2005-01-01

    Cannabinoids are the natural constituents of marihuana (cannabis). The main of them are delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol (9THC)--psychoactive agent, cannabinol (CBN) and cannabidiol (CBD). Cannabis is administered either by smoking or orally. 9THC potency and duration of action as well as its and two of its major metabolites concentrations in organism highly depend on the route of administration. A single active dose of 9THC is estimated on 520 mg. 9THC is rapidly metabolised. It is hydroxylated to an active metabolite, I1 -hydroxy-delta9-tetrahydro-cannabinol (11-OH-THC), then oxidised to an inactive 11-nor-9-carboxy-delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THCCOOH), which is conjugated with glucuronic acid and predominantly excreted in the urine. The maximum psychological effect persists for 4-6 h after administration despite of very low 9THC blood concentrations. 9THC plasma concentration declined to values of 2-3 ng/ml during 3-4 h after smoking. Such a low concentration of the active compound in human organism create a demand for use of sensitive analytical methods for detection and determination of 9THC and its metabolites. The most effective techniques for 9THC and related compounds determination in biological material are chromatographic ones (gas and liquid) with mass spectrometric detection and different ionization modes. 9THC and its two metabolites (11-OH-THC and THCCOOH) are present in blood and hair, 9THC in saliva, and THCCOOH in urine. 9THC and related compounds are determined in autopsy material, although deaths by overdose of cannabis are exceptionally rare. Fatalities happen most often after intravenous injection of hashish oil. 9THC and its metabolites determination in different biological materials gives the basis for a wide interpretation of analytical results for clinical and forensic toxicology purposes. PMID:16225128

  15. Evidential value of postmortem MRI in forensic pathology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schweitzer, Wolf; Schaepman, Michael E.; Ith, Michael; Bruegger, Karin; Thali, Michael J.; Doernhofer, Tanya; Tiefenthaler, Kathrin; Scheurer, Eva; Vock, Peter; Boesch, Chris; Dirnhofer, Richard

    2001-05-01

    We currently evaluate MRI as add-on to dissection. Cases can only build on high evidential values of morphological findings as estimated using Bayesian likelihood-ratios. These values may vary among different cases depending on the quality of the morphology and the discrete hypotheses to be discerned. After scanning 20 bodies using MRI admitted to our institute for autopsy, we reconstructed selected imaging findings from a couple of illustrative cases according to a geometrical model ('Pink Box') designed as an object oriented bridging protocol to enable comparison of autopsy and MRI data. Although it appears obvious that 'three-dimensional imaging yields relevant diagnoses,' comparison of selected findings suggests, that the real evidential value of a postmortem scan depends on basic geometrical features of tissue structures examined. (1) Tissue surfaces are difficult to examine in MRI, including surface features of contact wounds in firearm injuries, lacerations of the pleura, or skin needle marks. (2) Specificity and sensitivity of solid tissue block data depend on contrast and resolution. (3) Tunnels or tubes, such as coronary arteries, linear wound tracks or the aorta offer more degrees of freedom for reconstruction, including spatial reconstruction or cross sectioning in different directions. (4) Three-dimensional rendering of complex objects results in spectacular images. Their evidential value is dependent on the way thresholding of 2D slices is validated. We present illustrative examples which suggest that a possible integration of non-invasive imaging methods into Forensic Pathology in fact need to take basic geometry into consideration when discussing evidential value.

  16. Usefulness and limitations of postmortem computed tomography in forensic analysis of gunshot injuries: Three case reports.

    PubMed

    Usui, Akihito; Kawasumi, Yusuke; Hosokai, Yoshiyuki; Kozakai, Masataka; Saito, Haruo; Funayama, Masato

    2016-01-01

    Gunshot injury has always been an important field of investigation in postmortem forensic radiology. The localization and retrieval of the bullet and of potentially important fragments are vital to these cases. Using postmortem multidetector-row computed tomography (MDCT) prior to forensic autopsy, we sought to illustrate the importance of this modality in the noninvasive characterization of gunshot wounds. We obtained and analyzed MDCT images in three cases of gunshot wounds (accidental close-range shotgun shooting, suicidal contact gunshot to the head and accidental long-range buckshot shooting). We discuss the value of postmortem MDCT findings in gunshot wound cases by comparing with forensic autopsy findings in Japan, a developing country with miserably low autopsy rate. PMID:26832386

  17. [Methodics and aspects of postmortem forensic psychiatric expertise in a civil law suit].

    PubMed

    Ileĭko, V R

    2002-01-01

    With the purpose of studying issues concerning conducting a postmortem forensic psychiatric examination (FPE) in a lawsuit, getting an expert opinion, an analysis was performed of 55 cases of postmortem FPE with respect to those subjects with mental disturbances secondary to vascular affection of the brain (cerebral atherosclerosis and relevant complications), having been within the competence of experts. Measures are submitted designed to do away with the disadvantages spotted. PMID:12587300

  18. [Detection and application of ethyl glucuronide in forensic toxicology].

    PubMed

    Zhao, Hui; Zhuo, Xian-yi; Shen, Bao-hua

    2009-02-01

    Ethyl glucuronide is a specific metabolite of ethanol. There have been plenty of articles referring its pharmacokinetics, detection and application as a specific bio-marker of alcohol intake. This article reviews various analytical methods of EtG, relationship between EtG quantification and ethanol intake, and criteria for determining chronic alcohol abuse, and origin of ethanol found in the cadavers by EtG analysis. EtG has its potential application in forensic toxicology. PMID:19397218

  19. Choosing the right laboratory: a review of clinical and forensic toxicology services for urine drug testing in pain management.

    PubMed

    Reisfield, Gary M; Goldberger, Bruce A; Bertholf, Roger L

    2015-01-01

    Urine drug testing (UDT) services are provided by a variety of clinical, forensic, and reference/specialty laboratories. These UDT services differ based on the principal activity of the laboratory. Clinical laboratories provide testing primarily focused on medical care (eg, emergency care, inpatients, and outpatient clinics), whereas forensic laboratories perform toxicology tests related to postmortem and criminal investigations, and drug-free workplace programs. Some laboratories now provide UDT specifically designed for monitoring patients on chronic opioid therapy. Accreditation programs for clinical laboratories have existed for nearly half a century, and a federal certification program for drug-testing laboratories was established in the 1980s. Standards of practice for forensic toxicology services other than workplace drug testing have been established in recent years. However, no accreditation program currently exists for UDT in pain management, and this review considers several aspects of laboratory accreditation and certification relevant to toxicology services, with the intention to provide guidance to clinicians in their selection of the appropriate laboratory for UDT surveillance of their patients on opioid therapy. PMID:25750163

  20. [Development of forensic thanatology through the prism of analysis of postmortem protocols collected at the Department of Forensic Medicine, Jagiellonian University].

    PubMed

    Konopka, Tomasz

    2011-01-01

    When assessed based on the analysis of postmortem protocols, the successes of forensic thanatology appear to differ from those that might be assumed using as the foundation a review of publications and textbooks. The greatest achievements date back to as early as the 18th and 19th centuries, when the morphological changes observed in the majority of types of deaths resulting from disease-associated and traumatic causes were described. Within the past 130 years, however, or in other words, in the period when autopsy protocols were written that are today collected in the archives of the Krakow Department of Forensic Medicine, the causes and mechanisms of death became understood even when the said factors were associated with discrete postmortem changes only or no no such changes whatsoever were left. At the end of the 19th century and for a long time afterwards, a difficult problem was posed by sudden deaths, where the postmortem examinations demonstrated solely atherosclerosis and the cause of death was described as "heart palsy". As it turned out, a great portion of such deaths represented individuals with myocardial infarction; in spite of its evident macroscopic presentation, the diagnostic management of the disease was progressing very slowly. Myocardial infarction, known at least since 1912, was associated by forensic medicine with the phenomenon of sudden death only in the forties, and the ability to detect myocardial infarction in practice developed only in the fifties of the last century. The achievement of the present dissertation is the formulation of a theory ascribing such a long delay in macroscopic diagnostics of myocardial infarction to forensic medicine specialists being attached to and fond of employing the "in situ" autopsy technique, which was unfavorable from the viewpoint of heart examination, since the organ was not dissected free and removed from the body in the course of a postmortem examination. When autopsies started to concentrate on

  1. Signature Based Detection of User Events for Post-mortem Forensic Analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    James, Joshua Isaac; Gladyshev, Pavel; Zhu, Yuandong

    This paper introduces a novel approach to user event reconstruction by showing the practicality of generating and implementing signature-based analysis methods to reconstruct high-level user actions from a collection of low-level traces found during a post-mortem forensic analysis of a system. Traditional forensic analysis and the inferences an investigator normally makes when given digital evidence, are examined. It is then demonstrated that this natural process of inferring high-level events from low-level traces may be encoded using signature-matching techniques. Simple signatures using the defined method are created and applied for three popular Windows-based programs as a proof of concept.

  2. Using bone marrow matrix to analyze meprobamate for forensic toxicological purposes.

    PubMed

    Bévalot, F; Gustin, M P; Cartiser, N; Gaillard, Y; Le Meur, C; Fanton, L; Guitton, J; Malicier, D

    2013-09-01

    Bone marrow (BM) analysis is of forensic interest for postmortem toxicological investigations where blood samples are unavailable or unusable. Due to the lack of studies, it remains difficult to interpret concentrations of xenobiotics measured in this matrix. Based on a statistical approach published previously to interpret meprobamate concentrations in bile and vitreous humor, we propose here a diagnostic test for interpretation of BM meprobamate concentrations from analysis of 99 sets of autopsy data. The mean age was 48 years (range 18-80 years, one unknown) for males and 50 years (range 19-80 years, one unknown) for females, with a male/female ratio at 0.768. A BM concentration threshold of 11.3 μg/g was found to be statistically equivalent to that of a blood meprobamate concentration threshold of 50 μg/ml in distinguishing overdose from therapeutic use. The intrinsic qualities of this diagnostic test were good with sensitivity of 0.82 and specificity of 0.92. Compared to previous tests published with the same objective on vitreous humor and bile, this study shows that BM is a useful alternative matrix to reveal meprobamate overdose when blood, vitreous humor, and bile are not available or unusable. PMID:23400420

  3. Gender differences in drug abuse in the forensic toxicological approach.

    PubMed

    Buccelli, C; Della Casa, E; Paternoster, M; Niola, M; Pieri, M

    2016-08-01

    Gender differences in substance use/abuse have been the focus of research in the last 15 years. Initiation, use patterns, acceleration of disease course, and help-seeking patterns are known to be influenced by gender differences with regard to biological, psychological, cultural and socioeconomic factors. This paper presents a systematic review of published data on gender differences in the use/abuse of psychoactive and psychotic drugs, focusing on the importance of a multidisciplinary approach. The basis for this paper was obtained by Medline searches using the search terms "human" and "gender", combined with individual drug names or "drugs of abuse". The reference lists of these papers were further checked for other relevant studies. The gender difference in drug abuse is more evident in adults than in adolescents (13-19 years): adult men are 2-3 times more likely than women to develop drug abuse/dependence disorders and approximately 4 times as likely to have an alcohol use disorder. Such prevalence rates have not been observed in adolescents. Differences between men and women involve: (i) the biological response to the drug, (ii) the progression to drug dependence, and (iii) the comorbid psychiatric diagnoses, which may be due to both sociocultural factors and innate biological differences. A crucial role played by ovarian hormones (oestrogens and progesterone) has been documented in both human and animal model studies. Epidemiological data on how particular psychobiological and physiological characteristics in females influence vulnerability to both drug addiction and toxicological consequences of drugs are still in their infancy. Significant gaps remain in our knowledge, which are primarily attributable to the lack of empirical data that only a systematic and multidisciplinary approach to the topic can generate. The introduction of gender into forensic toxicological evaluations may help elucidate the relationship between the body's absorption of abused drugs

  4. Current role of capillary electrophoretic/electrokinetic techniques in forensic toxicology.

    PubMed

    Tagliaro, Franco; Bortolotti, Federica; Pascali, Jennifer P

    2007-08-01

    The current application of capillary electrophoresis in forensic toxicology has been critically reviewed with special focus on the areas where this technique has shown real advantages over chromatographic methods. For example, capillary electrophoresis has been most successfully applied to the chiral analysis of some drugs of forensic interest, including amphetamines and their congeners. Another typical application field of capillary electrophoresis is represented by protein analysis. Recently, special interest has been paid to carbohydrate deficient transferrin (CDT), the most important biological marker of chronic alcohol abuse. Other specific applications of capillary electrophoresis of potential forensic toxicological concern are also discussed. The review includes 62 references. PMID:17572886

  5. Extraction of single-copy nuclear DNA from forensic specimens with a variety of postmortem histories.

    PubMed

    Evison, M P; Smillie, D M; Chamberlain, A T

    1997-11-01

    Specimens of human bone, teeth and dried blood spots from 3 months to 91 years old, with a variety of postmortem histories, were used in a comparative study of recovery of single-copy nuclear DNA sequences from forensic material. Sequences of the amelogenin and HLA-DPB1 genes were chosen for their value in sexing and identification. Sequences of the mitochondrial non-coding region V were also amplified to compare the recovery of mitochondrial and single-copy nuclear DNA. A variation of the silica method for DNA extraction was refined for application to the forensic specimens in this sample. Single-copy nuclear DNA was amplified from 100% of recent postoperative bone specimens (n = 6), 80% of forensic teeth and bone specimens (n = 10), 78% of recently extracted teeth (n = 18), 78% of exhumed bone up to 91 years old (n = 37) and 69% of 15 year old bone specimens fixed in 10% formalin (n = 20). Amelogenin sexing was correct in 85% of cases (n = 74) in which the sex of the donor had been recorded. There was no correlation between the age of the specimen and the extent of DNA preservation. PMID:9397544

  6. Utility of urinary ethyl glucuronide analysis in post-mortem toxicology when investigating alcohol-related deaths.

    PubMed

    Sundström, M; Jones, A W; Ojanperä, I

    2014-08-01

    Use and abuse of alcohol are common findings when unnatural deaths are investigated as evidenced by high blood- and urine- alcohol concentrations (BAC and UAC) at autopsy. Because ethanol is metabolized in the liver until the time of death, the autopsy BAC or UAC might be negative even though the deceased had consumed alcohol in the immediate ante-mortem period. Analysis of the non-oxidative metabolite of ethanol [ethyl glucuronide (EtG)] offers a more sensitive test of recent drinking. In this paper, we determined the concentrations of ethanol and EtG in urine samples from 972 consecutive forensic autopsies. In 425 cases (44%) both EtG and ethanol were positive, which supports ante-mortem drinking. In 342 cases (35%), both EtG and ethanol was negative, which speaks against any consumption of alcohol just before death. In 181 cases, ethanol was negative in urine (<0.2 g/kg), whereas EtG was positive (>0.5 mg/L), which points towards ingestion of alcohol some time before death. In these cases, mean and median concentrations of EtG were 53.2 mg/L and 23.7 mg/L, respectively, although there was no mention of alcohol on 131 of the death certificates. Alcohol was mentioned on death certificates as an underlying or immediate cause of death or a contributing factor in 435 (45%) cases, which rose to 566 (58%) cases when positive EtG results were included. This article demonstrates the usefulness of EtG analysis in routine post-mortem toxicology when ante-mortem drinking and alcohol-related deaths are investigated. PMID:24954799

  7. Thermal Degradation of Synthetic Cathinones: Implications for Forensic Toxicology.

    PubMed

    Kerrigan, Sarah; Savage, Megan; Cavazos, Cassandra; Bella, Paige

    2016-01-01

    The synthetic cathinones represent an important class of designer drugs. The widespread attention and publicity associated with these psychostimulants have resulted in numerous legislative actions at state and federal levels throughout the USA. These amphetamine-like compounds are characterized by a β-keto functional group. Although the synthetic cathinones share many properties of their phenethylamine counterparts, the presence of the ketone moiety is responsible for a number of unique and distinct differences in terms of their chemical characteristics and properties. Thermal degradation of methcathinone was first reported several decades ago but has received limited attention. In this study, we identified in situ thermal degradation products for 18 cathinones during gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) analysis. Oxidative degradation arises from the loss of two hydrogens, yielding a characteristic 2 Da mass shift. Degradation products were characterized by prominent iminium base peaks with mass-to-charge ratios 2 Da lower than the parent drug, and in the case of the pyrrolidine-containing cathinones, prominent molecular ions arising from the 2,3-enamine. Chromatographic and mass spectroscopic data are described for 4-ethylmethcathinone, 4-methylethcathinone, buphedrone, butylone, ethcathinone, ethylone, flephedrone, 3,4-methylenedioxy-α-pyrrolidinobutiophenone, 3,4-methylenedioxypyrovalerone, mephedrone, methcathinone, methedrone, methylone, 4-methyl-α-pyrrolidinobutiophenone, naphyrone, pentedrone, pentylone and pyrovalerone. Degradation was minimized by lowering injection temperatures, residence time in the inlet and eliminating active sites during chromatographic analysis. Chromatographic and mass spectral data for the cathinone degradation products are presented and discussed within the context of forensic toxicological analysis, selection of appropriate instrumental methods and implications for the interpretation of results. PMID:26294756

  8. Simultaneous analysis of 22 antiepileptic drugs in postmortem blood, serum and plasma using LC-MS-MS with a focus on their role in forensic cases.

    PubMed

    Deeb, Shaza; McKeown, Denise A; Torrance, Hazel J; Wylie, Fiona M; Logan, Barry K; Scott, Karen S

    2014-10-01

    In recent years, there has been a growth in reports of antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) being misused on their own or in combination with other drugs of abuse in a variety of toxicological case types such as drug abuse, suicide, overdose and drug facilitated crime. To our knowledge, there are no simultaneous quantification methods for the analysis of the most commonly encountered AEDs in postmortem whole blood and clinical plasma/serum samples at the same time. A simple, accurate and cost-effective liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometric (LC-MS-MS) method has been developed and validated for the simultaneous quantification of carbamazepine (CBZ) and its metabolite CBZ-10,11-epoxide, eslicarbazepine acetate, oxcarbazepine and S-licarbazepine as a metabolite, gabapentin, lacosamide, lamotrigine, levetiracetam, pregabalin, phenobarbital, phenytoin and its metabolite 5-(p-hydroxyphenyl)-5-phenylhydantoin, retigabine (ezogabine) and its metabolite N-acetyl retigabine, rufinamide, stiripentol, topiramate, tiagabine, valproic acid, vigabatrin and zonisamide in postmortem whole blood, serum and plasma which would be suitable for routine forensic toxicological analysis and therapeutic drug monitoring. All AEDs were detected and quantified within 17 min without endogenous interferences. The correlation coefficient (R(2)) was >0.995 for all AEDs with accuracy ranging from 90 to 113% and precision <13% for all analytes. The recovery ranged from 70 to 98%. No carryover was observed in a blank control injected after the highest standard and the matrix effect was acceptable and ranged from 90 to 120%. The method has been successfully verified using authentic case samples that had previously been quantified using different methods. PMID:25217536

  9. Distinction between forensic evidence and dermatological findings.

    PubMed

    Hammer, U; Boy, D; Rothaupt, D; Büttner, A

    2015-07-01

    The external examination after death requires knowledge in forensics/pathology, dermatology, as well as associated diseases and age-related alterations of the skin. This article highlights some findings with forensic evidence versus dermatological findings. The lectures in forensic medicine should be structured interdisciplinarily, especially to dermatology, internal medicine, surgery, pathology, and toxicology in order to train the overlapping skills required for external and internal postmortem examinations. PMID:26048487

  10. Application of Ion Mobility Spectrometry (IMS) in forensic chemistry and toxicology with focus on biological matrices

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bernhard, Werner; Keller, Thomas; Regenscheit, Priska

    1995-01-01

    The IMS (Ion Mobility Spectroscopy) instrument 'Ionscan' takes advantage of the fact that trace quantities of illicit drugs are adsorbed on dust particles on clothes, in cars and on other items of evidence. The dust particles are collected on a membrane filter by a special attachment on a vacuum cleaner. The sample is then directly inserted into the spectrometer and can be analyzed immediately. We show casework applications of a forensic chemistry and toxicology laboratory. One new application of IMS in forensic chemistry is the detection of psilocybin in dried mushrooms without any further sample preparation.

  11. Forensic toxicology in drug-facilitated sexual assault.

    PubMed

    Dinis-Oliveira, Ricardo Jorge; Magalhães, Teresa

    2013-09-01

    The low rates of reporting, prosecution and conviction that characterize sexual assault, is likely even more evident in drug-facilitated cases. Typically, in these crimes, victims are incapacitated and left unable to resist sexual advances, unconscious, unable to fight off the abuser or to say "no" and unable to clearly remember the circumstances surrounding the events due to anterograde amnesia. The consequence is the delay in performing toxicological analysis aggravated by the reluctance of the victim to disclose the crime. Moreover since "date rape drugs" are often consumed with ethanol and exhibit similar toxicodynamic effects, the diagnosis is erroneously performed as being classical ethanol intoxication. Therefore, it is imperative to rapidly consider toxicological analysis in drug-facilitated sexual assaults. The major focus of this review is to harmonize practical approaches and guidelines to rapidly uncover drug-facilitated sexual assault, namely issues related to when to perform toxicological analysis, toxicological requests, samples to be collected, storage, preservation and transport precautions and xenobiotics or endobiotics to be analyzed. PMID:23581559

  12. Measurement of β-tryptase in postmortem serum, pericardial fluid, urine and vitreous humor in the forensic setting.

    PubMed

    Comment, Lionel; Reggiani Bonetti, Luca; Mangin, Patrice; Palmiere, Cristian

    2014-07-01

    In the realm of forensic pathology, β-tryptase measurement for diagnostic purposes is performed in postmortem serum obtained from femoral blood. This may be partially or completely unavailable in some specific cases, such as infant autopsies and severely damaged bodies. The aim of this study was to investigate the usefulness of determining β-tryptase levels for diagnostic purposes in alternative biological samples. Urine, vitreous humor and pericardial fluid were selected and measured in 94 subjects including: fatal anaphylaxis following contrast material administration (6 cases), hypothermia (10 cases), diabetic ketoacidosis (10 cases), gunshot suicide (10 cases), heroin injection-related deaths (18 cases), trauma (10 cases), sudden death with minimal coronary atherosclerosis (10 cases), severe coronary atherosclerosis without myocardial infarction (10 cases) and severe coronary atherosclerosis with myocardial infarction (10 cases). Postmortem serum and pericardial fluid β-tryptase levels higher than the clinical reference value (11.4ng/ml) were systematically identified in fatal anaphylaxis following contrast material administration and 6 cases unrelated to anaphylaxis. β-tryptase concentrations in urine and vitreous humor were lower than the clinical reference value in all cases included in this study. Determination of β-tryptase in pericardial fluid appears to be a possible alternative to postmortem serum in the early postmortem period when femoral blood cannot be collected during autopsy and biochemical investigations are required to objectify increased β-tryptase levels. PMID:24795293

  13. Validation of LC–TOF-MS Screening for Drugs, Metabolites, and Collateral Compounds in Forensic Toxicology Specimens

    PubMed Central

    Guale, Fessessework; Shahreza, Shahriar; Walterscheid, Jeffrey P.; Chen, Hsin-Hung; Arndt, Crystal; Kelly, Anna T.; Mozayani, Ashraf

    2013-01-01

    Liquid chromatography time-of-flight mass spectrometry (LC–TOF-MS) analysis provides an expansive technique for identifying many known and unknown analytes. This study developed a screening method that utilizes automated solid-phase extraction to purify a wide array of analytes involving stimulants, benzodiazepines, opiates, muscle relaxants, hypnotics, antihistamines, antidepressants and newer synthetic “Spice/K2” cannabinoids and cathinone “bath salt” designer drugs. The extract was applied to LC–TOF-MS analysis, implementing a 13 min chromatography gradient with mobile phases of ammonium formate and methanol using positive mode electrospray. Several common drugs and metabolites can share the same mass and chemical formula among unrelated compounds, but they are structurally different. In this method, the LC–TOF-MS was able to resolve many isobaric compounds by accurate mass correlation within 15 ppm mass units and a narrow retention time interval of less than 10 s of separation. Drug recovery yields varied among spiked compounds, but resulted in overall robust area counts to deliver an average match score of 86 when compared to the retention time and mass of authentic standards. In summary, this method represents a rapid, enhanced screen for blood and urine specimens in postmortem, driving under the influence, and drug facilitated sexual assault forensic toxicology casework. PMID:23118149

  14. How should forensic anthropologists correct national weather service temperature data for use in estimating the postmortem interval?

    PubMed

    Dabbs, Gretchen R

    2015-05-01

    This study examines the correlation between site-specific and retrospectively collected temperature data from the National Weather Service (NWS) over an extended time period. Using iButtonLink thermochrons (model DS1921G), hourly temperature readings were collected at 15 sites (1 validation; 14 experimental) from December 2010 to January 2012. Comparison between the site-specific temperature data and data retrieved from an official reporter of NWS temperature data shows statistically significant differences between the two in 71.4% (10/14) of cases. The difference ranged between 0.04 and 2.81°C. Examination of both regression and simple adjustment of the mean difference over extended periods (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, & 9 months) suggests that on the timescale typical in forensic anthropology cases neither method of correction is consistent or reliable and that forensic anthropologists would be better suited using uncorrected NWS temperature data when the postmortem interval is extended. PMID:25678225

  15. [Two cases of suspected Munchausen by proxy syndrome: the importance of forensic toxicological analyses in handling suspicions and producing evidence].

    PubMed

    Musshoff, Frank; Kirschbaum, Katrin M; Madea, Burkhard

    2008-01-01

    The authors report on two cases of suspected Munchausen by proxy syndrome. In a 3-year-old boy, clinical toxicological analyses produced suspicious clues that an antidepressant had been administered, which could not be verified by forensic toxicological investigations. In a 13-month-old boy, the mother was also suspected of having poisoned the child. Initial clinical toxicological examinations failed to explain the observed symptoms (unclear unconsciousness, narrowed pupils). While in the first case, the incorrect interpretation of findings by a laboratory without forensic experience resulted in suspicions against the mother, the cause for the observed symptoms in the second case could be proved by complex analyses not performed before and the suspicion that the clinical picture had been intentionally brought about could be cleared up (use of an antitussive containing clobutinol). The two reports show that especially in cases with a potential forensic background, adequately qualified forensic laboratories with a broad spectrum of analytical methods should be involved. PMID:19216366

  16. Cardiac dilatation index as an indicator of terminal central congestion evaluated using postmortem CT and forensic autopsy data.

    PubMed

    Michiue, Tomomi; Sogawa, Nozomi; Ishikawa, Takaki; Maeda, Hitoshi

    2016-06-01

    Previous studies demonstrated possible application of postmortem quantitative CT data analysis of the heart and lung in situ to investigate terminal cardiopulmonary pathophysiology. The present study analyzed virtual CT morphometric and autopsy data of the heart to investigate terminal central congestion in forensic autopsy cases (n=113, within 3 days postmortem); the virtual total heart weight in situ was estimated using CT morphometry, and the difference from and ratio to the measured weight at autopsy were calculated as indicators of heart blood pooling and the cardiac dilatation index (CDI) before dissection, respectively. There were substantial differences between the estimated heart blood pooling in situ and volume recovered at autopsy, including a characteristic decrease in drowning, alcohol/sedative-hypnotic intoxication and sudden cardiac death (SCD), possibly due to blood redistribution after thoracic dissection. The estimated in situ heart blood pool and CDI values were higher in SCD but lower in fatal hemorrhage and hemopericardium, as well as in acute mechanical asphyxiation and hyperthermia (heatstroke). In addition, there was a significant difference in heart blood pooling between mechanical asphyxiation or drowning and SCD. The CDI was significantly lower in fatal hyperthermia (heatstroke) than in drowning, fatal methamphetamine abuse, alcohol/sedative-hypnotic intoxication and SCD. These findings suggest the usefulness of applying the CDI and postmortem heart blood volume in situ as supplementary indicators of terminal central congestion, especially for investigating deaths from hemorrhage, hemopericardium, hyperthermia (heatstroke) and SCD. PMID:27115507

  17. Postmortem computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging facilitates forensic autopsy in a fatal case of poisoning with formic acid, diphenhydramine, and ethanol.

    PubMed

    Berger, Florian; Steuer, Andrea E; Rentsch, Katharina; Gascho, Dominic; Stamou, Stamatios; Schärli, Sarah; Thali, Michael J; Krämer, Thomas; Flach, Patricia M

    2016-09-01

    A case of fatal poisoning by ingesting formic acid, diphenhydramine, and ethanol by a 25-year-old woman who committed suicide is presented. Prior to autopsy, postmortem computed tomography and postmortem magnetic resonance tomography were performed and revealed severe damage to the stomach, the left thoracic wall, and parts of the liver. Imaging detected acid-induced fluid-fluid level within the thoracic cavity (fat-equivalent fluid and necrotic pleural effusion). This case report illustrates that postmortem cross-sectional imaging may facilitate dissection of severely damaged or complex regions, and may provide additional information compared to autopsy and toxicological examinations alone. PMID:27427196

  18. Recent advances of liquid chromatography-(tandem) mass spectrometry in clinical and forensic toxicology - An update.

    PubMed

    Remane, Daniela; Wissenbach, Dirk K; Peters, Frank T

    2016-09-01

    Liquid chromatography (LC) coupled to mass spectrometry (MS) or tandem mass spectrometry (MS/MS) is a well-established and widely used technique in clinical and forensic toxicology as well as doping control especially for quantitative analysis. In recent years, many applications for so-called multi-target screening and/or quantification of drugs, poisons, and or their metabolites in biological matrices have been developed. Such methods have proven particularly useful for analysis of so-called new psychoactive substances that have appeared on recreational drug markets throughout the world. Moreover, the evolvement of high resolution MS techniques and the development of data-independent detection modes have opened new possibilities for applications of LC-(MS/MS) in systematic toxicological screening analysis in the so called general unknown setting. The present paper will provide an overview and discuss these recent developments focusing on the literature published after 2010. PMID:27452180

  19. Utilization of lectin-histochemistry in forensic neuropathology: lectin staining provides useful information for postmortem diagnosis in forensic neuropathology.

    PubMed

    Nishi, Katsuji; Tanegashima, Akio; Yamamoto, Yoshio; Ushiyama, Ikuko; Ikemoto, Keiko; Yamasaki, Shigeru; Nishimura, Akiyoshi; Rand, Steven; Brinkmann, Bernd

    2003-09-01

    We have investigated the deposition of glycoconjugates in human brain tissue with or without brain disorders. In this review we describe the application of lectin-histochemistry techniques to forensic neuropathology. Lectin staining is able to reveal several kinds of carbohydrate-related depositions in addition to the conventional degenerative changes including senile plaques, neurofibrillary tangles and corpora amylacea. The senile plaques and neurofibrillary tangles were clearly stained by Con A, PSA and GSI lectins, the corpora amylacea which is relevant to repeated brain hypoxia and mitochondrial damage was also easily detected by these and many other kinds of lectins. Amorphous spaces were detected around blood vessels and independently from blood vessels by lectin staining in the white matter from patients with brain disorders or severe edema. The white matter lesions were not considered relevant for forensic pathology, until a large group of cerebral white matter lesions were detected in the elderly with increasing frequency by modern neuro-imaging methods. The spherical deposits were newly detected by lectin staining in the molecular layer of the dentate gyrus of the hippocampal formation chiefly from patients with schizophrenia or cognitive dysfunctions. PMID:14568771

  20. [Identification of organic substances by means of spectral methods in forensic toxicological analysis. II. Nuclear magnetic resonance].

    PubMed

    Smysl, B

    1975-05-01

    In opening the paper, the authors present a brief outline of the fundamentals of nuclear magnetic resonance. Using selected cases from practice, they demonstrate the use of nuclear magnetic resonance for the purpose of forensic toxicologic analysis. The method is particularly suitable for identifying unknown organic compounds and for analysing mixtures of substances. PMID:1242821

  1. The mincemeat postmortem: forensic aspects of World War II's boldest counterintelligence operation.

    PubMed

    Gottlieb, Klaus

    2009-01-01

    On the 30th of April 1943 the waterlogged body of Major William Martin of the Royal Marines drifted toward the shores of the Spanish Atlantic-coast city of Huelva after having been floated from a British submarine. A train of events was set into motion, which helped to change the course of the war. Major Martin, although dead, played a key role in the allied deception operation code-named Mincemeat. Operation Mincemeat has been the subject of several books and a motion picture. The crucial postmortem examination of Major Martin conducted by the Spanish authorities has received surprisingly little attention in the general intelligence literature and details of the medical aspects have to our knowledge never been examined. This article is, in a manner of speaking, a postmortem itself. The events happened 65 years ago and although new material is presented, the interpretation of its significance in the context of the known facts may convince some readers but not others. Nevertheless, we hope that this literary postmortem will fascinate intelligence and medical professionals alike and contribute to the medical and intelligence history of World War II. PMID:19216304

  2. Forensic entomology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Amendt, Jens; Krettek, Roman; Zehner, Richard

    Necrophagous insects are important in the decomposition of cadavers. The close association between insects and corpses and the use of insects in medicocriminal investigations is the subject of forensic entomology. The present paper reviews the historical background of this discipline, important postmortem processes, and discusses the scientific basis underlying attempts to determine the time interval since death. Using medical techniques, such as the measurement of body temperature or analysing livor and rigor mortis, time since death can only be accurately measured for the first two or three days after death. In contrast, by calculating the age of immature insect stages feeding on a corpse and analysing the necrophagous species present, postmortem intervals from the first day to several weeks can be estimated. These entomological methods may be hampered by difficulties associated with species identification, but modern DNA techniques are contributing to the rapid and authoritative identification of necrophagous insects. Other uses of entomological data include the toxicological examination of necrophagous larvae from a corpse to identify and estimate drugs and toxicants ingested by the person when alive and the proof of possible postmortem manipulations. Forensic entomology may even help in investigations dealing with people who are alive but in need of care, by revealing information about cases of neglect.

  3. Postmortem biochemistry: Current applications.

    PubMed

    Belsey, S L; Flanagan, R J

    2016-07-01

    The results of biochemical analyses in specimens obtained postmortem may aid death investigation when diabetic and alcoholic ketoacidosis is suspected, when death may have been the result of drowning, anaphylaxis, or involved a prolonged stress response such as hypothermia, and in the diagnosis of disease processes such as inflammation, early myocardial infarction, or sepsis. There is often cross-over with different disciplines, in particular with clinical and forensic toxicology, since some endogenous substances such as sodium chloride, potassium chloride, and insulin can be used as poisons. The interpretation of results is often complicated because of the likelihood of postmortem change in analyte concentration or activity, and proper interpretation must take into account all the available evidence. The unpredictability of postmortem changes means that use of biochemical measurements in time of death estimation has little value. The use of vitreous humour is beneficial for many analytes as the eye is in a physically protected environment, this medium may be less affected by autolysis or microbial metabolism than blood, and the assays can be performed with due precaution using standard clinical chemistry analysers. However, interpretation of results may not be straightforward because (i) defined reference ranges in life are often lacking, (ii) there is a dearth of knowledge regarding, for example, the speed of equilibration of many analytes between blood, vitreous humour, and other fluids that may be sampled, and (iii) the effects of post-mortem change are difficult to quantify because of the lack of control data. A major limitation is that postmortem vitreous glucose measurements are of no help in diagnosing antemortem hypoglycaemia. PMID:27131037

  4. Bacterial Deposition of Gold on Hair: Archeological, Forensic and Toxicological Implications

    PubMed Central

    Phillips, Genevieve; Reith, Frank; Qualls, Clifford; Ali, Abdul-Mehdi; Spilde, Mike; Appenzeller, Otto

    2010-01-01

    Background Trace metal analyses in hair are used in archeological, forensic and toxicological investigations as proxies for metabolic processes. We show metallophilic bacteria mediating the deposition of gold (Au), used as tracer for microbial activity in hair post mortem after burial, affecting results of such analyses. Methodology/Principal Findings Human hair was incubated for up to six months in auriferous soils, in natural soil columns (Experiment 1), soils amended with mobile Au(III)-complexes (Experiment 2) and the Au-precipitating bacterium Cupriavidus metallidurans (Experiment 3), in peptone-meat-extract (PME) medium in a culture of C. metallidurans amended with Au(III)-complexes (Experiment 4), and in non-auriferous soil (Experiment 5). Hair samples were analyzed using scanning electron microscopy, confocal microscopy and inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry. In Experiments 1–4 the Au content increased with time (P = 0.038). The largest increase was observed in Experiment 4 vs. Experiment 1 (mean = 1188 vs. 161 µg Kg−1, Fisher's least significance 0.001). The sulfur content, a proxy for hair metabolism, remained unchanged. Notably, the ratios of Au-to-S increased with time (linear trend P = 0.02) and with added Au and bacteria (linear trend, P = 0.005), demonstrating that larger populations of Au-precipitating bacteria and increased availability of Au increased the deposition of Au on the hair. Conclusion/Significance Interactions of soil biota with hair post mortem may distort results of hair analyses, implying that metal content, microbial activities and the duration of burial must be considered in the interpretation of results of archeological, forensic and toxicological hair analyses, which have hitherto been proxies for pre-mortem metabolic processes. PMID:20174476

  5. The assessment of lens opacity postmortem and its implication in forensics.

    PubMed

    Stemberga, Valter; Petaros, Anja; Kovacevic, Damir; Coklo, Miran; Simicevic, Neven; Bosnar, Alan

    2013-11-01

    Visual impairment, mostly due to cataracts, has been demonstrated to be an important factor associated with traffic accidents. Although vision screening is standard procedure during licensing in order to prevent motor vehicle accidents, an eye exam is not typically administered after an accident has already occurred. Postmortem assessment of lens opacity in victims of car accidents would provide helpful information for attesting to the liability of the parties in specific accidents, determining the circumstances of the accident, and developing preventive measures for both drivers and pedestrians alike. In this paper, we explore the use of different methods and their limitations for assessing lens opacity postmortem. We discuss the possible use and benefits of a simple, but as-yet untested method: retrobulbar translucency. The method would be based on the recording of shadows formed by opaque regions of the lens while the eye is illuminated from the back with a rigid source of light. The efficacy and objectivity of the method, its reproducibility, and the inter- and intra-observer error should be tested before implementing such a technique to be regularly used to determine lens opacity in cadavers. PMID:24237839

  6. Impact factors of forensic science and toxicology journals: what do the numbers really mean?

    PubMed

    Jones, A W

    2003-04-23

    This article presents review and opinion about the use and abuse of journal impact factors for judging the importance and prestige of scientific journals in the field of forensic science and toxicology. The application of impact factors for evaluating the published work of individual scientists is also discussed. The impact factor of a particular journal is calculated by dividing the number of current year citations to a journal's articles that were published in the previous 2 years by the total number of citable items (articles and reviews) published in the same 2-year period. Journal impact factors differ from discipline to discipline and range from 0 for a journal whose articles are not cited in the previous 2 years to 46 for a journal where the average recent article is cited 46 times per year. The impact factor reflects the citation rate of the average article in a journal and not a specific article. Many parameters influence the citation rate of a particular journal's articles and, therefore, its impact factor. These include the visibility and size of the circulation of the journal including availability of electronic formats and options for on-line search and retrieval. Other things to consider are editorial standards especially rapid and effective peer-reviewing and a short time lag between acceptance and appearance in print. The number of self-citations and citation density (the ratio of references to articles) and also the inclusion of many review articles containing hundreds of references to recently published articles will boost the impact factor. Judging the importance of a scientist's work based on the average or median impact factor of the journals used to publish articles is not recommended. Instead an article-by-article citation count should be done, but this involves much more time and effort. Moreover, some weighting factor is necessary to allow for the number of co-authors on each article and the relative positioning of the individual names

  7. [Analytical, toxicological and forensic aspects of drug-facilitated crimes: 10 years of experience].

    PubMed

    Pépin, G

    2010-03-01

    Although being a relatively old phenomenon, drug-facilitated crime has been well described over the past 20 years as being the administration without the knowledge of the victim of a psychoactive substance in criminal purposes (rape, robbery, theft, money extortion, even murder). Drug-facilitated crime involves also mistreatment of older people or children treated by their parents in order to obtain sedation. Drug-facilitated crimes are often difficult to solve mainly due to analytical issues. Since 10 years, we developed and improved specific methods using LC-MS/MS (benzodiazepines, neuroleptics) and GC-MS/MS (GHB, cannabis) to detect the drugs involved in such crimes. After the intake of a low dosage of a particular drug, those methods allow to detect the analyte of interest up to 3-5 days in blood, 10-15 days in urine, and more than 1 year in hair. In drug-facilitated crime cases, blood and urine are frequently collected too late, more than 12 h after the drug intake and in some cases with a delay greater than 48 h after the event. Thus, the most used molecules are undetectable by the techniques classically used in a laboratory of biology. Moreover, a "good" compound that can be used to commit a drug-facilitated crime usually possesses a short elimination half-life and amnesic properties, so that the victim is less able to accurately recall the circumstances under which the offence occurred. The recent progress in analytical toxicology, particularly for laboratories working in the field of forensic toxicology, permits to elucidate many cases of drug-facilitated crimes. Heaven to the introduction of the sequential analysis of hair and the use of sophisticated analytical techniques such as tandem mass-spectrometry for the toxicologist to bring the scientific proof to the applicant authorities in the description of the criminal act and to confuse the offender. The author presents the results of 583 presumed cases of drug-facilitated crimes analyzed by his

  8. Cardiac biomarkers in blood, and pericardial and cerebrospinal fluids of forensic autopsy cases: A reassessment with special regard to postmortem interval.

    PubMed

    Chen, Jian-Hua; Inamori-Kawamoto, Osamu; Michiue, Tomomi; Ikeda, Sayuko; Ishikawa, Takaki; Maeda, Hitoshi

    2015-09-01

    Previous studies suggested possible application of postmortem biochemistry of myocardial biomarkers to the investigation of sudden cardiac death; however, differences from clinical findings should be considered in autopsy materials. The present study involved a comprehensive investigation of cardiac troponin T and I (cTnT and cTnI), and creatine kinase MB (CK-MB) in cardiac and peripheral external iliac venous blood, pericardial fluid (PCF) and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) for reassessment, with special regard to the estimated postmortem interval in relation to the cause of death, reviewing a large number of forensic autopsy cases (n=1923). These cardiac biomarkers showed cause-of-death- and postmortem-time-dependent differences: blood and PCF levels of each marker were higher in hyperthermia (heatstroke), bathwater drowning and chronic congestive heart disease in cases of postmortem interval (PMI) <12h. After 12h postmortem, these markers were also higher in fatal drug abuse, spontaneous cerebral/subarachnoid bleeding, electrocution and pulmonary embolism. In addition, most other causes of death, including ischemic heart disease, showed substantial elevations, while these markers remained low in acute hemorrhagic death from sharp instrument injury, hypothermia (cold exposure) and sea-/freshwater drowning during PMI of <48h. CSF cTnI and CK-MB showed similar findings. There was no difference between myocardial infarction and other causes of death to be discriminated, including asphyxiation, drowning and fire fatality. These findings are similar to clinical observations in critical ill patients, suggesting that elevated cardiac biomarkers cannot be a specific finding for death from acute ischemic heart disease, but indicate the severity of myocardial injury in postmortem investigation. PMID:26052007

  9. Importance of vacutainer selection in forensic toxicological analysis of drugs of abuse.

    PubMed

    Toennes, S W; Kauert, G F

    2001-01-01

    The enzymatic degradation of cocaine in blood samples, even during transport to a forensic laboratory, is a common problem in toxicological analysis. This can be avoided by the use of blood-sampling devices such as gray-top Vacutainers containing the cholinesterase inhibitor sodium fluoride. In the present study, which included 147 authentic cases, blood samples were collected into two different tubes, one containing fluoride/oxalate and one without stabilizing agents. In all cases, both samples were analyzed for drugs of abuse using Abbott FPIA immunoassays after precipitation and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) for quantitative analysis. The cannabinoid immunoassay showed markedly lower values in the fluoride-containing samples; this was investigated further and could be explained by hemolysis of these samples. In addition, the concentrations of 11-nor-delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol-9-carboxylic acid (THCCOOH) were lower in these samples. A stability study with the THCCOOH acyl glucuronide showed that it is unstable in unpreserved serum, which could explain our observation. GC-MS quantitative data for amphetamine and derivatives, opiates, delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol, and 11-hydroxy-delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol were essentially identical; however, they also differed substantially for cocaine, cocaethylene, ecgonine methylester, and benzoylecgonine. Unexpectedly, the concentrations of benzoylecgonine in unpreserved serum were almost half as high as in the fluoride-containing samples. PMID:11499888

  10. Pharmacokinetics of (synthetic) cannabinoids in pigs and their relevance for clinical and forensic toxicology.

    PubMed

    Schaefer, Nadine; Wojtyniak, Jan-Georg; Kettner, Mattias; Schlote, Julia; Laschke, Matthias W; Ewald, Andreas H; Lehr, Thorsten; Menger, Michael D; Maurer, Hans H; Schmidt, Peter H

    2016-06-24

    Synthetic cannabinoids (SCs) are gaining increasing importance in clinical and forensic toxicology. They are consumed without any preclinical safety studies. Thus, controlled human pharmacokinetic (PK) studies are not allowed, although being relevant for interpretation of analytical results in cases of misuse or poisoning. As alternative, in a controlled animal experiment, six pigs per drug received a single intravenous dose of 200μg/kg BW each of Δ(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), 4-ethylnaphthalen-1-yl-(1-pentylindol-3-yl)methanone (JWH-210), or 2-(4-methoxyphenyl)-1-(1-pentyl-indol-3-yl)methanone (RCS-4). In addition, six pigs received a combination of the three drugs with the identical dose each. The drugs were determined in serum using LC-MS/MS. A population (pop) PK analysis revealed that a three-compartment model described best the PK data of all three cannabinoids. Central volumes of distribution were estimated at 0.29L/kg, 0.20L/kg, and 0.67L/kg for THC, JWH-210, and RCS-4, respectively. Clearances were 0.042L/min/kg, 0.048L/min/kg, and 0.093L/min/kg for THC, JWH-210, and RCS-4, respectively. The popPK THC pig model was upscaled to humans using allometric techniques. Comparison with published human data revealed that the concentration-time profiles could successfully be predicted. These findings indicate that pigs in conjunction with PK modeling technique may serve as a tool for prediction of human PK of SCs. PMID:27113702

  11. Systematic forensic toxicological analysis by GC-MS in serum using automated mass spectral deconvolution and identification system.

    PubMed

    Grapp, Marcel; Maurer, Hans H; Desel, Herbert

    2016-08-01

    Non-targeted screening of body fluids for psychoactive agents is an essential task for forensic toxicology. The challenge is the identification of xenobiotics of interest from background noise and endogenous matrix components. The aim of the present work was to evaluate the use of an Automated Mass Spectral Deconvolution and Identification System (AMDIS) for gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) based toxicological serum screening. One hundred fifty serum samples submitted to the authors´ laboratory for systematic forensic toxicological analysis underwent GC-MS screening after neutral and basic liquid-liquid extraction. Recorded datasets were routinely evaluated both by experienced personnel and automatically using the AMDIS software combined with the Maurer/Pfleger/Weber GC-MS library MPW_2011. The results from manual and automated data evaluation were then systematically compared. AMDIS parameters for data deconvolution and substance identification had been successfully adapted to the GC-MS screening procedure in serum. The number of false positive hits could substantially be reduced without increasing the risk of overlooking relevant compounds. With AMDIS-based data evaluation, additional drugs were identified in 25 samples (17%) that had not been detected by manual data evaluation. Importantly, among these drugs, there were frequently prescribed and toxicologically relevant antidepressants and antipsychotic drugs such as citalopram, mirtazapine, quetiapine, or venlafaxine. For most of the identified drugs, their serum concentrations were in the therapeutic or subtherapeutic range. Thus, our study indicated that automated data evaluation by AMDIS provided reliable screening results. Copyright © 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. PMID:26333204

  12. Successful adaption of a forensic toxicological screening workflow employing nontargeted liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry to water analysis.

    PubMed

    Steger, Julia; Arnhard, Kathrin; Haslacher, Sandra; Geiger, Klemens; Singer, Klaus; Schlapp, Michael; Pitterl, Florian; Oberacher, Herbert

    2016-04-01

    Forensic toxicology and environmental water analysis share the common interest and responsibility in ensuring comprehensive and reliable confirmation of drugs and pharmaceutical compounds in samples analyzed. Dealing with similar analytes, detection and identification techniques should be exchangeable between scientific disciplines. Herein, we demonstrate the successful adaption of a forensic toxicological screening workflow employing nontargeted LC/MS/MS under data-dependent acquisition control and subsequent database search to water analysis. The main modification involved processing of an increased sample volume with SPE (500 mL vs. 1-10 mL) to reach LODs in the low ng/L range. Tandem mass spectra acquired with a qTOF instrument were submitted to database search. The targeted data mining strategy was found to be sensitive and specific; automated search produced hardly any false results. To demonstrate the applicability of the adapted workflow to complex samples, 14 wastewater effluent samples collected on seven consecutive days at the local wastewater-treatment plant were analyzed. Of the 88,970 fragment ion mass spectra produced, 8.8% of spectra were successfully assigned to one of the 1040 reference compounds included in the database, and this enabled the identification of 51 compounds representing important illegal drugs, members of various pharmaceutical compound classes, and metabolites thereof. PMID:26791338

  13. Forensic toxicological analyses of drugs in tissues in formalin solutions and in fixatives.

    PubMed

    Uekusa, Kyoko; Hayashida, Makiko; Ohno, Youkichi

    2015-04-01

    Forensic toxicological drug analyses of human specimens are usually performed immediately after autopsy or on frozen preserved tissues. Occasionally, cases require analysis of drugs from tissues fixed in formalin solution. To improve the estimation of the level of drug in tissues following formalin fixation, we studied drug concentrations in human tissues, liver and kidney, that were collected from a drug-positive autopsy case. Parts of tissues were preserved in formalin solution for 1, 3, 6 and 13 months. Tissues obtained before and after preservation, along with tissue-exposed fixatives, were assayed using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry; all of the samples were assayed for the presence of drugs and changes in the drug concentrations both before and after preservation in formalin. Concentrations of assayed drugs decreased upon fixation in formalin; levels of these drugs did not necessarily show further decreases during subsequent storage in fixative, up to 13 months. Distinct trends in drug levels were found in liver and kidney. In liver, the levels of chlorpromazine, levomepromazine, and promethazine decreased to 23-39% at 1 month after preservation; all 3 of these drugs were detected at all tested time points of preservation. Bromazepam was not detected at 13 months after preservation. Milnacipran was the most unstable after preservation in formalin solution among all of the assayed drugs. In kidney, all assayed drugs exhibited reduced stability during preservation compared to levels in liver. Methamphetamine and methylenedioxymethamphetamine were not detected in any time points of tissues. The proportions of the drugs that remained within the tissues differed between liver and kidney. Also, S-oxide compounds of chlorpromazine and levomepromazine, which were not observed before preservation, were detected in fixed liver tissues and their fixatives at 3, 6 and 13 months of preservation. These results suggest that analyses in formalin-fixed tissues need to

  14. Evaluation of laser diode thermal desorption-tandem mass spectrometry (LDTD-MS-MS) in forensic toxicology.

    PubMed

    Bynum, Nichole D; Moore, Katherine N; Grabenauer, Megan

    2014-10-01

    Many forensic laboratories experience backlogs due to increased drug-related cases. Laser diode thermal desorption (LDTD) has demonstrated its applicability in other scientific areas by providing data comparable with instrumentation, such as liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry, in less time. LDTD-MS-MS was used to validate 48 compounds in drug-free human urine and blood for screening or quantitative analysis. Carryover, interference, limit of detection, limit of quantitation, matrix effect, linearity, precision and accuracy and stability were evaluated. Quantitative analysis indicated that LDTD-MS-MS produced precise and accurate results with the average overall within-run precision in urine and blood represented by a %CV <14.0 and <7.0, respectively. The accuracy for all drugs in urine ranged from 88.9 to 104.5% and 91.9 to 107.1% in blood. Overall, LDTD has the potential for use in forensic toxicology but before it can be successfully implemented that there are some challenges that must be addressed. Although the advantages of the LDTD system include minimal maintenance and rapid analysis (∼10 s per sample) which makes it ideal for high-throughput forensic laboratories, a major disadvantage is its inability or difficulty analyzing isomers and isobars due to the lack of chromatography without the use of high-resolution MS; therefore, it would be best implemented as a screening technique. PMID:25217542

  15. Postmortem mRNA Expression Patterns in Left Ventricular Myocardial Tissues and Their Implications for Forensic Diagnosis of Sudden Cardiac Death

    PubMed Central

    Son, Gi Hoon; Park, Seong Hwan; Kim, Yunmi; Kim, Ji Yeon; Kim, Jin Wook; Chung, Sooyoung; Kim, Yu-Hoon; Kim, Hyun; Hwang, Juck-Joon; Seo, Joong-Seok

    2014-01-01

    Sudden cardiac death (SCD), which is primarily caused by lethal heart disorders resulting in structural and arrhythmogenic abnormalities, is one of the prevalent modes of death in most developed countries. Myocardial ischemia, mainly due to coronary artery disease, is the most common type of heart disease leading to SCD. However, postmortem diagnosis of SCD is frequently complicated by obscure histological evidence. Here, we show that certain mRNA species, namely those encoding hemoglobin A1/2 and B (Hba1/2 and Hbb, respectively) as well as pyruvate dehydrogenase kinase 4 (Pdk4), exhibit distinct postmortem expression patterns in the left ventricular free wall of SCD subjects when compared with their expression patterns in the corresponding tissues from control subjects with non-cardiac causes of death. Hba1/2 and Hbb mRNA expression levels were higher in ischemic SCD cases with acute myocardial infarction or ischemic heart disease without recent infarction, and even in cardiac death subjects without apparent pathological signs of heart injuries, than control subjects. By contrast, Pdk4 mRNA was expressed at lower levels in SCD subjects. In conclusion, we found that altered myocardial Hba1/2, Hbb, and Pdk4 mRNA expression patterns can be employed as molecular signatures of fatal cardiac dysfunction to forensically implicate SCD as the primary cause of death. PMID:24642708

  16. [Application of operant conditioning techniques to forensic toxicology: experimental studies on alcohol and abusable drugs].

    PubMed

    Hishida, S

    1996-10-01

    This paper describes some experiments that apply the operant conditioning techniques to forensic toxicological research. These techniques may be useful in investigating the mechanisms of action, toxic symptoms, legal competence and drug metabolism associated with substance abuse such as abuse of alcohol, psychotropic drugs, narcotics, stimulants, and organic solvents. 1) Genetic research on alcohol preference in rats. We applied operant conditioning to investigate alcohol preference in rats and constructed an apparatus for the measurement of discriminated operate responses for water or alcohol reinforcement in rat. This apparatus is a modified Skinner box with a one-lever two-liquid system. Fixed ratio-10 (FR-10) schedules of reinforcement are used to increase the work of the rat before it obtains the reinforcement. The voluntary choice of water or 10% ethanol by the rat can be assessed quantitatively by measuring the lever-pushing responses. It is an extremely useful method for measuring the real alcohol preference of rats. A rat was kept in a Skinner box overnight. The numbers of responses and reinforcement for water and ethanol and the volumes of the two liquids consumed were recorded. The ratio of ethanol reinforcement was defined as the number of ethanol reinforcement to the total number of ethanol and water reinforcement. The ratio of ethanol intake was defined as the volume of ethanol consumed to the volume of water and ethanol consumed. Ethanol consumption per g body weight was calculated from the volume of ethanol consumed by the rat. We used this apparatus to investigate alcohol preference of more than 300 Wistar Albino Rats, and divided them into a high alcohol preference (HAP) group and a low alcohol preference (LAP) group. Inbreeding between littermates was conducted in each of the HAP and LAP groups. The liver tissue of each offspring was obtained and the cytosol fraction was collected and subjected to isoelectric focusing using polyacrylamide gel

  17. From forensic toxicology to biological chemistry: Normal arsenic and the hazards of sensitivity during the nineteenth century.

    PubMed

    Bertomeu-Sánchez, José Ramón

    2016-06-01

    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. A report from the French Academy of Science converted normal arsenic from a big discovery to an experimental mistake. In the next section, I study how these disturbing conclusions were perceived by toxicologists all over Europe and how normal arsenic disappeared from view by the middle of the nineteenth century. Finally, I review the return of normal arsenic thanks to Armand Gautier and Gabriel Bertrand, who introduced an innovative research framework and so prompted the displacement of arsenic from criminal toxicology to pharmacology and nutrition science. The last section will also show that the issue of normal arsenic was recaptured in public debates concerning criminal poisoning at the beginning of the twentieth century. PMID:27143271

  18. Differential Nuclear and Mitochondrial DNA Preservation in Post-Mortem Teeth with Implications for Forensic and Ancient DNA Studies

    PubMed Central

    Higgins, Denice; Rohrlach, Adam B.; Kaidonis, John; Townsend, Grant; Austin, Jeremy J.

    2015-01-01

    Major advances in genetic analysis of skeletal remains have been made over the last decade, primarily due to improvements in post-DNA-extraction techniques. Despite this, a key challenge for DNA analysis of skeletal remains is the limited yield of DNA recovered from these poorly preserved samples. Enhanced DNA recovery by improved sampling and extraction techniques would allow further advancements. However, little is known about the post-mortem kinetics of DNA degradation and whether the rate of degradation varies between nuclear and mitochondrial DNA or across different skeletal tissues. This knowledge, along with information regarding ante-mortem DNA distribution within skeletal elements, would inform sampling protocols facilitating development of improved extraction processes. Here we present a combined genetic and histological examination of DNA content and rates of DNA degradation in the different tooth tissues of 150 human molars over short-medium post-mortem intervals. DNA was extracted from coronal dentine, root dentine, cementum and pulp of 114 teeth via a silica column method and the remaining 36 teeth were examined histologically. Real time quantification assays based on two nuclear DNA fragments (67 bp and 156 bp) and one mitochondrial DNA fragment (77 bp) showed nuclear and mitochondrial DNA degraded exponentially, but at different rates, depending on post-mortem interval and soil temperature. In contrast to previous studies, we identified differential survival of nuclear and mtDNA in different tooth tissues. Futhermore histological examination showed pulp and dentine were rapidly affected by loss of structural integrity, and pulp was completely destroyed in a relatively short time period. Conversely, cementum showed little structural change over the same time period. Finally, we confirm that targeted sampling of cementum from teeth buried for up to 16 months can provide a reliable source of nuclear DNA for STR-based genotyping using standard

  19. Differential nuclear and mitochondrial DNA preservation in post-mortem teeth with implications for forensic and ancient DNA studies.

    PubMed

    Higgins, Denice; Rohrlach, Adam B; Kaidonis, John; Townsend, Grant; Austin, Jeremy J

    2015-01-01

    Major advances in genetic analysis of skeletal remains have been made over the last decade, primarily due to improvements in post-DNA-extraction techniques. Despite this, a key challenge for DNA analysis of skeletal remains is the limited yield of DNA recovered from these poorly preserved samples. Enhanced DNA recovery by improved sampling and extraction techniques would allow further advancements. However, little is known about the post-mortem kinetics of DNA degradation and whether the rate of degradation varies between nuclear and mitochondrial DNA or across different skeletal tissues. This knowledge, along with information regarding ante-mortem DNA distribution within skeletal elements, would inform sampling protocols facilitating development of improved extraction processes. Here we present a combined genetic and histological examination of DNA content and rates of DNA degradation in the different tooth tissues of 150 human molars over short-medium post-mortem intervals. DNA was extracted from coronal dentine, root dentine, cementum and pulp of 114 teeth via a silica column method and the remaining 36 teeth were examined histologically. Real time quantification assays based on two nuclear DNA fragments (67 bp and 156 bp) and one mitochondrial DNA fragment (77 bp) showed nuclear and mitochondrial DNA degraded exponentially, but at different rates, depending on post-mortem interval and soil temperature. In contrast to previous studies, we identified differential survival of nuclear and mtDNA in different tooth tissues. Furthermore histological examination showed pulp and dentine were rapidly affected by loss of structural integrity, and pulp was completely destroyed in a relatively short time period. Conversely, cementum showed little structural change over the same time period. Finally, we confirm that targeted sampling of cementum from teeth buried for up to 16 months can provide a reliable source of nuclear DNA for STR-based genotyping using standard

  20. Evaluation of postmortem serum calcium and magnesium levels in relation to the causes of death in forensic autopsy.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Bao-Li; Ishikawa, Takaki; Quan, Li; Li, Dong-Ri; Zhao, Dong; Michiue, Tomomi; Maeda, Hitoshi

    2005-12-01

    There appears to be very poor investigation of postmortem serum calcium (Ca) and magnesium (Mg) for diagnostic evidence to determine the cause of death. The aim of the present study was a comprehensive analysis of the serum levels in relation to the causes of death in routine casework. Autopsy cases (total, n=360; 5-48 h postmortem), including blunt injury (n=76), sharp injury (n=29), asphyxiation (n=42), drownings (n=28: freshwater, n=11; saltwater, n=17), fire fatalities (n=79), methamphetamine (MA) poisoning (n=8), delayed death from traumas (n=37), and acute myocardial infarction/ischemia (AMI, n=61), were examined. In total cases, there was no significant postmortem time-dependent rise in serum Ca and Mg. Both Ca and Mg levels in the heart and peripheral blood were significantly higher in saltwater drowning compared with those of the other groups. In addition, a significant elevation in the Ca level was observed in freshwater drowning and fire fatalities, and in the Mg level in fatal MA intoxication and asphyxiation. Topographic analyses suggested a rise in serum Ca and Mg due to aspirated saltwater in drowning, that in serum Ca in freshwater drowning and fire fatalities of peripheral skeletal muscle origin and that in serum Mg in MA fatality and asphyxiation of myocardial and/or peripheral origin. These markers may be useful especially for diagnosis and differentiation of salt- and freshwater drownings and may be also helpful to determine the causes of death involving skeletal muscle damage, including burns and MA intoxication. PMID:16216707

  1. Newspaper reports from the Coroners Court in Ireland are used to reveal the potential complexity and need for reform in forensic toxicology and medicine services.

    PubMed

    Tormey, William P

    2015-05-01

    Newspapers devote regular space to inquests in the public interest. Accuracy in determining the causes of death is important for public health. Expert opinion features prominently in press reports and is an important channel of public education. How expert are the experts and how complex are apparently simple cases? Toxicology cases involving cannabis and stroke, 'junk food' diet, unexplained sudden death, potential drug interactions, allergy during caesarean section, and ecstacy-type drugs are used to illustrate the complexities. A template for reform is suggested to reform the Coroners Laws in Ireland to recognise the complexity of forensic toxicology and medicine. PMID:25882150

  2. Analysis of synthetic cathinones commonly found in bath salts in human performance and postmortem toxicology: method development, drug distribution and interpretation of results.

    PubMed

    Marinetti, Laureen J; Antonides, Heather M

    2013-04-01

    To date, the Toxicology Section of the Montgomery County Coroner's Office/Miami Valley Regional Crime Laboratory has identified six synthetic cathinones, commonly found in bath salt products, in 43 cases. Thirty-two cases will be reviewed here, including all of the postmortem cases, all of the human performance cases that had blood specimens submitted, and one urine-only human performance case. The following compounds have been confirmed: 3,4-methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV), 3,4-methylenedioxymethcathinone (methylone), pyrovalerone, pentylone, alpha-pyrrolidinopentiophenone (alpha-PVP) and methedrone. The method also screens for mephedrone, butylone and 3-fluoromethcathinone. Case demographics show 42 white males and females ranging in age from 19 to 53 years. The remaining case was that of a 34-year-old Hispanic male. The 43 cases represent 17 driving under the influence, two domestic violence, four suicides, 12 overdoses, six accidents, one drug-facilitated assault and one homicide. Data will be presented on the distribution of some of these cathinones in various matrices. After review, blood concentration does not appear to predict outcome regarding fatalities or impairment. The highest MDPV concentration occurred in a suicide by hanging and the highest methylone concentration was in a driver. The confirmation method is a liquid-liquid extraction with detection by liquid chromatography triple quadrupole mass spectrometry using electrospray ionization in multiple reaction monitoring mode. PMID:23361867

  3. Determination of a selection of anti-epileptic drugs and two active metabolites in whole blood by reversed phase UPLC-MS/MS and some examples of application of the method in forensic toxicology cases.

    PubMed

    Karinen, Ritva; Vindenes, Vigdis; Hasvold, Inger; Olsen, Kirsten Midtbøen; Christophersen, Asbjørg S; Øiestad, Elisabeth

    2015-07-01

    Quantitative determination of anti-epileptic drug concentrations is of great importance in forensic toxicology cases. Although the drugs are not usually abused, they are important post-mortem cases where the question of both lack of compliance and accidental or deliberate poisoning might be raised. In addition these drugs can be relevant for driving under the influence cases. A reversed phase ultra-performance liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry method has been developed for the quantitative analysis of the anti-epileptic compounds carbamazepine, carbamazepine-10,11-epoxide, gabapentin, lamotrigine, levetiracetam, oxcarbazepine, 10-OH-carbazepine, phenobarbital, phenytoin, pregabalin, and topiramate in whole blood, using 0.1 mL sample volume with methaqualone as internal standard. Sample preparation was a simple protein precipitation with acetonitrile and methanol. The diluted supernatant was directly injected into the chromatographic system. Separation was performed on an Acquity UPLC® BEH Phenyl column with gradient elution and a mildly alkaline mobile phase. The mass spectrometric detection was performed in positive ion mode, except for phenobarbital, and multiple reaction monitoring was used for drug quantification. The limits of quantification for the different anti-epileptic drugs varied from 0.064 to 1.26 mg/L in blood, within-day and day-to-day relative standard deviations from 2.2 to 14.7% except for phenobarbital. Between-day variation for phenobarbital was 20.4% at the concentration level of 3.5 mg/L. The biases for all compounds were within ±17.5%. The recoveries ranged between 85 and 120%. The corrected matrix effects were 88-106% and 84-110% in ante-mortem and post-mortem whole blood samples, respectively. PMID:25331692

  4. New challenges and innovation in forensic toxicology: focus on the "New Psychoactive Substances".

    PubMed

    Favretto, Donata; Pascali, Jennifer P; Tagliaro, Franco

    2013-04-26

    In the recent years, new molecules have appeared in the illicit market, claimed to contain "non-illegal" compounds, although exhibiting important psychoactive effects; this heterogeneous and rapidly evolving class of compounds are commonly known as "New Psychoactive Substances" or, less properly, "Smart Drugs" and are easily distributed through the e-commerce or in the so-called "Smart Shops". They include, among other, synthetic cannabinoids, cathinones and tryptamine analogs of psylocin. Whereas cases of intoxication and death have been reported, the phenomenon appears to be largely underestimated and is a matter of concern for Public Health. One of the major points of concern depends on the substantial ineffectiveness of the current methods of toxicological screening of biological samples to identify the new compounds entering the market. These limitations emphasize an urgent need to increase the screening capabilities of the toxicology laboratories, and to develop rapid, versatile yet specific assays able to identify new molecules. The most recent advances in mass spectrometry technology, introducing instruments capable of detecting hundreds of compounds at nanomolar concentrations, are expected to give a fundamental contribution to broaden the diagnostic spectrum of the toxicological screening to include not only all these continuously changing molecules but also their metabolites. In the present paper a critical overview of the opportunities, strengths and limitations of some of the newest analytical approaches is provided, with a particular attention to liquid phase separation techniques coupled to high accuracy, high resolution mass spectrometry. PMID:23332303

  5. Forensic Chemistry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bell, Suzanne

    2009-07-01

    Forensic chemistry is unique among chemical sciences in that its research, practice, and presentation must meet the needs of both the scientific and the legal communities. As such, forensic chemistry research is applied and derivative by nature and design, and it emphasizes metrology (the science of measurement) and validation. Forensic chemistry has moved away from its analytical roots and is incorporating a broader spectrum of chemical sciences. Existing forensic practices are being revisited as the purview of forensic chemistry extends outward from drug analysis and toxicology into such diverse areas as combustion chemistry, materials science, and pattern evidence.

  6. [Post-mortem microbiology analysis].

    PubMed

    Fernández-Rodríguez, Amparo; Alberola, Juan; Cohen, Marta Cecilia

    2013-12-01

    Post-mortem microbiology is useful in both clinical and forensic autopsies, and allows a suspected infection to be confirmed. Indeed, it is routinely applied to donor studies in the clinical setting, as well as in sudden and unexpected death in the forensic field. Implementation of specific sampling techniques in autopsy can minimize the possibility of contamination, making interpretation of the results easier. Specific interpretation criteria for post-mortem cultures, the use of molecular diagnosis, and its fusion with molecular biology and histopathology have led to post-mortem microbiology playing a major role in autopsy. Multidisciplinary work involving microbiologists, pathologists, and forensic physicians will help to improve the achievements of post-mortem microbiology, prevent infectious diseases, and contribute to a healthier population. PMID:23195835

  7. Analytical Challenge in Postmortem Toxicology Applied to a Human Body Found into a Lake after Three Years Immersion.

    PubMed

    Morini, Luca; Vignali, Claudia; Tricomi, Paolo; Groppi, Angelo

    2015-09-01

    The body of a 30-year-old woman was found in Como lake at a depth of about 120 meters in her own car after 3 years of immersion. The aim of this study was to evaluate psychoactive drugs as well as alcohol biomarkers in biological matrices. The following analyses were initially performed: GC-MS systematic toxicological analysis on biological fluids and tissues; GC-MS analysis of drugs of abuse on pubic hair; direct ethanol metabolite determination in pubic hair by LC-MS/MS. After 7 years, the samples, that had been stored at -20°C, were re-analyzed and submitted to an LC-MS/MS targeted screening method, using multiple reaction monitoring mode. These analyses detected citalopram (150-3000 ng/mL), desmethylcitalopram (50-2300 ng/mL), clotiapine (20-65 ng/mL), and ethyl glucuronide (97 pg/mg). The methods showed an acceptable reproducibility, and the concentrations of citalopram and desmethylcitalopram calculated through the two analytical techniques did not significantly differ in biological fluids. PMID:26258895

  8. Computerized controlled-substance inventory management in a forensic toxicology laboratory: practical application of a state-change model.

    PubMed

    Cechner, R L; Sutheimer, C A

    1991-01-01

    Efficient, accurate, secure, comprehensively audited, and legally defensible maintenance of an electronic chain-of-custody applied to a controlled-substance inventory system in a busy forensic toxicology lab (FTL) has been achieved with custom-written software which is based on a general state-change model. Prior to the use of this program we were unfortunately accustomed to being surprised by incomplete drug use documentation leading to pseudo-shortages, expired or uncertified lots, the lack of an adequate chain of custody, and the risk of legal challenges. This resulted in confusion, delays, and emergency orders, with the inevitable waste of time and money. The control strategy implemented in the INVEN subsystem of our main system, TOXLAB, is based on four principles. First, access to the drug inventory is strictly limited. Second, controlled drugs are dispersed to technical staff only when a computer-authorized request form is presented. Third, every request for addition/subtraction must be pre-authorized by the supervisor. Fourth, the program enforces a strict progression of requests and actions from one state to another and produces request, authorization and certification, and/or approval logs ready for signature at every step. This approach has given us a comprehensive, chronological record of all events involving drug inventory transactions and promises to improve resource utilization. Our system appears to fulfill the basic requirements for the legal adequacy of computer-resident data. PMID:1960978

  9. Virtual CT morphometry of lower limb long bones for estimation of the sex and stature using postmortem Japanese adult data in forensic identification.

    PubMed

    Hishmat, Asmaa Mohammed; Michiue, Tomomi; Sogawa, Nozomi; Oritani, Shigeki; Ishikawa, Takaki; Fawzy, Irene Atef; Hashem, Mohamed Abdel Mohsen; Maeda, Hitoshi

    2015-09-01

    The application of computed tomography (CT) is useful for the documentation of whole-body anatomical data on routine autopsy, virtual reconstruction of skeletal structure, objective measurements, and reassessment by repetitive analyses. In addition, CT data processing facilitates volumetric and radiographic density analyses. Furthermore, a recently developed automated analysis system markedly improved the performance and accuracy of three-dimensional (3D) reconstruction. The present study investigated virtual CT morphometry of lower limb long bones, including the femur, tibia, fibula, and first metatarsus, to estimate the sex and stature using postmortem CT data of forensic autopsy cases of Japanese over 19 years of age (total n = 259, 150 males and 109 females). Bone mass volumes, lengths, and total CT attenuation values of bilateral femurs, tibias, and fibulas correlated with the stature; however, the mean CT attenuation (HU) values showed age-dependent decreases. Correlations with the stature were similar for the lengths and mass volumes of the femur, tibia, and fibula (r = 0.77-0.85) but were higher for the mass volume of the first metatarsus (r = 0.77 for right and r = 0.58 for left). In addition, the ratio of the bone volume to the length of each bone showed the most significant sex-related differences (males > females with accuracy of 75.8-98.1 %). These findings indicate the usefulness of virtual CT morphometry of individual lower limb long bones, including volumetry, to estimate the sex and stature in identification. PMID:26156452

  10. [Opium alcaloids in toxicological medico-legal practice of Department of Forensic Medicine, Jagiellonian University Medical College].

    PubMed

    Kłys, Małgorzata; Rojek, Sebastian; Maciów-Głab, Martyna; Kula, Karol

    2013-01-01

    Most likely, opium was the first narcotic substance discovered at the dawn of mankind. Contemporary drug abuse predominantly poses a social and clinical problem and encompasses among other aspects emergency procedures in cases of intoxication and treatment of addictions. On the other hand, this is also a problem of the judicial system, which implements the rule of apt punishment in criminal cases (rapes, robberies, drivers, production and trade in narcotic substances) and of the necessity of monitoring drug-associates deaths. In all drug-associated cases, investigative capabilities have increased with the introduction of extremely sensitive and specific analytical methods (GC-MS, LC/MS, HPLC/DAD) allowing for detection and identification of multi-component mixtures of xenobiotics found at low concentration levels in complex biological matrices. The history of the Krakow Department of Forensic Medicine dates back to the year 1877, since archival materials have been kept since that time. Isolated deaths resulting from morphine poisoning, mostly involving individuals employed in the health care sector, constituted the subject of medico-legal expert opinions starting at the beginning of the 20th century, but only the eighties did bring the need for multidirectional toxicological examinations of opiates and their metabolites in diversified biological and non-biological materials. The present report, in addition to the historical background of opiate addiction, discusses selected problems derived from published by Department reports on opiates, including cases of fatal intoxication, hair analysis of drug addicts in its various aspects, interactions in cases of poisoning and others. PMID:24847643

  11. Temperature-dependent development and the significance for estimating postmortem interval of Chrysomya nigripes Aubertin, a new forensically important species in China.

    PubMed

    Li, Liangliang; Wang, Yu; Wang, Jiangfeng; Ma, Mengyun; Lai, Yue

    2016-09-01

    In forensic entomology, the developmental duration and larval body length of sarcosaprophagous flies are presently the two major approaches to estimate minimal postmortem interval (PMImin). A full characterization of the developmental stages of Calliphoridae, a predominating species on corpses, is especially important for PMI estimation. Chrysomya nigripes Aubertin, which appears on the corpse mainly during the decay and the post-decay stages, is of significant value for PMImin estimation. However, there are limited detailed reports on the development of such species. Hence, this study was conducted to address the development pattern of C. nigripes, in order to provide the basic data related to PMI estimation. In this study, the larvae of C. nigripes were collected from pig carcasses that were placed in the field. The colonies were cultured at constant temperatures of 16, 20, 24, 28, and 32 (±1) °C. The biological features of C. nigripes, the developmental pattern, and the body length with time at different temperatures were studied. The results showed that the average developmental duration of the C. nigripes larvae at 20, 24, 28, and 32 (±1) °C were 608.0 ± 68.0 h, 327.0 ± 53.8 h, 254.0 ± 36.5 h, and 217.0 ± 28.0 h, respectively. There were two phases of body length increment with developmental time: growing phase and plateau phase. The maximal body length was 11-12 mm, and the relationship between body length and developmental time can be simulated using the following equation: L = a + bT + cT(2) + dT(3). The data for developmental duration and larval body length at 16 °C were not obtained. In summary, this study comprehensively studied the developmental biology of C. nigripes, which has a significant value for estimating PMI from highly decayed carcasses. PMID:26872466

  12. American College of Medical Toxicology

    MedlinePlus

    ... Agents of Opportunity: TICs and TIMs Seminars in Forensic Toxicology Clandestine Meth Labs Courses Opioid Academy International ... Natural Toxins Academy 2014 FIT Open Mic 2013 Forensic Conference 2012 Chelation Course 2012 Prescription Opioid Misuse ...

  13. Sequencing CYP2D6 for the detection of poor-metabolizers in post-mortem blood samples with tramadol.

    PubMed

    Fonseca, Suzana; Amorim, António; Costa, Heloísa Afonso; Franco, João; Porto, Maria João; Santos, Jorge Costa; Dias, Mário

    2016-08-01

    Tramadol concentrations and analgesic effect are dependent on the CYP2D6 enzymatic activity. It is well known that some genetic polymorphisms are responsible for the variability in the expression of this enzyme and in the individual drug response. The detection of allelic variants described as non-functional can be useful to explain some circumstances of death in the study of post-mortem cases with tramadol. A Sanger sequencing methodology was developed for the detection of genetic variants that cause absent or reduced CYP2D6 activity, such as *3, *4, *6, *8, *10 and *12 alleles. This methodology, as well as the GC/MS method for the detection and quantification of tramadol and its main metabolites in blood samples was fully validated in accordance with international guidelines. Both methodologies were successfully applied to 100 post-mortem blood samples and the relation between toxicological and genetic results evaluated. Tramadol metabolism, expressed as its metabolites concentration ratio (N-desmethyltramadol/O-desmethyltramadol), has been shown to be correlated with the poor-metabolizer phenotype based on genetic characterization. It was also demonstrated the importance of enzyme inhibitors identification in toxicological analysis. According to our knowledge, this is the first study where a CYP2D6 sequencing methodology is validated and applied to post-mortem samples, in Portugal. The developed methodology allows the data collection of post-mortem cases, which is of primordial importance to enhance the application of these genetic tools to forensic toxicology and pathology. PMID:26926096

  14. Best-practices approach to determination of blood alcohol concentration (BAC) at specific time points: Combination of ante-mortem alcohol pharmacokinetic modeling and post-mortem alcohol generation and transport considerations.

    PubMed

    Cowan, Dallas M; Maskrey, Joshua R; Fung, Ernest S; Woods, Tyler A; Stabryla, Lisa M; Scott, Paul K; Finley, Brent L

    2016-07-01

    Alcohol concentrations in biological matrices offer information regarding an individual's intoxication level at a given time. In forensic cases, the alcohol concentration in the blood (BAC) at the time of death is sometimes used interchangeably with the BAC measured post-mortem, without consideration for alcohol concentration changes in the body after death. However, post-mortem factors must be taken into account for accurate forensic determination of BAC prior to death to avoid incorrect conclusions. The main objective of this work was to describe best practices for relating ante-mortem and post-mortem alcohol concentrations, using a combination of modeling, empirical data and other qualitative considerations. The Widmark modeling approach is a best practices method for superimposing multiple alcohol doses ingested at various times with alcohol elimination rate adjustments based on individual body factors. We combined the selected ante-mortem model with a suggestion for an approach used to roughly estimate changes in BAC post-mortem, and then analyzed the available data on post-mortem alcohol production in human bodies and potential markers for alcohol production through decomposition and putrefaction. Hypothetical cases provide best practice approaches as an example for determining alcohol concentration in biological matrices ante-mortem, as well as potential issues encountered with quantitative post-mortem approaches. This study provides information for standardizing BAC determination in forensic toxicology, while minimizing real world case uncertainties. PMID:27041394

  15. Postmortem drug concentration intervals for the non-intoxicated state - A review.

    PubMed

    Linnet, Kristian

    2012-07-01

    In postmortem toxicology, it is important to know what the usual drug level is in blood under ordinary therapy to make correct interpretations with regard to the possible occurrence of poisoning. A commonly used source is The International Association of Forensic Toxicologists (TIAFT) list of drug concentrations providing therapeutic drug levels, usually measured in serum. In this article, published postmortem-derived blood drug reference concentration intervals were related to therapeutic serum levels of drugs from the TIAFT list to assess agreement or discrepancies with focus on the importance of postmortem redistribution. The ratio between the upper limits was evaluated. This ratio ranged from 0.13 to 11.3 for 57 compounds with a median value of 1.5. For about a third of the compounds the ratio exceeded three. There was a tendency that for highly water-soluble drugs with a low propensity for redistribution, the ratio was generally low. For example, for pentobarbital, carisoprodol, meprobamate, carbamazepine, phenazone and theophylline, the ratio ranged from 0.14 to 1.1 with a median of 0.4. For the 15 antidepressants considered, on the other hand, the ratio was relatively high, ranging from 0.6 to 4.7 (median 2.4). For antipsychotics, the ratio ranged from 0.2 to 11.3 with a median of 1.4. In conclusion, there were generally wide discrepancies between serum-based intervals as presented in the TIAFT list and published postmortem blood-based drug reference intervals. More focus on postmortem-derived intervals is encouraged, so that those that have been estimated are cited in reference publications and so that further intervals are estimated. Ultimately, a reliable database of postmortem blood-based drug reference intervals for use by the forensic community is desirable. PMID:22687764

  16. ESPR postmortem imaging task force: where we begin.

    PubMed

    Arthurs, Owen J; van Rijn, Rick R; Whitby, Elspeth H; Johnson, Karl; Miller, Elka; Stenzel, Martin; Watt, Andrew; Taranath, Ajay; Perry, David H

    2016-08-01

    A new task force on postmortem imaging was established at the annual meeting of the European Society of Paediatric Radiology (ESPR) in Graz, Austria, in 2015. The postmortem task force is separate from the child abuse task force as it covers all aspects of fetal, neonatal and non-forensic postmortem imaging. The main focus of the task force is the guidance and standardization of non-radiographic postmortem imaging, particularly postmortem CT and postmortem MRI. This manuscript outlines the starting point of the task force, with a mission statement, outline of current experience, and short- and long-term goals. PMID:27412272

  17. [Corpse disposal by concealment in transport containers or packaging materials: Examination by post-mortem computed tomography (PMCT) before forensic autopsy].

    PubMed

    Hasegawa, Iwao; Heinemann, Axel; Jahnke, Philipp; Wilke, Nadine; Kammal, Michael; Püschel, Klaus

    2014-01-01

    The presented case reports illustrate the value of post-mortem computed tomography in cases of homicide in which the body was hidden in a container or packaging material and could not be inspected directly from outside. In Case 1, the body was forced into a suitcase, which was then thrown into a flood basin. Post-mortem computed tomography (PMCT) visualized the compressed and extremely flexed body inside the suitcase as well as fractures of the left temporal bone, the left ulna and the left side of the mandible. After recovery of the body, the consequences of long-term immersion in fresh water became visible. At autopsy, a laceration in the left temporal region and a temporal bone fracture were observed. The fractures of the left ulna and the left jaw were associated with moderate hematoma. In Case 2, the body of an 11-year-old girl was retrieved from a plastic bag concealed in a garden shed. The cause of death was ligature strangulation. In the presented cases, PMCT was performed as part of the police investigations for reliable primary documentation of the contents of the containers without further manipulation. Thus the human body, its position inside the container and the presence of bone injuries could be demonstrated before opening the container. In such cases, post-mortem imaging provides reliable and rapid information to the investigating authorities before autopsy already. PMID:26548018

  18. Postmortem imaging: MDCT features of postmortem change and decomposition.

    PubMed

    Levy, Angela D; Harcke, Howard Theodore; Mallak, Craig T

    2010-03-01

    Multidetector computed tomography (MDCT) has emerged as an effective imaging technique to augment forensic autopsy. Postmortem change and decomposition are always present at autopsy and on postmortem MDCT because they begin to occur immediately upon death. Consequently, postmortem change and decomposition on postmortem MDCT should be recognized and not mistaken for a pathologic process or injury. Livor mortis increases the attenuation of vasculature and dependent tissues on MDCT. It may also produce a hematocrit effect with fluid levels in the large caliber blood vessels and cardiac chambers from dependent layering erythrocytes. Rigor mortis and algor mortis have no specific MDCT features. In contrast, decomposition through autolysis, putrefaction, and insect and animal predation produce dramatic alterations in the appearance of the body on MDCT. Autolysis alters the attenuation of organs. The most dramatic autolytic changes on MDCT are seen in the brain where cerebral sulci and ventricles are effaced and gray-white matter differentiation is lost almost immediately after death. Putrefaction produces a pattern of gas that begins with intravascular gas and proceeds to gaseous distension of all anatomic spaces, organs, and soft tissues. Knowledge of the spectrum of postmortem change and decomposition is an important component of postmortem MDCT interpretation. PMID:20010292

  19. Salvia divinorum: toxicological aspects and analysis in human biological specimens.

    PubMed

    Margalho, Cláudia; Corte-Real, Francisco; López-Rivadulla, Manuel; Gallardo, Eugenia

    2016-07-01

    The identification and quantitation of the main psychoactive component of Salvia divinorum (salvinorin A) in biological specimens are crucial in forensic and clinical toxicology. Despite all the efforts made, its uncontrolled abuse has increased quickly, exposing its users' health to serious risks both in the short and long term. The use of alternative biological matrices in toxicological analyzes can be advantageous as complementary postmortem samples, or in situations when neither blood nor urine can be collected; they may be useful tools in those determinations, providing important information about prior exposure. The aim of this article is to present a brief summary of legal aspects of Salvia divinorum and salvinorin A, including the methods used for the determination of the latter in biological matrices. PMID:27277872

  20. Determination of antidepressants in human postmortem blood, brain tissue, and hair using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry.

    PubMed

    Wille, Sarah M R; De Letter, Els A; Piette, Michel H A; Van Overschelde, Lien K; Van Peteghem, Carlos H; Lambert, Willy E

    2009-11-01

    A gas chromatographic-mass spectrometric (GC-MS) method in positive ion chemical ionization mode in combination with a solid phase extraction was optimized for new-generation antidepressants and their metabolites in postmortem blood, brain tissue, and hair. Twelve antidepressants and their active metabolites (i.e., mirtazapine, viloxazine, venlafaxine, citalopram, mianserin, reboxetine, fluoxetine, fluvoxamine, sertraline, maprotiline, melitracen, paroxetine, desmethylfluoxetine, desmethylmianserin, desmethylmirtazapine, desmethylsertraline, desmethylmaprotiline, desmethylcitalopram, and didesmethylcitalopram) could be quantified. In this article, in addition to the validation of the GC-MS method, four postmortem cases are discussed to demonstrate the usefulness of the described method in forensic toxicology. In these cases, sertraline, fluoxetine, citalopram, and trazodone in combination with their active metabolites were quantified. Blood concentrations ranged from subtherapeutic to toxic concentrations, while brain to plasma ratios ranged from 0.8 to 17. Hair concentrations ranged from 0.4 to 2.5 ng/mg depending on the compound and hair segment. PMID:18839201

  1. Postmortem angiography using femoral cannulation and postmortem microbiology.

    PubMed

    Palmiere, Cristian; Egger, Coraline; Grabherr, Silke; Jaton-Ogay, Katia; Greub, Gilbert

    2015-07-01

    Despite the undeniable advantages of postmortem angiography, numerous questions have arisen concerning the influence that the injected contrast media may exercise on biological fluids and tissues collected for toxicological and biochemical investigations. Moreover, cardiac blood for microbiological investigations cannot be obtained post-angiography. In this study, we examined whether the peripheral blood collected prior to postmortem angiography, using percutaneous access to femoral vessels after skin surface disinfection, could be suitable for microbiological investigations when postmortem angiography with femoral vessel cannulation is also performed. A total of 66 cases were included in the study and were divided into two subgroups (angiography and bacteriology group, 33 cases and control group, 33 cases). Autopsies, histology, toxicology, bacteriology, and biochemical investigations (procalcitonin, C-reactive protein, interleukin-6, and soluble triggering receptors expressed on myeloid cells type 1) were performed in all cases. No statistically significant differences between the two groups were noted, and identified category distribution (death unrelated to infection, true infection, false positive, and undetermined) was rather similar in both studied populations. These preliminary results suggest that postmortem angiography using a femoral approach does not constitute an impediment to the collection of peripheral blood for microbiology and vice versa. Moreover, the use of femoral blood for microbiology does not lead to an increased risk of doubtful results. PMID:25381195

  2. Gamma-hydroxybutyric acid endogenous production and post-mortem behaviour - the importance of different biological matrices, cut-off reference values, sample collection and storage conditions.

    PubMed

    Castro, André L; Dias, Mário; Reis, Flávio; Teixeira, Helena M

    2014-10-01

    Gamma-Hydroxybutyric Acid (GHB) is an endogenous compound with a story of clinical use, since the 1960's. However, due to its secondary effects, it has become a controlled substance, entering the illicit market for recreational and "dance club scene" use, muscle enhancement purposes and drug-facilitated sexual assaults. Its endogenous context can bring some difficulties when interpreting, in a forensic context, the analytical values achieved in biological samples. This manuscript reviewed several crucial aspects related to GHB forensic toxicology evaluation, such as its post-mortem behaviour in biological samples; endogenous production values, whether in in vivo and in post-mortem samples; sampling and storage conditions (including stability tests); and cut-off reference values evaluation for different biological samples, such as whole blood, plasma, serum, urine, saliva, bile, vitreous humour and hair. This revision highlights the need of specific sampling care, storage conditions, and cut-off reference values interpretation in different biological samples, essential for proper practical application in forensic toxicology. PMID:25287794

  3. [The analysis of the articles concerning toxicological (forensic) chemistry published in the journal "Sudebno-meditsinskaya ekspertiza (Forensic Medical Expertise)" during the period from 2004 to 2013. Part 2. The analysis and assessment of the publications, peculiarities of the development of investigations].

    PubMed

    Orlova, A M

    2016-01-01

    The author presents the results of the analysis of the publications concerning toxicological (forensic) chemistry issues published in the journal "Sudebno-meditsinskaya ekspertiza" during the period from 2004 to 2013 with their assessment making use of scientometrical methods. Special emphasis is laid on the publications devoted to the development and improvement of the approaches to the investigation into narcotic and psychotropic drugs as well as other toxic substances. Specific features of such investigations are described. PMID:27144265

  4. Atypical Forensic Dental Identifications.

    PubMed

    Cardoza, Anthony R; Wood, James D

    2015-06-01

    Forensic dental identification specialists are typically the last conventional option for postmortem identification. Forensic dental identification is most often accomplished by comparing radiographs of the decedent's teeth with the dental radiographs obtained from the dentist of the suspected victim. Unfortunately, antemortem dental radiographs are not always available. When presented with this challenge, the authors of this article have been successful in completing identifications using means other than dental radiographic comparison. PMID:26126345

  5. GHB Pharmacology and Toxicology: Acute Intoxication, Concentrations in Blood and Urine in Forensic Cases and Treatment of the Withdrawal Syndrome

    PubMed Central

    Busardò, Francesco P.; Jones, Alan W.

    2015-01-01

    The illicit recreational drug of abuse, γ-hydroxybutyrate (GHB) is a potent central nervous system depressant and is often encountered during forensic investigations of living and deceased persons. The sodium salt of GHB is registered as a therapeutic agent (Xyrem®), approved in some countries for the treatment of narcolepsy-associated cataplexy and (Alcover®) is an adjuvant medication for detoxification and withdrawal in alcoholics. Trace amounts of GHB are produced endogenously (0.5-1.0 mg/L) in various tissues, including the brain, where it functions as both a precursor and a metabolite of the major inhibitory neurotransmitter γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA). Available information indicates that GHB serves as a neurotransmitter or neuromodulator in the GABAergic system, especially via binding to the GABA-B receptor subtype. Although GHB is listed as a controlled substance in many countries abuse still continues, owing to the availability of precursor drugs, γ-butyrolactone (GBL) and 1,4-butanediol (BD), which are not regulated. After ingestion both GBL and BD are rapidly converted into GHB (t½ ~1 min). The Cmax occurs after 20-40 min and GHB is then eliminated from plasma with a half-life of 30-50 min. Only about 1-5% of the dose of GHB is recoverable in urine and the window of detection is relatively short (3-10 h). This calls for expeditious sampling when evidence of drug use and/or abuse is required in forensic casework. The recreational dose of GHB is not easy to estimate and a concentration in plasma of ~100 mg/L produces euphoria and disinhibition, whereas 500 mg/L might cause death from cardiorespiratory depression. Effective antidotes to reverse the sedative and intoxicating effects of GHB do not exist. The poisoned patients require supportive care, vital signs should be monitored and the airways kept clear in case of emesis. After prolonged regular use of GHB tolerance and dependence develop and abrupt cessation of drug use leads to unpleasant

  6. Sensitive and specific multiresidue methods for the determination of pesticides of various classes in clinical and forensic toxicology.

    PubMed

    Lacassie, E; Marquet, P; Gaulier, J M; Dreyfuss, M F; Lachâtre, G

    2001-09-15

    Original and sensitive multiresidue methods are presented for the detection and quantitation, in human biological matrices, of 61 pesticides of toxicological significance in human. These methods involved rapid solid-phase extraction using new polymeric support (HLB and MCX) OASIS cartridges. Gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) was used for volatile (organophosphate, organochlorine, phtalimide, uracil) pesticides and liquid chromatography-ionspray-mass spectrometry (LC-MS) for thermolabile and polar pesticides (carbamates, benzimidazoles). Acquisition was performed in the selected ion monitoring (SIM) mode. Extraction recovery varied owing to the nature of pesticides, but was satisfactory for all. Limits of detection (LODs) and limits of quantitation (LOQs) ranged, respectively, from 2.5 to 20 and from 5 to 50ng/ml. An excellent linearity was observed from LOQs up to 1000ng/ml for all the pesticides studied. The proposed procedures yielded reproducible results with good inter-assay accuracy and precision. A few cases of intoxication are presented to demonstrate the diagnostic interest of these methods: in two cases were determined lethal concentrations of endosulfan and carbofuran; in four other cases, the procedures helped diagnose intoxication with, respectively, parathion-ethyl, the association of bromacil and strychnine, bifenthrin and aldicarb. PMID:11516896

  7. Identification and quantification of 35 psychotropic drugs and metabolites in hair by LC-MS/MS: application in forensic toxicology.

    PubMed

    Maublanc, Julie; Dulaurent, Sylvain; Morichon, Julien; Lachâtre, Gérard; Gaulier, Jean-michel

    2015-03-01

    Despite a non-invasive sampling, hair samples are generally collected in limited amounts for an obvious esthetic reason. In order to reduce the required quantity of samples, a multianalytes method allowing simultaneous identification and quantification of 35 psychoactive drugs was developed. After incubation of 50 mg of hair in a phosphate buffer pH 5 for one night at room temperature, the substances of interest were extracted by a simple liquid-liquid extraction step, with a dichloromethane/ether mixture (70:30, v/v). After evaporation under a gentle stream of nitrogen and reconstitution in formate buffer (2 mM, pH 3)/acetonitrile (90:10, v/v), twenty microliter were injected into the LC-MS/MS system for a chromatographic run of 29 min using an Atlantis T3 column (150 × 2.1 mm, 3 μm) (Waters Corp, Milford, USA) and a gradient mixture of 2 mM, pH 3.0 ammonium formate, and 2 mM, pH 3.0 ammonium formate/acetonitrile. The data acquisition was performed in scheduled MRM mode. Intra- and inter-day precisions, estimated using the coefficient of variation and relative bias, were lower than 20 % for all concentration levels, except for two compounds. The limits of detection and quantification ranged from 0.5 to 10 pg/mg. After complete validation, this method has been successfully used in several forensic cases, three of which are reported. PMID:24777658

  8. (210)Po poisoning as possible cause of death: forensic investigations and toxicological analysis of the remains of Yasser Arafat.

    PubMed

    Froidevaux, Pascal; Bochud, François; Baechler, Sébastien; Castella, Vincent; Augsburger, Marc; Bailat, Claude; Michaud, Katarzyna; Straub, Marietta; Pecchia, Marco; Jenk, Theo M; Uldin, Tanya; Mangin, Patrice

    2016-02-01

    The late president of the Palestinian Authority, Yasser Arafat, died in November 2004 in Percy Hospital, one month after having experienced a sudden onset of symptoms that included severe nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea and abdominal pain and which were followed by multiple organ failure. In spite of numerous investigations performed in France, the pathophysiological mechanisms at the origin of the symptoms could not be identified. In 2011, we found abnormal levels of polonium-210 ((210)Po) in some of Arafat's belongings that were worn during his final hospital stay and which were stained with biological fluids. This finding led to the exhumation of Arafat's remains in 2012. Significantly higher (up to 20 times) activities of (210)Po and lead-210 ((210)Pb) were found in the ribs, iliac crest and sternum specimens compared to reference samples from the literature (p-value <1%). In all specimens from the tomb, (210)Po activity was supported by a similar activity of (210)Pb. Biokinetic calculations demonstrated that a (210)Pb impurity, as identified in a commercial source of 3MBq of (210)Po, may be responsible for the activities measured in Arafat's belongings and remains 8 years after his death. The absence of myelosuppression and hair loss in Mr Arafat's case compared to Mr Litvinenko's, the only known case of malicious poisoning with (210)Po, could be explained by differences in the time delivery-scheme of intake. In conclusion, statistical Bayesian analysis combining all the evidence gathered in our forensic expert report moderately supports the proposition that Mr Arafat was poisoned by (210)Po. PMID:26707208

  9. Expansion of Microbial Forensics.

    PubMed

    Schmedes, Sarah E; Sajantila, Antti; Budowle, Bruce

    2016-08-01

    Microbial forensics has been defined as the discipline of applying scientific methods to the analysis of evidence related to bioterrorism, biocrimes, hoaxes, or the accidental release of a biological agent or toxin for attribution purposes. Over the past 15 years, technology, particularly massively parallel sequencing, and bioinformatics advances now allow the characterization of microorganisms for a variety of human forensic applications, such as human identification, body fluid characterization, postmortem interval estimation, and biocrimes involving tracking of infectious agents. Thus, microbial forensics should be more broadly described as the discipline of applying scientific methods to the analysis of microbial evidence in criminal and civil cases for investigative purposes. PMID:26912746

  10. Oral-toxicology

    PubMed Central

    Gowda, B. K. Charan; Sundharam, B. Sivapatha; Mahadesh, Jyothi; Mukund

    2014-01-01

    Forensic toxicology deals with the investigation of toxic substances, poisonous products or with the environmental chemicals. This field of science helps to identify poison substance and hazardous chemicals. Forensic toxicology deals with the way that substances are absorbed, distributed or eliminated in the body – the metabolism of substances. This paper reviews the manifestations that each poisonous substance presents concentrating toward the commonly used poisonous substance especially in India. It also explains the Indian Penal Code, which is main criminal code intended to cover all substantive aspects of criminal law regarding poison. PMID:24696586

  11. Comprehensive investigation of postmortem glucose levels in blood and body fluids with regard to the cause of death in forensic autopsy cases.

    PubMed

    Chen, Jian-Hua; Michiue, Tomomi; Inamori-Kawamoto, Osamu; Ikeda, Sayuko; Ishikawa, Takaki; Maeda, Hitoshi

    2015-11-01

    The serum glucose level is regulated within a narrow range by multiple factors under physiological conditions, but is greatly modified in the death process and after death. The present study comprehensively investigated glucose levels in blood and body fluids, including pericardial fluid (PCF), cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and vitreous humor, reviewing forensic autopsy cases (n=672). Right heart blood glucose level was often higher than at other sites, and the CSF glucose level was the lowest, showing greater dissociation in acute/subacute death cases. The glucose level was higher in the diabetic (high HbA1c) than in the non-diabetic (low HbA1c) group at each site (p<0.01-0.0001). Fatal diabetic ketoacidosis cases had evidently high glucose levels at each site; whereas in the non-diabetic group, blood glucose level was higher in fatal alcohol abuse, saltwater drowning, electrocution, cerebrovascular disease and sudden cardiac death due to ischemic heart disease. Fatal methamphetamine (MA) abuse, sepsis, malnutrition (starvation) and hypoglycemia due to antidiabetics showed markedly lower blood glucose levels. Ketones in bilateral cardiac blood and PCF were increased in diabetic ketoacidosis and fatal alcohol abuse as well as in most cases of hyperthermia (heatstroke), hypothermia (cold exposure) and malnutrition. These findings suggest that combined analysis of glucose, HbA1c and ketones in blood and body fluids is useful to investigate not only fatal diabetic metabolic disorders but also death processes due to other causes, including alcohol and MA abuse, as well as thermal disorders, sepsis and malnutrition. PMID:26593993

  12. Challenges of toxicology for the millennium.

    PubMed

    Wong, S H

    2000-02-01

    In meeting the challenges of toxicology, clinical and forensic toxicologists should expand their services and engage in research and development to meet changing needs. Expanding roles could potentially derive from the threat of terrorism, genotyping for interpretation of potential toxic drug interactions, and criminalistic testings. At the threshold of the next millennium, terrorism via weapons of mass destruction (WMD) has migrated from the war zones to civilian settings. These WMD may be in the form of nuclear, biological, and chemical devices (NBC). Recently, the possible use of chemical/biological weapons in the Middle East conflicts, the use of sarin in a Tokyo subway station, and the unregulated availability of nuclear fuel in some countries all have heightened the potential for international and domestic NBC. In preparation for NBC, both government and civilians in major American cities have been trained for safe handling of patients and casualties. Forensic and clinical toxicologists should be knowledgeable about the clinical pharmacology, safe samples processing, and possible screening and/or analysis of samples exposed to or containing: vesicants; cyanide; and nerve, riot control, and pulmonary agents. These samples may be transported for further analysis and confirmed by designated central laboratories. In criminal/correctional settings, toxicologists should engage in quality assurance and consultation with attorneys, judges, and correctional professionals. With the emergence of pharmacogenetics, genotyping may enhance rational drug therapy for enhanced patient care, and may explain adverse or fatal drug reactions in postmortem analysis. PMID:10688259

  13. The Case for Forensic Toxicology

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Baker, William P.; DeBeus, Elizabeth; Jones, Carleton

    2006-01-01

    Understanding natural and human-induced hazards is an important part of the standards-based science curriculum. Experience, however, indicates that the topic is a difficult one for many students. We have developed an exciting investigative laboratory exercise that uses simulated food-based case studies to promote critical thinking and improve…

  14. Aviation combustion toxicology: an overview.

    PubMed

    Chaturvedi, Arvind K

    2010-01-01

    Aviation combustion toxicology is a subspecialty of the field of aerospace toxicology, which is composed of aerospace and toxicology. The term aerospace, that is, the environment extending above and beyond the surface of the Earth, is also used to represent the combined fields of aeronautics and astronautics. Aviation is another term interchangeably used with aerospace and aeronautics and is explained as the science and art of operating powered aircraft. Toxicology deals with the adverse effects of substances on living organisms. Although toxicology borrows knowledge from biology, chemistry, immunology, pathology, physiology, and public health, the most closely related field to toxicology is pharmacology. Economic toxicology, environmental toxicology, and forensic toxicology, including combustion toxicology, are the three main branches of toxicology. In this overview, a literature search for the period of 1960-2007 was performed and information related to aviation combustion toxicology collected. The overview included introduction; combustion, fire, and smoke; smoke gas toxicity; aircraft material testing; fire gases and their interactive effects; result interpretation; carboxyhemoglobin and blood cyanide ion levels; pyrolytic products of aircraft engine oils, fluids, and lubricants; and references. This review is anticipated to be an informative resource for aviation combustion toxicology and fire-related casualties. PMID:20109297

  15. Examination of postmortem retinal folds: A non-invasive study.

    PubMed

    Oshima, Toru; Yoshikawa, Hiroshi; Ohtani, Maki; Mimasaka, Sohtaro

    2015-02-01

    The postmortem retinal fold has been previously documented, but its mechanism of formation is not known. All previous studies of the fold involved invasive techniques and the postmortem ocular fundus has yet to be non-invasively examined. Our study used the non-invasive techniques of monocular indirect ophthalmoscopy and ocular echography to examine 79 postmortem eyes of 42 bodies. We examined whether the postmortem retinal fold was associated with postmortem time, position, and/or age. Age was significantly associated with postmortem retinal fold formation (Mann-Whitney U test, P = 0.013), which led us to examine the effect of posterior vitreous detachment (PVD) on retinal folds. The absence of a PVD was statistically associated with the presence of a retinal fold (Fisher's exact test, P < 0.0001). Interestingly, the presence of a PVD was also significantly correlated with retinal fold height (Mann-Whitney U test, P < 0.0001). Therefore, we hypothesized that retinal folds result from postmortem vitreoretinal traction caused by eyeball flaccidity. We also believe that the loss of retinochoroidal hydrostatic pressure plays a role. It is important that forensic pathologists not confuse a postmortem retinal fold with traumatic retinal detachment or perimacular retinal folds caused by child abuse. When child abuse is suspected, forensic pathologists should perform enucleation and a subsequent histological examination for confirmation. PMID:25623189

  16. Postmortem imaging of sudden cardiac death.

    PubMed

    Michaud, Katarzyna; Grabherr, Silke; Jackowski, Christian; Bollmann, Marc Daniel; Doenz, Franceso; Mangin, Patrice

    2014-01-01

    Postmortem imaging is increasingly used in forensic practice in cases of natural deaths related to cardiovascular diseases, which represent the most common causes of death in developed countries. While radiological examination is generally considered to be a good complement for conventional autopsy, it was thought to have limited application in cardiovascular pathology. At present, multidetector computed tomography (MDCT), CT angiography, and cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) are used in postmortem radiological investigation of cardiovascular pathologies. This review presents the actual state of postmortem imaging for cardiovascular pathologies in cases of sudden cardiac death (SCD), taking into consideration both the advantages and limitations. The radiological evaluation of ischemic heart disease (IHD), the most frequent cause of SCD in the general population of industrialized countries, includes the examination of the coronary arteries and myocardium. Postmortem CT angiography (PMCTA) is very useful for the detection of stenoses and occlusions of coronary arteries but less so for the identification of ischemic myocardium. MRI is the method of choice for the radiological investigation of the myocardium in clinical practice, but its accessibility and application are still limited in postmortem practice. There are very few reports implicating postmortem radiology in the investigation of other causes of SCD, such as cardiomyopathies, coronary artery abnormalities, and valvular pathologies. Cardiomyopathies representing the most frequent cause of SCD in young athletes cannot be diagnosed by echocardiography, the most widely available technique in clinical practice for the functional evaluation of the heart and the detection of cardiomyopathies. PMCTA and MRI have the potential to detect advanced stages of diseases when morphological substrate is present, but these methods have yet to be sufficiently validated for postmortem cases. Genetically determined

  17. Forensic radiology in dentistry

    PubMed Central

    Manigandan, T.; Sumathy, C.; Elumalai, M.; Sathasivasubramanian, S.; Kannan, A.

    2015-01-01

    Radiography can play an important part in forensic odontology, mainly to establish identification. This may take the precise form of comparison between antemortem and postmortem radiographs. Radiographs may also be taken to determine the age of a minor victim and even help in the assessment of the sex and ethnic group. Comparable radiographs are an essential factor to confirm identification in a mass disaster. PMID:26015728

  18. Postmortem Propofol Levels: A Case of Residual Detection Long After Administration.

    PubMed

    George, Alan A; Hargrove, Veronica M; Molina, D Kimberley

    2016-03-01

    Propofol has gained notoriety in recent years because of its involvement in high-profile deaths and has increasingly become a drug of misuse and abuse particularly by health care personnel with easy access to it. In addition, propofol has also been used for more nefarious purposes such as murder and suicide. These, coupled with the drug's routine use for both major and minor medical procedures, provide ample opportunities for it to be implicated as a cause of death or contributing factor. In such instances, forensic investigators may be faced with the task of not only detecting the presence of propofol on postmortem toxicology screening, but also determining if it was indeed responsible for the decedent's demise. While propofol has a high volume of distribution, it is thought to equilibrate and be eliminated rapidly and not show significant tissue accumulation. However, this article presents a case illustrating that propofol can accumulate in the tissues and may be found up to a week after administration. This capacity to accumulate implies that postmortem detection does not necessarily confirm administration near the time of death, and further investigation needs to be undertaken to determine the timeline of events in order to rule out other factors, such as recent medical interventions, before attributing the cause of death to the presence of the drug. PMID:26513757

  19. Profile of postmortem cases conducted at a morgue of a tertiary care hospital in Kolkata.

    PubMed

    Shrivastava, Prabha; Som, Debasish; Nandy, Saswati; Saha, Indranil; Pal, Parag Baran; Ray, Tapobrata Guha; Haldar, Swaraj

    2010-11-01

    A record based cross-sectional study of postmortems performed at the mortuary attached to the forensic medicine and toxicology department of RG Kar Medical College and Hospital from March 2008 to February 2009 comprising 1900 cases was conducted to determine the sociodemographic profile and to assess the nature and cause of such deaths. Bodies of 5 foetuses were decomposed which were excluded from the study. Out of a total of 1895 postmortems analysed, 23 autopsies were performed of limbs where the subjects were alive. Out of 1872 cases in 325 (17.4%) the manner of death was natural, whereas in 1547 cases (82.6%) it was unnatural. Accidents, suicides, homicides and undetermined deaths were 63.1%, 29.8%, 2.8% and 4.3% respectively. Among the natural deaths, evidence of pulmonary tuberculosis and coronary heart disease was found in 141 (43.4%) and 124 (38.2%) cases respectively. Burn injuries (22.6%) were the most common cause of unnatural deaths and occurred in 77.4% females. Rail track injuries and road traffic injuries were responsible for 21.9% and 14% of unnatural deaths. Hanging, poisoning and self-immolation were responsible for 48.4%, 28.9% and 19.7% of suicidal deaths respectively. PMID:21510567

  20. Elevation of NT-proBNP and cardiac troponins in sepsis-related deaths: a forensic perspective.

    PubMed

    Tettamanti, Camilla; Hervet, Tania; Grabherr, Silke; Palmiere, Cristian

    2016-07-01

    In the present study, the levels of NT-proBNP, troponin T, and troponin I were measured in postmortem serum from femoral blood in a series of sepsis-related fatalities that had undergone forensic autopsies. We aimed to assess whether a possible increase in the concentrations of these biomarkers was correlated to macroscopic or microscopic observations that suggest myocardial damage or cardiac dysfunction. Two study groups were retrospectively formed, a sepsis-related fatalities group and a control group. Both groups consisted of 16 forensic autopsy cases. Unenhanced computed tomography scan, autopsy, histological, toxicological, microbiological, and biochemical analyses were performed for all cases in both groups. Levels of procalcitonin, C-reactive protein, NT-proBNP, troponin T, and troponin I were systematically measured in postmortem serum from femoral blood. The preliminary results suggest that the postmortem serum troponin I, troponin T, and NT-proBNP levels are increased in sepsis-related deaths in the absence of any relevant coronary artery disease, myocardial ischemia, or signs of heart failure. These findings corroborate clinical data from previous studies pertaining to the usefulness of troponins and natriuretic peptides as indicators of toxic and inflammatory damage to the heart in cases of severe sepsis and septic shock without concomitant underlying coronary syndromes. PMID:27002627

  1. A series of forensic toxicology and drug seizure cases involving illicit fentanyl alone and in combination with heroin, cocaine or heroin and cocaine.

    PubMed

    Marinetti, Laureen J; Ehlers, Brooke J

    2014-10-01

    The Montgomery County Coroner's Office Toxicology Section and the Miami Valley Regional Crime Lab (MVRCL) Drug Chemistry Section have been receiving case work in drug seizures, death cases and human performance cases involving products marketed as heroin or as illicit fentanyl. Upon analysis by the Drug Chemistry Section, these products were found to contain various drug(s) including illicit fentanyl only, illicit fentanyl and heroin, illicit fentanyl and cocaine and illicit fentanyl, heroin and cocaine. Both the Chemistry and Toxicology Sections began seeing these combinations starting in late October 2013. The percentage of the combinations encountered by the MVRCL as well as the physical appearance of the product, and the results of presumptive screening tests will be discussed. The demographics of the users and the results of toxicology and autopsy findings on the decedents will also be discussed. According to regional drug task force undercover agents, there is evidence that some of the products are being sold as illicit fentanyl and not just as a heroin product. Also, there is no evidence to support that the fentanyl source is being diverted from pharmaceutical grade fentanyl. The chemistry section currently has over 109 confirmed cases, and the toxicology section currently has 81 confirmed drug deaths, 8 driving under the influence of drugs and 1 suicidal hanging. Both sections are continuing to see these cases at the present time. PMID:25217552

  2. Forensic Science.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brettell, T. A.; Saferstein, R.

    1989-01-01

    Presents a review of articles appealing to forensic practitioners. Topics include: drugs and poisons, forensic biochemistry, and trace evidence. Lists noteworthy books published on forensic science topics since 1986. (MVL)

  3. Forensics Investigator

    MedlinePlus

    ... Careers Career Profiles Forensics Investigator Overview Description Forensic science technicians investigate crimes by collecting and analyzing physical evidence. Often, they specialize in areas such as ...

  4. Seasonal variation of postmortem microbial communities.

    PubMed

    Carter, David O; Metcalf, Jessica L; Bibat, Alexander; Knight, Rob

    2015-06-01

    Body-associated microbes were recently shown to change significantly during decomposition, undergoing an ecological succession in experimental conditions using rodent and swine models. We investigated microbial succession in soils associated with swine carcasses under experimental field conditions in summer and winter. We demonstrate that these postmortem microbial communities change in a specific, reproducible fashion, and that soil microbes represent a significant component of the postmortem microbial community, contrary to widespread belief in forensic science. However, the effects of decomposition on soil microbial communities were different in summer and winter. We suggest that the microbial ecological succession will be useful in medicolegal death investigation; however, observations in winter might not be applicable to summer, which indicates a need for a greater understanding of the seasonality of decomposition. PMID:25737335

  5. A sensitive method for the determination of hordenine in human serum by ESI⁺ UPLC-MS/MS for forensic toxicological applications.

    PubMed

    Steiner, Irina; Brauers, Gernot; Temme, Oliver; Daldrup, Thomas

    2016-03-01

    We present the determination of the alkaloid hordenine and its forensic relevance as a qualitative and quantitative marker for beer consumption. A simple, rapid and sensitive ultra-performance liquid chromatography (UPLC)-tandem mass spectrometry (MS/MS) method for the determination of hordenine in human serum samples was developed and validated. The application was tested with serum samples after enzymatic cleavage. After addition of the synthesized internal standard hordenine-D 4, a liquid-liquid extraction with dichloromethane and diethyl ether was performed. Chromatographic separation was conducted with a Waters Acquity® UPLC system with gradient elution on an Agilent Eclipse XDB-C18 column (4.6 mm × 150 mm, 5-μm particle size). For quantification, a Waters Acquity® TQ detector (version SNC 627) with a positive electrospray ionization probe and multiple reaction monitoring mode was used. A flow rate of 0.4 ml/min was applied. The retention time for both the analyte and the internal standard was 3.67 min. Linearity was demonstrated from 0.2 to 16 ng/ml (R(2) > 0.999). The lower limit of quantification was 0.3 ng/ml in serum. Matrix effects and extraction recoveries for low and high concentrations were within acceptable limits of 75-125% and 50%, respectively. To the best of our knowledge there is no corresponding method for the determination of hordenine by UPLC-MS/MS in serum. By our drinking studies we demonstrate that beer consumption leads to detectable hordenine concentrations in serum and observed a linear elimination of total hordenine correlating to blood alcohol concentration, which shows that hordenine can be used as a reliable qualitative and quantitative marker for beer consumption. The validated method was successfully applied to serum from actual forensic cases. PMID:26869341

  6. [An entomological case report during the winter months: estimation of the post-mortem interval considering the influence of cold temperatures on the development of the forensically important blowfly Calliphora vomitoria].

    PubMed

    Wetzel, Waltraud; Reibe, Saskia; Madea, Burkhard

    2009-01-01

    The authors describe a case report with entomological estimation of the post-mortem interval in the winter months. In early December 2007, the body of a suicide was discovered not far from a lake near Bonn in North Rhine-Westphalia four weeks after the man had disappeared from a hospital. The corpse was very well preserved and did not show any signs of advanced putrefaction. The stage of decomposition did not allow a correct estimation of the time since death. Infestation of insect larvae of the species Calliphora vomitoria was detected in the oral cavity as well as in the self-inflicted deep cut to the throat responsible for death. The age of the larvae was determined by considering the specific minimum threshold of the species (minimum temperature necessary for development). To estimate the time until the blowflies detect the body and start to oviposit, the authors ran an experiment with a pig in a comparable environment with similar temperatures. Altogether, these investigations suggested that the man had committed suicide shortly after disappearing from the hospital. Without the entomological evaluation it would have been very difficult to narrow down the post-mortem interval correctly. PMID:19432091

  7. COMPUTATIONAL TOXICOLOGY

    EPA Science Inventory

    Over the last several years, there has been increased pressure to utilize novel technologies derived from computational chemistry, molecular biology and systems biology in toxicological risk assessment. This new area has been referred to as "Computational Toxicology". Our resear...

  8. Forensic medicine in Bangladesh.

    PubMed

    Islam, Muhammad Nurul; Islam, Mohammed Nasimul

    2003-03-01

    In this paper, we discuss the current medico-legal practice and future plan to improve the medico-legal service of Bangladesh which is rooted in the remnants of British medical jurisprudence. It includes clinical forensic medicine and forensic pathology. In Bangladesh all unnatural deaths are to be reported at the nearest police station and an appointed police officer should visit the scene of crime for investigation and to arrange postmortem if required. The forensic services of the country are delivered partly by academic staffs of Government Medical Colleges and the rest by the Civil Surgeons. Sometimes, residential medical officers in the district hospitals perform the medico-legal work. Most of them have no forensic qualifications except a long exposure in the medico-legal field. Currently academic and professional postgraduate courses are available. The chemical examiner's laboratory is situated at Dhaka with the facility of quantitative tests only. The Government of Bangladesh is trying to standardize the existing system. A Workshop on medico-legal services has been organized regularly by The Medico-legal Society of Bangladesh. A DNA profiling laboratory at the Dhaka Medical College is in the process of being set up. Such progress will be a milestone in the development of the medico-legal service in Bangladesh. However, with a few exceptions, teaching and training facilities are still lacking. PMID:12935633

  9. Present and foreseeable future of metabolomics in forensic analysis.

    PubMed

    Castillo-Peinado, L S; Luque de Castro, M D

    2016-06-21

    The revulsive publications during the last years on the precariousness of forensic sciences worldwide have promoted the move of major steps towards improvement of this science. One of the steps (viz. a higher involvement of metabolomics in the new era of forensic analysis) deserves to be discussed under different angles. Thus, the characteristics of metabolomics that make it a useful tool in forensic analysis, the aspects in which this omics is so far implicit, but not mentioned in forensic analyses, and how typical forensic parameters such as the post-mortem interval or fingerprints take benefits from metabolomics are critically discussed in this review. The way in which the metabolomics-forensic binomial succeeds when either conventional or less frequent samples are used is highlighted here. Finally, the pillars that should support future developments involving metabolomics and forensic analysis, and the research required for a fruitful in-depth involvement of metabolomics in forensic analysis are critically discussed. PMID:27188312

  10. Postmortem Changes in Animal Carcasses and Estimation of the Postmortem Interval.

    PubMed

    Brooks, J W

    2016-09-01

    A thorough understanding of the physical and chemical changes that occur in the body after death is critical for accurate interpretation of gross and microscopic pathology at autopsy. Furthermore, knowledge of the postmortem processes and the factors that affect them will aid in the estimation of the postmortem interval (PMI). The estimation of the PMI is important in many human and animal death investigations. Despite many decades of research, accuracy in estimation of the time of death has not significantly improved, and no single method can be reliably used to accurately estimate the time of death. Great care should be taken when formulating such an estimate, for it is dependent on multiple circumstantial and environmental factors, and the accuracy and precision of the estimate decrease as the PMI increases. The majority of the research in the field has been conducted on human bodies, but many relevant conclusions may be drawn regarding the expected postmortem changes in animals and the estimation of the PMI. The veterinary pathologist must use great caution when attempting to extrapolate data and apply formulas designed for use in humans. Methods reviewed include gross changes, microscopic changes, temperature-based methods, postmortem chemistry, molecular methods, microbial assay, ocular changes, radiography, entomology, and others. Although only several of these methods are currently practical for use in the workup of cases, it is expected that future research will result in improved techniques with enhanced accuracy in the estimation of the PMI, which will benefit both human and veterinary forensic investigations. PMID:26945004

  11. Long-term storage of authentic postmortem forensic blood samples at -20°C: measured concentrations of benzodiazepines, central stimulants, opioids and certain medicinal drugs before and after storage for 16-18 years.

    PubMed

    Karinen, Ritva; Andresen, Wenche; Smith-Kielland, Anne; Mørland, Jørg

    2014-01-01

    The long-term stability of benzodiazepines, opioids, central stimulants and medicinal drugs in authentic postmortem blood samples was studied. All together, 73 samples were reanalyzed after storage at -20°C for 16-18 years. At reanalysis samples containing diazepam, nordiazepam and flunitrazepam demonstrated only small changes during long-term storage when mean and median drug concentrations were compared, while clonazepam concentrations tended to decrease. Samples containing amphetamine, morphine, codeine and 'acidic' medicinal drugs as paracetamol and meprobamate also showed small changes over 16-18 years in mean and median drug concentrations at a group level. For many drugs, however, single samples could demonstrate marked concentration changes, both increases and decreases during storage. For 'alkaline' medicinal drugs, concentration losses were observed in most cases. PMID:25015743

  12. Screening approach by ultra-high performance liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry for the blood quantification of thirty-four toxic principles of plant origin. Application to forensic toxicology.

    PubMed

    Carlier, Jérémy; Guitton, Jérôme; Romeuf, Ludovic; Bévalot, Fabien; Boyer, Baptiste; Fanton, Laurent; Gaillard, Yvan

    2015-01-15

    Plant poisonings have left their mark on history and still cause many deaths, whether intentional or accidental. The means to show toxicological evidence of such poisonings should be implemented with great care. This article presents a technique for measuring thirty-nine toxic principles of plant origin in the blood, covering a large amount of toxins from local or exotic plants: α-lobeline, α-solanine, aconitine, ajmaline, atropine, brucine, cephalomannine, colchicine, convallatoxin, cymarine, cytisine, digitoxin, digoxin, emetine, gelsemine, ibogaine, jervine, kavain, lanatoside C, lupanine, mitragynine, neriifolin, oleandrin, ouabain, paclitaxel, physostigmine, pilocarpine, podophyllotoxin, proscillaridin A, reserpine, retrorsine, ricinine, scopolamine, senecionine, sparteine, strophanthidin, strychnine, veratridine and yohimbine. Analysis was carried out using an original ultra-high performance liquid chromatography separation coupled with tandem mass spectrometry detection. Extraction was a standard solid phase extraction performed on Oasis(®) HLB cartridge. Thirty-four of the thirty-nine compounds were put through a validation procedure. The assay was linear in the calibration curve range from 0.5 or 5 μg/L to 1000 μg/L according to the compounds. The method is sensitive (LOD from 0.1 to 1.6 μg/L). The within-day precision of the assay was less than 22.5% at the LLOQ, and the between-day precision was less than 21.5% for 10 μg/L for all the compounds included. The assay accuracy was in the range of 87.4 to 119.8% for the LLOQ. The extraction recovery and matrix effect ranged from 30 to 106% and from -30 to 14%, respectively. It has proven useful and effective in several difficult forensic cases. PMID:25438245

  13. Adverse events, toxicity and post-mortem data on duloxetine: case reports and literature survey.

    PubMed

    Vey, Eric L; Kovelman, Inna

    2010-05-01

    Duloxetine, a dual acting norepinephrine serotonin reuptake inhibitor, is a relatively new pharmacologic agent utilized in the treatment of depression, as well as diabetic neuropathic pain, fibromyalgia, and female stress urinary incontinence. This expanding scope of usage will inevitably lead to its eventual appearance during routine post-mortem toxicologic assays. Currently there is a paucity of post-mortem toxicologic data concerning duloxetine. The current report provides six additional case reports of post-mortem duloxetine levels, along with a review of duloxetine's pharmacokinetics, and the toxicologic manifestations which have been reported in the literature. The post-mortem levels reported, including the highest level recorded to date, are integrated with previously published reports to generate a foundation for a nascent guide to the interpretation of post-mortem duloxetine levels that could be encountered during routine post-mortem toxicologic analyses, and establish a basis upon which the establishment of toxic and lethal thresholds for this compound can be further elucidated with greater clarity. PMID:20382351

  14. Forensic Science

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cobb, P. G. W.

    1973-01-01

    Summarizes the type of work carried out by forensic chemists and the minimum qualification needed for appointment. Indicates that there are eight Home Office regional forensic science laboratories in addition to the Central Research Establishment at Aldermaston. (CC)

  15. Postmortem computed tomography in victims of military air mishaps: radiological-pathological correlation of CT findings.

    PubMed

    Levy, Gad; Goldstein, Liav; Blachar, Arye; Apter, Sara; Barenboim, Erez; Bar-Dayan, Yaron; Shamis, Ari; Atar, Eli

    2007-10-01

    A thorough medical inquiry is included in every aviation mishap investigation. While the gold standard of this investigation is a forensic pathology examination, numerous reports stress the important role of computed tomography in the postmortem evaluation of trauma victims. To characterize the findings identified by postmortem CT and compare its performance to conventional autopsy in victims of military aviation mishaps, we analyzed seven postmortem CT examinations. Musculoskeletal injuries accounted for 57.8% of the traumatic findings identified by postmortem CT. The most frequent findings were fractures of the rib (47%), skull (9.6%) and facial bones (8.6%). Abnormally located air accounted for 24% of findings, for which CT was superior (3.5% detected by autopsy, 100% by postmortem CT, P < 0.001). The performance of autopsy in detecting injuries was superior (autopsy detected 85.8% of all injuries, postmortem CT detected 53.9%, P < 0.001), especially in the detection of superficial lesions (100% detected by autopsy, 10.5% by postmortem CT, P < 0.001) and solid organ injuries (100% by autopsy, 18.5% by postmortem CT, P < 0.001). Performance in the detection of musculoskeletal injuries was similar (91.3% for autopsy, 90.3% for postmortem CT, P = not significant). Postmortem CT and autopsy have distinct performance profiles, and although the first cannot replace the latter it is a useful complementary examination. PMID:17987755

  16. Assistance of ethyl glucuronide and ethyl sulfate in the interpretation of postmortem ethanol findings.

    PubMed

    Krabseth, Hege; Mørland, Jørg; Høiseth, Gudrun

    2014-09-01

    Postmortem ethanol formation is a well-known problem in forensic toxicology. The aim of this study was to interpret findings of ethanol in blood, in a large collection of forensic autopsy cases, by use of the nonoxidative ethanol metabolites, ethyl glucuronide (EtG), and ethyl sulfate (EtS). In this study, according to previously published literature, antemortem ethanol ingestion was excluded in EtS-negative cases. Among 493 ethanol-positive forensic autopsy cases, collected during the study period, EtS was not detected in 60 (12 %) of the cases. Among cases with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of ≤ 0.54 g/kg, antemortem ethanol ingestion was excluded in 38 % of the cases, while among cases with a BAC of ≥ 0.55 g/kg, antemortem ethanol ingestion was excluded in 2.2 % of the cases. For all cases where ethanol was measured at a concentration >1.0 g/kg, EtS was detected. The highest blood ethanol concentration in which EtS was not detected was 1.0 g/kg. The median concentrations of EtG and EtS in blood were 9.5 μmol/L (range: not detected (n.d.) 618.1) and 9.2 μmol/L (range: n.d. 182.5), respectively. There was a statistically significant positive correlation between concentration levels of ethanol and of EtG (Spearman's rho=0.671, p<0.001) and EtS (Spearman's rho=0.670, p<0.001), respectively. In conclusion, this study showed that in a large number of ethanol-positive forensic autopsy cases, ethanol was not ingested before the time of death, particularly among cases where ethanol was present in lower blood concentrations. Routine measurement of EtG and EtS should therefore be recommended, especially in cases with BAC below 1 g/kg. PMID:24935750

  17. Drug concentrations in post-mortem femoral blood compared with therapeutic concentrations in plasma

    PubMed Central

    Launiainen, Terhi; Ojanperä, Ilkka

    2014-01-01

    Therapeutic drug concentrations measured in plasma are of limited value as reference intervals for interpretation in post-mortem (PM) toxicology. In this study, drug concentration distributions were studied in PM femoral venous blood from 57 903 Finnish autopsy cases representing all causes of death during an 11-year period. Cause-of-death information was obtained from death certificates issued by forensic pathologists. Median, mean, and upper percentile (90th, 95th, 97.5th) concentrations were calculated for 129 drugs. To illustrate how PM median concentrations relate to established therapeutic ranges in plasma, a PM blood/plasma relationship was calculated for each drug. Males represented 75% of the subjects and showed a lower median age (55 yrs) than females (59 yrs). In 43% of these cases, blood alcohol concentration was higher than 0.2‰, and the median was 1.8‰. Sixty-one (47%) of the 129 drugs showed a PM blood/plasma relationship of 1. For 22 drugs (17%), the relationship was <1, and for 46 drugs (35%), the relationship was >1. No marked correlation was found between the PM blood/plasma relationship and the volume of distribution (Vd). For 36 drugs, more than 10% of cases were fatal poisonings attributed to this drug as the main finding. These drug concentration distributions based on a large database provide a helpful reference not only to forensic toxicologists and pathologists but also to clinical pharmacologists in charge of interpreting drug concentrations in PM cases. © 2013 The Authors. Drug Testing and Analysis published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. PMID:23881890

  18. Forensic pathology of companion animal abuse and neglect.

    PubMed

    Gerdin, J A; McDonough, S P

    2013-11-01

    Submission of cases of suspected animal abuse and neglect (AAN) to veterinary pathologists is increasingly frequent. These cases require modification of postmortem procedures and written reports, as the questions asked by courts typically differ from those asked in routine diagnostic cases. Here we review the practice of veterinary forensic pathology as it applies to cases of companion AAN, as well as the fundamental principles of forensic pathology, the components of a forensic necropsy, and the goals of the necropsy in cases of blunt-force trauma, projectile wounds, and starvation. Future directions and endeavors in veterinary forensic pathology are broached. PMID:23686766

  19. Post-mortem CT and MRI: appropriate post-mortem imaging appearances and changes related to cardiopulmonary resuscitation.

    PubMed

    Offiah, Curtis E; Dean, Jonathan

    2016-01-01

    Post-mortem cross-sectional imaging in the form of CT and, less frequently, MRI is an emerging facility in the evaluation of cause-of-death and human identification for the coronial service as well as in assisting the forensic investigation of suspicious deaths and homicide. There are marked differences between the radiological evaluation and interpretation of the CT and MRI features of the live patient (i.e. antemortem imaging) and the evaluation and interpretation of post-mortem CT and MRI appearances. In addition to the absence of frequently utilized tissue enhancement following intravenous contrast administration in antemortem imaging, there are a number of variable changes which occur in the tissues and organs of the body as a normal process following death, some of which are, in addition, affected significantly by environmental factors. Many patients and victims will also have undergone aggressive attempts at cardiopulmonary resuscitation in the perimortem period which will also significantly alter post-mortem CT and MRI appearances. It is paramount that the radiologist and pathologist engaged in the interpretation of such post-mortem imaging are familiar with the appropriate non-pathological imaging changes germane to death, the post-mortem interval and cardiopulmonary resuscitation in order to avoid erroneously attributing such changes to trauma or pathology. Some of the more frequently encountered radiological imaging considerations of this nature will be reviewed. PMID:26562099

  20. Forensic Analysis of Cathinones.

    PubMed

    Gautam, L; Shanmuganathan, A; Cole, M D

    2013-03-01

    In the past decade there has been a significant increase in the popularity of synthetic cathinones in the illegal drug market. They have been easily available from Internet-based vendors as well as at "head shops" and "smart shops". The recent prominence of synthetic cathinones can be attributed to their stimulatory properties similar to those of amphetamines. This paper provides a review on the current popular cathinone derivatives, their history and prevalence in the illegal drug market, legislation of these drugs in various countries, pharmacology, toxicology, and metabolism studies, analysis of toxicology samples (blood, urine, and hair) and criminalistic samples (seized, purchased via the Internet, and synthesized). From the reviewed literature, it is concluded that the products sold as "legal highs" do not only contain cathinone but also cathinone derivatives, and adulterants such as caffeine, lidocaine, and inorganic materials. Full toxicity data is currently unavailable for this drug class and hence more research is required with regard to their analysis and metabolism. Moreover, clandestine chemists are constantly synthesizing new derivatives and hence forensic chemists often need to synthesize and characterize these drugs to confirm the identity of the seized samples. This is expensive as well as time-consuming. Therefore, there is a need for national and international collaboration among forensic chemists to overcome this difficulty. PMID:26226850

  1. Developmental Toxicology##

    EPA Science Inventory

    Developmental toxicology encompasses the study of developmental exposures, pharmacokinetics, mechanisms, pathogenesis, and outcomes potentially leading to adverse health effects. Manifestations of developmental toxicity include structural malformations, growth retardation, functi...

  2. Computational Toxicology

    EPA Science Inventory

    ‘Computational toxicology’ is a broad term that encompasses all manner of computer-facilitated informatics, data-mining, and modeling endeavors in relation to toxicology, including exposure modeling, physiologically based pharmacokinetic (PBPK) modeling, dose-response modeling, ...

  3. Spaceflight Toxicology

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Meyers, Valerie

    2008-01-01

    This viewgraph presentation provides a review of NASA Johnson Space Center's Toxicology program. The mission of this program is to protect crews from toxic exposures during spaceflight. The presentation reviews some of the health hazards. A toxicological hazard level chart is presented that reviews the rating of hazard level, irritancy, systemic effects and containability. The program also participates in the Lunar Airborne Dust Toxicity Advisory Group.

  4. [Cantharidin and its detection in forensic toxicology].

    PubMed

    Dolný, A; Buchtová, M; Loyka, S

    1992-11-01

    Experimental detection of deadly toxic cantharidin C10H12O4 by chemical analysis was performed in imagoes of two species of cryptotoxic Meloidae beetles--Lytta vesicatoria and Mylabris variabilis. Samples were processed by extraction and sublimation and analyzed by gas chromatography. Graphic documentation proved the presence of cantharidin. A part of microcristalline sublimate was studied microscopically and determinant features of crystalline cantharidin were identified. Moreover, cantharidin levels in single body parts of the beetle were investigated. PMID:1480980

  5. Haemorrhoids leading to post-mortem bleeding artefact.

    PubMed

    Kanchan, Tanuj; Menezes, Ritesh G; Manipady, Shahnavaz

    2006-07-01

    We present a case where a 54-year-old man suffering from haemorrhoids, committed suicide by hanging. Gravitational forces due to the upright position of the body facilitated post-mortem per-rectal bleeding from the ulcerated haemorrhoids. The bleeding stained his under garment and wrap around cloth. Frank blood was also seen on the floor beneath the hanging body. The blood at the crime scene was wrongly interpreted by the investigating police as that due to self-inflicted injury or possibly case of homicide followed by post-mortem suspension of the body. Observation of the crime scene by forensic medicine experts and subsequent autopsy findings revealed that the bleeding was from the haemorrhoids. This case is reported for its rarity, for the awareness of the possible post-mortem haemorrhoidal bleeding artefact, to explain the circumstances of such a possibility, and to emphasize the importance of involving forensic medicine experts as a part of the crime scene investigation team. PMID:16442833

  6. Ultra Performance Liquid Chromatography with Tandem Mass Spectrometry for the Quantitation of Seventeen Sedative Hypnotics in Six Common Toxicological Matrices.

    PubMed

    Mata, Dani C; Davis, John F; Figueroa, Ariana K; Stanford, Mary June

    2016-01-01

    An ultra performance liquid chromatography triple quadrupole mass spectrometry (LC-MS-MS) method for the quantification of 14 benzodiazepines and three sedative hypnotics is presented. The fast and inexpensive assay was developed for California's Orange County Crime Lab for use in antemortem (AM) and postmortem casework. The drugs were rapidly cleaned up from AM blood, postmortem blood, urine, liver, brain and stomach contents using DPX(®) Weak Anion Exchange (DPX WAX) tips fitted on a pneumatic extractor, which can process up to 48 samples at one time. Assay performance was determined for validation based on recommendations by the Scientific Working Group for Forensic Toxicology for linearity, limit of quantitation, limit of detection, bias, precision (within run and between run), dilution integrity, carry-over, selectivity, recovery, ion suppression and extracted sample stability. Linearity was verified using the therapeutic and toxic ranges of all 17 analytes. Final verification of the method was confirmed by four analysts using 20 blind matrix matched samples. All results were within 20% of each other and the expected value. PMID:26374882

  7. Interpretation of postmortem change in cadavers in Spain.

    PubMed

    Prieto, José L; Magaña, Concepción; Ubelaker, Douglas H

    2004-09-01

    Estimating time since death is especially difficult in the examination of poorly preserved cadavers and depends on the experience of the examiner and comparison with previously documented cases showing similar characteristics. The present study reports on information obtained over the past ten years through the work of the Laboratorio de Antropología y Odontología Forense (LAF) of the Instituto Anatómico Forense de Madrid, Spain, in particular evaluating how the type of fracture influences postmortem change. From the original 225 forensic cases examined between 1992 and 2002 in the LAF, a sample of 29 cases were selected from various regions of the Spanish mainland. A data collection protocol was established to reflect factors which the existing specialized literature, documenting the relation existing in the sample analyzed between time since death and the extent of postmortem change, which in the environments examined are distributed into the following phases: Phase 1 (putrefaction): one week to one month on the surface and two months in water. Phase 2 (initial skeletonization): two months on the surface and five to six months in water. Phase 3 (advanced skeltonization): six months to 1.5 years on the surface and 2.5 years buried. Phase 4 (complete skeletonization): about one year on the surface and three years buried. This paper also provide useful information on the impact of carrion insect activity, location, climate, seasonality, and predator. PMID:15461090

  8. [Death in the neonatal period and infancy. History of medicine and forensic criminal aspects].

    PubMed

    Risse, Manfred

    2002-01-01

    From antiquity up to the present time the history of medicine contains innumerable examples of the different attitude of human beings in dealing with the death of children. This is paradigmatically described for the death of neonates and infants, with special consideration of the sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) and selected forensic-criminalistic aspects. Against the historical background of forensic postmortem examination and forensic paidopathology the development of the autopsy is also outlined. PMID:12134760

  9. Advances in post-mortem CT-angiography

    PubMed Central

    Grimm, J; Dominguez, A; Vanhaebost, J; Mangin, P

    2014-01-01

    Performing a post-mortem multidetector CT (MDCT) scan has already become routine in some institutes of forensic medicine. To better visualize the vascular system, different techniques of post-mortem CT-angiography have been explored, which can essentially be divided into partial- and whole-body angiography techniques. Probably the most frequently applied technique today is the so-called multiphase post-mortem CT-angiography (MPMCTA) a standardized method for investigating the vessels of the head, thorax and abdomen. Different studies exist, describing its use for medicolegal investigations, and its advantages as well as its artefacts and pitfalls. With the aim to investigate the performance of PMCTA and to develop and validate techniques, an international working group was created in 2012 called the “Technical Working Group Post-mortem Angiography Methods” (TWGPAM). Beyond its primary perspective, the goals of this group include creating recommendations for the indication of the investigation and for the interpretation of the images and to distribute knowledge about PMCTA. This article provides an overview about the different approaches that have been developed and tested in recent years and an update about ongoing research in this field. It will explain the technique of MPMCTA in detail and give an outline of its indications, application, advantages and limitations. PMID:24234582

  10. Search for fungi-specific metabolites of four model drugs in postmortem blood as potential indicators of postmortem fungal metabolism.

    PubMed

    Martínez-Ramírez, Jorge A; Strien, Juliane; Walther, Grit; Peters, Frank T

    2016-05-01

    Fungi colonizing cadavers are capable of drug metabolism and may thus change the metabolite pattern or concentration of drugs in forensic postmortem samples. The purpose of this study was to check for the presence of such changes by searching fungi-specific metabolites of four model drugs (amitriptyline, metoprolol, mirtazapine, and zolpidem) in decomposed postmortem blood samples from 33 cases involving these drugs. After isolation and identification of fungal strains present in the samples, each isolate was incubated in Sabouraud medium at 25°C for up to 120h with each model drug. One part of the supernatants was directly analyzed by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS), another after liquid-liquid extraction with chlorobutane and concentration. From 21 out of 33 decomposed postmortem blood samples (64%) a total of 30 different strains could be isolated, one from the class of Ascomycete and the rest belonging to 15 species from 8 different genera (number of species): Aspergillus (2), Botrytis (1), Candida (8), Fusarium (1), Mucor (1), Penicillium (1), and Rodothorula (1). In the in vitro studies, these microorganisms were found capable of N-demethylation and N-oxidation of amitriptyline and mirtazapine, O-demethylation followed by side chain oxidation of metoprolol as well as hydroxylation of all four-model drugs. In two of the postmortem blood samples, from which the fungi Aspergillus jensenii, Candida parapsilosis. and Mucor circinelloides had been isolated, a fungi-specific hydroxy zolpidem metabolite was detected. The presence of this metabolite in postmortem samples likely indicates postmortem fungal biodegradation. PMID:27022860

  11. Why We Need Postmortem Analysis of Cardiac Implantable Electronic Devices.

    PubMed

    Mauf, Sabrina; Jentzsch, Thorsten; Laberke, Patrick J; Thali, Michael J; Bartsch, Christine

    2016-07-01

    The prevalence of cardiac implantable electronic devices (CIEDs), pacemakers and implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs) is increasing. However, postmortem analysis of CIEDs is not performed routinely. Fourteen consecutive CIEDs were analyzed. The indication for and date of implantation, technical data, CIED reprogramming, heart rhythm disturbances, patient demographics and medical consultations were investigated. Death during the first year after implantation was seen in 54%, whereof 71% consulted a physician within 10 days before death. The time of death was attributed to a particular day in 29%. There was a relationship between CIEDs and cause/manner of death in 50%. Although limited by a small sample size, this study advocates the routine postmortem CIED analysis for forensic and clinical purposes in selected cases. Patients with CIEDs seem to show an increased risk of death during the first year after implantation. The analysis of CIEDs can be helpful in evaluating the time/cause/manner of death. PMID:27364278

  12. The difficult task of assessing perimortem and postmortem fractures on the skeleton: a blind text on 210 fractures of known origin.

    PubMed

    Cappella, Annalisa; Amadasi, Alberto; Castoldi, Elisa; Mazzarelli, Debora; Gaudio, Daniel; Cattaneo, Cristina

    2014-11-01

    The distinction between perimortem and postmortem fractures is an important challenge for forensic anthropology. Such a crucial task is presently based on macro-morphological criteria widely accepted in the scientific community. However, several limits affect these parameters which have not yet been investigated thoroughly. This study aims at highlighting the pitfalls and errors in evaluating perimortem or postmortem fractures. Two trained forensic anthropologists were asked to classify 210 fractures of known origin in four skeletons (three victims of blunt force trauma and one natural death) as perimortem, postmortem, or dubious, twice in 6 months in order to assess intraobserver error also. Results show large errors, ranging from 14.8 to 37% for perimortem fractures and from 5.5 to 14.8% for postmortem ones; more than 80% of errors concerned trabecular bone. This supports the need for more objective and reliable criteria for a correct assessment of peri- and postmortem bone fractures. PMID:24990801

  13. Forensic Science

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Berry, Keith O.; Nigh, W. G.

    1973-01-01

    A course is described, which was given during an interim, with an enrollment of 41 students. The course involved an in-depth study of forensic science, involving students with the methodology of science. (DF)

  14. Liquid chromatography, in combination with a quadrupole time-of-flight instrument (LC QTOF), with sequential window acquisition of all theoretical fragment-ion spectra (SWATH) acquisition: systematic studies on its use for screenings in clinical and forensic toxicology and comparison with information-dependent acquisition (IDA).

    PubMed

    Roemmelt, Andreas T; Steuer, Andrea E; Poetzsch, Michael; Kraemer, Thomas

    2014-12-01

    Forensic and clinical toxicological screening procedures are employing liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) techniques with information-dependent acquisition (IDA) approaches more and more often. It is known that the complexity of a sample and the IDA settings might prevent important compounds from being triggered. Therefore, data-independent acquisition (DIA) methods should be more suitable for systematic toxicological analysis (STA). The DIA method sequential window acquisition of all theoretical fragment-ion spectra (SWATH), which uses Q1 windows of 20-35 Da for data-independent fragmentation, was systematically investigated for its suitability for STA. Quality of SWATH-generated mass spectra were evaluated with regard to mass error, relative abundance of the fragments, and library hits. With the Q1 window set to 20-25 Da, several precursors pass Q1 at the same time and are fragmented, thus impairing the library search algorithms to a different extent: forward fit was less affected than reverse fit and purity fit. Mass error was not affected. The relative abundance of the fragments was concentration dependent for some analytes and was influenced by cofragmentation, especially of deuterated analogues. Also, the detection rate of IDA compared to SWATH was investigated in a forced coelution experiment (up to 20 analytes coeluting). Even using several different IDA settings, it was observed that IDA failed to trigger relevant compounds. Screening results of 382 authentic forensic cases revealed that SWATH's detection rate was superior to IDA, which failed to trigger ∼10% of the analytes. PMID:25329363

  15. Exhumation of Wistar rats experimentally exposed to the carbamate pesticides aldicarb and carbofuran: A pathological and toxicological study.

    PubMed

    de Siqueira, Adriana; Rodrigues, Karina Borges Almeida; Gonçalves-Júnior, Vagner; Calefi, Atilio Sersun; Fukushima, André Rinaldi; Cuevas, Silvia Elena Campusano; Spinosa, Helenice de Souza; Maiorka, Paulo César

    2016-06-01

    Exhumation is required for the investigation of suspicions deaths when a body is buried and is usually performed under court order. Exhumation of animals is not a routine practice in forensic pathology. In this study, 30 male 70-day-old Wistar rats were experimentally exposed to the carbamate pesticides aldicarb and carbofuran. Toxicological, macroscopic and microscopic examinations were performed. Groups of 3 animals (2 exposed and 1 control) were evaluated at 24h, 3days, 5days, 7days and 10days post-mortem. In histopathological examination, the brain, liver, lungs and kidneys were assessed, and for toxicological analysis, the gastric contents, liver, vitreous humor, skeletal muscle and larvae (when available) were collected. The pesticides were detected by HPLC and quantified in the analyzed matrices, and a possible delay in tissue putrefaction due to the pesticides was observed. This study has revealed that it is possible to exhume animals for investigations of possible poisoning by carbamates and has demonstrated that the exhumation of an animal in a suspected case of poisoning should not be ruled out. The increasing demand for investigations of suspicious animal deaths, e.g., in cases of poisoning, will likely lead to an increase in the use of this type of procedure in veterinary pathology. PMID:27020045

  16. Histological assessment of cellular changes in postmortem gingival specimens for estimation of time since death.

    PubMed

    Yadav, Achla Bharti; Angadi, Punnya V; Kale, Alka D; Yadav, Sumit Kumar

    2015-07-01

    Estimating the time after death is an important aspect of the role of a forensic expert. After death, the body undergoes substantial changes in its chemical and physical composition which can prove useful in providing an indication of the post-mortem interval. The most accurate estimate of the time of death is best achieved early in the post-mortem interval before the many environmental variables are able to affect the result. Whilst dependence on macroscopic observations was the foundation of the past practice, the application of histological techniques is proving to be an increasingly valuable tool in forensic research. The present study was conducted to evaluate the histologic post-mortem changes that take place in human gingival tissues and to correlate these changes with the time interval after death. Thirty one samples of post-mortem human gingival tissues were obtained from a pool of decedents at varied post-mortem intervals (0-8 hrs, 8-16 hrs, 16-24 hrs). Ante-mortem samples of gingival tissues for comparison were obtained from patients undergoing crown lengthening procedure. Histological changes in the epithelium (cytoplasmic and nuclear) and connective tissue were assessed. The initial epithelial changes observed were homogenization and eosinophilia while cytoplasmic vacuolation and other alterations, including shredding of the epithelium, ballooning, loss of nuclei and suprabasilar split were noticed in late post-mortem interval (16-24 hrs). Nuclear changes such as vacuolation, karyorrhexis, pyknosis and karyolysis became increasingly apparent with lengthening post-mortem intervals. Homogenizations of collagen and fibroblast vacuolation were also observed. To conclude; the initiation of decomposition at cellular level appeared within 24 hours of death and other features of decomposition were observed subsequently. Against this background, histological changes in the gingival tissues may be useful in estimating the time of death in the early post-mortem

  17. A case of fatal sigmoid volvulus visualized on postmortem radiography: The importance of image optimization with multidetector computed tomography.

    PubMed

    Usui, Akihito; Kawasumi, Yusuke; Hosokai, Yoshiyuki; Ishizuka, Yuya; Ikeda, Tomoya; Saito, Haruo; Funayama, Masato

    2016-03-01

    This report describes the case of a man who developed fatal sigmoid volvulus that was identified on postmortem radiography before forensic autopsy. Postmortem radiography is useful for visualizing the body prior to autopsy. We discuss postmortem multidetector computed tomography that was tailored for optimum image quality to allow reconstruction of the fatal findings in multiple axes and in three dimensions, helping to pinpoint the anatomical sites of interest. This involves techniques such as manipulation of the scanning beam pitch and overlapping CT section acquisition. These techniques are best performed by personnel with CT technology training. PMID:26980251

  18. [Forensic medicine and the overlap with pathology].

    PubMed

    Riepert, T

    2010-07-01

    Forensic medicine incorporates research, teaching and professional service. In the routine practice this encompasses interdisciplinary cooperation with physicians, natural scientists and the legal profession. Lectures in forensic medicine include the correct performance of an external examination of corpses, which every physician must be capable of, just as medical questions and the evidential documentation of injuries. Clinical forensic medicine encompasses the examination and documentation of living victims of physical and/or sexual violence. For further training to become a specialist for forensic medicine it is mandatory to undertake a 6-month training period in pathology. Fatalities with an unclear or unnatural manner of death must be registered with the police. On suspicion of third party involvement the public prosecutor will request a legal autopsy, which is carried out and documented by two physicians in accordance with the penal code. Imaging procedures are standard for an autopsy. Extensive samples are taken for additional testing, such as toxicological and molecular biological investigations. PMID:20424845

  19. Postmortem diffusion of n-butane and i-butane used for anticontagious plugging spray.

    PubMed

    Okuda, Katsuhiro; Maseda, Chikatoshi; Asari, Masaru; Isozaki, Shotaro; Kiya, Hiroshi; Yajima, Daisuke; Shiono, Hiroshi; Shimizu, Keiko

    2016-03-01

    Blood and tissue samples from a forensic autopsy of a man in his late 60s, who developed dementia and died of multiple head traumas due to a fall from a moving vehicle, contained certain amounts of n-butane and i-butane. The concentration of n-butane was in the range of 0.48-70.5 μL/g, which would be considered as toxic or lethal levels. We had to distinguish whether the cause of his unexplained behavior was due to his pre-existing condition (dementia), or from a confused state induced by butane abuse. No traces of butane use were found at the scene. Police investigation revealed that a propellant used in an anticontagious plugging spray had been administered to him during a postmortem treatment in the emergency hospital. In order to prove the postmortem butane diffusion had resulted from the spray administration and to estimate the diffused concentration, experimental simulation was conducted by using rats. As a result of postmortem treatment with the spray, n-butane at concentrations of 0.54-15.5 μL/mL or g were found in the rat blood and tissues. In this case, we provided further evidence that the postmortem butane diffusion, caused by using the anticontagious plugging spray containing butane gas as a propellant administered to a cadaver during a postmortem procedure prior to forensic autopsy, should be distinguished from cases of actual butane poisoning. PMID:26318540

  20. Forensic pedology, forensic geology, forensic geoscience, geoforensics and soil forensics.

    PubMed

    Ruffell, Alastair

    2010-10-10

    We now have a confusing set of five commonly used terms for the application of Earth evidence in forensic science. This confusion is resulting in Earth scientists who use these methods mentioning different terms, sometimes for the same type of study. Likewise, forensic scientists, police/law enforcement officers and those employed by courts of law are becoming confused as to what each term means. A nomenclatural framework (based on the first use of each term) is proposed to encourage consistency in the use of terminology. Generally, the number of Earth science applications has grown through time, from soil and sediment analysis to remote sensing and GIS. The issue of where forensic biology and microbiology sits with these uses of Earth evidence is considered. PMID:20430544

  1. Hebephilia: A Postmortem Dissection.

    PubMed

    Singy, Patrick

    2015-07-01

    In 2008, the concept of hebephilia, which denotes an erotic preference for "pubescent children," was suggested by Blanchard and his team for inclusion in the DSM-5 (Blanchard et al., 2009). Four years later, the APA's Board of Trustees opted for the status quo and rejected that proposal. This essay sheds light on the reason for this rejection. I consider three important questions related to hebephilia: Does hebephilia exist? Is it a disease? And what would have been the social consequences of including it in the DSM? I argue that if Blanchard failed to convince others that hebephilia should be included in the DSM-5, it is not because he focused too much on the first question and was unable to offer a convincing answer to the second one, but because he made the mistake of dismissing the third one as extraneous. The DSM is not intended to be a pure research manual, and a category like hebephilia cannot be evaluated without taking into account its potential forensic impact. In part or in whole, the decision to include a new diagnostic category in the DSM is, and always should be, a political decision. PMID:25894647

  2. Postmortem biochemistry in suspected starvation-induced ketoacidosis.

    PubMed

    Palmiere, Cristian; Tettamanti, Camilla; Augsburger, Marc; Burkhardt, Sandra; Sabatasso, Sara; Lardi, Christelle; Werner, Dominique

    2016-08-01

    Significantly increased blood ketone body levels can be occasionally observed in the forensic setting in situations other than exposure to cold, diabetic or alcoholic ketoacidosis. Though infrequent, these cases do occur and deserve thorough evaluation in order to establish appropriate differential diagnoses and quantify the role that hyperketonemia may play in the death process. Starvation ketoacidosis is a rare cause of metabolic acidosis and is a phenomenon that occurs normally during fasting, as the body switches from carbohydrate to lipid energy sources. The levels of ketonemia in starvation ketoacidosis is usually mild in comparison to those seen in diabetic or alcoholic ketoacidosis. In the clinical setting, several cases of starvation-induced ketoacidosis mainly associated with gastric banding, pregnancy, malnutrition and low-carbohydrate diets have been reported. However, starvation ketosis causing severe metabolic acidosis has been rarely described in the medical literature. In the realm of forensic pathology, starvation-induced hyperketonemia has been rarely described. In this paper we present the postmortem biochemical results observed in situations of suspected starvation-induced hyperketonemia that underwent medico-legal examination. In all these cases, the diagnosis of starvation induced-hyperketonemia and the subsequent ketoacidosis was established per exclusionem based on all postmortem investigation findings. A review of the literature pertaining to the clinical diagnosis of starvation ketoacidosis is also provided. PMID:27239954

  3. Bayesian networks for evaluation of evidence from forensic entomology.

    PubMed

    Andersson, M Gunnar; Sundström, Anders; Lindström, Anders

    2013-09-01

    In the aftermath of a CBRN incident, there is an urgent need to reconstruct events in order to bring the perpetrators to court and to take preventive actions for the future. The challenge is to discriminate, based on available information, between alternative scenarios. Forensic interpretation is used to evaluate to what extent results from the forensic investigation favor the prosecutors' or the defendants' arguments, using the framework of Bayesian hypothesis testing. Recently, several new scientific disciplines have been used in a forensic context. In the AniBioThreat project, the framework was applied to veterinary forensic pathology, tracing of pathogenic microorganisms, and forensic entomology. Forensic entomology is an important tool for estimating the postmortem interval in, for example, homicide investigations as a complement to more traditional methods. In this article we demonstrate the applicability of the Bayesian framework for evaluating entomological evidence in a forensic investigation through the analysis of a hypothetical scenario involving suspect movement of carcasses from a clandestine laboratory. Probabilities of different findings under the alternative hypotheses were estimated using a combination of statistical analysis of data, expert knowledge, and simulation, and entomological findings are used to update the beliefs about the prosecutors' and defendants' hypotheses and to calculate the value of evidence. The Bayesian framework proved useful for evaluating complex hypotheses using findings from several insect species, accounting for uncertainty about development rate, temperature, and precolonization. The applicability of the forensic statistic approach to evaluating forensic results from a CBRN incident is discussed. PMID:23971824

  4. Development and validation of a dynamic range-extended LC-MS/MS multi-analyte method for 11 different postmortem matrices for redistribution studies applying solvent calibration and additional (13)C isotope monitoring.

    PubMed

    Staeheli, Sandra N; Poetzsch, Michael; Kraemer, Thomas; Steuer, Andrea E

    2015-11-01

    Postmortem redistribution (PMR) is one of numerous problems in postmortem toxicology making correct interpretation of measured drug concentrations difficult or even impossible. Time-dependent PMR in peripheral blood and especially in tissue samples is still under-explored. For further investigation, an easy applicable method for the simultaneous quantitation of over 80 forensically relevant compounds in 11 different postmortem matrices should be developed and validated overcoming the challenges of high inter-matrix and intra-matrix concentration variances. Biopsy samples (20 mg) or body fluids (20 μL) were spiked with an analyte mix and deuterated internal standards, extracted by liquid-liquid extraction, and analyzed by liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS). For highest applicability, an easy solvent calibration was used. Furthermore, time-consuming dilution of high concentration samples showing detector saturation was circumvented by two overlapping calibration curves using (12)C isotope monitoring for low concentrations and (13)C isotopes for high concentration, respectively. The method was validated according to international guidelines with modifications. Matrix effects and extraction efficiency were strongly matrix and analyte dependent. In general, brain and adipose tissue produced the highest matrix effects, whereas cerebrospinal fluid showed the least matrix effects. Accuracy and precision results were rather matrix independent with some exceptions. Despite using an external solvent calibration, the accuracy requirements were fulfilled for 66 to 81 % of the 83 analytes. Depending on the matrix, 75-93 % of the analytes showed intra-day precisions at <20 %. (12)C and (13)C calibrations gave comparable results and proved to be a useful tool in expanding the dynamic range. PMID:26396081

  5. Forensic Investigation of Methadone Concentrations in Deceased Breastfed Infants.

    PubMed

    Madadi, Parvaz; Kelly, Lauren E; Ross, Colin J; Kepron, Charis; Edwards, James N; Koren, Gideon

    2016-03-01

    There is a paucity of data to aid in assessing whether postmortem methadone findings in breastfed infants are clinically and/or toxicologically significant. Two cases are reported in which methadone was detected in deceased neonates whose mothers were enrolled in methadone maintenance programs and were breastfeeding. In addition to a complete autopsy and toxicological testing for alcohol, prescription medications, and drugs of abuse, pharmacogenetic analysis was performed for variants in genes related to methadone metabolism and response. In both cases, the postmortem methadone concentration measured in neonatal heart blood was higher than the maximum serum methadone concentration reported in living breastfed infants whose mothers were receiving methadone. However, additional analysis of antemortem blood indicated postmortem redistribution of methadone. Pharmacogenetic results were suggestive of a potential predisposition to methadone toxicity based on studies in adults; the significance of these findings in breastfed neonates requires further research. The medical cause of death was unascertained in both cases. PMID:26513313

  6. [Forensic entomology].

    PubMed

    Açikgöz, Halide Nihal

    2010-01-01

    Odour of the animal or human corpses immediately after death is very attractive for insects and other invertebrates. Blue and green bottle flies from the Calliphoridae family are the first colonizers of cadaver and immediately later necrophagous Diptera from the Sarcophagidae family settle on the same corpse. It is essential to determine the time past after death for elucidating the event in case of the homicide or suspicious death, and it is directly proportional to the post mortem interval expected time, which is based upon the speed of the larval growth. In this article, we purposed to stress the special interest of forensic entomology for the scientists who will apply this science in their forensic researches and case studies, and also to provide information to our judges, prosecutors and law enforcement agents in order to consider the entomological samples to be reliable and applicable evidences as biological stains and hairs. We are of the opinion that if any forensic entomologist is called to the crime scene or if the evidences are collected and then delivered to an entomologist, the forensic cases will be elucidated faster and more accurately. PMID:20954127

  7. Estimating Time Since Death from Postmortem Human Gut Microbial Communities.

    PubMed

    Hauther, Kathleen A; Cobaugh, Kelly L; Jantz, Lee Meadows; Sparer, Tim E; DeBruyn, Jennifer M

    2015-09-01

    Postmortem succession of human-associated microbial communities ("human microbiome") has been suggested as a possible method for estimating postmortem interval (PMI) for forensic analyses. Here we evaluate human gut bacterial populations to determine quantifiable, time-dependent changes postmortem. Gut microflora were repeatedly sampled from the proximal large intestine of 12 deceased human individuals as they decayed under environmental conditions. Three intestinal bacterial genera were quantified by quantitative PCR (qPCR) using group-specific primers targeting 16S rRNA genes. Bacteroides and Lactobacillus relative abundances declined exponentially with increasing PMI at rates of Nt=0.977e(-0.0144t) (r2=0.537, p<0.001) and Nt=0.019e(-0.0087t) (r2=0.396, p<0.001), respectively, where Nt is relative abundance at time (t) in cumulative degree hours. Bifidobacterium relative abundances did not change significantly: Nt=0.003e(-0.002t) (r2=0.033, p=0.284). Therefore, Bacteroides and Lactobacillus abundances could be used as quantitative indicators of PMI. PMID:26096156

  8. Post-mortem clinical pharmacology

    PubMed Central

    Ferner, R E

    2008-01-01

    Clinical pharmacology assumes that deductions can be made about the concentrations of drugs from a knowledge of the pharmacokinetic parameters in an individual; and that the effects are related to the measured concentration. Post-mortem changes render the assumptions of clinical pharmacology largely invalid, and make the interpretation of concentrations measured in post-mortem samples difficult or impossible. Qualitative tests can show the presence of substances that were not present in life, and can fail to detect substances that led to death. Quantitative analysis is subject to error in itself, and because post-mortem concentrations vary in largely unpredictable ways with the site and time of sampling, as a result of the phenomenon of post-mortem redistribution. Consequently, compilations of ‘lethal concentrations’ are misleading. There is a lack of adequate studies of the true relationship between fatal events and the concentrations that can be measured subsequently, but without such studies, clinical pharmacologists and others should be wary of interpreting post-mortem measurements. PMID:18637886

  9. A microbial clock provides an accurate estimate of the postmortem interval in a mouse model system

    PubMed Central

    Metcalf, Jessica L; Wegener Parfrey, Laura; Gonzalez, Antonio; Lauber, Christian L; Knights, Dan; Ackermann, Gail; Humphrey, Gregory C; Gebert, Matthew J; Van Treuren, Will; Berg-Lyons, Donna; Keepers, Kyle; Guo, Yan; Bullard, James; Fierer, Noah; Carter, David O; Knight, Rob

    2013-01-01

    Establishing the time since death is critical in every death investigation, yet existing techniques are susceptible to a range of errors and biases. For example, forensic entomology is widely used to assess the postmortem interval (PMI), but errors can range from days to months. Microbes may provide a novel method for estimating PMI that avoids many of these limitations. Here we show that postmortem microbial community changes are dramatic, measurable, and repeatable in a mouse model system, allowing PMI to be estimated within approximately 3 days over 48 days. Our results provide a detailed understanding of bacterial and microbial eukaryotic ecology within a decomposing corpse system and suggest that microbial community data can be developed into a forensic tool for estimating PMI. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.01104.001 PMID:24137541

  10. Carbon monoxide stability in stored postmortem blood samples.

    PubMed

    Kunsman, G W; Presses, C L; Rodriguez, P

    2000-10-01

    Carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning remains a common cause of both suicidal and accidental deaths in the United States. As a consequence, determination of the percent carboxyhemoglobin (%COHb) level in postmortem blood is a common analysis performed in toxicology laboratories. The blood specimens analyzed are generally preserved with either EDTA or sodium fluoride. Potentially problematic scenarios that may arise in conjunction with CO analysis are a first analysis or a reanalysis requested months or years after the initial toxicology testing is completed; both raise the issue of the stability of carboxyhemoglobin in stored postmortem blood specimens. A study was conducted at the Bexar County Medical Examiner's Office to evaluate the stability of CO in blood samples collected in red-, gray-, and purple-top tubes by comparing results obtained at the time of the autopsy and after two years of storage at 3 degrees C using either an IL 282 or 682 CO-Oximeter. The results from this study suggest that carboxyhemoglobin is stable in blood specimens collected in vacutainer tubes, with or without preservative, and stored refrigerated for up to two years. PMID:11043662

  11. Development of CT-guided biopsy sampling for time-dependent postmortem redistribution investigations in blood and alternative matrices--proof of concept and application on two cases.

    PubMed

    Staeheli, Sandra N; Gascho, Dominic; Fornaro, Juergen; Laberke, Patrick; Ebert, Lars C; Martinez, Rosa Maria; Thali, Michael J; Kraemer, Thomas; Steuer, Andrea E

    2016-02-01

    The postmortem redistribution (PMR) phenomenon complicates interpretation in forensic toxicology. Human data on time-dependent PMR are rare and only exist for blood so far. A new method for investigation of time-dependent PMR in blood as well as in alternative body fluids and tissues was developed and evaluated using automated biopsy sampling. At admission of the bodies, introducer needles were placed in liver, lung, kidney, muscle, spleen, adipose tissue, heart, femoral vein, and lumbar spine using a robotic arm guided by a computed tomography scanner (CT). Needle placement accuracy was analyzed and found to be acceptable for the study purpose. Tissue biopsies and small volume body fluid samples were collected in triplicate through the introducer needles. At autopsy (around 24 h after admission), samples from the same body regions were collected. After mastering of the technical challenges, two authentic cases were analyzed as a proof of concept. Drug concentrations of venlafaxine, O-desmethylvenlafaxine, bromazepam, flupentixol, paroxetine, and lorazepam were determined by LC-MS/MS, and the percentage concentration changes between the two time points were calculated. Concentration changes were observed with both increases and decreases depending on analyte and matrix. While venlafaxine, flupentixol, paroxetine, and lorazepam generally showed changes above 30% and more, O-desmethylvenlafaxine and bromazepam did not undergo extensive PMR. The presented study shows that CT-controlled biopsy collection provides a valuable tool for systematic time-dependent PMR investigation, demanding only minimal sample amount and causing minimal damage to the body. PMID:26677021

  12. Use of Lucilia species for forensic investigations in Southern Europe.

    PubMed

    Vanin, S; Tasinato, P; Ducolin, G; Terranova, C; Zancaner, S; Montisci, M; Ferrara, S D; Turchetto, M

    2008-05-01

    The aim of this study was to highlight the importance of evaluating entomological evidence in forensic investigations on a regional scale. To evaluate climatic, geographical and environmental influences on the selection of carrion-breeding fauna in Northern Italy and consequently on inferred forensic data (post-mortem intervals and post-mortem transfer), we present details of six indoor-outdoor cases. Results show that the most abundant species was Lucilia sericata, together with other fly species of entomo-forensic interest, belonging to the Calliphoridae and Sarcophagidae families. In particular, for the first time in Italy, we report finding Phormia regina, Lucilia ampullacea, Lucilia caesar and Sarcophaga (Pandelleana) protuberans on fresh cadavers. The active period of L. sericata in Northern Italy, according to previous findings in Southern Europe, revealing clearcut differences with phenologies in Northern Europe, has important consequences in estimating the period (season, months) of death in cases of long post-mortem intervals (several months or years) if empty puparia of this fly are found. According to our results, the distribution of L. sericata in areas with urban sprawl, like Northern Italian regions, cannot be used to evaluate post-mortem transfer from an urban area to a rural one. PMID:18079080

  13. Evaluation of Virulence Factors and Antifungal Susceptibility in Yeast Isolates from Postmortem Specimens.

    PubMed

    Yagmur, Gulhan; Sav, Hafize; Ziyade, Nihan; Elgormus, Neval; Sen, Sumeyye; Akkoyun Bilgi, Esma; Atan, Yusuf; Buyuk, Yalcin; Kiraz, Nuri

    2016-07-01

    Invasive fungal infections are a leading cause of morbidity and mortality in immunocompromised patients, especially in cases requiring a prolonged stay in the intensive care unit. A total of 99 yeast strains were isolated from 42 postmortem cases. In this study, virulence factors and antifungal susceptibility of these species were evaluated. The isolates were identified as Candida albicans (54), C. tropicalis (15), C. glabrata (12), C. parapsilosis (6), C. lipolytica (3), C. utilis (3), C. krusei (2), C. kefyr (1), and Cryptococcus neoformans (3). The most commonly isolated species was C. albicans, and no resistant species were determined. Despite the equal number of specimens, no secretion of significant virulence factors was associated with the postmortem specimen in the Candida species. Postmortem fungal investigations in forensic autopsies are useful in explaining cause of death in such cases, also may lead to protocols for the treatment of fungal infections and contribute to fungal pathogenesis and epidemiological data. PMID:27364280

  14. Forensic geomorphology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ruffell, Alastair; McKinley, Jennifer

    2014-02-01

    Geomorphology plays a critical role in two areas of geoforensics: searching the land for surface or buried objects and sampling scenes of crime and control locations as evidence. Associated geoscience disciplines have substantial bodies of work dedicated to their relevance in forensic investigations, yet geomorphology (specifically landforms, their mapping and evolution, soils and relationship to geology and biogeography) have not had similar public exposure. This is strange considering how fundamental to legal enquiries the location of a crime and its evolution are, as this article will demonstrate. This work aims to redress the balance by showing how geomorphology featured in one of the earliest works on forensic science methods, and has continued to play a role in the sociology, archaeology, criminalistics and geoforensics of crime. Traditional landscape interpretation from aerial photography is used to demonstrate how a geomorphological approach saved police time in the search for a clandestine grave. The application geomorphology has in military/humanitarian geography and environmental/engineering forensics is briefly discussed as these are also regularly reviewed in courts of law.

  15. Postmortem computed tomography (PMCT) and disaster victim identification.

    PubMed

    Brough, A L; Morgan, B; Rutty, G N

    2015-09-01

    Radiography has been used for identification since 1927, and established a role in mass fatality investigations in 1949. More recently, postmortem computed tomography (PMCT) has been used for disaster victim identification (DVI). PMCT offers several advantages compared with fluoroscopy, plain film and dental X-rays, including: speed, reducing the number of on-site personnel and imaging modalities required, making it potentially more efficient. However, there are limitations that inhibit the international adoption of PMCT into routine practice. One particular problem is that due to the fact that forensic radiology is a relatively new sub-speciality, there are no internationally established standards for image acquisition, image interpretation and archiving. This is reflected by the current INTERPOL DVI form, which does not contain a PMCT section. The DVI working group of the International Society of Forensic Radiology and Imaging supports the use of imaging in mass fatality response and has published positional statements in this area. This review will discuss forensic radiology, PMCT, and its role in disaster victim identification. PMID:26108152

  16. Disaster victim identification: new applications for postmortem computed tomography.

    PubMed

    Blau, Soren; Robertson, Shelley; Johnstone, Marnie

    2008-07-01

    Mass fatalities can present the forensic anthropologist and forensic pathologist with a different set of challenges to those presented by a single fatality. To date radiography has played an important role in the disaster victim identification (DVI) process. The aim of this paper is to highlight the benefits of applying computed tomography (CT) technology to the DVI process. The paper begins by reviewing the extent to which sophisticated imaging techniques, specifically CT, have been increasingly used to assist in the analysis of deceased individuals. A small scale case study is then presented which describes aspects of the DVI process following a recent Australian aviation disaster involving two individuals. Having grided the scene of the disaster, a total of 41 bags of heavily disrupted human remains were collected. A postmortem examination was subsequently undertaken. Analysis of the CT images of all body parts (n = 162) made it possible not only to identify and side differentially preserved skeletal elements which were anatomically unrecognizable in the heavily disrupted body masses, but also to observe and record useful identifying features such as surgical implants. In this case the role of the forensic anthropologist and CT technology were paramount in facilitating a quick identification, and subsequently, an effective and timely reconciliation, of body parts. Although this case study is small scale, it illustrates the enormous potential for CT imaging to complement the existing DVI process. PMID:18547358

  17. Space Toxicology

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    James, John T.

    2011-01-01

    Safe breathing air for space faring crews is essential whether they are inside an Extravehicular Mobility Suit (EMU), a small capsule such as Soyuz, or the expansive International Space Station (ISS). Sources of air pollution can include entry of propellants, excess offgassing from polymeric materials, leakage of systems compounds, escape of payload compounds, over-use of utility compounds, microbial metabolism, and human metabolism. The toxicological risk posed by a compound is comprised of the probability of escaping to cause air pollution and the magnitude of adverse effects on human health if escape occurs. The risk from highly toxic compounds is controlled by requiring multiple levels of containment to greatly reduce the probability of escape; whereas compounds that are virtually non-toxic may require little or no containment. The potential for toxicity is determined by the inherent toxicity of the compound and the amount that could potentially escape into the breathing air.

  18. Systems toxicology.

    PubMed

    Hartung, Thomas; van Vliet, Erwin; Jaworska, Joanna; Bonilla, Leo; Skinner, Nigel; Thomas, Russell

    2012-01-01

    The need for a more mechanistic understanding of the ways in which chemicals modulate biological pathways is urgent if we are to identify and better assess safety issues relating to a wide range of substances developed by the pharmaceutical, chemical, agri-bio, and cosmetic industries. Omics technologies provide a valuable opportunity to refine existing methods and provide information for so-called integrated testing strategies via the creation of signatures of toxicity. By mapping these signatures to underlying pathways of toxicity, some of which have been identified by toxicologists over the last few decades, and bringing them together with pathway information determined from biochemistry and molecular biology, a "systems toxicology" approach will enable virtual experiments to be conducted that can improve the prediction of hazard and the assessment of compound toxicity. PMID:22562485

  19. Setting up a postmortem service.

    PubMed

    der Burgt, Guda van

    2016-06-25

    Pets and pony camp, and a wish for a career that involved working with her hands, led Guda van der Burgt to study veterinary medicine at Utrecht. Starting her working life with a cattle breeding company, she moved into large animal work, industry and state veterinary medicine, all of which gave her the skills to set up a postmortem examination service. PMID:27339933

  20. Multimedia Forensics Is Not Computer Forensics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Böhme, Rainer; Freiling, Felix C.; Gloe, Thomas; Kirchner, Matthias

    The recent popularity of research on topics of multimedia forensics justifies reflections on the definition of the field. This paper devises an ontology that structures forensic disciplines by their primary domain of evidence. In this sense, both multimedia forensics and computer forensics belong to the class of digital forensics, but they differ notably in the underlying observer model that defines the forensic investigator’s view on (parts of) reality, which itself is not fully cognizable. Important consequences on the reliability of probative facts emerge with regard to available counter-forensic techniques: while perfect concealment of traces is possible for computer forensics, this level of certainty cannot be expected for manipulations of sensor data. We cite concrete examples and refer to established techniques to support our arguments.

  1. Postmortem ethanol in the setting of ethanol-containing automotive fuel.

    PubMed

    Garber, Mitchell A; Canfield, Dennis V; Lewis, Russell J; Simmons, Samuel D; Radisch, Deborah L

    2013-03-01

    The pilot of a light aircraft that crashed after a loss of power was found to have ethanol in the vitreous and the blood, but almost none in the urine. The globes of the eyes were intact, and the body was refrigerated after recovery until the autopsy was performed the following morning. The pilot was described as a "nondrinker," and additional specialized toxicology testing results were inconsistent with ethanol ingestion. The pilot's body was extensively exposed to fuel during the prolonged extraction. Investigation determined that the aircraft had been fueled with gasoline that contained 10% ethanol. Although exposure to automotive fuel has not been previously described as a source of ethanol in postmortem specimens, it may represent a source for the ethanol detected during postmortem toxicology testing in this case, and this finding may be relevant to other cases with similar exposure. PMID:22835972

  2. [Post-mortem examination prior to cremation--an instrument to verify the quality of medical post-mortems and uncover non-natural deaths?].

    PubMed

    Germerott, Tanja; Todt, Melanie; Bode-Jänisch, Stefanie; Albrecht, Knut; Breitmeier, Dirk

    2012-01-01

    The external post-mortem examination, its deficient quality and possible causes have been the subject of numerous political and professional discussions. The external post-mortem examination is the basis for the decision whether further criminal investigations are required to clarify the cause of death. It is thus an essential instrument to ensure legal certainty. Before cremation, a second external post-mortem examination is performed by a public medical officer to make sure that errors of the first post-mortem are corrected. In the present study, cases were retrospectively analyzed in which a forensic autopsy had been ordered on the basis of the results of the post-mortem examination performed before cremation. The entries on the death certificate regarding the manner and cause of death were compared with the autopsy results. Between 1998 and 2007, 387 autopsies were ordered after external examination before cremation. In 55 cases (14.2%), the autopsy revealed a non-natural death, although a natural death had been attested on the death certificate. In descending order, a wrong manner of death was attested by clinicians, general practitioners and emergency physicians. With regard to the place where the first external post-mortem had been performed the lowest error rate was seen in nursing homes. Concerning the cause of death, discrepancies between the first post-mortem and autopsy were found in 59.4% of the cases. In this respect, general practitioners and clinicians were ranking first, whereas in nursing homes the cause of death was wrongly assessed in over 70% of cases. At present, the medical post-mortem does not meet the required quality standards, especially with regard to legal certainty. Determination of the cause of death on the basis of the external post-mortem examination is a challenging task even for the experienced medical examiner. As to the categorization of the manner of death it has to be stated that non-natural deaths are often not recognized or

  3. Diagnosis of anaphylactic death in forensics: Review and future perspectives.

    PubMed

    Cecchi, Rossana

    2016-09-01

    The diagnosis of anaphylaxis in a pre- or post-mortal phase involves the formulation of problems not yet solved by the international scientific literature, due to the complexity of pathogenic factors and pathophysiological processes that characterizes it. For forensic autopsies, further problems of differential diagnosis arise and often leave the forensic pathologist unable to express an opinion of certainty, as a result of lack of case history, circumstantial and autoptical-histopathological data. Nevertheless, in routine cases the postmortem diagnosis of anaphylactic death continues to be based on exclusion and circumstantial evidence. The author, after an extensive review of the literature relating to deaths from anaphylaxis of forensic pathological interest, and a discussion of the microscopical and biochemical findings, proposes a diagnostic protocol for forensic purposes and evaluates the diagnostic perspectives enabled by the newly available analytic techniques and markers. Maybe, the application of omics methodologies could help in the future for anaphylaxis diagnosis. PMID:27591544

  4. Teaching forensic medicine in the University of Porto.

    PubMed

    Magalhães, Teresa; Dinis-Oliveira, Ricardo Jorge; Santos, Agostinho

    2014-07-01

    The University of Porto (UP) provides education in Forensic Medicine (FM) through the 1st, 2nd and 3rd cycle of studies, post-graduation and continuing education courses. This education is related to forensic pathology, clinical forensic medicine (including forensic psychology and psychiatry), forensic chemistry and toxicology, forensic genetics and biology, and criminalistics. With this work we intent to reflect on how we are currently teaching FM in the UP, at all levels of university graduation. We will present our models, regarding the educational objectives, curricular program and teaching/learning methodologies of each cycle of studies as well as in post-graduate and continuing education courses. Historically, and besides related administratively to the Ministry of Justice, the Portuguese Medico-Legal Institutes (since 1918) and more recently the National Institute of Legal Medicine and Forensic Sciences (INMLCF) also have educational and research responsibilities. Thus, it lends space and cooperates with academic institutions and this contribution, namely regarding teaching forensic sciences in Portugal has been judged as an example for other Countries. This contribution is so important that in UP, the Department of Legal Medicine and Forensic Sciences of the Faculty of Medicine (FMUP) shares, until now, the same physical space with North Branch of the INMLCF, which represents a notorious advantage, since it makes possible the "learning by doing". PMID:24931860

  5. Founding editorial--forensics and TheScientificWorld.

    PubMed

    Rowe, W

    2001-10-30

    At the beginning of a new millennium it seems a good idea to stop for a moment and take stock of the current state of forensic science. As a field of scientific research and scientific application, forensic science is a little more than a century old. Forensic science may be said to have begun in 1887 with the simultaneous publication of A. Conan Doyle's A Study in Scarlet and Hans Gross's Handbuch f1/4r Untersuchungsrichter. Conan Doyle's novel introduced to the world the character of Sherlock Holmes, whose literary career would popularize the use of physical evidence in criminal investigations. Gross's manual for examining magistrates suggests ways in which the expertise of chemists, biologists, geologists, and other natural scientists could contribute to investigations. Gross's book was translated into a number of languages and went through various updated editions during the course of the century. The intervening century saw the development and application of fingerprinting, firearm and tool mark identification, forensic chemistry, forensic biology, forensic toxicology, forensic odontology, forensic pathology, and forensic engineering. Increasingly, the judicial systems of the industrial nations of the world have come to rely upon the expertise of scientists in a variety of disciplines. In most advanced countries, virtually all criminal prosecutions now involve the presentation of scientific testimony. This has had the beneficial effect of diminishing the reliance of courts on eyewitness testimony and defendant confessions. PMID:12805857

  6. Specifying digital forensics: A forensics policy approach

    SciTech Connect

    Taylor, Carol Louise; Popovsky, Barbara; Frincke, Deborah A.

    2007-09-01

    In this paper we present an approach to digital forensics specification based on forensic policy definition. Our methodology borrows from computer security policy specification, which has accumulated a significant body of research over the past 30 years. We first define the process of specifying forensics properties through a forensics policy and then present an example application of the process. This approach lends itself to formal policy specification and verification, which would allow for more clarity and less ambiguity in the specification process

  7. Forensic entomology: applications and limitations.

    PubMed

    Amendt, J; Richards, C S; Campobasso, C P; Zehner, R; Hall, M J R

    2011-12-01

    Forensic entomology is the science of collecting and analysing insect evidence to aid in forensic investigations. Its main application is in the determination of the minimum time since death in cases of suspicious death, either by estimating the age of the oldest necrophagous insects that developed on the corpse, or by analysing the insect species composition on the corpse. In addition, toxicological and molecular examinations of these insects may help reveal the cause of death or even the identity of a victim, by associating a larva with its last meal, for example, in cases where insect evidence is left at a scene after human remains have been deliberately removed. Some fly species can develop not only on corpses but on living bodies too, causing myiasis. Analysis of larvae in such cases can demonstrate the period of neglect of humans or animals. Without the appropriate professional collection of insect evidence, an accurate and convincing presentation of such evidence in court will be hampered or even impossible. The present paper describes the principles and methods of forensic entomology and the optimal techniques for collecting insect evidence. PMID:21213072

  8. Forensic issues in cases of Diogenes syndrome.

    PubMed

    Byard, Roger W; Tsokos, Michael

    2007-06-01

    Diogenes syndrome is a syndrome described in the clinical literature in elderly individuals characterized by social isolation and extreme squalor. A number of typical features are found in the forensic evaluation of these deaths as the cases usually initiate medicolegal investigations due to the circumstances and the lack of recorded medical histories. Examinations of the death scenes are often difficult as victim's houses are in a state of disrepair, with filth and clutter, and pet dogs may resent the intrusion of strangers. Bodies are often filthy, with parasitic infestations, and are often putrefied due to the social isolation of the deceased and the delay in the finding of the corpse. Bodies may be traumatized from postmortem animal depredation by rodents or pets (eg, cats, dogs), and injuries such as bruises and lacerations may be present from falls associated with terminal illnesses or alcoholism. Blood or putrefactive fluids may be spread throughout the house by pets. Treatable medical conditions are often present in advanced stages, and features of hypothermia may be found. Attending police may suspect robbery due to disarray of the house and homicide due to apparent "bleeding" around the body from purging of putrefactive fluids, injuries from falls, or postmortem animal activity and "blood stains" throughout the house from antemortem injuries and/or fluid spread by animals. Finally, the identification of the deceased may be compromised by decay and/or postmortem animal activity. Thus, in addition to having typical clinical manifestations, such individuals appear to form a distinct subset of forensic cases having characteristic death scene and autopsy features and presenting particular difficulties in postmortem evaluations. PMID:17525574

  9. Postmortem serum endotoxin level in relation to the causes of death.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Bao-Li; Ishikawa, Takaki; Michiue, Tomomi; Quan, Li; Maeda, Hitoshi

    2005-03-01

    Serum endotoxin is a clinical marker of sepsis. However, it is vulnerable to bacterial contamination, and the postmortem stability has not been established. In the present study, to evaluate the forensic pathological significance of postmortem endotoxemia in relation to the causes of death, we investigated a series of 111 autopsy cases (postmortem interval<48 h), in part, using bacteriological investigations. Systemic endotoxemia involving both the cardiac and peripheral blood was observed in some specific causes of death, including pneumonia (n=1/3), peritonitis (n=2/5), delayed traumatic death with severe secondary infection (n=7/33), drownings (freshwater, n=3/9; saltwater, n=3/16), fire deaths (n=3/16), and also in protracted deaths under critical medical care (n=2). Most cases of fatal blunt injury (n=4/5) showed sporadic endotoxemia in cardiac or peripheral blood, whereas there was no elevation of serum endotoxin in acute hemorrhagic death from sharp instrument injury (n=6). The bacteriological investigation showed some characteristic profiles in infections and drownings. These observations suggested that, although endotoxin is a vulnerable serum marker to ante and postmortem interference, systemic postmortem endotoxemia involving peripheral blood may be a possible indicator of antemortem bacteremia related to some specific causes of death accompanied by advanced infection or pulmonary alveolar damage in the dying process especially due to drownings and fires. PMID:15708333

  10. Triazolam blood concentrations in forensic cases in Canada.

    PubMed

    Joynt, B P

    1993-01-01

    Triazolam has been a controversial drug since its appearance on world markets as a hypnotic more than ten years ago. Whole blood concentrations of triazolam as found in forensic cases are cited in several categories; that is, impaired driving: 17 cases; sexual assault: four cases; death due to drugs: 45 cases; drug-related death (drugs contributed to the death but were not the ultimate cause): 20 cases; drug-involved death (drugs were present but were not felt to be a contributing factor): six cases; miscellaneous: one case. The data was gleaned from a forensic toxicology database designed and used by the Forensic Toxicology Sections of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) laboratories in Canada. Triazolam concentrations from selected references are included for comparison. PMID:8336491

  11. Africa's present and future needs in toxicology education: Southern African perspective

    SciTech Connect

    Gulumian, Mary . E-mail: mary.gulumian@nioh.nhls.co.za; Ginsburg, Carren; Stewart, Michael J.

    2005-09-01

    Degrees and diplomas as well as certificates that are granted by universities and technikons in South Africa in scientific disciplines, such as forensic medicine, pharmacology, marine and veterinary sciences, environmental health, and occupational hygiene, include toxicology as one of the subjects in their overall syllabus. However, aspects of toxicology included in each of these courses are biased towards that particular subdiscipline and basic level of toxicology may be taught. Educational needs in toxicology in South Africa can be summarized as follows: (a) recognition of toxicology as a discipline in its own right at these tertiary education institutions and (b) creation of opportunities to study and obtain higher degrees in one or more of the many subdisciplines of toxicology. The results from a survey conducted on the toxicology syllabi offered at these tertiary education institutions are used to substantiate these needs.

  12. Gabapentin concentrations and postmortem distribution.

    PubMed

    Hamm, Catherine E; Gary, Ray D; McIntyre, Iain M

    2016-05-01

    Gabapentin is a widely prescribed medication used primarily for the treatment of epilepsy and neuropathic pain. Gabapentin has a favorable adverse effect profile in therapeutic dosing with the most common reported effects being dizziness, fatigue, drowsiness, weight gain, and peripheral edema. Even with intentional self-poisonings, serious effects are generally rare. In this report, gabapentin analyses were performed on 30 postmortem cases that had peripheral blood, central blood and liver tissue. Overall the central to peripheral blood (C/P) ratio mean was 0.90±0.24 (mean±standard deviation), and a median of 0.97. The liver to peripheral blood (L/P) ratio mean was 0.68±0.26L/kg (mean±standard deviation), and a median of 0.65L/kg. An additional case, where both antemortem blood and postmortem peripheral blood specimens were available, revealed the same gabapentin concentration in both specimens. Taken together, the data presented suggests that gabapentin is unlikely to show postmortem redistribution. PMID:27038659

  13. Postmortem diagnosis of diabetes mellitus and its complications

    PubMed Central

    Palmiere, Cristian

    2015-01-01

    Diabetes mellitus has become a major cause of death worldwide and diabetic ketoacidosis is the most common cause of death in children and adolescents with type 1 diabetes. Acute complications of diabetes mellitus as causes of death may be difficult to diagnose due to missing characteristic macroscopic and microscopic findings. Biochemical analyses, including vitreous glucose, blood (or alternative specimen) beta-hydroxybutyrate, and blood glycated hemoglobin determination, may complement postmortem investigations and provide useful information for determining the cause of death even in corpses with advanced decompositional changes. In this article, we performed a review of the literature pertaining to the diagnostic performance of classical and novel biochemical parameters that may be used in the forensic casework to identify disorders in glucose metabolism. We also present a review focusing on the usefulness of traditional and alternative specimens that can be sampled and subsequently analyzed to diagnose acute complications of diabetes mellitus as causes of death. PMID:26088843

  14. High-resolution mass spectrometry in toxicology: current status and future perspectives.

    PubMed

    Maurer, H H; Meyer, Markus R

    2016-09-01

    This paper reviews high-resolution mass spectrometry (HRMS) approaches using time-of-flight or Orbitrap techniques for research and application in various toxicology fields, particularly in clinical toxicology and forensic toxicology published since 2013 and referenced in PubMed. In the introduction, an overview on applications of HRMS in various toxicology fields is given with reference to current review articles. Papers concerning HRMS in metabolism, screening, and quantification of pharmaceuticals, drugs of abuse, and toxins in human body samples are critically reviewed. Finally, a discussion on advantages as well as limitations and future perspectives of these methods is included. PMID:27369376

  15. The cardiothoracic ratio on post-mortem computer tomography.

    PubMed

    Jotterand, M; Doenz, F; Grabherr, S; Faouzi, M; Boone, S; Mangin, P; Michaud, K

    2016-09-01

    In clinical practice, the cardiothoracic ratio (CTR) was first utilized on plain chest radiography, and subsequently with computed tomography (CT) to diagnose cardiomegaly with a threshold of 0.5. Using CTR in forensic practice could help to detect cardiomegaly on post-mortem CT (PMCT) prior to the autopsy. However, an adaption of the threshold could be necessary because of post-mortem changes. Our retrospective study aimed to measure the CTR on PMCT and test the possible influence of variables. We selected 109 autopsy cases in which the heart weight was within normal limits. A forensic pathologist and a radiologist measured separately the CTR on axial and scout views on PMCT. We tested the statistical concordance between the two readers and between the axial and scout view and identified factors that could be associated with a modification of the CTR. The CTR measurements revealed an overestimation of the measurements made on scout compared to axial view. The inter-reader correlation was very high for both views. Among the different variables statistically tested, heart dilatation and body mass index (BMI) were the only two factors statistically associated with an augmentation of the CTR. The CTR can be useful in the diagnosis of cardiomegaly on PMCT. However, dilatation of the cardiac chambers caused by acute heart failure may be misinterpreted radiographically as cardiomegaly. Inter-observer reliability in our study was very high. CTR may be overestimated when measured on the scout view. Further investigations with larger cohorts, including cases with cardiac hypertrophy, are necessary to better understand the relationship between radiological CTR and the morphology of the heart. PMID:26886107

  16. TOXLINE (TOXICOLOGY INFORMATION ONLINE)

    EPA Science Inventory

    TOXLINE? (TOXicology information onLINE) are the National Library of Medicines extensive collection of online bibliographic information covering the pharmacological, biochemical, physiological, and toxicological effects of drugs and other chemicals. TOXLINE and TOXLINE65 together...

  17. Biomarkers in Computational Toxicology

    EPA Science Inventory

    Biomarkers are a means to evaluate chemical exposure and/or the subsequent impacts on toxicity pathways that lead to adverse health outcomes. Computational toxicology can integrate biomarker data with knowledge of exposure, chemistry, biology, pharmacokinetics, toxicology, and e...

  18. [The application of X-ray imaging in forensic medicine].

    PubMed

    Kučerová, Stěpánka; Safr, Miroslav; Ublová, Michaela; Urbanová, Petra; Hejna, Petr

    2014-07-01

    X-ray is the most common, basic and essential imaging method used in forensic medicine. It serves to display and localize the foreign objects in the body and helps to detect various traumatic and pathological changes. X-ray imaging is valuable in anthropological assessment of an individual. X-ray allows non-invasive evaluation of important findings before the autopsy and thus selection of the optimal strategy for dissection. Basic indications for postmortem X-ray imaging in forensic medicine include gunshot and explosive fatalities (identification and localization of projectiles or other components of ammunition, visualization of secondary missiles), sharp force injuries (air embolism, identification of the weapon) and motor vehicle related deaths. The method is also helpful for complex injury evaluation in abused victims or in persons where abuse is suspected. Finally, X-ray imaging still remains the gold standard method for identification of unknown deceased. With time modern imaging methods, especially computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging, are more and more applied in forensic medicine. Their application extends possibilities of the visualization the bony structures toward a more detailed imaging of soft tissues and internal organs. The application of modern imaging methods in postmortem body investigation is known as digital or virtual autopsy. At present digital postmortem imaging is considered as a bloodless alternative to the conventional autopsy. PMID:25186776

  19. TOXNET (TOXICOLOGY DATA NETWORK)

    EPA Science Inventory

    TOXNET (Toxicology Data Network) is a computerized system of files oriented to toxicology and related areas. It is managed by the National Library of Medicines Toxicology and Environmental Health Information Program (TEHIP) and runs on a series of microcomputers in a networked cl...

  20. Clinical and forensic signs related to opioids abuse.

    PubMed

    Dinis-Oliveira, Ricardo Jorge; Carvalho, Felix; Moreira, Roxana; Duarte, Jose Alberto; Proenca, Jorge Brandao; Santos, Agostinho; Magalhaes, Teresa

    2012-12-01

    For a good performance in Clinical and Forensic Toxicology it is important to be aware of the biological and non-biological signs and symptoms related to xenobiotic exposure. This manuscript highlights and analyzes clinical and forensic imaging related to opioids abuse critically. Particularly, respiratory depression, track marks and hemorrhages, skin "popping", practices of phlebotomy, tissue necrosis and ulceration, dermatitis, tongue hyperpigmentation, "coma blisters", intra-arterial administration, candidiasis, wounds associated with anthrax or clostridium contaminated heroin, desomorphine related lesions and characteristic non-biological evidences are some commonly reported findings in opioids abuse, which will be discussed. For this purpose, clinical and forensic cases from our database (National Institute of Legal Medicine and Forensic Sciences, North Branch, Portugal), in addition to literature data, are reviewed. PMID:23170787

  1. Forensic odontology, Part 1. Dental identification.

    PubMed

    Hinchliffe, J

    2011-03-12

    This series is based upon fact, experience, and some personal views of the author and gives a brief glimpse of forensic odontological issues with regard to the identification of human remains (to include mass fatality incidents), biting injuries and child abuse. The aim of the first paper is to give the reader greater understanding of the role of the forensic odontologist in the identification of human remains, and emphasise the importance of keeping good quality, accurate and comprehensive dental records. Identification of the deceased greatly assists families and friends at this difficult time, as well as aiding law enforcement agencies; getting it wrong is devastating to families and unacceptable. The dental identification process must be carefully undertaken and relies upon the comparison of information from the antemortem record with findings from the postmortem examination, and the efficiency of this process is dependent on the quality and availability of the dental record. As dental team members it is our responsibility to keep and maintain accurate records of our patients. The resilience of the dental structures to postmortem assault, denture labelling, and teeth as a source of DNA, all contribute to making identification successful. Dental identification is widely used, not only in the single fatality situation, but also in mass fatality incidents and cases of missing persons. PMID:21394152

  2. Integrating Forensic Science.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Funkhouser, John; Deslich, Barbara J.

    2000-01-01

    Explains the implementation of forensic science in an integrated curriculum and discusses the advantages of this approach. Lists the forensic science course syllabi studied in three high schools. Discusses the unit on polymers in detail. (YDS)

  3. Microbial forensics: the next forensic challenge.

    PubMed

    Budowle, Bruce; Murch, Randall; Chakraborty, Ranajit

    2005-11-01

    Pathogens and toxins can be converted to bioweapons and used to commit bioterrorism and biocrime. Because of the potential and relative ease of an attack using a bioweapon, forensic science needs to be prepared to assist in the investigation to bring perpetrators to justice and to deter future attacks. A new subfield of forensics--microbial forensics--has been created, which is focused on characterization of evidence from a bioterrorism act, biocrime, hoax, or an inadvertent release. Forensic microbiological investigations are essentially the same as any other forensic investigation regarding processing. They involve crime scene(s) investigation, chain of custody practices, evidence collection, handling and preservation, evidence shipping, analysis of evidence, interpretation of results, and court presentation. In addition to collecting and analyzing traditional forensic evidence, the forensic investigation will attempt to determine the etiology and identity of the causal agent, often in a similar fashion as in an epidemiologic investigation. However, for attribution, higher-resolution characterization is needed. The tools for attribution include genetic- and nongenetic-based assays and informatics to attempt to determine the unique source of a sample or at least eliminate some sources. In addition, chemical and physical assays may help determine the process used to prepare, store, or disseminate the bioweapon. An effective microbial forensics program will require development and/or validation of all aspects of the forensic investigative process, from sample collection to interpretation of results. Quality assurance (QA) and QC practices, comparable to those used by the forensic DNA science community, are being implemented. Lastly, partnerships with other laboratories will be requisite, because many of the necessary capabilities for analysis will not reside in the traditional forensic laboratory. PMID:15821943

  4. A case of acute subdural hematoma due to ruptured aneurysm detected by postmortem angiography.

    PubMed

    Inokuchi, Go; Makino, Yohsuke; Yajima, Daisuke; Motomura, Ayumi; Chiba, Fumiko; Torimitsu, Suguru; Hoshioka, Yumi; Iwase, Hirotaro

    2016-03-01

    Acute subdural hematoma (ASDH) is mostly caused by head trauma, but intrinsic causes also exist such as aneurysm rupture. We describe here a case involving a man in his 70s who was found lying on the bedroom floor by his family. CT performed at the hospital showed ASDH and a forensic autopsy was requested. Postmortem cerebral angiography showed dilatation of the bifurcation of the middle cerebral artery, which coincided with the dilated part of the Sylvian fissure. Extravasation of contrast medium into the subdural hematoma from this site was suggestive of a ruptured aneurysm. Autopsy revealed a fleshy hematoma (total weight 110 g) in the right subdural space and findings of brain herniation. As indicated on angiography, a ruptured saccular aneurysm was confirmed at the bifurcation of the middle cerebral artery. Obvious injuries to the head or face could not be detected on either external or internal examination, and intrinsic ASDH due to a ruptured middle cerebral artery aneurysm was determined as the cause of death. One of the key points of forensic diagnosis is the strict differentiation between intrinsic and extrinsic onset for conditions leading to death. Although most subdural hematomas (SDH) are caused by extrinsic factors, forensic pathologists should consider the possibility of intrinsic SDH. In addition, postmortem angiography can be useful for identifying vascular lesions in such cases. PMID:26362305

  5. Postmortem inflation and fixation of human lungs

    PubMed Central

    Wright, B. M.; Slavin, G.; Kreel, L.; Callan, K.; Sandin, Brenda

    1974-01-01

    Wright, B. M., Slavin, G., Kreel, L., Callan, K., and Sandin, Brenda (1974).Thorax, 29, 189-194. Postmortem inflation and fixation of human lungs. A method of fixing lungs by inflating them with heated formalin vapour is described. This method facilitates postmortem correlations between radiographic and histological appearances. Images PMID:4598582

  6. Profile of Kidney Histopathology in Cases of Burns - Particular Emphasis on Acridine Orange Fluorescence Study and to Explore its Forensic Utility

    PubMed Central

    Desai, Nandini J.; Gupta, B.D.; Patel, Pratik N.

    2016-01-01

    Introduction The major cause of death in the burn patients includes multiple organ failure and infection but, sometimes the exact cause of death in many fatally burned patients is difficult to detect. Many times in medico-legal post-mortem examinations in cases of burns, histopathological examination of organs is requested. Aim The aim was to study various histopathological changes in kidneys in the post-mortem cases of burns, by using routine Haematoxylin and Eosin stain (H&E stain), special Periodic and Schiff’s Stain (PAS) stain, to study the role of acridine orange fluorescence study, to explore the forensic utility of this microscopic study and to find out the relationship between duration of survival and histopathological changes observed. Materials and Methods An experimental longitudinal prospective study from October 2010 to September 2012. Total 32 cases of death due to burns were autopsied at mortuary, the Department of Forensic Medicine and Toxicology in our hospital. Bilateral kidneys were removed and preserved in 10% formalin solution. These were forwarded to Department of Pathology for histopathological examination. Routine microscopic examination by H&E stain as well as PAS stain and fluorescence study by acridine orange stain were done in all cases. Results It was observed that in 21 (65.63%) cases gross findings in kidneys were normal, in 06 (18.75%) were grossly pale and in 05 (15.62%) heavy & congested. Sections taken from kidneys and studied by H&E stain showed overlapping histopathological changes in all cases. In 26 (81.25%) cases, changes of Acute Tubular Necrosis (ATN) while in remaining 06 (18.75%), changes of cloudy swelling were observed. The sections stained by acridine orange and observed under fluorescent microscope were lightly positive in 15 (46.88%), brightly positive in 08 (25.00%) whereas, negative in 09 (28.12%). Conclusion Microscopy by various methods helps in getting specific lesions in kidney due to burns. However, it does

  7. Advances in chemistry applied to forensic science.

    PubMed

    Rendle, David F

    2005-12-01

    Acts of terrorism, an increase in the use of firearms, drug abuse, the use of so-called date-rape drugs, and driving whilst under the influence of drugs, are just some of the subjects frequently in the news. In the absence of fingermarks and of material leading to the recovery of DNA, the forensic scientist has to rely upon chemical analysis of trace amounts of materials including explosives, drugs, toxicological specimens, firearms discharge residues, fibres, glass, paint, soil etc., in order to establish or eliminate links between suspect and victim and/or scene. This tutorial review describes analytical problems facing the forensic chemist, and the current methods and techniques employed to tackle them. PMID:16284668

  8. Forensic science: the truth is out there

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Herold, Lynne D.

    2002-06-01

    Criminalistics, one of the many sub-divisions of forensic science, is an applied science in which items of evidence are analyzed to provide investigative information and scientific evidence to be used in courts of law. Laboratories associated with governmental public agencies are typically involved in criminal cases as opposed to civil cases, and those types of cases that fall within the jurisdiction of the particular agency. Common analytical divisions within criminalistics laboratories include blood alcohol testing, toxicology, narcotics, questioned documents, biology, firearms, latent fingerprints, physical and trace evidence sections. Specialized field investigative services may be provided in the areas of clandestine drug laboratories and major crimes (firearms, biology, trace, arson/explosives). Forensic science best practice requires the use of non-destructive testing whenever reasonably possible. Several technically difficult situations (bodies and evidence encased in cement and metal) are presented as a challenge to audience.

  9. Post-Mortem Corneal Thickness Measurements with a Portable Optical Coherence Tomography System: a Reliability Study

    PubMed Central

    Napoli, Pietro Emanuele; Nioi, Matteo; d’Aloja, Ernesto; Fossarello, Maurizio

    2016-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to determine the repeatability and reproducibility of post-mortem central corneal thickness (CCT) measurements by using a real-time, portable optical coherence tomography (OCT) system on an animal model, and to prospectively evaluate the time-course of post-mortem changes in CCT. Forty-six ocular globes of sheep (Ovis aries) were analyzed with a portable spectral-domain OCT device by two operators at different postmortem intervals (PMIs) as follows: immediately (i.e. within 10 minutes), at the 30th minute, at the 1st, 6th, 12th, 24th and 48th hour, and later (up to the 96th hour). The coefficient of repeatability ranged from 0.3% to 3.5%, and coefficients of reproducibility ranged from 0.2% to 3.7% in the central region of the cornea. The intraclass correlation coefficients were particularly high at different PMIs, thus confirming good measurement reliability with the portable OCT. The average CCT decreased immediately and then increased thereafter, with two peaks at 6 and 24 hours after death. Our results suggest that portable OCT is a reliable tool for monitoring CCT variations after death and may be useful in characterizing corneas before explantation, detecting quantitative variations during post-mortem corneal degeneration or assessing changes in CCT for forensic implications. PMID:27457021

  10. Post-Mortem Corneal Thickness Measurements with a Portable Optical Coherence Tomography System: a Reliability Study.

    PubMed

    Napoli, Pietro Emanuele; Nioi, Matteo; d'Aloja, Ernesto; Fossarello, Maurizio

    2016-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to determine the repeatability and reproducibility of post-mortem central corneal thickness (CCT) measurements by using a real-time, portable optical coherence tomography (OCT) system on an animal model, and to prospectively evaluate the time-course of post-mortem changes in CCT. Forty-six ocular globes of sheep (Ovis aries) were analyzed with a portable spectral-domain OCT device by two operators at different postmortem intervals (PMIs) as follows: immediately (i.e. within 10 minutes), at the 30(th) minute, at the 1(st), 6(th), 12(th), 24(th) and 48(th) hour, and later (up to the 96(th) hour). The coefficient of repeatability ranged from 0.3% to 3.5%, and coefficients of reproducibility ranged from 0.2% to 3.7% in the central region of the cornea. The intraclass correlation coefficients were particularly high at different PMIs, thus confirming good measurement reliability with the portable OCT. The average CCT decreased immediately and then increased thereafter, with two peaks at 6 and 24 hours after death. Our results suggest that portable OCT is a reliable tool for monitoring CCT variations after death and may be useful in characterizing corneas before explantation, detecting quantitative variations during post-mortem corneal degeneration or assessing changes in CCT for forensic implications. PMID:27457021

  11. Genetic toxicology: web resources.

    PubMed

    Young, Robert R

    2002-04-25

    Genetic toxicology is the scientific discipline dealing with the effects of chemical, physical and biological agents on the heredity of living organisms. The Internet offers a wide range of online digital resources for the field of Genetic Toxicology. The history of genetic toxicology and electronic data collections are reviewed. Web-based resources at US National Library of Medicine (NLM), including MEDLINE, PUBMED, Gateway, Entrez, and TOXNET, are discussed. Search strategies and Medical Subject Headings (MeSH) are reviewed in the context of genetic toxicology. The TOXNET group of databases are discussed with emphasis on those databases with genetic toxicology content including GENE-TOX, TOXLINE, Hazardous Substances Data Bank, Integrated Risk Information System, and Chemical Carcinogenesis Research Information System. Location of chemical information including chemical structure and linkage to health and regulatory information using CHEMIDPLUS at NLM and other databases is reviewed. Various government agencies have active genetic toxicology research programs or use genetic toxicology data to assist fulfilling the agency's mission. Online resources at the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the National Institutes of Environmental Health Sciences, and the National Toxicology Program (NTP) are outlined. Much of the genetic toxicology for pharmaceuticals, industrial chemicals and pesticides that is performed in the world is regulatory-driven. Regulatory web resources are presented for the laws mandating testing, guidelines on study design, Good Laboratory Practice (GLP) regulations, and requirements for electronic data collection and reporting. The Internet provides a range of other supporting resources to the field of genetic toxicology. The web links for key professional societies and journals in genetic toxicology are listed. Distance education, educational media resources, and job placement services are also

  12. Identifying postmortem microstructural change to skeletal and dental tissues using backscattered electron imaging.

    PubMed

    Bell, Lynne S

    2012-01-01

    A number of papers have been published over a 100 year period describing postmortem microstructural change to bone and teeth in humans and other mammals. Much of the work is descriptive and has used a number of microscopic methods, which introduce changes during preparation, and are limited by the resolving power of that technique. Backscattered electron imaging in a scanning electron microscope (BSE/SEM) has been used successfully applied to on normal skeletal tissues and is an excellent method to document postmortem changes to bone and tooth microstructure. In forensic science, archaeology, and paleontology there is a collective interest in understanding early death history and subsequent treatment and deposition of the body. To this end the main microstructural changes are provided as a means of identification, and practical suggestions to circumvent misinterpretation due to artifacts created by employing the BSE imaging method. PMID:22907409

  13. Implant bone integration importance in forensic identification.

    PubMed

    De Angelis, Danilo; Cattaneo, Cristina

    2015-03-01

    Odontological identification consists of the comparison of antemortem dental information regarding a missing person with postmortem data from an unidentified corpse or human remains. Usually, the comparison concerns morphologic features that the operator chooses among all the visible characteristics because of inter-individual uniqueness; for this reason, implants can be of enormous assistance. A case concerning the recovery of a burnt oral implant, connected to a bone fragment, among 2780 charred bone fragments, suspected to have belonged to a victim of homicide, is presented to demonstrate that dental implants and their site of bone integration represent a very precious element for personal forensic identification. Because of their morphological invariability in time and because of their morphologic uniqueness, they were used as evidence to associate unidentified human charred remains to a missing person where DNA analysis failed to do so. The case illustrates the fundamental contribution, not yet described in literature, given by the clinical aspects of tooth replacement with dental implants to a forensic discipline. Clinical practitioners should therefore be aware of the great importance of their work and of dental records in a forensic identification scenario. PMID:25387697

  14. Forensic Entomology in Animal Cruelty Cases.

    PubMed

    Brundage, A; Byrd, J H

    2016-09-01

    Forensic entomology can be useful to the veterinary professional in cases of animal cruelty. A main application of forensic entomology is to determine the minimum postmortem interval by estimating the time of insect colonization, based on knowledge of the rate of development of pioneer colonizers and on insect species succession during decomposition of animal remains. Since insect development is temperature dependent, these estimates require documentation of the environmental conditions, including ambient temperature. It can also aid in the detection and recognition of wounds, as well as estimate the timing of periods of neglect. Knowledge of the geographic distribution of insects that colonize animal remains may suggest that there has been movement or concealment of the carcass or can create associations between a suspect, a victim, and a crime scene. In some instances, it can aid in the detection of drugs or toxins within decomposed or skeletonized remains. During animal cruelty investigations, it may become the responsibility of the veterinary professional to document and collect entomological evidence from live animals or during the necropsy. The applications of forensic entomology are discussed. A protocol is described for documenting and collecting entomological evidence at the scene and during the necropsy, with additional emphasis on recording geographic location, meteorological data, and collection and preservation of insect specimens. PMID:27480760

  15. Microbiology & Toxicology: Space Environment

    NASA Video Gallery

    One key aspect in maintaining crew health and performance during spaceflight missions is the provision of a habitable environment with acceptably low concentrations of microbiological and toxicolog...

  16. Comparison of protocols for measuring and calculating postmortem submersion intervals for human analogs in fresh water.

    PubMed

    Humphreys, Michael K; Panacek, Edward; Green, William; Albers, Elizabeth

    2013-03-01

    Protocols for determining postmortem submersion interval (PMSI) have long been problematic for forensic investigators due to the wide variety of factors affecting the rate of decomposition of submerged carrion. Likewise, it has been equally problematic for researchers to develop standardized experimental protocols to monitor underwater decomposition without artificially affecting the decomposition rate. This study compares two experimental protocols: (i) underwater in situ evaluation with photographic documentation utilizing the Heaton et al. total aquatic decomposition (TAD) score and (ii) weighing the carrion before and after submersion. Complete forensic necropsies were performed as a control. Perinatal piglets were used as human analogs. The results of this study indicate that in order to objectively measure decomposition over time, the human analog should be examined at depth using the TAD scoring system rather than utilizing a carrion weight evaluation. The acquired TAD score can be used to calculate an approximate PMSI. PMID:23278272

  17. NATIONAL TOXICOLOGY PROGRAM (NTP) DATA

    EPA Science Inventory

    The National Toxicology Program (NTP) was established in 1978 by the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) to coordinate toxicological testing programs within the department, strengthen the science base in toxicology; develop and validate improved testing methods; and pr...

  18. American Academy of Forensic Sciences

    MedlinePlus

    ... Scientific Meeting — New Orleans, Louisiana 2017 Discover More Forensic Science Education Programs Accreditation Commission (FEPAC) Read More So You Want to Be a Forensic Scientist! Read More ‹ › The American Academy of Forensic ...

  19. Microbial communities associated with human decomposition and their potential use as postmortem clocks.

    PubMed

    Finley, Sheree J; Benbow, M Eric; Javan, Gulnaz T

    2015-05-01

    Most forensic research that is used to better understand how to estimate the postmortem interval (PMI) entails the study of the physiochemical characteristics of decomposition and the effects that environmental factors have on the decomposition process. Forensic entomology exploits the life cycles of arthropods like Diptera (blow flies or flesh flies) and Coleoptera (beetles) deposited on the decaying carcass to determine PMI. Forensic taphonomy, from the Greek word taphos meaning burial, studies the creation of the fossils of decomposed cadavers to ascertain information as to the nature and time of death. Compared to other areas of taphonomy, there have been relatively few forensic science studies that have investigated the impact of human decomposition on the microbial changes occurring on or in a corpse or in the soil communities underneath a body. Such research may facilitate the critical determination of PMI. Therefore, the scope of this review is to provide a concise summary of the current progress in the newly emerging field of microbial diversity and the next-generation metagenomic sequencing approaches for assessing these communities in humans and in the soil beneath decomposing human. PMID:25129823

  20. Parallel digital forensics infrastructure.

    SciTech Connect

    Liebrock, Lorie M.; Duggan, David Patrick

    2009-10-01

    This report documents the architecture and implementation of a Parallel Digital Forensics infrastructure. This infrastructure is necessary for supporting the design, implementation, and testing of new classes of parallel digital forensics tools. Digital Forensics has become extremely difficult with data sets of one terabyte and larger. The only way to overcome the processing time of these large sets is to identify and develop new parallel algorithms for performing the analysis. To support algorithm research, a flexible base infrastructure is required. A candidate architecture for this base infrastructure was designed, instantiated, and tested by this project, in collaboration with New Mexico Tech. Previous infrastructures were not designed and built specifically for the development and testing of parallel algorithms. With the size of forensics data sets only expected to increase significantly, this type of infrastructure support is necessary for continued research in parallel digital forensics. This report documents the implementation of the parallel digital forensics (PDF) infrastructure architecture and implementation.

  1. Proteomics for systems toxicology

    PubMed Central

    Titz, Bjoern; Elamin, Ashraf; Martin, Florian; Schneider, Thomas; Dijon, Sophie; Ivanov, Nikolai V.; Hoeng, Julia; Peitsch, Manuel C.

    2014-01-01

    Current toxicology studies frequently lack measurements at molecular resolution to enable a more mechanism-based and predictive toxicological assessment. Recently, a systems toxicology assessment framework has been proposed, which combines conventional toxicological assessment strategies with system-wide measurement methods and computational analysis approaches from the field of systems biology. Proteomic measurements are an integral component of this integrative strategy because protein alterations closely mirror biological effects, such as biological stress responses or global tissue alterations. Here, we provide an overview of the technical foundations and highlight select applications of proteomics for systems toxicology studies. With a focus on mass spectrometry-based proteomics, we summarize the experimental methods for quantitative proteomics and describe the computational approaches used to derive biological/mechanistic insights from these datasets. To illustrate how proteomics has been successfully employed to address mechanistic questions in toxicology, we summarized several case studies. Overall, we provide the technical and conceptual foundation for the integration of proteomic measurements in a more comprehensive systems toxicology assessment framework. We conclude that, owing to the critical importance of protein-level measurements and recent technological advances, proteomics will be an integral part of integrative systems toxicology approaches in the future. PMID:25379146

  2. National Toxicology Program

    MedlinePlus

    ... p.m. Webinar 6: 21st Century Testing Approaches Scientific Advisory Committee on Alternative Toxicological Methods (SACATM) Sept. 27, 2016 8:30 a.m. – ... Biennial Progress Report now available 08/24/2016 Scientific Advisory Committee ... Toxicological Methods Meeting September 27, 2016 08/19/2016 NTP ...

  3. Educational Challenges in Toxicology.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dixon, Robert L.

    1984-01-01

    Issues and topics related to educational challenges in toxicology at all levels are discussed. They include public awareness and understanding, general approach to toxicology, quality structure-activity relationships, epidemiological studies, quantification of risk, and the types of toxicants studied. (JN)

  4. Some challenges in forensic veterinary pathology: a review.

    PubMed

    Munro, R; Munro, H M C

    2013-07-01

    Forensic veterinary pathology is a diverse discipline that is in an early phase of its development. Common challenges include estimation of the age of skin wounds and bruises, the diagnosis of drowning and estimation of the time since death. However, many details of the pathological findings related to these various aspects await validation. The 'multispecies' nature of veterinary pathology, combined with the preponderance of published observations originating from animal experimentation, rather than casework, poses two challenges. Firstly, extrapolation of results between species may jeopardize the reliability (and credibility) of the forensic opinion. Secondly, experimental studies may not truly reflect the spectrum of changes seen in actual cases (e.g. extent of injuries, infection, age and health of victim). With regard to drowning, diagnosis based on post-mortem findings remains problematical. Methods for estimation of the time since death (also known as the post-mortem interval) continue to be a major focus of study, with fresh avenues such as post-mortem diagnostic imaging offering interesting possibilities. PMID:23153727

  5. Child neglect and forensic entomology.

    PubMed

    Benecke, M; Lessig, R

    2001-08-15

    Close co-operation between forensic scientists, medico-legal doctors, and police forces made it possible to estimate not only the post-mortem interval but also the time since a child was neglected. On the skin surface under the diaper (anal-genital area), third instar larvae of the false stable fly Muscina stabulans FALLEN, and the lesser house fly Fannia canicularis L. were found. F. canicularis adults are attracted to both feces and urine. From the face, larvae of the bluebottle fly Calliphora vomitoria L. were collected. C. vomitoria maggots are typical early inhabitants of corpses. From the developmental times of the flies, it was estimated that the anal-genital area of the child had not been cleaned for about 14 days (7-21 day range), and that death occurred only 6-8 days prior to discovery of the body. This is the first report where an examination of the maggot fauna on a person illustrated neglect that had occurred prior to death. PMID:11457624

  6. Postmortem calpain changes in ostrich skeletal muscle.

    PubMed

    Chang, Ya-Shiou; Hsu, Dun-Hui; Stromer, Mavin H; Chou, Rong-Ghi R

    2016-07-01

    The objective of this study was to study the postmortem calpain change in ostrich muscle. Iliotibialis cranialis and Obturatorius medialis muscles were removed from the both sides of carcasses (n=8). The muscles from the left side were sampled after 0, 1, 2, 3, and 7days of storage at 5°C, while the right-side muscles were taken at 1-, 3-, and 7-day postmortem for shear force measurements. The results showed that the calpain-1 activity was not detected in ostrich muscle during the entire 7-day postmortem storage period, while the calpain-11 was. The unautolyzed calpain-11 activity decreased and the autolyzed calpain-11 activity increased with time postmortem. Desmin content and shear force did not change during postmortem storage although a minor degradation of desmin was observed. Therefore, our results suggest that limited postmortem proteolysis (as suggested by the limited degradation of desmin) and tenderization might be due to the lack of calpain-1 and/or insufficient calpain-11 activity present in ostrich muscle. PMID:26971307

  7. [Toxicological evaluation in the childhood].

    PubMed

    Arroyo, Amparo; Rodrigo, Carlos; Marrón, M Teresa

    2014-03-01

    Intoxications in infancy require urgent medical treatment within national health systems. In our country they represent 0.3% of paediatric urgencies. Most of them are accidental intoxications but is not infrequent to find some related to child abuse or to suicidal intentions, especially in adolescence. The objectives of the study are to evaluate both clinical health care and medical legal aspects in intoxications in infancy. Medical assistance is described and it includes clinical diagnosis, typology of the more common toxics, percentages and referral to social work and emergency care equipment units of the Ministry of Social Welfare and the Department of Health or, where appropriate, directly to prosecutors and courts for their intervention. In cases of detection of alcohol, drugs or medication in infants, the importance of the correct interpretation of the results of toxicological findings is discussed. Several studies for the interpretation of results concerning the detection of these toxics are reported. Both legal aspects and the forensic medical opinion are assessed. The findings will be analysed by the judicial authority in order to circumscribe responsibilities or to take appropriate decisions concerning the protection of infants' interests. In conclusion intoxication in infancy can lead to legal proceedings requiring specific actions for their protection. Both physicians and hospitals must comply with the legal requirement of the submission to the court of judicial parties. On the other hand, this information is an interesting step toward reinforcing public health surveillance. PMID:24913753

  8. Postmortem Quetiapine Reference Concentrations in Brain and Blood.

    PubMed

    Skov, Louise; Johansen, Sys Stybe; Linnet, Kristian

    2015-09-01

    Brain tissue is a useful alternative to blood in postmortem forensic investigations, but scarcity of information on reference concentrations in brain tissue makes interpretation challenging. Here we present a study of 43 cases where the antipsychotic drug quetiapine was quantified in brain tissue and related to concentrations in postmortem blood. For cases, where quetiapine was unrelated to the cause of death (N = 36), the 10-90 percentiles for quetiapine concentrations in brain tissue were 0.030-1.54 mg/kg (median 0.48 mg/kg, mean 0.79 mg/kg). Corresponding blood 10-90 percentile values were 0.007-0.39 mg/kg (median 0.15 mg/kg, mean 0.19 mg/kg), giving brain-blood ratio 10-90 percentiles of 2.31-6.54 (median 3.87, mean 4.32). Both correspond well to the limited amount of data found in the literature. For cases where quetiapine was a contributing factor to death (N = 5), the median value in brain tissue of 8.02 mg/kg (range 2.69-22.98 mg/kg) was more than 15 times higher than the median of the nontoxic values, and about the same relationship occurred for blood with a median of 3.19 mg/kg (range 1.00-6.90 mg/kg). The brain-blood ratios for toxic concentrations were in the range of 2.08-6.05, which correspond to those of the nontoxic concentrations. A single case, where quetiapine was ruled as the sole cause of death, a suicide by quetiapine overdose, had an even higher value of 25.74 mg/kg in brain tissue. The blood concentration was 8.99 mg/kg, giving a brain-blood ratio of 2.86. Thus, on average the brain concentrations were about four times the blood concentrations. The brain concentrations of quetiapine observed in cases, where quetiapine was unrelated to death, may serve as a reference, when evaluating postmortem cases with no blood available. The recorded concentrations, where quetiapine was contributing to death, give an indication of likely toxic concentrations. PMID:26159868

  9. Postmortem Brain and Blood Reference Concentrations of Alprazolam, Bromazepam, Chlordiazepoxide, Diazepam, and their Metabolites and a Review of the Literature.

    PubMed

    Skov, Louise; Holm, Karen Marie Dollerup; Johansen, Sys Stybe; Linnet, Kristian

    2016-09-01

    To interpret postmortem toxicology results, reference concentrations for non-toxic and toxic levels are needed. Usually, measurements are performed in blood, but because of postmortem redistribution phenomena this may not be optimal. Rather, measurement in the target organ of psychoactive drugs, the brain, might be considered. Here we present reference concentrations of femoral blood and brain tissue of selected benzodiazepines (BZDs). Using LC-MS/MS, we quantified alprazolam, bromazepam, chlordiazepoxide, diazepam, and the metabolites desmethyldiazepam, oxazepam and temazepam in postmortem femoral blood and brain tissue in 104 cases. BZDs were judged to be unrelated to the cause of death in 88 cases and contributing to death in 16 cases. No cases were found with cause of death solely attributed to BZD poisoning. All BZDs investigated tended to have higher concentrations in brain than in blood with median brain-blood ratios ranging from 1.1 to 2.3. A positive correlation between brain and blood concentrations was found with R(2) values from 0.51 to 0.95. Our reported femoral blood concentrations concur with literature values, but sparse information on brain concentration was available. Drug-metabolite ratios were similar in brain and blood for most compounds. Duplicate measurements of brain samples showed that the pre-analytical variation in brain (5.9%) was relatively low, supporting the notion that brain tissue is a suitable postmortem specimen. The reported concentrations in both brain and blood can be used as reference values when evaluating postmortem cases. PMID:27416838

  10. Forensic Science Technician

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tech Directions, 2010

    2010-01-01

    Forensic science technicians, also called crime laboratory technicians or police science technicians, help solve crimes. They examine and identify physical evidence to reconstruct a crime scene. This article discusses everything students need to know about careers for forensic science technicians--wages, responsibilities, skills needed, career…

  11. Forensic psychiatry in Pakistan.

    PubMed

    Hassan, Tariq; Nizami, Asad Tamizuddin; Hirji, Sarah

    2015-01-01

    This article reviews existing forensic psychiatric services in Pakistan highlighting the role played by the judicial and the medical fraternity in managing the legal and forensic issues of the population of patients with mental illnesses. Until 2001, all legal and forensic issues were dealt with the mental health legislation of 1912, the Lunacy Act of 1912. This was inherited from the British rulers in the Sub-Continent at the time. The Mental Health Ordinance of 2001 could not sustain following the 18th constitutional amendment in 2010, whereby psychiatric healthcare was devolved to the provinces from the previous federal authority. The article also highlights the difficulties and the barriers in implementation of the forensic psychiatric services in Pakistan at various levels within the healthcare system. This article also delves into the current framework of training in forensic psychiatry for postgraduates as well as the assessments and management schedules for the mentally ill offenders at tertiary care institutions in Pakistan. PMID:26024984

  12. [Forensic medicine and toxicologic aspects of 2-propanol poisoning].

    PubMed

    Petkovits, T; Bohn, G; Brinkmann, B

    1989-01-01

    Two cases of poisoning with 2-propanol (isopropylalcohol) are reported. In one case, nail polish remover was drunk by a 2-year-old child. The concentration of 2-propanol and its metabolite acetone in the blood could be observed over a period of approximately 50 h. The highest concentration of 2-propanol determined was 4.22 g/l. Acetone reached a maximum value of 2.27 g/l 12 h after ingestion. The child survived without any observable after-effects. In the second case, a 35-year-old man drank ethanol in addition to 2-propanol. The poisoning was lethal. The possible time of intake before death is discussed in relation to the estimated levels of ethanol, 2-propanol and acetone found in the blood and urine. The histomorphological findings are often important as well with regard to time of intake. PMID:2922960

  13. Recent applications of mass spectrometry in forensic toxicology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Foltz, Rodger L.

    1992-09-01

    This review encompasses applications of mass spectrometry reported during the years 1989, 1990 and 1991 for the analysis of cannabinoids, cocaine, opiates, amphetamines, lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), and their metabolites in physiological specimens.

  14. Fatal right coronary artery rupture following blunt chest trauma: detection by postmortem selective coronary angiography.

    PubMed

    Inokuchi, Go; Makino, Yohsuke; Motomura, Ayumi; Chiba, Fumiko; Torimitsu, Suguru; Hoshioka, Yumi; Iwase, Hirotaro

    2016-05-01

    Coronary artery injury is a rare complication following blunt chest trauma (BCT), and can be fatal. Here we report findings on postmortem selective coronary angiography of right coronary artery rupture after an assault involving blunt trauma to the chest. A woman in her 60s died after her son stomped on her chest. There were no appreciable signs of injury on external examination, and cause of death could not be determined by postmortem computed tomography (PMCT). Internal findings indicated that an external force had been applied to the anterior chest, as evidenced by subcutaneous hemorrhage and pericardial and cardiac contusions. Postmortem coronary angiography revealed irregularity of the intima and of the fat tissue surrounding the proximal part of the right coronary artery associated with a local filling defect. Histopathological examination suggested coronary rupture with dissection of the tunica media and compression of the lumen cavity. The key points in the present case are that no fatal injuries could be determined on external examination, and the heart and coronary artery injuries were not evident on PMCT. Criminality might be overlooked in such cases, as external investigation at the crime scene would be inadequate and could result in a facile diagnosis of cause of death. This is the first report of coronary artery rupture with dissection that was detected by CT coronary angiography, and provides helpful findings for reaching an appropriate decision both forensically and clinically. PMID:26126482

  15. Detection of Human Bocavirus DNA by Multiplex PCR Analysis: Postmortem Case Report

    PubMed Central

    Ziyade, Nihan; Şirin, Gözde; Elgörmüş, Neval; Daş, Taner

    2015-01-01

    Background: Human bocavirus (HBoV) is a virus belonging to the Parvoviridae family, which has been newly discovered to be associated with respiratory tract infections in children. There are many reports worldwide on the endemicity of this virus. Since it is relatively new, it is not routinely detected in clinical laboratory investigations. Case Report: We demonstrated that HBoV infection caused the death of a 5-month-old girl with a history of high fever and wheezing. Human bocavirus (HBoV 1/2/3/4) was found in a nasopharyngeal swab, paraffin-embedded lung tissue and stool samples by multiplex PCR methods using postmortem microbiological analysis. Conclusion: This case suggests that lower respiratory tract infections due to HBoV may cause severe and life-threatening diseases. Postmortem microbiology is useful in both clinical and forensic autopsies, and allows a suspected infection to be confirmed. To our knowledge, this report is the first document of a HBoV postmortem case in Turkey. PMID:26167351

  16. Postmortem degradation of skeletal muscle proteins: a novel approach to determine the time since death.

    PubMed

    Pittner, Stefan; Monticelli, Fabio C; Pfisterer, Alexander; Zissler, Angela; Sänger, Alexandra M; Stoiber, Walter; Steinbacher, Peter

    2016-03-01

    Estimating the time since death is a very important aspect in forensic sciences which is pursued by a variety of methods. The most precise method to determine the postmortem interval (PMI) is the temperature method which is based on the decrease of the body core temperature from 37 °C. However, this method is only useful in the early postmortem phase (~0-36 h). The aim of the present work is to develop an accurate method for PMI determination beyond this present limit. For this purpose, we used sodium dodecyl sulfate polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE), Western blotting, and casein zymography to analyze the time course of degradation of selected proteins and calpain activity in porcine biceps femoris muscle until 240 h postmortem (hpm). Our results demonstrate that titin, nebulin, desmin, cardiac troponin T, and SERCA1 degraded in a regular and predictable fashion in all samples investigated. Similarly, both the native calpain 1 and calpain 2 bands disintegrate into two bands subsequently. This degradation behavior identifies muscular proteins and enzymes as promising substrates for future molecular-based PMI determination technologies. PMID:26041514

  17. TOXICOLOGY OF PESTICIDES

    EPA Science Inventory

    This report includes the results of five toxicological studies of pesticide compounds conducted by the Institute for Medical Research and Occupational Health, Zagreb, Yugoslavia. In the first study, the reactions of two groups of esterases (cholinesterases and arylesterases) with...

  18. Handbook of toxicology

    SciTech Connect

    Haley, T.J.; Berndt, W.O.

    1987-01-01

    This book discusses the ongoing battle against the effects of pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, and other toxic agents. It points out gaps in present-day research, illustrate other diseases that can mimic chemical toxicity, and emphasize thorough consideration of all aspects in a given incident prior to administering an antidote. The book offers a compiled data on target organ toxicity involving the liver, kidneys, and lungs - detailing the rapid, recent progress in this area. The coverage also highlights reproductive toxicology, food additives, asphixiant gases, and pulmonary toxicology. The partial contents are: Absorption, distribution, Biotransformation, Conjugation, and Excretion of Xenobiotics, Hepatotoxicity, Pulmonary Toxiology, Reproductive and Perinatal toxicology, Toxicology of Insecticides, Rodenticides, Herbicides, and Fungicides, Mechanisms of Metal-Induced Cell Injury, Food Additives: A Benefit/Risk Dilemma, Animal Toxins, and Toxic Effects of Chemicals on the Immune System.

  19. Computational Toxicology (S)

    EPA Science Inventory

    The emerging field of computational toxicology applies mathematical and computer models and molecular biological and chemical approaches to explore both qualitative and quantitative relationships between sources of environmental pollutant exposure and adverse health outcomes. Th...

  20. Discrimination potential of root canal treated tooth in forensic dentistry.

    PubMed

    Khalid, K; Yousif, S; Satti, A

    2016-01-01

    Forensic Odontology is a vital component of forensic science and one branch involves the application of dental science to the identification of unknown human remains. The aim of this study is to investigate the discriminatory potential for identification of the radiographic morphology of obturated single root canals. Thirty periapical radiographs of patients having endodontic treatment of single rooted canals were selected randomly from the data bank of the digital X- ray system present in the restorative department, University of Science and Technology, Sudan. The post-operative radiographs were considered as an ant-mortem data "Set 1". Ten radiographs from the thirty were reprinted, labelled from (A-J) and considered as a post-mortem data "Set 2". This post-mortem group of 10 radiographs "Set 2" would be compared with the ante-mortem group of 30 radiographs comprising "Set 1". These two sets of radiographs would be examined by 40 dentally trained personnel. The thirty radiographs comprising "Set 1" and the 10 radiographs comprising "Set 2" were provided to each of the examiners who were asked to match the individual post-mortem radiographs ("Set 2") with the ante-mortem radiographs ("Set1"). The result demonstrated that 34 examiners achieved a success rate of 100%, 4 examiners achieved a success rate of 97.5% (1 mismatch) and 2 examiners achieved a success rate of 95% (2 mismatches). The radiographic images of obturated single-rooted teeth in this study were shown to have highly- specific morphological features. It is proposed that, in cases where the ante and post-mortem radiographs of a single-rooted obturated canal show similar morphology, this commonality of morphology can be used as a tool in the identification process. PMID:27350699

  1. Postmortem bacteriology: a re‐evaluation

    PubMed Central

    Morris, J A; Harrison, L M; Partridge, S M

    2006-01-01

    Aim To assess the value of postmortem bacteriology in necropsy practice, with specific emphasis on bacterial invasion of blood and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). Methods A review of published articles on postmortem bacteriology. Studies were selected to cover the full range of necropsy practice including adults, the perinatal period, and infancy. The review covers over 5000 necropsies, mainly in adults, but including 1108 perinatal cases and 468 cases of sudden unexpected death in infancy. Data are available on 4992 blood cultures, 1168 specimens of CSF, and 743 cultures of spleen. Results Studies in which careful precautions have been taken to reduce contamination show that approximately two thirds of blood cultures are negative, two in nine yield a single isolate, and one in nine have a mixed growth. The postmortem interval has only a small effect on the isolation rate. A pure growth of a known pathogen has a more than 50% likelihood of being found in association with genuine infection in adults and in the perinatal period. Conclusions The main postmortem artefact is contamination, but this can be considerably reduced by careful technique. Agonal spread is less common than is often assumed. Postmortem translocation is not a problem if the body is appropriately stored. A pure growth of a pathogen in blood or CSF should be regarded as a possible contributing factor to death at all ages. PMID:16394274

  2. Postmortem perianal findings in children.

    PubMed

    McCann, J; Reay, D; Siebert, J; Stephens, B G; Wirtz, S

    1996-12-01

    The postmortem finding of anal dilation or an exposed pectinate line in children who have died under suspicious circumstances continues to raise the concern of possible sexual abuse. The following multicenter, collaborative study was designed to help address that question. Sixty-five subjects, ranging in age from birth to 17 years, were autopsied at three different sites. A standard protocol along with 35-mm cameras were used to record the results. Thirty-eight (58%) subjects were boys, and 27 (42%) were girls. Forty-two (65%) were white, 10 (15%) African-American, five (8%) Asian, three (5%) white Hispanic and five (8%) other. Fifty-seven (88%) were in Tanner stage I of secondary sexual development. Thirty-four (52%) died of natural causes, 26 (40%) from accidental injuries, three (5%) from other causes, and four (6%) as a result of a homicide. Forty-eight subjects (74%) had some dilation of the anal sphincters. In 21 children (32%), the entire anal canal, including the rectal ampulla, could be visualized. In another 21 (32%) subjects, the pectinate line was exposed. Only the outer portion of the anal canal opened in six children (10%), whereas 17 (26%) had no dilatation of the anus. Anal laxity led to flattened skin folds in 50 (77%), a shallow anal canal in 40 (62%), the exposure of both the pectinate line in 38 (59%), and the anal mucosa in 24 (37%). Venous congestion was present in 14 (22%), venous pooling in three (5%), erythema in six (9%), and increased pigmentation in eight (12%). Funneling was found in two (3%). Blood was present in three (5%), and an abrasion was discovered in one (2%). No fissures, lacerations, hemorrhoids, or scars were found in any of the children. Anal orifice size varied with the age of the child, the amount of traction applied to the buttocks, and a history of a CNS injury at the time of death. It is suggested, finally, that anal dilatation alone cannot be used a marker for prior sexual abuse and the exposure of the pectinate line

  3. [Forensic entomology and globalisation].

    PubMed

    Turchetto, M; Vanin, S

    2004-06-01

    The main aim of Forensic Entomology has always been, and is today, to establish the time of death (P.M.I.: Postmortem Period) or, more exactly, how long a carrion has been exposed in the environment. Most of the invertebrate fauna occurring on corpses consists of insects (mostly Diptera and Coleoptera). They are selectively attracted by the decomposing status of the carrion, and form complex communities or biocenosis within necrophagous or sarcophagous species and their predators, parasites and parasitoids, competing each one another. The rapid and continuos changes of the micro-ecosystem (the body), until its breakdown, does not permit the achievement of a steady state or an equilibrium in the animal communities. These continuous modifications give us the possibility to estimate when (and where) the death has occurred, by the identification of the species feeding on the corpse, the knowledge of their life history, and the length of each stage of their cycle at varying the temperature and the other abiotic factors, external to the carrion ecosystem. The P.M.I. today is still largely based on the tables of faunal succession on human cadavers recognised by Mégin in 1894, with few changes proposed by Authors from other countries. In the last years, however, it happens more and more often, that the natural communities are subverted by the presence of allocton species, which can compete, predate or parasite the most common local sarcophagous insects, modifying, this way, the succession waves and the trophic nets. The immission in the environment of foreign species may be voluntary or casual, but in any case is due to anthropic activities. The voluntary immission happens when some species, employed in the biological struggle against pest or dangerous insects, for pollination of allocton plants, or for other commercial utilities, are beyond man's control and swarm onto the environment; the casual spread is due to the globalisation phenomenon, that distributes the "little

  4. The Chinese Nail Murders: forensic medicine in Imperial China.

    PubMed Central

    Summers, W. C.

    1999-01-01

    Robert van Gulik was a respected Dutch sinologist and author who first translated a collection of traditional Chinese detective stories into English and then created additional fictional stories based on the same characters and setting in the Tang dynasty. One of these stories, The Chinese Nail Murders, draws on van Gulik's professional interest in law and his knowledge of early Chinese works on forensic medicine. This novel develops a common theme in Chinese detective fiction, murder by a nail wound to the head. The difficulty in detection of this mode of violence posed a particular problem for the examining magistrate because postmortem examination was mostly limited to external observations. This essay compares the development of Chinese and Western forensic medicine in the context of the nail murder motif. PMID:11138936

  5. Role of prosthodontist in forensic odontology. A literature review.

    PubMed

    Mishra, Sunil Kumar; Mahajan, Harsh; Sakorikar, Rupal; Jain, Anoop

    2014-09-01

    Dental identification assumes a primary role in the identification of remains when postmortem changes, traumatic tissue injury, or lack of a fingerprint record invalidate the use of visual or fingerprint methods. The most common role of the forensic dentist is the identification of deceased individuals. Forensic identification based on assessment of prosthodontic appliances is assuming greater significance, as labeling of dentures and other prosthetic appliance could provide vital clues for patient identification. Various recommendations have been made concerning the importance of denture identification. This paper presents a review of available literature highlighting the fact that how a prosthodontist can play a key role in identification of a deceased individual if trained to do so. PMID:25177136

  6. Role of prosthodontist in forensic odontology. A literature review

    PubMed Central

    Mishra, Sunil Kumar; Mahajan, Harsh; Sakorikar, Rupal; Jain, Anoop

    2014-01-01

    Dental identification assumes a primary role in the identification of remains when postmortem changes, traumatic tissue injury, or lack of a fingerprint record invalidate the use of visual or fingerprint methods. The most common role of the forensic dentist is the identification of deceased individuals. Forensic identification based on assessment of prosthodontic appliances is assuming greater significance, as labeling of dentures and other prosthetic appliance could provide vital clues for patient identification. Various recommendations have been made concerning the importance of denture identification. This paper presents a review of available literature highlighting the fact that how a prosthodontist can play a key role in identification of a deceased individual if trained to do so. PMID:25177136

  7. Virtual anthropology and forensic identification using multidetector CT

    PubMed Central

    Savall, F; Mokrane, F-Z; Rousseau, H; Crubézy, E; Rougé, D; Telmon, N

    2014-01-01

    Virtual anthropology is made possible by modern cross-sectional imaging. Multislice CT (MSCT) can be used for comparative bone and dental identification, reconstructive identification and lesion identification. Comparative identification, the comparison of ante- and post-mortem imaging data, can be performed on both teeth and bones. Reconstructive identification, a considerable challenge for the radiologist, identifies the deceased by determining sex, geographical origin, stature and age at death. Lesion identification combines virtual autopsy and virtual anthropology. MSCT can be useful in palaeopathology, seeking arthropathy, infection, oral pathology, trauma, tumours, haematological disorders, stress indicators or occupational stress in bones and teeth. We examine some of the possibilities offered by this new radiological subspeciality that adds a new dimension to the work of the forensic radiologist. A multidisciplinary approach is crucial and involves communication and data exchange between radiologists, forensic pathologists, anthropologists and radiographers. PMID:24234584

  8. The forensic psychiatric report.

    PubMed

    Norko, Michael A; Buchanan, Mar Alec

    2015-01-01

    The construction of a written forensic report is a core component of forensic practice, demonstrating the evaluator's skill in conducting the evaluation and in communicating relevant information to the legal audience in an effective manner. Although communication skills and quality of written documentation are important in clinical psychiatry generally, they form the sine qua non of successful forensic work, which consists in telling complex stories in a coherent and compelling fashion. High quality forensic reports require careful preparation from the earliest stages of work on a case. They generally follow an expected structure, which permits the evaluator to provide all the data necessary to form a carefully reasoned opinion that addresses the legal questions posed. Formats and content of reports vary according to the type of case and the circumstances of the evaluation and so require flexibility within customary frameworks. The style and quality of writing are critical to the crafting of forensic reports. The effects on legal decision-makers of various approaches to the presentation of information in reports has not been studied empirically, but guidance from experienced forensic psychiatrists is available. There is a small body of research on quality improvement in forensic writing, and further empiric study is warranted. PMID:25603453

  9. Forensic Mass Spectrometry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hoffmann, William D.; Jackson, Glen P.

    2015-07-01

    Developments in forensic mass spectrometry tend to follow, rather than lead, the developments in other disciplines. Examples of techniques having forensic potential born independently of forensic applications include ambient ionization, imaging mass spectrometry, isotope ratio mass spectrometry, portable mass spectrometers, and hyphenated chromatography-mass spectrometry instruments, to name a few. Forensic science has the potential to benefit enormously from developments that are funded by other means, if only the infrastructure and personnel existed to adopt, validate, and implement the new technologies into casework. Perhaps one unique area in which forensic science is at the cutting edge is in the area of chemometrics and the determination of likelihood ratios for the evaluation of the weight of evidence. Such statistical techniques have been developed most extensively for ignitable-liquid residue analyses and isotope ratio analysis. This review attempts to capture the trends, motivating forces, and likely impact of developing areas of forensic mass spectrometry, with the caveat that none of this research is likely to have any real impact in the forensic community unless: (a) The instruments developed are turned into robust black boxes with red and green lights for positives and negatives, respectively, or (b) there are PhD graduates in the workforce who can help adopt these sophisticated techniques.

  10. Forensic Mass Spectrometry.

    PubMed

    Hoffmann, William D; Jackson, Glen P

    2015-01-01

    Developments in forensic mass spectrometry tend to follow, rather than lead, the developments in other disciplines. Examples of techniques having forensic potential born independently of forensic applications include ambient ionization, imaging mass spectrometry, isotope ratio mass spectrometry, portable mass spectrometers, and hyphenated chromatography-mass spectrometry instruments, to name a few. Forensic science has the potential to benefit enormously from developments that are funded by other means, if only the infrastructure and personnel existed to adopt, validate, and implement the new technologies into casework. Perhaps one unique area in which forensic science is at the cutting edge is in the area of chemometrics and the determination of likelihood ratios for the evaluation of the weight of evidence. Such statistical techniques have been developed most extensively for ignitable-liquid residue analyses and isotope ratio analysis. This review attempts to capture the trends, motivating forces, and likely impact of developing areas of forensic mass spectrometry, with the caveat that none of this research is likely to have any real impact in the forensic community unless: (a) The instruments developed are turned into robust black boxes with red and green lights for positives and negatives, respectively, or (b) there are PhD graduates in the workforce who can help adopt these sophisticated techniques. PMID:26070716

  11. Sudden unexpected death as a result of primary aortoduodenal fistula identified with postmortem computed tomography.

    PubMed

    Williams, Andrew S; Little, D'Arcy L; Herath, Jayantha

    2015-12-01

    Aortoenteric fistula (AEF) is an uncommon source of upper gastrointestinal (GI) tract hemorrhage, commonly occurring in persons with previous aortic surgery. Non-surgery related AEFs (primary AEFs) may occur in association with atherosclerotic lesions, infections, malignancies, or, rarely, result from penetrating/eroding foreign bodies. Given its rarity, primary AEF is not commonly considered in the pathologist's preliminary list of differential diagnoses at the commencement of an autopsy; however, the use of postmortem cross-sectional imaging may allow for the identification of primary AEF as a reasonable differential diagnoses prior to conventional autopsy. The current case outlines the forensic presentation, postmortem computed tomography (PMCT) features, and autopsy findings of a recent case of primary AEF resulting in lethal gastrointestinal hemorrhage. In such cases, PMCT features supporting primary AEF as the underlying cause of death include an atherosclerotic aneurysm abutting a segment of the GI tract with no definite soft tissue plane of separation, luminal GI contents of similar radiographic density to the aortic contents, lack of previous aortic surgery, and lack of a competing explanation for GI hemorrhage or a competing cause of death. Deaths from massive enteric hemorrhage without a medical history to suggest an underlying cause for the hemorrhage would fall under medicolegal jurisdiction and may, by examination of scene and circumstances alone, initially seem suspicious. This case demonstrates how PMCT could be used by a team of expert forensic radiologists and forensic pathologists to rapidly feedback vital information on the cause and manner of death to the criminal justice system. PMID:26464132

  12. The imported forensic expert

    SciTech Connect

    Larson, C.P.

    1980-09-01

    A review of the experiences of one of the pioneer forensic pathologists in the United States offers an interesting insight into the possibilities of private forensic pathology in America. The author's experience includes serving as President of the National Boxing Association and the International Boxing Association, during which time he made many improvements in ring safety. His research into several areas of cases of product liability offer an insight to the wide scope of the potential of the forensic expert. This presentation reviews his activities in realms widely afield from medicine.

  13. THE ROLE OF FORENSIC DENTIST FOLLOWING MASS DISASTER

    PubMed Central

    Kolude, B.; Adeyemi, B.F.; Taiwo, J.O.; Sigbeku, O.F.; Eze, U.O.

    2010-01-01

    This review article focuses on mass disaster situations that may arise from natural or manmade circumstances and the significant role of forensic dental personnel in human identification following such occurrences. The various forensic dental modalities of identification that include matching techniques, postmortem profiling, genetic fingerprinting, dental fossil assessment and dental biometrics with digital subtraction were considered. The varying extent of use of forensic dental techniques and the resulting positive impact on human identification were considered. The importance of preparation by way of special training for forensic dental personnel, mock disaster rehearsal, and use of modern day technology was stressed. The need for international standardization of identification through the use of Interpol Disaster Victim Identification (DVI) for ms was further emphasized. Recommendations for improved human identification in Nigerian situation include reform of the National Emergency Management Association (NEMA), incorporation of dental care in primary health care to facilitate proper ante mortem database of the populace and commencement of identification at site of disaster. PMID:25161478

  14. Forensic radiology and personal identification of unidentified bodies: a review.

    PubMed

    Ciaffi, R; Gibelli, D; Cattaneo, C

    2011-09-01

    Personal identification of unidentified bodies is crucial for ethical, juridical and civil reasons and is performed through comparison between biological data obtained from the cadaver and antemortem material from one or more missing persons to whom the body may have belonged in life. The increasing applications of forensic radiology and the wide use of conventional radiography and computed tomography (CT) in routine clinical practice demonstrate the potential of these technologies as tools for verifying the correspondence between an unidentified body and an identity suspect. This paper reviews the literature concerning the application of forensic radiology to the difficult issue of personal identification. Despite the increasing importance of the comparison between radiographic and CT findings, numerous limitations still need to be overcome, including the fact that few forensic centres have access to sophisticated X-ray technologies and that the reliability of those technologies for detecting specific morphological traits and bone lesions is a matter of intense debate. In addition, as with other morphological methods for identification, comparisons between antemortem and postmortem data require standardisation and statistical analysis, especially in Europe where there are very few indications concerning the admission in court of evidence obtained by anthropological and radiological methods. In the future, with developments in radiographic technologies and increasing numbers of studies on their application to the forensic setting, radiology will become one of the most useful tools in the field of personal identification. PMID:21509554

  15. An experimental evaluation of electrical skin conductivity changes in postmortem interval and its assessment for time of death estimation.

    PubMed

    Cantürk, İsmail; Karabiber, Fethullah; Çelik, Safa; Şahin, M Feyzi; Yağmur, Fatih; Kara, Sadık

    2016-02-01

    In forensic medicine, estimation of the time of death (ToD) is one of the most important and challenging medico-legal problems. Despite the partial accomplishments in ToD estimations to date, the error margin of ToD estimation is still too large. In this study, electrical conductivity changes were experimentally investigated in the postmortem interval in human cases. Electrical conductivity measurements give some promising clues about the postmortem interval. A living human has a natural electrical conductivity; in the postmortem interval, intracellular fluids gradually leak out of cells. These leaked fluids combine with extra-cellular fluids in tissues and since both fluids are electrolytic, intracellular fluids help increase conductivity. Thus, the level of electrical conductivity is expected to increase with increased time after death. In this study, electrical conductivity tests were applied for six hours. The electrical conductivity of the cases exponentially increased during the tested time period, indicating a positive relationship between electrical conductivity and the postmortem interval. PMID:26751404

  16. Tearing of the left iliac vessels in lumbar surgery revealed by multiphase post-mortem CT-angiography (MPMCTA).

    PubMed

    Vilariño Villaverde, Raquel; Bruguier, Christine; Zerlauth, Jean-Baptiste; De Froidmont, Sébastien; Grabherr, Silke

    2016-05-01

    Lumbar surgery is regularly applied in cases of discal hernia and acquired lumbar stenosis. In this report, we present a case of a laceration in the left common iliac artery and iliac vein during a lumbar surgery and discuss the literature concerning this kind of event. In the present case, the surgical procedure was followed by a sudden decrease in blood pressure, and the surgeon discovered an intra-abdominal haemorrhage that led to the patient's death. Postmortem investigation confirmed the intra-abdominal haemorrhage and revealed a laceration of the proximal portion of the left common iliac artery and left iliac vein. The source of bleeding could be detected especially thanks to multi-phase postmortem CT angiography (MPMCTA), which was performed prior to autopsy. We also found a haemorrhagic path through the intervertebral disc between the L4-L5 vertebrae, caused by the surgeon's instrument (pituitary rongeur). To date, a few cases have been described of iatrogenic death resulting from a tear in the iliac vessels during lumbar surgery, but not from the postmortem perspective. Such investigations have recently been modernized thanks to the introduction of forensic imaging. In particular, MPMCTA offers new possibilities in postmortem investigations and can be considered the new gold standard for investigating deaths related to medical intervention. Here we describe the first case of a death during lumbar surgery using this new method. PMID:27161923

  17. Aerospace Toxicology and Microbiology

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    James, John T.; Parmet, A. J.; Pierson, Duane L.

    2007-01-01

    Toxicology dates to the very earliest history of humanity with various poisons and venom being recognized as a method of hunting or waging war with the earliest documentation in the Evers papyrus (circa 1500 BCE). The Greeks identified specific poisons such as hemlock, a method of state execution, and the Greek word toxos (arrow) became the root of our modern science. The first scientific approach to the understanding of poisons and toxicology was the work during the late middle ages of Paracelsus. He formulated what were then revolutionary views that a specific toxic agent or "toxicon" caused specific dose-related effects. His principles have established the basis of modern pharmacology and toxicology. In 1700, Bernardo Ramazzini published the book De Morbis Artificum Diatriba (The Diseases of Workers) describing specific illnesses associated with certain labor, particularly metal workers exposed to mercury, lead, arsenic, and rock dust. Modern toxicology dates from development of the modern industrial chemical processes, the earliest involving an analytical method for arsenic by Marsh in 1836. Industrial organic chemicals were synthesized in the late 1800 s along with anesthetics and disinfectants. In 1908, Hamilton began the long study of occupational toxicology issues, and by WW I the scientific use of toxicants saw Haber creating war gases and defining time-dosage relationships that are used even today.

  18. Forensic Science: Hair Identification.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Keller, Elhannan L.

    1980-01-01

    Presented is an activity in which students use a microscope to do a forensic hair comparative study and a medullary classification. Mounting methods, medulla types, hair photographs, and activities are described. (DS)

  19. Skin wounds vitality markers in forensic pathology: An updated review.

    PubMed

    Casse, Jean-Matthieu; Martrille, Laurent; Vignaud, Jean-Michel; Gauchotte, Guillaume

    2016-04-01

    Wound age evaluation is one of the most challenging issues in forensic pathology. In the first minutes or hours, standard histological examination may not determine whether the wound was inflicted in the pre- or post-mortem period. While red blood cell infiltration is classically considered as a sign of vital reaction, several studies have shown that extravasation of blood cells may also occur after death and cannot be used as a reliable marker in the diagnosis of wound vitality. Numerous studies about wound vitality are available in the literature. They have evaluated markers involved in coagulation or inflammation, using various methods such as enzymology, molecular biology or immunohistochemistry. In this update, we first introduce some methodological principles. Then, we review the main studies available in the literature. Immunohistochemistry seems to be the most valuable method, given its easy application and the possibility to analyse the localization of the molecules of interest. Some markers are promising, such as CD15, TNFα, IL-6, IL-1β, TGFα or TGFβ1. Prior to their application in daily practice, these early results need to be confirmed with other studies, conducted by independent teams and integrating multiple controls. Most notably, the antibodies have to be tested in numerous post-mortem wounds. Indeed, a critical risk of overexpression in post-mortem wounds is present. Some promising markers have been later invalidated because of post-mortem false positivity. Finally, optimal sensitivity and specificity values could probably be reached by combining several markers, validated by large groups of pre- and post-mortem wounds. PMID:26101444

  20. The black soldier fly Hermetia illucens (Diptera: Stratiomyidae) as a potential measure of human postmortem interval: observations and case histories.

    PubMed

    Lord, W D; Goff, M L; Adkins, T R; Haskell, N H

    1994-01-01

    The black soldier fly, Hermetia illucens (L.), has been shown to be a ubiquitous inhabitant of both surface and buried human remains throughout the southern, central and western United States and Hawaii. Unlike most other species of forensically important Diptera, this species frequently dominates bodies in the dry/post decay stage of decomposition. Adults of the black soldier fly appear to initiate oviposition (egg laying) 20 to 30 days postmortem. Even at warm temperatures (27.8 degrees C), subsequent completion of the life cycle can require an additional 55 days. Life history data for H. illucens, when used in combination with data for other cohabiting arthropod species and viewed in the context of local environmental conditions, can provide medicolegal investigators with valuable parameters for estimating the postmortem intervals for badly decomposed remains. PMID:8113702

  1. Professionalism in Computer Forensics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Irons, Alastair D.; Konstadopoulou, Anastasia

    The paper seeks to address the need to consider issues regarding professionalism in computer forensics in order to allow the discipline to develop and to ensure the credibility of the discipline from the differing perspectives of practitioners, the criminal justice system and in the eyes of the public. There is a need to examine and develop professionalism in computer forensics in order to promote the discipline and maintain the credibility of the discipline.

  2. Protein phosphorylation systems in postmortem human brain

    SciTech Connect

    Walaas, S.I.; Perdahl-Wallace, E.; Winblad, B.; Greengard, P. )

    1989-01-01

    Protein phosphorylation systems regulated by cyclic adenosine 3',5'-monophosphate (cyclic AMP), or calcium in conjunction with calmodulin or phospholipid/diacylglycerol, have been studied by phosphorylation in vitro of particulate and soluble fractions from human postmortem brain samples. One-dimensional or two-dimensional gel electrophoretic protein separations were used for analysis. Protein phosphorylation catalyzed by cyclic AMP-dependent protein kinase was found to be highly active in both particulate and soluble preparations throughout the human CNS, with groups of both widely distributed and region-specific substrates being observed in different brain nuclei. Dopamine-innervated parts of the basal ganglia and cerebral cortex contained the phosphoproteins previously observed in rodent basal ganglia. In contrast, calcium/phospholipid-dependent and calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein phosphorylation systems were less prominent in human postmortem brain than in rodent brain, and only a few widely distributed substrates for these protein kinases were found. Protein staining indicated that postmortem proteolysis, particularly of high-molecular-mass proteins, was prominent in deeply located, subcortical regions in the human brain. Our results indicate that it is feasible to use human postmortem brain samples, when obtained under carefully controlled conditions, for qualitative studies on brain protein phosphorylation. Such studies should be of value in studies on human neurological and/or psychiatric disorders.

  3. Transporting Forensic Psychiatric Patients.

    PubMed

    Dike, Charles C; Nicholson, Elizabeth; Young, John L

    2015-12-01

    Patients in a forensic psychiatric facility often require escorted transport to medical facilities for investigations or treatments of physical health ailments. Transporting these patients presents significant safety and custody challenges because of the nature of patients housed in forensic psychiatric facilities. A significant proportion of these patients may be transfers from the Department of Corrections (DOC) under legal mandates for psychiatric evaluation and treatment better provided in a hospital setting, and most of them will return to the DOC. Although departments of correction have protocols for escorting these potentially dangerous individuals, it is unclear whether receiving psychiatric hospitals have established procedures for maintaining the safety of others and custody of these individuals during transportation outside the hospital facility. The literature is sparse on precautions to be observed when transporting dangerous forensic psychiatric patients, including those with high escape risk. In this article, we describe one forensic inpatient facility's procedure for determining the appropriate level needed to transport these individuals outside of the forensic facility. We also describe the risk assessment procedure for determining level of transport. These are quality improvement measures resulting from a critical review of an incident of escape from the forensic facility several years ago. PMID:26668224

  4. Internet and forensic science

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chamakura, Reddy P.

    1997-02-01

    The Internet is a very powerful and inexpensive tool that was created for the free distribution of knowledge and information. The Internet is a learning tool, a research tool, a virtual library without borders and membership requirements, a journal with instant publication, a help desk, and a newspaper/journal with current information. Very soon, when live audio and video transmission is perfected, the Internet also will be a live classroom and everyday conference. Forensic scientists, laboratories and colleges should make use of information already available on the Internet. They also should actively participate and contribute. Very few forensic scientists and laboratories have made their presence felt by setting up their home pages/web pages. But, there is tremendous growth during the past year. Immense benefits from Internet to forensic community are discussed along with the author's personal experience. Creating on-line searchable data bases in all specialties of forensic science is an urgent need. Leading forensic journals should take a lead and create on-line searchable indexes with abstracts. On line electronic publishing, collaborative research/paper publishing or editing is easy, fast, economical and convenient through the use of the Internet. Creation of Internet repositories of unpublished papers is an idea worth looking into. Internet also can be used to give training, re-training or advanced training to students/forensic scientists.

  5. Endogenous concentrations of GHB in postmortem blood from deaths unrelated to GHB use.

    PubMed

    Korb, Ann-Sophie; Cooper, Gail

    2014-10-01

    Gamma-hydroxybutyrate (GHB) is an endogenous compound, but its presence in postmortem blood presents a challenge when interpreting elevated levels as GHB is misused as a recreational drug and is also produced postmortem. A total of 387 postmortem cases (273 male and 114 female) submitted to the toxicology laboratory between 2010 and 2012 specifically requested the analysis of the ketoacidosis biomarker, beta-hydroxybutyrate (BHB). No reference to GHB use was identified in any of the case files; however, BHB and GHB are measured simultaneously using deuterated GHB as the internal standard (GHB-d6) within a calibration range of 5-500 mg/L. GHB was not detected or <10 mg/L in 18% of the cases (n = 68), between 10 and 50 mg/L in 73% of the cases (n = 283) and between 51 and 193 mg/L in 9% of the cases (n = 36). The manner of death was classified as accidental (n = 11), alcohol-related (n = 237), drug-related (n = 23), homicide (n = 1), natural (n = 91), suicide (n = 9), medical-related (n = 1) and undetermined (n = 14). Six cases had GHB concentrations in excess of 100 mg/L with advanced decomposition changes noted in five of these cases. Moderate-to-advanced decomposition was also noted in 50% (n = 15) of the cases with GHB concentrations in excess of 50 mg/L but <100 mg/L. Approximately one-third of the blood samples tested contained a preservative and although a higher proportion of these samples had GHB concentrations <10 mg/L or not detected (∼30% preserved versus 11% unpreserved), there were still cases with GHB concentrations >51 mg/L (∼6% preserved versus 11% unpreserved). This study highlights the danger of only using a cutoff to establish endogenous levels compared with exogenous use of GHB in postmortem blood. PMID:25217550

  6. Paroxetine in Postmortem Fluids and Tissues from Nine Aviation Accident Victims.

    PubMed

    Lewis, Russell J; Kemp, Philip M; Johnson, Robert D

    2015-10-01

    Paroxetine is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor commonly prescribed for the treatment of depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic disorder, social anxiety disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder. While the use of paroxetine is considered relatively safe, negative side effects, including nausea, drowsiness, insomnia and dizziness, can adversely affect a pilot's ability to safely operate an aircraft. The use of paroxetine may increase suicidal behavior and suicidal ideation. When relying on postmortem specimens for toxicological evaluation, a general understanding of drug distribution throughout postmortem specimens is important. This laboratory has determined the distribution of paroxetine in postmortem tissues and fluids from nine aviation accident fatalities. Specimens were processed using an n-butyl chloride liquid/liquid extraction followed by gas chromatographic/mass spectrometeric analysis. Blood paroxetine concentrations obtained from these cases ranged from 0.019 to 0.865 µg/mL. The distribution of paroxetine, expressed as mean specimen/blood ratio, was 1.67 ± 1.16 urine (n = 4), 0.08 ± 0.04 vitreous humor (n = 6), 5.77 ± 1.37 liver (n = 8), 9.66 ± 2.58 lung (n = 9), 1.44 ± 0.57 kidney (n = 8), 3.80 ± 0.69 spleen (n = 8), 0.15 ± 0.04 muscle (n = 8), 4.27 ± 2.64 brain (n = 7) and 1.05 ± 0.43 heart (n = 8). The large standard deviations associated with the paroxetine distribution coefficients suggest that paroxetine can experience significant postmortem concentration changes. PMID:26378138

  7. Shuttle Lesson Learned - Toxicology

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    James, John T.

    2010-01-01

    This is a script for a video about toxicology and the space shuttle. The first segment is deals with dust in the space vehicle. The next segment will be about archival samples. Then we'll look at real time on-board analyzers that give us a lot of capability in terms of monitoring for combustion products and the ability to monitor volatile organics on the station. Finally we will look at other issues that are about setting limits and dealing with ground based lessons that pertain to toxicology.

  8. TOXICOLOGY OF METALS. VOLUME II

    EPA Science Inventory

    The report on metal toxicology contains reviews on twenty-three metals. These have been written for inclusion in a Handbook on the Toxicology of Metals: Environmental and Occupational Aspects which is being prepared by the Scientific Committee on the Toxicology of Metals of the P...

  9. Veterinary Forensics: Firearms and Investigation of Projectile Injury.

    PubMed

    Bradley-Siemens, N; Brower, A I

    2016-09-01

    Projectile injury represents an estimated 14% of reported animal cruelty cases in the United States. Cases involving projectiles are complicated by gross similarities to other common types of injury, including bite wounds and motor vehicle injuries, by weapons and ammunition not commonly recognized or understood by veterinary medical professionals, and by required expertise beyond that employed in routine postmortem examination. This review describes the common types of projectile injuries encountered within the United States, as well as firearms and ammunition associated with this form of injury. The 3 stages of ballistics-internal, external, and terminal-and wounding capacity are discussed. A general understanding of firearms, ammunition, and ballistics is necessary before pursuing forensic projectile cases. The forensic necropsy is described, including gunshot wound examination, projectile trajectories, different imaging procedures, collection and storage of projectile evidence, and potential advanced techniques for gunpowder analysis. This review presents aspects of projectile injury investigation that must be considered in tandem with standard postmortem practices and procedures to ensure reliable conclusions are reached for medicolegal as well as diagnostic purposes. PMID:27312366

  10. Toxicology and Chemical Safety.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hall, Stephen K.

    1983-01-01

    Topics addressed in this discussion of toxicology and chemical safety include routes of exposure, dose/response relationships, action of toxic substances, and effects of exposure to chemicals. Specific examples are used to illustrate the principles discussed. Suggests prudence in handling any chemicals, whether or not toxicity is known. (JN)

  11. Toxicology, an STS Approach.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wagner, Richard

    1990-01-01

    Presented are activities suggested through Project L.A.B.S. that involve the topic of toxicology. Activities include suggested research, the risk benefit seesaw, human-made compounds, legislation, a historical perspective, and health. A suggested readings list is provided. (KR)

  12. The ethics of postmortem examinations in contemporary Islam.

    PubMed Central

    Rispler-Chaim, V

    1993-01-01

    Postmortem examinations have recently become common practice in Western medicine: they are used to verify the cause of death and to obtain additional scientific information on certain diseases, as well as to train medical students. For religious people of the monotheistic faiths postmortems present several ethical questions even though the advantages attributed to postmortems in the West are also acknowledged by Jews, Christians and Muslims. The Islamic way of dealing with such questions will be surveyed via contemporary fatawa (legal opinions) issued primarily by Egyptian scholars; Islamic law, which was formulated in the eighth to ninth centuries, did not speak of postmortems. I will therefore depict the means whereby contemporary scholars approach postmortems in the absence of clear legal reference. The difficulties that postmortems create for Muslims at present will be weighed against some shar i instructions which may help circumvent them. While the ethical and religious debate continues, postmortems seem to be accepted but not, however, without certain reservations. PMID:8230149

  13. The ethics of postmortem examinations in contemporary Islam.

    PubMed

    Rispler-Chaim, V

    1993-09-01

    Postmortem examinations have recently become common practice in Western medicine: they are used to verify the cause of death and to obtain additional scientific information on certain diseases, as well as to train medical students. For religious people of the monotheistic faiths postmortems present several ethical questions even though the advantages attributed to postmortems in the West are also acknowledged by Jews, Christians and Muslims. The Islamic way of dealing with such questions will be surveyed via contemporary fatawa (legal opinions) issued primarily by Egyptian scholars; Islamic law, which was formulated in the eighth to ninth centuries, did not speak of postmortems. I will therefore depict the means whereby contemporary scholars approach postmortems in the absence of clear legal reference. The difficulties that postmortems create for Muslims at present will be weighed against some shar i instructions which may help circumvent them. While the ethical and religious debate continues, postmortems seem to be accepted but not, however, without certain reservations. PMID:8230149

  14. Freshwater drowning in a child: A case study demonstrating the role of post-mortem computed tomography.

    PubMed

    Filograna, Laura; Tartaglione, Tommaso; Vetrugno, Giuseppe; Guerra, Claudio; Fileni, Adriano; Bonomo, Lorenzo

    2015-10-01

    In recent years, modern imaging techniques have gained ground in forensics. A crucial question is whether virtual autopsy is capable of replacing traditional autopsy. Forensic diagnosis of freshwater drowning (FWD) is based on the evidence of findings from external inspection (e.g. frothy fluid exuding from the mouth and nostrils), internal examination (e.g. pulmonary congestion, enlargement of heart chambers) and biochemical analysis (haemodilution), findings which are non-specific. The detection of diatoms in organs of the systemic circulation may be of some assistance, but this analysis is rarely performed and is of debatable validity. An 18-month-old child was found dead at home in a swimming pool. Considering the family's wishes to avoid autopsy, the district attorney authorised a whole-body post-mortem computed tomography scan (PMCT). The main imaging findings were frothy fluid in the upper airways, fluid in the trachea and main bronchi, many pulmonary nodular ground glass opacities (GGO) in non-dependent regions and haemodilution. CT imaging did not show any other forensically relevant abnormality.A high concordance was found between the CT findings reported in the literature in cases of FWD and the imaging results. Thus, after the exclusion of other causes of death, advised by the forensic pathologist, the district attorney closed the case and the death was attributed to FWD. This case report demonstrates that PMCT imaging in cases of suspected FWD can provide some important findings for the diagnosis of FWD as the cause of death. PMID:25628338

  15. Forensics on a Shoestring Budget

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Greco, Joseph A.

    2005-01-01

    In recent years, forensic science has gained popularity thanks in part to high-profile court cases and television programs. Although the cost of forensic equipment and supplies may initially seem too expensive for the typical high school classroom, the author developed an activity that incorporates forensics into her 10th-grade biology curriculum…

  16. Specialty Guidelines for Forensic Psychology

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    American Psychologist, 2013

    2013-01-01

    In the past 50 years forensic psychological practice has expanded dramatically. Because the practice of forensic psychology differs in important ways from more traditional practice areas (Monahan, 1980) the "Specialty Guidelines for Forensic Psychologists" were developed and published in 1991 (Committee on Ethical Guidelines for Forensic…

  17. Integrating the Forensic Sciences in Wildlife Case Investigations: A Case Report of Pentobarbital and Phenytoin Toxicosis in a Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus).

    PubMed

    Viner, T C; Hamlin, B C; McClure, P J; Yates, B C

    2016-09-01

    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). The eagle was the single fatality in a group of 8 birds that fed on euthanized domestic cat remains that had been improperly disposed of in a landfill. Cooperation between responding law enforcement officers, pathologists, and other forensic scientists led to the successful diagnosis and resolution of the case. PMID:27030371

  18. Emerging Approaches in Predictive Toxicology

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Luoping; McHale, Cliona M.; Greene, Nigel; Snyder, Ronald D.; Rich, Ivan N.; Aardema, Marilyn J.; Roy, Shambhu; Pfuhler, Stefan; Venkatactahalam, Sundaresan

    2016-01-01

    Predictive toxicology plays an important role in the assessment of toxicity of chemicals and the drug development process. While there are several well-established in vitro and in vivo assays that are suitable for predictive toxicology, recent advances in high-throughput analytical technologies and model systems are expected to have a major impact on the field of predictive toxicology. This commentary provides an overview of the state of the current science and a brief discussion on future perspectives for the field of predictive toxicology for human toxicity. Computational models for predictive toxicology, needs for further refinement and obstacles to expand computational models to include additional classes of chemical compounds are highlighted. Functional and comparative genomics approaches in predictive toxicology are discussed with an emphasis on successful utilization of recently developed model systems for high-throughput analysis. The advantages of three-dimensional model systems and stem cells and their use in predictive toxicology testing are also described. PMID:25044351

  19. Diversity of forensic rove beetles (Coleoptera, Staphylinidae) associated with decaying pig carcass in a forest biotope.

    PubMed

    Dekeirsschieter, Jessica; Frederick, Christine; Verheggen, Francois J; Drugmand, Didier; Haubruge, Eric

    2013-07-01

    Most forensic studies are focused on Diptera pattern colonization while neglecting Coleoptera succession. So far, little information is available on the postmortem colonization by beetles and the decomposition process they initiate under temperate biogeoclimatic countries. These beetles have, however, been referred to as being part of the entomofaunal colonization of a dead body. Forensic entomologists need increased databases detailing the distribution, ecology, and phenology of necrophagous insects, including staphylinids (Coleoptera, Staphylinidae). While pig carcasses are commonly used in forensic entomology studies to surrogate human decomposition and to investigate the entomofaunal succession, very few works have been conducted in Europe on large carcasses. Our work reports the monitoring of the presence of adult rove beetles (Coleoptera, Staphylinidae) on decaying pig carcasses in a forest biotope during four seasons (spring, summer, fall, and winter). A total of 23 genera comprising 60 species of rove beetles were collected from pig carcasses. PMID:23550535

  20. A gas chromatography-thermal conductivity detection method for helium detection in postmortem blood and tissue specimens.

    PubMed

    Schaff, Jason E; Karas, Roman P; Marinetti, Laureen

    2012-03-01

    In cases of death by inert gas asphyxiation, it can be difficult to obtain toxicological evidence supporting assignment of a cause of death. Because of its low mass and high diffusivity, and its common use as a carrier gas, helium presents a particular challenge in this respect. We describe a rapid and simple gas chromatography-thermal conductivity detection method to qualitatively screen a variety of postmortem biological specimens for the presence of helium. Application of this method is demonstrated with three case examples, encompassing an array of different biological matrices. PMID:22337780

  1. Forensic geology exhumed

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martinez, Joseph Didier

    Forensic geology binds applied geology to the world of legal controversy and action. However, the term “forensic” is often misconstrued. Although even some attorneys apply it only to the marshalling of evidence in criminal cases, it has a much broader definition. One dictionary defines it as “pertaining to, connected with, or used in courts of law or public discussion and debate.” The American Geological Institute's Glossary of Geology defines forensic geology as “the application of the Earth sciences to the law.” The cited reference to Murray and Tedrow [1975], however, deals mostly if not exclusively with the gathering and use of evidence in criminal cases, despite the widespread involvement of geologists in more general legal matters. It seems appropriate to “exhume” geology's wider application to the law, which is encompassed by forensic geology.

  2. Forensic pharmacology: An important and evolving subspecialty needs recognition in India

    PubMed Central

    Malve, Harshad Onkarrao

    2016-01-01

    With training in pharmacology, a pharmacologist has an expert knowledge as well as working experience in the subjects of therapeutics, pharmacokinetics, and toxicology along with exposure to subjects such as forensic medicine during the medical education. All these knowledge domains can be applied and act as an interface to the forensic situations. The skills and expertise of a forensic pharmacologist can be useful in a large and diverse number of legal cases. With an ever increasing incidence of criminal and civil cases in India, the development and inclusion of forensic pharmacologist in the judicial system of India are the need of the hour. The research in pharmacology has witnessed great technological advancement that allows it to expand its scope beyond the domain of therapeutics, thus enabling Indian pharmacologists to explore the niche area of Forensic Pharmacology. Differing pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of drugs in living and dead, drug interactions, abuse of drugs, personal injury or death due to drug exposure leading to medico-legal issues, environmental exposure to chemicals, and doping and forensic pharmacovigilance are the diverse aspects of Forensic Pharmacology. PMID:27134459

  3. Forensic pharmacology: An important and evolving subspecialty needs recognition in India.

    PubMed

    Malve, Harshad Onkarrao

    2016-01-01

    With training in pharmacology, a pharmacologist has an expert knowledge as well as working experience in the subjects of therapeutics, pharmacokinetics, and toxicology along with exposure to subjects such as forensic medicine during the medical education. All these knowledge domains can be applied and act as an interface to the forensic situations. The skills and expertise of a forensic pharmacologist can be useful in a large and diverse number of legal cases. With an ever increasing incidence of criminal and civil cases in India, the development and inclusion of forensic pharmacologist in the judicial system of India are the need of the hour. The research in pharmacology has witnessed great technological advancement that allows it to expand its scope beyond the domain of therapeutics, thus enabling Indian pharmacologists to explore the niche area of Forensic Pharmacology. Differing pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of drugs in living and dead, drug interactions, abuse of drugs, personal injury or death due to drug exposure leading to medico-legal issues, environmental exposure to chemicals, and doping and forensic pharmacovigilance are the diverse aspects of Forensic Pharmacology. PMID:27134459

  4. Determination of the postmortem interval by Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy using swine skeletal muscles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marín-Roldan, A.; Manzoor, S.; Moncayo, S.; Navarro-Villoslada, F.; Izquierdo-Hornillos, R. C.; Caceres, J. O.

    2013-10-01

    Skin and muscle samples are useful to discriminate individuals as well as their postmortem interval (PMI) in crime scenes and natural or caused disasters. In this study, a simple and fast method based on Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (LIBS) has been developed to estimate PMI using swine skeletal muscle samples. Environmental conditions (moisture, temperature, fauna, etc.) having strong influence on the PMI determination were considered. Time-dependent changes in the emission intensity ratio for Mg, Na, Hα and K were observed, as a result of the variations in their concentration due to chemical reactions in tissues and were correlated with PMI. This relationship, which has not been reported previously in the forensic literature, offers a simple and potentially valuable means of estimating the PMI.

  5. Forensic Science Center

    SciTech Connect

    Andresen, B.; Grant, P.M.

    1994-03-01

    Since 1991, the Laboratory's Forensic Science Center has focused a comprehensive range of analytical expertise on issues related to non proliferation, counterterrorism, and domestic law enforcement. During this short period, LLNL's singular combination of human and technological resources has made the Center among the best of its kind in the world. The Forensic Science Center houses a variety of state-of-the-art analytical tools ranging from gas chromatograph/mass spectrometers to ultratrace DNA detection techniques. The Center's multidisciplinary staff provides expertise in organic and inorganic analytical chemistry, nuclear science, biochemistry, and genetics useful for supporting law enforcement and for verifying compliance with international treaties and agreements.

  6. Research in forensic odontology.

    PubMed Central

    Whittaker, D. K.

    1982-01-01

    Forensic odontology has established itself as an important and often indispensable science in medicolegal matters and in particular in identification of the dead. Much of its expertise is drawn from clinical experience based on basic research and advances in knowledge in dentistry in general. There has also been, particularly during the past two decades, an increasing body of research in specifically forensic dental matters and these studies form the subject of this review. Progress in this field, as in others, will depend upon development of training pathways and research facilities in our dental schools. Images FIG. 1 FIG. 2 PMID:7044254

  7. Complexity and forensic pathology.

    PubMed

    Jones, Richard Martin

    2015-12-01

    It has become increasingly apparent that nonlinearity and complexity are the norm in human physiological systems, the relevance of which is informing an enhanced understanding of basic pathological processes such as inflammation, the host response to severe trauma, and critical illness. This article will explore how an understanding of nonlinear systems and complexity might inform the study of the pathophysiology of deaths of medicolegal interest, and how 'complexity thinking' might usefully be incorporated into modern forensic medicine and forensic pathology research, education and practice. PMID:26372537

  8. Exploring Trends in Forensic Odontology

    PubMed Central

    Singh, Narendra Nath; Ain, Tasneem S.; Sultan, Saima

    2014-01-01

    Background: Forensic odontology nowadays has become a developing science and is of great importance to society. It is important that dental practitioners should have a proper knowledge of forensics as the need has increased greatly over the last decades due to the unprecedented demand from the criminal justice including terrorism in Kashmir valley (J&K India). Materials and Methods: Data was collected based on questionnaire survey among qualified dental practitioners related to their awareness of forensic odontology. Results: A total number of 235 dental practitioners responded to the questionnaire. Results showed that there was a low confidence, in handling of forensic odontology related cases among dental practitioners and majority of dental practitioners were not having any formal training in forensic odontology. Conclusion: Each dental practitioner has a responsibility to understand the forensic implications associated with the practice of his profession and thus he should work sincerely enough so to ensure his contribution in the field of forensic odontology. PMID:25654026

  9. The first report of Telomerina flavipes (Meigen, 1830) (Diptera, Sphaeroceridae) in a forensic case, with redescription of its pupa.

    PubMed

    Arnaldos, María-Isabel; Ubero-Pascal, Nicolás; García, Rafael; Carles-Tolrá, Miguel; Presa, Juan-José; García, María-Dolores

    2014-09-01

    This paper presents a forensic investigation that took place in the city of Murcia (SE Spain) and shows how the entomological specimens collected at the scene were extremely helpful for estimating the minimum post-mortem interval (PMImin). The occurrence of Telomerina flavipes (Meigen, 1830) (Diptera: Sphaeroceridae) is reported here for the first time in a forensic case. Additionally, the importance of other entomological evidence in this case is discussed. The first known images of the puparium are provided, as well as its redescription and that of the cephalopharyngeal skeleton recovered from the puparium. PMID:25128390

  10. Practical use of ethyl glucuronide and ethyl sulfate in postmortem cases as markers of antemortem alcohol ingestion.

    PubMed

    Høiseth, Gudrun; Karinen, Ritva; Christophersen, Asbjørg; Mørland, Jørg

    2010-03-01

    In postmortem toxicology, it could be difficult to determine whether a positive blood ethanol concentration reflects antemortem ingestion or postmortem synthesis of alcohol. Measurement of the nonoxidative ethanol metabolite ethyl glucuronide (EtG) has been suggested as a marker of antemortem ingestion of alcohol, but EtG might degrade postmortem which could make interpretation difficult. So far, the published articles concern EtG only. Another nonoxidative metabolite, ethyl sulfate (EtS), which is more stable, has therefore been included in this study. We present a material of 36 deaths where postmortem formation of ethanol was suspected and where both EtG and EtS were measured in blood and urine to assist the interpretation. In 19 cases, EtG and EtS were positive in the body fluids analyzed. The median concentration of EtG and EtS in blood was 0.4 (range 0.1-23.2) and 0.9 mg/L (range 0.04-7.9), respectively. The median concentration of EtG and EtS in urine was 35.9 (range 1.0-182) and 8.5 mg/L (range 0.3-99), respectively. In another 16 cases, there was no trace of EtG or EtS in the specimens analyzed. In one case, there was inconsistency between the results of EtG and EtS; they were both positive in urine, while only EtS was positive in blood. This study showed that, out of 36 cases, antemortem ingestion of alcohol was very likely in 19 and unlikely in 16, according to EtG and EtS results. In the last case, the interpretation was more difficult. One possible explanation would be postmortem degradation of EtG in blood. PMID:19937334

  11. 20 years of toxicology.

    PubMed Central

    Fisher, B E

    1998-01-01

    With over 80,000 chemicals being used in commerce worldwide, it is important to identify the human health effects of these chemicals and the levels of exposure at which they are harmful to humans. In order to address this need, the National Toxicology Program (NTP) was established in 1978; since then, the NTP has become the world's leader in designing, conducting, and interpreting various types of toxicity assays. PMID:9755149

  12. Field Documentation of Unusual Post-Mortem Arthropod Activity on Human Remains.

    PubMed

    Pechal, Jennifer L; Benbow, M Eric; Tomberlin, Jeffery K; Crippen, Tawni L; Tarone, Aaron M; Singh, Baneshwar; Lenhart, Paul A

    2015-01-01

    During a forensic investigation, the presence of physical marks on human remains can influence the interpretation of events related to the death of an individual. Some tissue injury on human remains can be misinterpreted as ante- or peri-mortem wounds by an investigator when in reality the markings resulted from post-mortem arthropod activity. Unusual entomological data were collected during a study examining the decomposition of a set of human remains in San Marcos, Texas. An adult female Pediodectes haldemani (Girard) (Orthoptera: Tettigoniidae) and an Armadillidium cf. vulgare (Isopoda: Armadilidiidae) were documented feeding on the remains. Both arthropods produced physical marks or artifacts on the remains that could be misinterpreted as attack, abuse, neglect, or torture. Additionally, red imported fire ants, Solenopsis invicta Buren (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), were observed constructing structures in the mark produced by the P. haldemani feeding. These observations provide insight into the potential of post-mortem arthropod damage to human remains, which previously had not been described for these taxa, and therefore, physical artifacts on any remains found in similar circumstances may result from arthropod activity and not ante- or peri-mortem wounds. PMID:26336287

  13. Distinguishing between perimortem and postmortem fractures: are osteons of any help?

    PubMed

    Pechníková, Markéta; Porta, Davide; Cattaneo, Cristina

    2011-07-01

    The distinction between perimortem and postmortem fractures in forensic anthropology is still a frequently unsolved issue. In the present study, we try to verify if there are differences in the pattern of osteon fracturing between fresh and dry bone which could be used for such a diagnosis. Fresh and dry long bones were fractured by a hammer at the mid-shaft perpendicularly to the long axis of the bone and the fracture margins examined under a light microscope as undecalcified sections. Examination of 982 osteons (505 fresh, 477 dry) showed that twice as often the fracture line crosses the osteons as opposed to travelling around them, independently of whether the bone is fresh or dry. Statistical analysis confirmed that there was no significant difference between fresh and dry bone. This seems to imply that osteon fracture pattern cannot help in the diagnosis of perimortem versus postmortem bone fractures. Further research however must be performed concerning fast and slow energy dispersal which may have an influence on the type of fracture inflicted. PMID:21487677

  14. Documentation of postmortem changes in salivary gland architecture and staining characteristics

    PubMed Central

    Agarwal, Swati; Chaudhary, Minal; Gawande, Madhuri; Gupta, Puneet

    2016-01-01

    Context: Estimation of time passed since death continues to be a major problem for the forensic pathologist and its determination plays an important and vital role in medico-legal cases. The histological studies on various tissues after death have been mostly confined to single organ or tissue by individual workers at different atmospheric conditions. Aims: The aim of this study is to determine the best rehydrating solution for dehydrated tissues in postmortem examination. Settings and Design: This study was specific to salivary gland tissues and certain pattern of changes were determined during postmortem time intervals using hematoxylin and eosin stain and special stains like mucicarmine and alcian blue. Materials and Methods: The study was divided into two groups. (1) Group A: Normal tissue samples (twenty normal salivary gland tissue samples left without fixation for varying periods of time). (2) Group B: Control group (twenty normal salivary gland tissue samples immediately fixed in formalin). The three different rehydrating agents used in this study were glycerol, normal saline and modified Ruffer solution. Statistical Analysis Used: Not required. Results: Modified Ruffer solution is the best when compared to glycerol and normal saline for rehydration of dehydrated tissues. Conclusions: Thus in our study we conclude that the tissue which had been dehydrated at the crime scene for a fairly long period showed better rehydration with modified Ruffer solution and yield good cellular and nuclear details. PMID:27555735

  15. Post-mortem 1.5T MR quantification of regular anatomical brain structures.

    PubMed

    Zech, Wolf-Dieter; Hottinger, Anna-Lena; Schwendener, Nicole; Schuster, Frederick; Persson, Anders; Warntjes, Marcel J; Jackowski, Christian

    2016-07-01

    Recently, post-mortem MR quantification has been introduced to the field of post-mortem magnetic resonance imaging. By usage of a particular MR quantification sequence, T1 and T2 relaxation times and proton density (PD) of tissues and organs can be quantified simultaneously. The aim of the present basic research study was to assess the quantitative T1, T2, and PD values of regular anatomical brain structures for a 1.5T application and to correlate the assessed values with corpse temperatures. In a prospective study, 30 forensic cases were MR-scanned with a quantification sequence prior to autopsy. Body temperature was assessed during MR scans. In synthetically calculated T1, T2, and PD-weighted images, quantitative T1, T2 (both in ms) and PD (in %) values of anatomical structures of cerebrum (Group 1: frontal gray matter, frontal white matter, thalamus, internal capsule, caudate nucleus, putamen, and globus pallidus) and brainstem/cerebellum (Group 2: cerebral crus, substantia nigra, red nucleus, pons, cerebellar hemisphere, and superior cerebellar peduncle) were assessed. The investigated brain structures of cerebrum and brainstem/cerebellum could be characterized and differentiated based on a combination of their quantitative T1, T2, and PD values. MANOVA testing verified significant differences between the investigated anatomical brain structures among each other in Group 1 and Group 2 based on their quantitative values. Temperature dependence was observed mainly for T1 values, which were slightly increasing with rising temperature in the investigated brain structures in both groups. The results provide a base for future computer-aided diagnosis of brain pathologies and lesions in post-mortem magnetic resonance imaging. PMID:26872469

  16. Forensic Applications of LIBS

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hark, Richard R.; East, Lucille J.

    Forensic science is broadly defined as the application of science to matters of the law. Practitioners typically use multidisciplinary scientific techniques for the analysis of physical evidence in an attempt to establish or exclude an association between a suspect and the scene of a crime.

  17. Changing Concepts in Forensics.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Zarefsky, David

    This paper discusses five theoretical concepts in general and two theoretical models in particular that are involved in forensics. The five concepts are: (1) causation, an inquiry into the reasons for ongoing processes or problems; (2) inherency, the division of a universe into its necessary features and its accidental features; (3) presumption, a…

  18. Toxicological Benchmarks for Wildlife

    SciTech Connect

    Sample, B.E. Opresko, D.M. Suter, G.W.

    1993-01-01

    Ecological risks of environmental contaminants are evaluated by using a two-tiered process. In the first tier, a screening assessment is performed where concentrations of contaminants in the environment are compared to no observed adverse effects level (NOAEL)-based toxicological benchmarks. These benchmarks represent concentrations of chemicals (i.e., concentrations presumed to be nonhazardous to the biota) in environmental media (water, sediment, soil, food, etc.). While exceedance of these benchmarks does not indicate any particular level or type of risk, concentrations below the benchmarks should not result in significant effects. In practice, when contaminant concentrations in food or water resources are less than these toxicological benchmarks, the contaminants may be excluded from further consideration. However, if the concentration of a contaminant exceeds a benchmark, that contaminant should be retained as a contaminant of potential concern (COPC) and investigated further. The second tier in ecological risk assessment, the baseline ecological risk assessment, may use toxicological benchmarks as part of a weight-of-evidence approach (Suter 1993). Under this approach, based toxicological benchmarks are one of several lines of evidence used to support or refute the presence of ecological effects. Other sources of evidence include media toxicity tests, surveys of biota (abundance and diversity), measures of contaminant body burdens, and biomarkers. This report presents NOAEL- and lowest observed adverse effects level (LOAEL)-based toxicological benchmarks for assessment of effects of 85 chemicals on 9 representative mammalian wildlife species (short-tailed shrew, little brown bat, meadow vole, white-footed mouse, cottontail rabbit, mink, red fox, and whitetail deer) or 11 avian wildlife species (American robin, rough-winged swallow, American woodcock, wild turkey, belted kingfisher, great blue heron, barred owl, barn owl, Cooper's hawk, and red-tailed hawk

  19. Next-Generation Sequencing in Post-mortem Genetic Testing of Young Sudden Cardiac Death Cases

    PubMed Central

    Lahrouchi, Najim; Behr, Elijah R.; Bezzina, Connie R.

    2016-01-01

    Sudden cardiac death (SCD) in the young (<40 years) occurs in the setting of a variety of rare inherited cardiac disorders and is a disastrous event for family members. Establishing the cause of SCD is important as it permits the pre-symptomatic identification of relatives at risk of SCD. Sudden arrhythmic death syndrome (SADS) is defined as SCD in the setting of negative autopsy findings and toxicological analysis. In such cases, reaching a diagnosis is even more challenging and post-mortem genetic testing can crucially contribute to the identification of the underlying cause of death. In this review, we will discuss the current achievements of “the molecular autopsy” in young SADS cases and provide an overview of key challenges in assessing pathogenicity (i.e., causality) of genetic variants identified through next-generation sequencing. PMID:27303672

  20. An Acute Acetyl Fentanyl Fatality: A Case Report With Postmortem Concentrations.

    PubMed

    McIntyre, Iain M; Trochta, Amber; Gary, Ray D; Malamatos, Mark; Lucas, Jonathan R

    2015-01-01

    In this case report, we present an evaluation of the distribution of postmortem concentrations of acetyl fentanyl in a fatality attributed to the drug. A young man who had a history of heroin abuse was found deceased at his parents' home. Toxicology testing, which initially screened positive for fentanyl by ELISA, subsequently confirmed acetyl fentanyl by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry specific ion monitoring (GC-MS SIM) analysis following liquid-liquid extraction. No other drugs or medications, including fentanyl, were detected. The acetyl fentanyl peripheral blood concentration was quantified at 260 ng/mL compared with the central blood concentration of 250 ng/mL. The liver concentration was 1,000 ng/kg, the vitreous was 240 ng/mL and the urine was 2,600 ng/mL. The cause of death was certified due to acute acetyl fentanyl intoxication, and the manner of death was certified as an accident. PMID:25917447

  1. Mitochondrial viability in mouse and human postmortem brain

    PubMed Central

    Barksdale, Keri A.; Perez-Costas, Emma; Gandy, Johanna C.; Melendez-Ferro, Miguel; Roberts, Rosalinda C.; Bijur, Gautam N.

    2010-01-01

    Neuronal function in the brain requires energy in the form of ATP, and mitochondria are canonically associated with ATP production in neurons. The electrochemical gradient, which underlies the mitochondrial transmembrane potential (ΔΨmem), is harnessed for ATP generation. Here we show that ΔΨmem and ATP-production can be engaged in mitochondria isolated from human brains up to 8.5 h postmortem. Also, a time course of postmortem intervals from 0 to 24 h using mitochondria isolated from mouse cortex reveals that ΔΨmem in mitochondria can be reconstituted beyond 10 h postmortem. It was found that complex I of the mitochondrial electron transport chain was affected adversely with increasing postmortem intervals. Mitochondria isolated from postmortem mouse brains maintain the ability to produce ATP, but rates of production decreased with longer postmortem intervals. Furthermore, we show that postmortem brain mitochondria retain their ΔΨmem and ATP-production capacities following cryopreservation. Our finding that ΔΨmem and ATP-generating capacity can be reinitiated in brain mitochondria hours after death indicates that human postmortem brains can be an abundant source of viable mitochondria to study metabolic processes in health and disease. It is also possible to archive these mitochondria for future studies.—Barksdale, K. A., Perez-Costas, E., Gandy, J. C., Melendez-Ferro, M., Roberts, R. C., Bijur, G. N. Mitochondrial viability in mouse and human postmortem brain. PMID:20466876

  2. Antemortem vitreous potassium may strengthen postmortem interval estimates.

    PubMed

    Kokavec, Jan; Min, San H; Tan, Mei H; Gilhotra, Jagjit S; Newland, Henry S; Durkin, Shane R; Casson, Robert J

    2016-06-01

    The purpose of this letter is to highlight that postmortem interval estimates using vitreous potassium concentrations may be further optimised by calibration against antemortem vitreous samples. PMID:27080618

  3. Search and removal of radioactive seeds: another application of postmortem computed tomography prior to autopsy.

    PubMed

    Makino, Yohsuke; Itoda, Nozomi; Ikegaya, Hiroshi; Tanaka, Naoko; Kinoshita, Hiroshi; Motomura, Ayumi; Uno, Takashi; Iwase, Hirotaro

    2016-09-01

    We herein introduce 3 cases illustrating a new application for pre-autopsy postmortem computed tomography (PMCT). In all 3 cases, there was insufficient background information about the victims provided to the forensic pathologists' department. PMCT showed metallic particles in the prostate gland, an indication of metallic seeds containing radioactive isotopes. In 2 of 3 cases, migrated seeds were also detected by CT imaging in the lungs and the heart. Also in 2 of 3 cases, authorities reinvestigated the victim's history before autopsy was completed, which resulted in following appropriate procedure for dealing with the seeds. Although all 3 cadavers were cremated after autopsy, the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP) discourages cremation for deaths soon after radioactive seeds implantation to prevent air pollution by radioactive isotopes in the ash. Our opinion from the present cases is that pre-autopsy PMCT can be recommended for use by forensic pathologists and guidelines for investigating deaths after permanent brachytherapy should include how to deal with cadavers when medical history is limited. PMID:27334769

  4. The use of Leptodyctium riparium (Hedw.) Warnst in the estimation of minimum postmortem interval.

    PubMed

    Lancia, Massimo; Conforti, Federica; Aleffi, Michele; Caccianiga, Marco; Bacci, Mauro; Rossi, Riccardo

    2013-01-01

    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. In a recent study, Cardoso et al. (Int J Legal Med 2010;124:451) used botanical evidence for the first time to establish the PMI of human skeletal remains found in a forested area of northern Portugal from the growth rate of mosses and shrub roots. The present paper deals with a case in which the study of the growth rate of the bryophyte Leptodyctium riparium (Hedw.) Warnst, was used in estimating the PMI of some human skeletal remains that were found in a wooded area near Perugia, in Central Italy. PMID:23181480

  5. Pre- and postmortem imaging of transplanted cells

    PubMed Central

    Andrzejewska, Anna; Nowakowski, Adam; Janowski, Miroslaw; Bulte, Jeff WM; Gilad, Assaf A; Walczak, Piotr; Lukomska, Barbara

    2015-01-01

    Therapeutic interventions based on the transplantation of stem and progenitor cells have garnered increasing interest. This interest is fueled by successful preclinical studies for indications in many diseases, including the cardiovascular, central nervous, and musculoskeletal system. Further progress in this field is contingent upon access to techniques that facilitate an unambiguous identification and characterization of grafted cells. Such methods are invaluable for optimization of cell delivery, improvement of cell survival, and assessment of the functional integration of grafted cells. Following is a focused overview of the currently available cell detection and tracking methodologies that covers the entire spectrum from pre- to postmortem cell identification. PMID:26366076

  6. An accurate method for the determination of carboxyhemoglobin in postmortem blood using GC-TCD.

    PubMed

    Lewis, Russell J; Johnson, Robert D; Canfield, Dennis V

    2004-01-01

    During the investigation of aviation accidents, postmortem samples from accident victims are submitted to the FAA's Civil Aerospace Medical Institute for toxicological analysis. In order to determine if an accident victim was exposed to an in-flight/postcrash fire or faulty heating/exhaust system, the analysis of carbon monoxide (CO) is conducted. Although our laboratory predominantly uses a spectrophotometric method for the determination of carboxyhemoglobin (COHb), we consider it essential to confirm with a second technique based on a different analytical principle. Our laboratory encountered difficulties with many of our postmortem samples while employing a commonly used GC method. We believed these problems were due to elevated methemoglobin (MetHb) concentration in our specimens. MetHb does not bind CO; therefore, elevated MetHb levels will result in a loss of CO-binding capacity. Because most commonly employed GC methods determine %COHb from a ratio of unsaturated blood to CO-saturated blood, a loss of CO-binding capacity will result in an erroneously high %COHb value. Our laboratory has developed a new GC method for the determination of %COHb that incorporates sodium dithionite, which will reduce any MetHb present to Hb. Using blood controls ranging from 1% to 67% COHb, we found no statistically significant differences between %COHb results from our new GC method and our spectrophotometric method. To validate the new GC method, postmortem samples were analyzed with our existing spectrophotometric method, a GC method commonly used without reducing agent, and our new GC method with the addition of sodium dithionite. As expected, we saw errors up to and exceeding 50% when comparing the unreduced GC results with our spectrophotometric method. With our new GC procedure, the error was virtually eliminated. PMID:14987426

  7. Pharmacology, Toxicology, and Adverse Effects of Synthetic Cannabinoid Drugs.

    PubMed

    Gurney, S M R; Scott, K S; Kacinko, S L; Presley, B C; Logan, B K

    2014-01-01

    Synthetic cannabinoid drugs have become an established part of the recreational drug landscape in the United States and internationally. These drugs are manufactured in clandestine laboratories internationally and distributed in the United States in smoking mixtures, use of which produces effects very similar to use of marijuana. The adverse-effect profile of the drugs has not been studied in humans and infrequently in animal models, so much of the information about their toxicity comes from emergency department and treatment reports and forensic case studies. This review considers the discovery and characterization of the endocannabinoid system, approaches to receptor-binding studies of various synthetic cannabinoids from the first wave of naphthoylindoles (e.g., JWH-018) to the emerging adamantoylindole drugs (e.g., AKB-48), and their analogs, to evaluate the potential activity of drugs in this class. Currently employed approaches to assessing functional activity of the drugs using in vitro and in vivo models is also described, and comparisons made to the effects of THC. The physiological effects of activation of the endocannabinoid system in humans are reviewed, and the physiological effects of cannabinoid use are described. Case reports of adverse events including emergency department admissions, mental health admissions, and clinical and forensic case reports are presented in detail and discussed to summarize the current state of knowledge of adverse effects, both clinical and forensic in humans, including effects on driving ability, and tissue injury and death. The greatest weight is accorded to those reports that include toxicological confirmation of use. Finally, we discuss the current status of attempts to schedule and control the distribution of synthetic cannabinoids and the relevance of receptor binding and functional activity in this context. There is growing toxicological and pharmacological evidence of impairment, psychosis, tissue injury, and

  8. Synthetic toxicology: where engineering meets biology and toxicology.

    PubMed

    Schmidt, Markus; Pei, Lei

    2011-03-01

    This article examines the implications of synthetic biology (SB) for toxicological sciences. Starting with a working definition of SB, we describe its current subfields, namely, DNA synthesis, the engineering of DNA-based biological circuits, minimal genome research, attempts to construct protocells and synthetic cells, and efforts to diversify the biochemistry of life through xenobiology. Based on the most important techniques, tools, and expected applications in SB, we describe the ramifications of SB for toxicology under the label of synthetic toxicology. We differentiate between cases where SB offers opportunities for toxicology and where SB poses challenges for toxicology. Among the opportunities, we identified the assistance of SB to construct novel toxicity testing platforms, define new toxicity-pathway assays, explore the potential of SB to improve in vivo biotransformation of toxins, present novel biosensors developed by SB for environmental toxicology, discuss cell-free protein synthesis of toxins, reflect on the contribution to toxic use reduction, and the democratization of toxicology through do-it-yourself biology. Among the identified challenges for toxicology, we identify synthetic toxins and novel xenobiotics, biosecurity and dual-use considerations, the potential bridging of toxic substances and infectious agents, and do-it-yourself toxin production. PMID:21068213

  9. History of wildlife toxicology.

    PubMed

    Rattner, Barnett A

    2009-10-01

    The field of wildlife toxicology can be traced to the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Initial reports included unintentional poisoning of birds from ingestion of spent lead shot and predator control agents, alkali poisoning of waterbirds, and die-offs from maritime oil spills. With the advent of synthetic pesticides in the 1930s and 1940s, effects of DDT and other pesticides were investigated in free-ranging and captive wildlife. In response to research findings in the US and UK, and the publication of Silent Spring in 1962, public debate on the hazards of pollutants arose and national contaminant monitoring programs were initiated. Shortly thereafter, population-level effects of DDT on raptorial and fish-eating birds were documented, and effects on other species (e.g., bats) were suspected. Realization of the global nature of organochlorine pesticide contamination, and the discovery of PCBs in environmental samples, launched long-range studies in birds and mammals. With the birth of ecotoxicology in 1969 and the establishment of the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry in 1979, an international infrastructure began to emerge. In the 1980s, heavy metal pollution related to mining and smelting, agrichemical practices and non-target effects, selenium toxicosis, and disasters such as Chernobyl and the Exxon Valdez dominated the field. Biomarker development, endocrine disruption, population modeling, and studies with amphibians and reptiles were major issues of the 1990s. With the turn of the century, there was interest in new and emerging compounds (pharmaceuticals, flame retardants, surfactants), and potential population-level effects of some compounds. Based upon its history, wildlife toxicology is driven by chemical use and misuse, ecological disasters, and pollution-related events affecting humans. Current challenges include the need to more thoroughly estimate and predict exposure and effects of chemical-related anthropogenic

  10. Analytical and Radiochemistry for Nuclear Forensics

    SciTech Connect

    Steiner, Robert Ernest; Dry, Donald E.; Kinman, William Scott; Podlesak, David; Tandon, Lav

    2015-05-26

    Information about nonproliferation nuclear forensics, activities in forensics at Los Alamos National Laboratory, radio analytical work at LANL, radiochemical characterization capabilities, bulk chemical and materials analysis capabilities, and future interests in forensics interactions.

  11. Reprint Library for Toxicology Data Bank

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Agarwal, S. N.; Khan, R. R.

    1975-01-01

    The Industrial Toxicology Research Center, Lucknow, India, maintains a register of toxicology and provides its research workers with current information mainly through its collection of reprints. (Author)

  12. An Immediate Death by Seat Belt Compression; a Forensic Medicine Report

    PubMed Central

    Najari, Fares; Alimohammadi, Ali Mohammad

    2015-01-01

    Although death is a gradual process, sometimes sudden death occurs in a fraction of a minute or seconds. Here we report a 49-year-old man without any underlying disease, which has instantly died in an accident scene due to compression of neck critical elements by a three-point seat belt. The examination of the body and the results of the autopsy, toxicology and pathology tests are described from the viewpoint of forensic medicine. PMID:26495409

  13. Effective appropriate use of dental remains and forensic DNA testing for personal identity confirmation.

    PubMed

    Ohira, Hiroshi; Yamamuro, Yoshio; Kitagawa, Yuka; Nakagawa, Kimiko; Yamamoto, Isao; Yamada, Yoshihiro

    2009-04-01

    Two severely burned human male bodies, possibly those of a parent and child, were recovered from the scene of a house fire and positive identification of the bodies was accomplished. This report describes the appropriate use of effective identification methods that made this possible. Identification of a body involves comparison of antemortem and postmortem X-ray films or dental records. In cases of poorly preserved dental remains, or in the absence of antemortem dental records, forensic DNA testing can be done. In the present case the male thought to be the son was identified from an antemortem panoramic X-ray film provided by the family dentist, which matched every significant detail in the body. On the other hand, forensic DNA testing of a sample obtained from the father's burned body was done in comparison with a swab obtained from his older brother, as the victim had no dental records for the 5 years before his death. This was able to confirm his identity. Thus positive identification was established through a combination of these methods. Although positive identification from dental records is rapid and certain, it requires antemortem dental records. If these are not available, forensic DNA testing should be attempted. In laboratories of forensic odontology, facilities for identity confirmation from both dental characteristics and forensic DNA testing should be made available. PMID:19269216

  14. Toxicology: Old Art, New Science.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Timbrell, John A.

    1983-01-01

    Examines the need for a science of toxicology and training at both the undergraduate and graduate levels in response to legislation controlling drugs, food additives and toxic substances in the work environment, and concern about effects on man. Stresses need for putting toxicology on a scientific base with adequate funding. (JM)

  15. Nanotechnology: Toxicologic Pathology

    PubMed Central

    Hubbs, Ann F.; Sargent, Linda M.; Porter, Dale W.; Sager, Tina M.; Chen, Bean T.; Frazer, David G.; Castranova, Vincent; Sriram, Krishnan; Nurkiewicz, Timothy R.; Reynolds, Steven H.; Battelli, Lori A.; Schwegler-Berry, Diane; McKinney, Walter; Fluharty, Kara L.; Mercer, Robert R.

    2015-01-01

    Nanotechnology involves technology, science, and engineering in dimensions less than 100 nm. A virtually infinite number of potential nanoscale products can be produced from many different molecules and their combinations. The exponentially increasing number of nanoscale products will solve critical needs in engineering, science, and medicine. However, the virtually infinite number of potential nanotechnology products is a challenge for toxicologic pathologists. Because of their size, nanoparticulates can have therapeutic and toxic effects distinct from micron-sized particulates of the same composition. In the nanoscale, distinct intercellular and intracellular translocation pathways may provide a different distribution than that obtained by micron-sized particulates. Nanoparticulates interact with subcellular structures including microtubules, actin filaments, centrosomes, and chromatin; interactions that may be facilitated in the nanoscale. Features that distinguish nanoparticulates from fine particulates include increased surface area per unit mass and quantum effects. In addition, some nanotechnology products, including the fullerenes, have a novel and reactive surface. Augmented microscopic procedures including enhanced dark-field imaging, immunofluorescence, field-emission scanning electron microscopy, transmission electron microscopy, and confocal microscopy are useful when evaluating nanoparticulate toxicologic pathology. Thus, the pathology assessment is facilitated by understanding the unique features at the nanoscale and the tools that can assist in evaluating nanotoxicology studies. PMID:23389777

  16. Forensic Data Carving

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Povar, Digambar; Bhadran, V. K.

    File or data carving is a term used in the field of Cyber forensics. Cyber forensics is the process of acquisition, authentication, analysis and documentation of evidence extracted from and/or contained in a computer system, computer network and digital media. Extracting data (file) out of undifferentiated blocks (raw data) is called as carving. Identifying and recovering files based on analysis of file formats is known as file carving. In Cyber Forensics, carving is a helpful technique in finding hidden or deleted files from digital media. A file can be hidden in areas like lost clusters, unallocated clusters and slack space of the disk or digital media. To use this method of extraction, a file should have a standard file signature called a file header (start of the file). A search is performed to locate the file header and continued until the file footer (end of the file) is reached. The data between these two points will be extracted and analyzed to validate the file. The extraction algorithm uses different methods of carving depending on the file formats.

  17. Parricide: a forensic approach.

    PubMed

    Dantas, Soraia; Santos, Agostinho; Dias, Isabel; Dinis-Oliveira, Ricardo Jorge; Magalhães, Teresa

    2014-02-01

    Parricide is the act of murdering one's father (patricide), mother (matricide) or other close relative, but usually not children (infanticide). It is a rare event and little information is available on this topic. This study aims to increase knowledge about this phenomenon, promoting the timely detection of problematic cases and avoiding fatalities. A retrospective study based on the autopsy reports of parricide victims performed by the North Services of the National Institute of Legal Medicine and Forensic Sciences of Portugal between 2003 and 2011, as well as on the judicial outcome of each case, was performed. Seven cases of parricide were found, corresponding to 1.7% of all the homicides undergoing forensic evaluated. Victims and perpetrators were typically males. The assaults occurred all at home, in the presence of witnesses, and the perpetrator remained at the scene after the crime. The main alleged reasons were untreated psychiatric illness and financial conflicts in the cases of adult parricide, and attempts to protect the mother from intimate partner violence in younger ones. The judicial outcomes ranged from acquittal for nonimputability to conviction for murder, manslaughter or involuntary manslaughter. This study was carried out on a forensic sample and it is useful to implement strategies to prevent parricide. PMID:24485411

  18. Forensic web watch 4.

    PubMed

    Lumb, P; Rutty, G N

    2000-06-01

    Finding dedicated sites on the World Wide Web (WWW) touching upon issues related to the autopsy which could be of use to forensic practitioners is, as with other areas of forensic medicine and science, a time-consuming task. Unfortunately, one has to wade through lists related to 'Alien autopsy' sites and even 'Furby autopsy' sites that are generated by the most commonly used web search engines, which have been featured in earlier web reviews. Numerous sites containing large archives of autopsy photographs are available on the web. However, many of these sites represent the darker side of the WWW as they are often presented purely for titillation. Unfortunately, one can equate these sites to the modern-day version of the Victorian 'freak show'--Typically, these sites ask for your Visa card number to view their contents, and several have links to pornography sites; one even links to a Satanist site. Luckily a few of these sites do now require age confirmation codes. As many of these sites show autopsy photographs from real cases one has to ask how these were obtained and who is placing them on the WWW. This review does not list any of these sites for obvious reasons, but it does draw the reader's attention to sites touching upon issues related to autopsies which forensic practitioners may wish to visit or use. PMID:15274989

  19. Forensic web watch.

    PubMed

    Rutty, G N

    1999-12-01

    Now that one has logged onto the world wide web (WWW) and utilized one or more of the home pages listed previously (or used another equally good home page) to seek out basic information available to forensic practitioners, the question now arises of how to go about making the most of the information available. One feature consistent to most home pages is links to the home pages of Associations and Societies, one or more of which most practitioners will be members of. With access to the WWW not only have you access to your own association/society, but you can also keep up to date with all the others to which you have not paid subscriptions. Although an internet search using a WWW search engine or the 'top 6' home pages may assist in identifying a large number of association and society sites, one of the most useful places to start is the home page of the Indian Academy of Forensic Medicine (IAFM). This, to date, lists a total of 139 such sites. To access all the home pages listed may take in excess of 6 h so the following review looks at the range of sites available and recommends some places the author considers many people may wish to know and visit. Again, this is inevitably a personal choice and it is recognized that those sites not listed may, in fact, be the preferred choice for other users of the forensic WWW. PMID:15335474

  20. Postmortem Brain: An Underutilized Substrate for Studying Severe Mental Illness

    PubMed Central

    McCullumsmith, Robert E; Hammond, John H; Shan, Dan; Meador-Woodruff, James H

    2014-01-01

    We propose that postmortem tissue is an underutilized substrate that may be used to translate genetic and/or preclinical studies, particularly for neuropsychiatric illnesses with complex etiologies. Postmortem brain tissues from subjects with schizophrenia have been extensively studied, and thus serve as a useful vehicle for illustrating the challenges associated with this biological substrate. Schizophrenia is likely caused by a combination of genetic risk and environmental factors that combine to create a disease phenotype that is typically not apparent until late adolescence. The complexity of this illness creates challenges for hypothesis testing aimed at understanding the pathophysiology of the illness, as postmortem brain tissues collected from individuals with schizophrenia reflect neuroplastic changes from a lifetime of severe mental illness, as well as treatment with antipsychotic medications. While there are significant challenges with studying postmortem brain, such as the postmortem interval, it confers a translational element that is difficult to recapitulate in animal models. On the other hand, data derived from animal models typically provide specific mechanistic and behavioral measures that cannot be generated using human subjects. Convergence of these two approaches has led to important insights for understanding molecular deficits and their causes in this illness. In this review, we discuss the problem of schizophrenia, review the common challenges related to postmortem studies, discuss the application of biochemical approaches to this substrate, and present examples of postmortem schizophrenia studies that illustrate the role of the postmortem approach for generating important new leads for understanding the pathophysiology of severe mental illness. PMID:24091486

  1. Using bacterial and necrophagous insect dynamics for post-mortem interval estimation during cold season: Novel case study in Romania.

    PubMed

    Iancu, Lavinia; Carter, David O; Junkins, Emily N; Purcarea, Cristina

    2015-09-01

    Considering the biogeographical characteristics of forensic entomology, and the recent development of forensic microbiology as a complementary approach for post-mortem interval estimation, the current study focused on characterizing the succession of necrophagous insect species and bacterial communities inhabiting the rectum and mouth cavities of swine (Sus scrofa domesticus) carcasses during a cold season outdoor experiment in an urban natural environment of Bucharest, Romania. We monitored the decomposition process of three swine carcasses during a 7 month period (November 2012-May 2013) corresponding to winter and spring periods of a temperate climate region. The carcasses, protected by wire cages, were placed on the ground in a park type environment, while the meteorological parameters were constantly recorded. The succession of necrophagous Diptera and Coleoptera taxa was monitored weekly, both the adult and larval stages, and the species were identified both by morphological and genetic characterization. The structure of bacterial communities from swine rectum and mouth tissues was characterized during the same time intervals by denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) and sequencing of 16S rRNA gene fragments. We observed a shift in the structure of both insect and bacterial communities, primarily due to seasonal effects and the depletion of the carcass. A total of 14 Diptera and 6 Coleoptera species were recorded on the swine carcasses, from which Calliphora vomitoria and C. vicina (Diptera: Calliphoridae), Necrobia violacea (Coleoptera: Cleridae) and Thanatophilus rugosus (Coleoptera: Silphidae) were observed as predominant species. The first colonizing wave, primarily Calliphoridae, was observed after 15 weeks when the temperature increased to 13°C. This was followed by Muscidae, Fanniidae, Anthomyiidae, Sepsidae and Piophilidae. Families belonging to Coleoptera Order were observed at week 18 when temperatures raised above 18°C, starting with

  2. Nondrowning Asphyxia in Veterinary Forensic Pathology: Suffocation, Strangulation, and Mechanical Asphyxia.

    PubMed

    McEwen, B J

    2016-09-01

    Asphyxia in a forensic context refers to death by rapid cerebral anoxia or hypoxia due to accidental or nonaccidental injury. Death due to nondrowning asphyxia can occur with strangulation, suffocation, and mechanical asphyxia, each of which is categorized based on the mechanism of injury. Individuals dying due to various types of asphyxia may or may not have lesions, and even those lesions that are present may be due to other causes. The interpretation or opinion that death was due to asphyxia requires definitive and compelling evidence from the postmortem examination, death scene, and/or history. Beyond the postmortem examination, pathologists may be faced with questions of forensic importance that revolve around the behavioral and physiological responses in animals subjected to strangulation, suffocation, or mechanical asphyxia to determine if the animal suffered. While there is no prescriptive answer to these questions, it is apparent that, because of physiological and anatomical differences between humans and animals, for some mechanisms of asphyxia, consciousness is maintained for longer periods and the onset of death is later in animals than that described for people. Veterinary pathologists must be cognizant that direct extrapolation from the medical forensic literature to animals may be incorrect. This article reviews the terminology, classification, mechanisms, and lesions associated with asphyxial deaths in companion animals and highlights significant comparative differences of the response to various types of asphyxia in animals and people. PMID:27084399

  3. A study of composite restorations as a tool in forensic identification

    PubMed Central

    Hemasathya, Bahavathi Ananthan; Balagopal, Sundaresan

    2013-01-01

    Introduction: Comparing ante-mortem and post-mortem dental data is a principal method of identification in forensic odontology. Radiographic images of amalgam have been used in dental forensics for identification due to their unique appearance. Aim: The aim of this study was to investigate whether radio-opaque composite restorations have a potential for identification in forensic odontology. Materials and Methods: Thirty typodont mandibular first molar teeth were prepared with Class-II (proximo-occlusal) cavities and restored with a radio-opaque composite (Tetric N-Ceram). Two sets of standardized radiographs were taken from the 30 teeth, keeping the radiological parameters constant. One set of these 30 radiographs was named as SET 1. Ten randomly chosen radiographs from the other set and two other radiographs of Class-II composite restorations in typodont teeth constituted SET 2. Thirty dentally trained examiners were asked to match the 12 radiographic images of SET 2 with those of SET 1. Results: The results show that 15 examiners were able to correctly match all the 12 images. Statistical analysis was done using kappa statistical test. Conclusion: This study shows that, if the post-mortem radiographs are accurate duplicates of ante-mortem radiographs of composite restorations, then the shape of the composite restoration is unique and can be used for identification. PMID:23960413

  4. Antemortem stress regulates protein acetylation and glycolysis in postmortem muscle.

    PubMed

    Li, Zhongwen; Li, Xin; Wang, Zhenyu; Shen, Qingwu W; Zhang, Dequan

    2016-07-01

    Although exhaustive research has established that preslaughter stress is a major factor contributing to pale, soft, exudative (PSE) meat, questions remain regarding the biochemistry of postmortem glycolysis. In this study, the influence of preslaughter stress on protein acetylation in relationship to glycolysis was studied. The data show that antemortem swimming significantly enhanced glycolysis and the total acetylated proteins in postmortem longissimus dorsi (LD) muscle of mice. Inhibition of protein acetylation by histone acetyltransferase (HAT) inhibitors eliminated stress induced increase in glycolysis. Inversely, antemortem injection of histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitors, trichostatin A (TSA) and nicotinamide (NAM), further increased protein acetylation early postmortem and the glycolysis. These data provide new insight into the biochemistry of postmortem glycolysis by showing that protein acetylation regulates glycolysis, which may participate in the regulation of preslaughter stress on glycolysis in postmortem muscle. PMID:26920270

  5. A Heidenhain variant of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease: forensic implication.

    PubMed

    Rizzo, M; Bruni, A; Barberio, C; Magro, G; Foncin, J F

    2004-12-01

    To investigate whether typical clinical, diagnostic and neuropathological findings can be identified in a patient with a postmortem diagnosis of a Heidenhain variant of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD). We report a new case of CJD in a rare variant. A man admitted to hospital with cefalea and vision disorder. Clinical and neurological examination showed headache, vision reduction, psychomotor anxiety and progressive torpor. The patient died 4 h after admission to hospital. The autopsy findings included marked encephalic vascular congestion. Hystoneurology examination showed no macroscopic anomaly. Microscopy findings included neuronal loss, gliosis in striate area with arachnoid cells and cerebellum microspongiosis. Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease is a rare neurodegenerative human disorder. The prion hypothesis as an explanatory model is currently favoured by majority of researchers. A disease course described by Heidenhain including the leading symptoms of a visual disorder and rapid progression. This report emphasize the multidisciplinary role (forensic, neurogenetic and neurohistologic) for diagnosis and to standardize a protocol to investigate. PMID:15639587

  6. Clinical effects and lethal and forensic aspects of propofol.

    PubMed

    Levy, Richard J

    2011-01-01

    Propofol is a potent intravenous anesthetic agent that rapidly induces sedation and unconsciousness. The potential for propofol dependency, recreational use, and abuse has only recently been recognized, and several cases of accidental overdose and suicide have emerged. In addition, the first documented case of murder using propofol was reported a few months ago, and a high profile case of suspected homicide with propofol is currently under investigation. A number of analytical methods have been employed to detect and quantify propofol concentrations in biological specimens. The reported propofol-related deaths and postmortem blood and tissue levels are reviewed. Importantly, limitations of propofol detection are discussed, and future considerations are presented. Because propofol has the potential for diversion with lethal consequences, the forensic scientist must have a basic understanding of its clinical indications and uses, pharmacologic properties, and detection methods. In addition, medical institutions should develop systems to prevent and detect diversion of this potential drug of abuse. PMID:20950316

  7. Clinical Effects and Lethal and Forensic Aspects of Propofol*

    PubMed Central

    Levy, Richard J.

    2010-01-01

    Propofol is a potent intravenous anesthetic agent that rapidly induces sedation and unconsciousness. The potential for propofol dependency, recreational use and abuse has only recently been recognized and several cases of accidental overdose and suicide have emerged. In addition, the first documented case of murder using propofol was reported a few months ago and a high profile case of suspected homicide with propofol is currently under investigation. A number of analytical methods have been employed to detect and quantify propofol concentrations in biological specimens. The reported propofol related deaths and post-mortem blood and tissue levels are reviewed. Importantly, limitations of propofol detection are discussed and future considerations are presented. Because propofol has the potential for diversion with lethal consequences, the forensic scientist must have a basic understanding of its clinical indications and uses, pharmacologic properties, and detection methods. In addition, medical institutions should develop systems to prevent and detect diversion of this potential drug of abuse. PMID:20950316

  8. Honey bee toxicology.

    PubMed

    Johnson, Reed M

    2015-01-01

    Insecticides are chemicals used to kill insects, so it is unsurprising that many insecticides have the potential to harm honey bees (Apis mellifera). However, bees are exposed to a great variety of other potentially toxic chemicals, including flavonoids and alkaloids that are produced by plants; mycotoxins produced by fungi; antimicrobials and acaricides that are introduced by beekeepers; and fungicides, herbicides, and other environmental contaminants. Although often regarded as uniquely sensitive to toxic compounds, honey bees are adapted to tolerate and even thrive in the presence of toxic compounds that occur naturally in their environment. The harm caused by exposure to a particular concentration of a toxic compound may depend on the level of simultaneous exposure to other compounds, pathogen levels, nutritional status, and a host of other factors. This review takes a holistic view of bee toxicology by taking into account the spectrum of xenobiotics to which bees are exposed. PMID:25341092

  9. Overview of inhalation toxicology.

    PubMed Central

    Dorato, M A

    1990-01-01

    The development of inhalation toxicology as a distinct discipline can be traced back well over one hundred years. The technology has advanced in terms of materials and designs used to construct inhalation chambers and the equipment used to generate controlled test atmospheres of a wide variety of gases, vapors, dusts, and droplets. Consideration of metered dose inhalers, a relatively recent concern, has led to the design of new equipment for administering this unique dosage form. The parameters used to evaluate inhalation toxicity are similar to those used for any other route of administration. In addition, there are some unique procedures for early screening of pulmonary toxicity, especially within a series of related chemicals. Images FIGURE 1. FIGURE 3. FIGURE 7. FIGURE 8. PMID:2200660

  10. Ninth Triennial Toxicology Salary Survey.

    PubMed

    Gad, Shayne Cox; Sullivan, Dexter Wayne

    2016-03-01

    This survey serves as the ninth in a series of toxicology salary surveys conducted at 3-year intervals and beginning in 1988. An electronic survey instrument was distributed to 5919 individuals including members of the Society of Toxicology, American College of Toxicology, and 23 additional professional organizations. Question items inquired about gender, age, degree, years of experience, certifications held, areas of specialization, society membership, employment and income. Overall, 1293 responses were received (response rate 21.8%). The results of the 2014 survey provide insight into the job market and career path for current and future toxicologists. PMID:26867944

  11. Bio-forensics

    SciTech Connect

    Trewhella, J.

    2004-01-01

    Bioforensics presents significant technical challenges. Determining if an outbreak is natural or not, and then providing evidence to trace an outbreak to its origin is very complex. Los Alamos scientists pioneered research and development that has generated leading edge strain identification methods based on sequence data. Molecular characterization of environmental background samples enable development of highly specific pathogen signatures. Economic impacts of not knowing the relationships at the molecular level Many different kinds of data are needed for DNA-based bio-forensics.

  12. Bayesian Integrated Microbial Forensics

    SciTech Connect

    Jarman, Kristin H.; Kreuzer-Martin, Helen W.; Wunschel, David S.; Valentine, Nancy B.; Cliff, John B.; Petersen, Catherine E.; Colburn, Heather A.; Wahl, Karen L.

    2008-06-01

    In the aftermath of the 2001 anthrax letters, researchers have been exploring ways to predict the production environment of unknown source microorganisms. Different mass spectral techniques are being developed to characterize components of a microbe’s culture medium including water, carbon and nitrogen sources, metal ions added, and the presence of agar. Individually, each technique has the potential to identify one or two ingredients in a culture medium recipe. However, by integrating data from multiple mass spectral techniques, a more complete characterization is possible. We present a Bayesian statistical approach to integrated microbial forensics and illustrate its application on spores grown in different culture media.

  13. Careers in Forensics: Analysis, Evidence, and Law

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Torpey, Elka Maria

    2009-01-01

    In legal proceedings, a case is only as strong as its evidence. And whether that evidence is strong depends, in large part, on the work of forensic specialists. The field of forensics is broad and involves many kinds of workers. Some of them are involved in crimesolving. Others, such as forensic social workers or forensic economists, help to…

  14. Freezing effect on brain density in postmortem CT.

    PubMed

    Sugimoto, Miyu; Hyodoh, Hideki; Rokukawa, Masumi; Kanazawa, Ayumi; Murakami, Rina; Shimizu, Junya; Okazaki, Shunichiro; Mizuo, Keisuke; Watanabe, Satoshi

    2016-01-01

    Two 60-year-old males were found at their homes whose bodies had deteriorated due to putrefaction. To prevent worm invasion and minimize deterioration, dry ice was used prior to the autopsy investigation. Prior to autopsy, postmortem CT demonstrated a decreased density in brain parenchyma at the dry-iced side, and autopsy revealed deteriorated brain parenchyma with frozen effect (presented like sherbet). Moreover, the deteriorated cerebral parenchyma maintained their structure and they were evaluated by cutting. When lower CT density presents in postmortem CT, the freezing effect may need to be considered and the physician should evaluate the cadaver's postmortem condition to prevent misdiagnoses. PMID:26832379

  15. BEHAVIORAL TOXICOLOGY: AN EMERGING DISCIPLINE

    EPA Science Inventory

    The book contains the proceedings of a symposium entitled Behavioral Toxicology: An Emerging Discipline, held in conjunction with the Southwest Psychological Association meetings, April 30, 1976 in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Authors of formal presentations later reviewed and enlarg...

  16. Predictive Models and Computational Toxicology

    EPA Science Inventory

    Understanding the potential health risks posed by environmental chemicals is a significant challenge elevated by the large number of diverse chemicals with generally uncharacterized exposures, mechanisms, and toxicities. The ToxCast computational toxicology research program was l...

  17. Toxicology of Biodiesel Combustion products

    EPA Science Inventory

    1. Introduction The toxicology of combusted biodiesel is an emerging field. Much of the current knowledge about biological responses and health effects stems from studies of exposures to other fuel sources (typically petroleum diesel, gasoline, and wood) incompletely combusted. ...

  18. CHEMINFORMATIC APPROACHES IN PREDICTIVE TOXICOLOGY.

    EPA Science Inventory

    Cheminformatics and data models, are providing the underpinning for the large public HTS efforts of the NIH Molecular Libraries Initiative, as well as new toxicity-targeted HTS programs within the EPA and the NIEHS National Toxicology Program.

  19. Forensic Stable Isotope Biogeochemistry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cerling, Thure E.; Barnette, Janet E.; Bowen, Gabriel J.; Chesson, Lesley A.; Ehleringer, James R.; Remien, Christopher H.; Shea, Patrick; Tipple, Brett J.; West, Jason B.

    2016-06-01

    Stable isotopes are being used for forensic science studies, with applications to both natural and manufactured products. In this review we discuss how scientific evidence can be used in the legal context and where the scientific progress of hypothesis revisions can be in tension with the legal expectations of widely used methods for measurements. Although this review is written in the context of US law, many of the considerations of scientific reproducibility and acceptance of relevant scientific data span other legal systems that might apply different legal principles and therefore reach different conclusions. Stable isotopes are used in legal situations for comparing samples for authenticity or evidentiary considerations, in understanding trade patterns of illegal materials, and in understanding the origins of unknown decedents. Isotope evidence is particularly useful when considered in the broad framework of physiochemical processes and in recognizing regional to global patterns found in many materials, including foods and food products, drugs, and humans. Stable isotopes considered in the larger spatial context add an important dimension to forensic science.

  20. Nanoparticles in forensic science

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cantu, Antonio A.

    2008-10-01

    Nanoparticles appear in several areas of forensic science including security documents, paints, inks, and reagents that develop latent prints. One reagent (known as the silver physical developer) that visualizes the water insoluble components of latent print residue is based on the formation of highly charged silver nanoparticles. These attach to and grow on the residue and generate a silver image. Another such reagent involves highly charged gold nanoparticles. These attach to the residue forming a weak gold image which can be amplified with a silver physical developer. Nanoparaticles are also used in items such as paints, printing inks, and writing inks. Paints and most printing inks consist of nano-sized pigments in a vehicle. However, certain modern ink jet printing inks now contain nano-sized pigments to improve their light fastness and most gel inks are also based on nano scale pigments. These nanoparticlecontaining materials often appear as evidence and are thus subject to forensic characterization. Both luminescent (quantum dots), up-converting nano scale phosphors, and non luminescent nanoparticles are used as security tags to label product, add security to documents, and as anti counterfeiting measures. These assist in determining if an item is fraudulently made.

  1. Nuclear forensics: Soil content

    SciTech Connect

    Beebe, Merilyn Amy

    2015-08-31

    Nuclear Forensics is a growing field that is concerned with all stages of the process of creating and detonating a nuclear weapon. The main goal is to prevent nuclear attack by locating and securing nuclear material before it can be used in an aggressive manner. This stage of the process is mostly paperwork; laws, regulations, treaties, and declarations made by individual countries or by the UN Security Council. There is some preliminary leg work done in the form of field testing detection equipment and tracking down orphan materials; however, none of these have yielded any spectacular or useful results. In the event of a nuclear attack, the first step is to analyze the post detonation debris to aid in the identification of the responsible party. This aspect of the nuclear forensics process, while reactive in nature, is more scientific. A rock sample taken from the detonation site can be dissolved into liquid form and analyzed to determine its chemical composition. The chemical analysis of spent nuclear material can provide valuable information if properly processed and analyzed. In order to accurately evaluate the results, scientists require information on the natural occurring elements in the detonation zone. From this information, scientists can determine what percentage of the element originated in the bomb itself rather than the environment. To this end, element concentrations in soils from sixty-nine different cities are given, along with activity concentrations for uranium, thorium, potassium, and radium in various building materials. These data are used in the analysis program Python.

  2. Forensic DNA analysis.

    PubMed

    McDonald, Jessica; Lehman, Donald C

    2012-01-01

    Before the routine use of DNA profiling, blood typing was an important forensic tool. However, blood typing was not very discriminating. For example, roughly 30% of the United States population has type A-positive blood. Therefore, if A-positive blood were found at a crime scene, it could have come from 30% of the population. DNA profiling has a much better ability for discrimination. Forensic laboratories no longer routinely determine blood type. If blood is found at a crime scene, DNA profiling is performed. From Jeffrey's discovery of DNA fingerprinting to the development of PCR of STRs to the formation of DNA databases, our knowledge of DNA and DNA profiling have expanded greatly. Also, the applications for which we use DNA profiling have increased. DNA profiling is not just used for criminal case work, but it has expanded to encompass paternity testing, disaster victim identification, monitoring bone marrow transplants, detecting fetal cells in a mother's blood, tracing human history, and a multitude of other areas. The future of DNA profiling looks expansive with the development of newer instrumentation and techniques. PMID:22693781

  3. Forensic web watch 3.

    PubMed

    Rutty, G N

    2000-03-01

    Since the publication of the first 'Forensic Web Watch' article a new search engine has become available, free of charge at the time of writing, to surfers of the Internet (Net). Fast Search claims to seek out sites of interest for the user from 'all the Web, all the time trade mark ' as opposed to parts of the Net as is more common with other search machines. It is easy to use, extremely fast but as it searches so much more of the Net, the end result is considerably larger. This, in turn, may lead to a longer time to seek out useful information as opposed to the obscure. Having said this, it is recommended to add to your search engine bookmarks. A search for sites on issues related to 'Police Surgeons' will yield limited information, as each country will have a different person filling this role, all referred to by different terms. The one common feature, however, to all such groups as well as forensic pathologists and scientists, is that they will work with, or in some cases for, the police services of their respective country. Thus, in this article we will look at sites related to the police which may have useful information related to their work, specific cases of interest and research and development which may effect our practice. PMID:15274993

  4. Scope of practice issues in forensic nursing.

    PubMed

    Evans, A M; Wells, D

    2001-01-01

    1. There is significant role variation, across the Western world, in relation to how forensic nurses practice. 2. The authors conducted a pilot survey of forensic nurses in Australia, New Zealand, the United States, and the United Kingdom to examine forensic nursing practice, role definition, and role boundaries. 3. Issues arising from the data include the visibility of forensic nurses, the client group, forensic-specific education, and role development. PMID:11197994

  5. [Preclinical toxicology of bisphosphonates].

    PubMed

    Mondelo, N; Peluffo, V A; Parma, M D; Cointry, G R; Capozza, R F; Ferretti, J L; Piccinni, E; Montuori, E

    1997-01-01

    Bisphosphonates regulate bone turnover by inhibiting osteoclastic bone resorption. Due to their pharmacodynamic and pharmacokinetic characteristics, bisphosphonates have a special pharmacotoxicological profile related to their high degree of specificity: low or non-existent distribution in soft tissues and strong affinity for calcified tissues. Some general conclusions may be drawn from the pre-clinical toxicological studies, whose main aim is to identify the toxicity target organ/s and estimate the safety margins of a "prospective therapeutic agent" in laboratory animals. They are based on our own results and on data from the available literature as regards various bisphosphonates: Alendronate, Clodronate, Etidronate, Olpadronate and Pamidronate. Generally, very high doses of bisphosphonates are required to produce in different levels and incidence various extra-skeletical toxic side effects: local reaction, hypocalcemia (and its consequences on the cardiovascular system and the possibility of tetany), affection of the dental structures and renal dysfunction. Most of side effects may be related to the low solubility in biological fluids, the formation of calcium complexes, the potent inhibitory effect of endogenous or induced bone resorption as well as to its main excretion pathway. Some other side effects (on the eye, lungs and liver), may be related to repeated excessive high doses. A safety margin of 200 to 300 : 1 between the "toxic" and "pharmacological" doses may be estimated if the total quantity of Olpadronate given to various animal species in toxicological studies and in pharmacodynamic experimental models (osteopenias due to estrogen deprivation or immobilization and retinoid-induced hypercalcemia) is considered. If the toxic doses in animals are related to the highest doses suggested for human beings, then the ratio increases from 300 to 1000 : 1 depending on the pathology and the route of administration. As regards their effect on the bone

  6. 78 FR 45253 - National Toxicology Program Scientific Advisory Committee on Alternative Toxicological Methods...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-07-26

    ... HUMAN SERVICES National Institutes of Health National Toxicology Program Scientific Advisory Committee... notice announces a meeting of the Scientific Advisory Committee on Alternative Toxicological Methods... and promotes the scientific validation and regulatory acceptance of toxicological and...

  7. Markers for sepsis diagnosis in the forensic setting: state of the art

    PubMed Central

    Palmiere, Cristian; Augsburger, Marc

    2014-01-01

    Reliable diagnoses of sepsis remain challenging in forensic pathology routine despite improved methods of sample collection and extensive biochemical and immunohistochemical investigations. Macroscopic findings may be elusive and have an infectious or non-infectious origin. Blood culture results can be difficult to interpret due to postmortem contamination or bacterial translocation. Lastly, peripheral and cardiac blood may be unavailable during autopsy. Procalcitonin, C-reactive protein, and interleukin-6 can be measured in biological fluids collected during autopsy and may be used as in clinical practice for diagnostic purposes. However, concentrations of these parameters may be increased due to etiologies other than bacterial infections, indicating that a combination of biomarkers could more effectively discriminate non-infectious from infectious inflammations. In this article, we propose a review of the literature pertaining to the diagnostic performance of classical and novel biomarkers of inflammation and bacterial infection in the forensic setting. PMID:24778096

  8. The state of nuclear forensics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kristo, Michael J.; Tumey, Scott J.

    2013-01-01

    Nuclear terrorism has been identified as one of the most serious security threats facing the world today. Many countries, including the United States, have incorporated nuclear forensic analysis as a component of their strategy to prevent nuclear terrorism. Nuclear forensics involves the laboratory analysis of seized illicit nuclear materials or debris from a nuclear detonation to identify the origins of the material or weapon. Over the years, a number of forensic signatures have been developed to improve the confidence with which forensic analysts can draw conclusions. These signatures are validated and new signatures are discovered through research and development programs and in round-robin exercises among nuclear forensic laboratories. The recent Nuclear Smuggling International Technical Working Group Third Round Robin Exercise and an on-going program focused on attribution of uranium ore concentrate provide prime examples of the current state of nuclear forensics. These case studies will be examined and the opportunities for accelerator mass spectrometry to play a role in nuclear forensics will be discussed.

  9. The toxicology of chemosterilants

    PubMed Central

    Hayes, Wayland J.

    1964-01-01

    Sterilization of males can in certain circumstances be more efficient than killing as a method for control of insects and perhaps other pests. A number of chemicals (chemosterilants) show promise of producing sexual sterility in insects without some of the practical limitations of radiation. The most important compounds are alkylating agents. These have little immediate pharmacological action, but are notable for their selective action against haematopoietic and some other proliferating tissues. A number of alkylating agents have been shown to be mutagens in insects, bacteria, fungi, and higher plants; carcinogens in mammals; and teratogens in insects, birds, and mammals. Some produce sexual sterility, possibly in mammals as well as in insects, at doses too low to produce the other effects. Some have an established reputation as drugs for palliative treatment of leukaemia and other neoplasms. The development of insect sterilization as a vector control technique has been handicapped in part by lack of scientific information on the acute and long-term hazards that might be associated with the use of chemosterilants. In this paper the author brings together the available knowledge on the toxicology of the alkylating agents. PMID:14278008

  10. Avian toxicologic diagnosis

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sigurdson, C.J.; Franson, J.C.

    2000-01-01

    This chapter describes the sources and pathophysiology of some potential poisons that affect birds and summarizes useful laboratory tests. The diagnosis of poisoning in birds, as in mammals, requires a complete and accurate history, careful observation of clinical signs, and a thorough necropsy evaluation. Appropriate sample handling and analysis, based on consultation with the diagnostic toxicologist, are critical (Table 19--1). Veterinary toxicology laboratories are becoming increasingly specialized, with only certain laboratories capable of analyzing for drug residues or anticoagulants, for example. Although a local laboratory may not be able to fulfill a specific test request, they may recommend an alternative laboratory or may be willing to forward the sample. As a general rule in suspect poisoning cases, large tissue samples of liver, kidney, brain, and subcutaneous fat and of crop, proventriculus, and ventriculus contents should be collected at necropsy and frozen. Appropriate samples should be submitted frozen, with the remainder held in the freezer for possible later testing. A second set of tissues should be placed in 10% formalin for histopathologic examination.

  11. [Toxicologic blood emergency screening].

    PubMed

    Cohen, Sabine; Manat, Aurélie; Dumont, Benoit; Bévalot, Fabien; Manchon, Monique; Berny, Claudette

    2010-01-01

    In order to overcome the stop marketing by Biorad company of automated high performance liquid chromatograph with UV detection (Remedi), we developed a gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) to detect and to give an approximation of the overdose of molecules frequently encountered in drug intoxications. Therefore two hundred eighty seventeen blood samples were collected over a period of one year and allowed us to evaluate and compare the performance of these two techniques. As identification, GC-MS does not identify all molecules detected by Remedi in 24.2% of cases; there is a lack of sensitivity for opiates and the systematic absence of certain molecules such as betablockers. However, in 75.8% of cases the GC-MS detects all molecules found by Remedi and other molecules such as meprobamate, paracetamol, benzodiazepines and phenobarbital. The concentrations obtained are interpreted in terms of overdose showed 15.7% of discrepancy and 84.3% of concordance between the two techniques. The GC-MS technique described here is robust, fast and relatively simple to implement; the identification is facilitated by macro commands and the semi quantification remains manual. Despite a sequence of cleaning the column after each sample, carryover of a sample to the next remains possible. This technique can be used for toxicologic screening in acute intoxications. Nevertheless it must be supplemented by a HPLC with UV detection if molecules such as betablockers are suspected. PMID:20348049

  12. 14. VIEW IN THE WEST OPERATING GALLERY OF POSTMORTEM CELL ...

    Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

    14. VIEW IN THE WEST OPERATING GALLERY OF POST-MORTEM CELL WORK STATION AND MANIPULATOR ARMS. - Nevada Test Site, Engine Maintenance Assembly & Disassembly Facility, Area 25, Jackass Flats, Mercury, Nye County, NV

  13. 9 CFR 352.11 - Post-mortem inspection.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-01-01

    ...-mortem inspection. (a) Post-mortem inspection of reindeer, elk, deer, antelope, bison and water buffalo shall be conducted in accordance with the provisions contained in 9 CFR part 310 or as determined by...

  14. 9 CFR 352.11 - Post-mortem inspection.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-01-01

    ...-mortem inspection. (a) Post-mortem inspection of reindeer, elk, deer, antelope, bison and water buffalo shall be conducted in accordance with the provisions contained in 9 CFR part 310 or as determined by...

  15. 9 CFR 352.11 - Post-mortem inspection.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

    ...-mortem inspection. (a) Post-mortem inspection of reindeer, elk, deer, antelope, bison and water buffalo shall be conducted in accordance with the provisions contained in 9 CFR part 310 or as determined by...

  16. 9 CFR 352.11 - Post-mortem inspection.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-01-01

    ...-mortem inspection. (a) Post-mortem inspection of reindeer, elk, deer, antelope, bison and water buffalo shall be conducted in accordance with the provisions contained in 9 CFR part 310 or as determined by...

  17. 9 CFR 352.11 - Post-mortem inspection.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-01-01

    ...-mortem inspection. (a) Post-mortem inspection of reindeer, elk, deer, antelope, bison and water buffalo shall be conducted in accordance with the provisions contained in 9 CFR part 310 or as determined by...

  18. New pitfalls of high-density postmortem computed tomography.

    PubMed

    Kanazawa, Ayumi; Hyodoh, Hideki; Watanabe, Satoshi; Fukuda, Marika; Baba, Miho; Okazaki, Shunichiro; Mizuo, Keisuke; Hayashi, Etsuko; Inoue, Hiromasa

    2014-09-01

    An 80-year-old female was transferred to the hospital due to a traffic accident. Multiple cranial bone fractures with intracranial hemorrhage and intracranial air were detected. Despite treatment, the patient died after 6h. Twenty-one hours after the patient died, her whole body was scanned by postmortem CT, and a region of high density was detected within the left putamen. The autopsy revealed a cerebral contusion and multiple skull base fractures. Moreover, superabsorbent polymers (SAPs) were found within the left lateral ventricle and adjacent to the putamen, which appeared as a high-density lesion on postmortem CT at the left putamen, where the SAPs were compacted. Both ante- and postmortem conditions should be considered to prevent misdiagnoses based only on postmortem CT. PMID:24916862

  19. NUCLEAR FORENSICS ANALYSIS CENTER FORENSIC ANALYSIS TO DATA INTERPRETATION

    SciTech Connect

    Nichols, T.

    2011-02-07

    The Nuclear Forensics Analysis Center (NFAC) is part of Savannah River National Laboratory (SRNL) and is one of only two USG National Laboratories accredited to perform nuclear forensic analyses to the requirements of ISO 17025. SRNL NFAC is capable of analyzing nuclear and radiological samples from bulk material to ultra-trace samples. NFAC provides analytical support to the FBI's Radiological Evidence Examination Facility (REEF), which is located within SRNL. REEF gives the FBI the capability to perform traditional forensics on material that is radiological and/or is contaminated. SRNL is engaged in research and development efforts to improve the USG technical nuclear forensics capabilities. Research includes improving predictive signatures and developing a database containing comparative samples.

  20. Forensic Science Education and Educational Requirements for Forensic Scientists.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gaensslen, Robert E.

    2002-01-01

    Focuses on criminalistics, which can be understood to mean the activities and specialty areas characteristic of most municipal, county, or state forensic science laboratories in the United States. (DDR)

  1. [Clinical and analytical toxicology of opiate, cocaine and amphetamine].

    PubMed

    Feliu, Catherine; Fouley, Aurélie; Millart, Hervé; Gozalo, Claire; Marty, Hélène; Djerada, Zoubir

    2015-01-01

    In several circumstances, determination and quantification of illicit drugs in biological fluids are determinant. Contexts are varied such as driving under influence, traffic accident, clinical and forensic toxicology, doping analysis, chemical submission. Whole blood is the favoured matrix for the quantification of illicit drugs. Gas chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry (GC-MS) is the gold standard for these analyses. All methods developed must be at least equivalent to gas chromatography coupled with a mass spectrometer. Nowadays, new technologies are available to biologists and clinicians: liquid chromatography coupled with a mass spectrometry (LC/MS) or coupled with a tandem mass spectrometer (LC/MS/MS). The aim of this paper is to describe the state of the art regarding techniques of confirmation by mass spectrometry used for quantification of conventional drugs except cannabis. PMID:25582723

  2. Testing photogrammetry-based techniques for three-dimensional surface documentation in forensic pathology.

    PubMed

    Urbanová, Petra; Hejna, Petr; Jurda, Mikoláš

    2015-05-01

    Three-dimensional surface technologies particularly close range photogrammetry and optical surface scanning have recently advanced into affordable, flexible and accurate techniques. Forensic postmortem investigation as performed on a daily basis, however, has not yet fully benefited from their potentials. In the present paper, we tested two approaches to 3D external body documentation - digital camera-based photogrammetry combined with commercial Agisoft PhotoScan(®) software and stereophotogrammetry-based Vectra H1(®), a portable handheld surface scanner. In order to conduct the study three human subjects were selected, a living person, a 25-year-old female, and two forensic cases admitted for postmortem examination at the Department of Forensic Medicine, Hradec Králové, Czech Republic (both 63-year-old males), one dead to traumatic, self-inflicted, injuries (suicide by hanging), the other diagnosed with the heart failure. All three cases were photographed in 360° manner with a Nikon 7000 digital camera and simultaneously documented with the handheld scanner. In addition to having recorded the pre-autopsy phase of the forensic cases, both techniques were employed in various stages of autopsy. The sets of collected digital images (approximately 100 per case) were further processed to generate point clouds and 3D meshes. Final 3D models (a pair per individual) were counted for numbers of points and polygons, then assessed visually and compared quantitatively using ICP alignment algorithm and a cloud point comparison technique based on closest point to point distances. Both techniques were proven to be easy to handle and equally laborious. While collecting the images at autopsy took around 20min, the post-processing was much more time-demanding and required up to 10h of computation time. Moreover, for the full-body scanning the post-processing of the handheld scanner required rather time-consuming manual image alignment. In all instances the applied approaches

  3. Distribution of ether in two postmortem cases.

    PubMed

    Cox, Dawn; DeRienz, Rebecca; Jufer Phipps, Rebecca A; Levine, Barry; Jacobs, Aaron; Fowler, David

    2006-10-01

    Diethyl ether (ether) is a volatile liquid that was used in the 1800s as an anesthetic agent; however, it is no longer used for this purpose, partly because of its odor and flammability. Two postmortem cases in which ether was detected are presented. The first case was an 18-year-old male found hanging from a basement ceiling brace in a semi-sitting position with a gas mask covering his face. A container of Prestone starting fluid and a bong were found on the floor close to the body. The second case was a 20-year-old male found unresponsive in his dormitory room with two black plastic trash bags secured over his head. Two saturated rags and a resealable bag containing a clear liquid were contained within these trash bags. An almost empty can of Tradco starting fluid was also found at the scene. Ether concentrations were determined by headspace gas chromatography-mass spectrometry in the selective ion monitoring mode. In case #1, the medical examiner ruled that the cause of death was asphyxia due to hanging; the manner of death was undetermined. In case #2, the medical examiner ruled that the cause of death was asphyxia and the manner of death was suicide. PMID:17132265

  4. Coronary atherosclerosis -- a postmortem histopathological study.

    PubMed

    Kumar, S; Kumar, Verma A; Kumar, N; Baranwal, R K; Kumar, Verma R; Singh, M

    2012-01-01

    Cardiovascular disease in general and coronary heart disease in particular remains the leading cause of morbidity and mortality in developed countries. The aim of this study was to look at the prevalence of coronary atherosclerosis, its severity and site of involvement in postmortem hearts. The hearts of 30-60 yrs old, fifty dead victims were considered who died from various natural and unnatural deaths. After autopsy, coronary arteries were inspected grossly and microscopically. Out of all these cases, 10 cases (20 %) showed no pathological lesions. Total distribution of lesions in the coronaries are as follows; 34 (68 %) atheromatous lesions in Left Anterior Descending Artery, 25 (50 %) lesions in the Right Coronary Artery, 18 (36 %) lesions in Left Circumflex. Proximal involvement was more common except in the right coronary artery, which was involved distally. The overall prevalence of coronary atherosclerosis in the present study was comparable with that noted by other investigators in autopsy studied. There is a higher prevalence of atherosclerosis in Indians, which may be due to changes in life-styles and other risks factors (Tab. 1, Ref. 14). Full Text in PDF www.elis.sk. PMID:22502752

  5. Re-oxygenation of post-mortem lividity by passive diffusion through the skin at low temperature.

    PubMed

    Watchman, Hannah; Walker, G Stewart; Randeberg, Lise L; Langlois, Neil E I

    2011-12-01

    Post-mortem hypostasis develops due to passive settling of the blood under the effect of gravity after death. Due to consumption of oxygen in the tissues by residual cellular activity after the circulation has stopped, lividity is composed of deoxygenated blood. It has been previously shown that cooling of a body causes lividity to oxygenate, changing from a dark red/blue to a pink/red color, due to hemoglobin's increased affinity for oxygen at low temperature. This study has confirmed that this occurs by passive diffusion through the skin, but that this can only occur within a limited time frame. The reasons for this process and its potential forensic application require further investigation. PMID:21590457

  6. Maori heads (mokomokai): the usefulness of a complete forensic analysis procedure.

    PubMed

    Charlier, Philippe; Huynh-Charlier, Isabelle; Brun, Luc; Champagnat, Julie; Laquay, Laetitia; Hervé, Christian

    2014-09-01

    Based on an analysis of 19 mummified Maori heads (mokomokai) referred to our forensic laboratory for anthropological analysis prior to their official repatriation from France to New Zealand, and data from the anthropological and medical literature, we propose a complete forensic procedure for the analysis of such pieces. A list of 12 original morphological criteria was developed. Items included the sex, age at death, destruction of the skull base, the presence of argil deposits in the inner part of the skull, nostrils closed with exogenous material, sewing of eyelids and lips, pierced earlobes, ante-mortem and/or post-mortem tattoos, the presence of vegetal fibers within nasal cavities, and other pathological or anthropological anomalies. These criteria were tested for all 19 mokomokai repatriated to New Zealand by the French authorities. Further complementary analyses were limited to fiberscopic examination of the intracranial cavities because of the taboo on any sampling requested by the Maori authorities. In the context of global repatriation of human artifacts to native communities, this type of anthropological expertise is increasingly frequently requested of forensic anthropologists and other practitioners. We discuss the reasons for and against repatriating non-authentic artifacts to such communities and the role played by forensic anthropologists during the authentication process. PMID:24748277

  7. Application of DNA barcoding for identifying forensically relevant Diptera from northern Thailand.

    PubMed

    Zajac, Barbara Karolina; Sontigun, Narin; Wannasan, Anchalee; Verhoff, Marcel A; Sukontason, Kabkaew; Amendt, Jens; Zehner, Richard

    2016-06-01

    In recent decades, forensic entomology has become a useful tool in criminal investigations all over the world. Species-specific identification of flies plays an important role in this field and is obligatory for accurate calculation of the post-mortem interval. However, not all important colonizers of a corpse can be identified by common morphological keys. Due to similar morphology and the lack of keys for some taxa, especially for immature stages, DNA barcoding has become more popular during the last recent years. This development is particularly important for countries like Thailand, in which forensic entomology is a newly developing research area and which faces several challenges such as a high biodiversity of fly species. The most commonly used barcoding region in forensic entomology, the mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase subunit 1 (coI) gene, as well as a 1000-bp-long region of the 28S nuclear rRNA gene, was used to analyze and establish the molecular barcodes of 13 different species of flies of forensic relevance in northern Thailand. PMID:26965427

  8. Forensic analysis of biodiesel.

    PubMed

    Goodman, Michael R; Kaley, Elizabeth A; Finney, Eric E

    2016-06-01

    The analysis of four different biodiesel blends, as well as homemade biodiesel prepared from vegetable oil, has been performed using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. The identification of methyl esters within the biodiesel along with any background components is made possible by recognizing their mass spectral fragmentation patterns. These fuels were subjected to typical fire scene environments, specifically weathering and microbial degradation, to investigate how these environments affect the analysis. A matrix study was also performed on wood, carpet, and clothing in order to identify any interferences from these substrates. The data obtained herein will provide the forensic science community with the data needed to help recognize these increasingly common ignitable liquids. PMID:27060442

  9. Neuroimaging, culture, and forensic psychiatry.

    PubMed

    Aggarwal, Neil K

    2009-01-01

    The spread of neuroimaging technologies around the world has led to diverse practices of forensic psychiatry and the emergence of neuroethics and neurolaw. This article surveys the neuroethics and neurolegal literature on the use of forensic neuroimaging within the courtroom. Next, the related literature within medical anthropology and science and technology studies is reviewed to show how debates about forensic neuroimaging reflect cultural tensions about attitudes regarding the self, mental illness, and medical expertise. Finally, recommendations are offered on how forensic psychiatrists can add to this research, given their professional interface between law and medicine. At stake are the fundamental concerns that surround changing conceptions of the self, sickness, and expectations of medicine. PMID:19535562

  10. Integration initiatives for forensic services

    PubMed Central

    ARBOLEDA-FLÓREZ, JULIO

    2003-01-01

    Poorly implemented mental health reform policies are often given as reasons for the growth in demands for forensic psychiatric services and the steady increase of mental patients in prison systems. However, in this paper, additional reasons are advanced to explain the growth of forensic psychiatry, such as an expansion in the types of "psychiatric defences" in courts of law; public concerns about violent behaviour attributed to the mentally ill; the community management of paraphilias, especially pedophilia; the development of risk assessment methodologies and the halo of super-specialization. The net result of these developments is that patients who receive a label of "forensic" enter into a mental health ghetto with little connectivity or integration with the general mental health system. The forensic label increases the stigma and decreases opportunities for reintegration and full social recovery. The paper provides guidelines to reverse these trends. PMID:16946932

  11. Forensic historiography: narratives and science.

    PubMed

    Drukteinis, Albert M

    2014-01-01

    Psychiatrists function, in part, as historians who rely on patient narratives to help them understand presenting mental disorders and explain their causes. Forensic psychiatrists have been skeptical of using narratives, raising concerns about their lack of objectivity and potential for bias. They also have criticized narratives as being more performative than scientific. Recent authors, however, have pointed out that narratives may be helpful in forming forensic opinions and supporting oral testimony, while stressing that their use must be consistent with the ethics espoused by forensic psychiatry. This article reviews the role of narratives in understanding human events and the ubiquitous presence of narratives in the judicial process. It delves into the inescapability of using explicit or implicit narratives in the course of forensic practice, as well as how they may be meaningfully incorporated into evaluations and find expression alongside scientific principles. PMID:25492068

  12. Forensic Science--A Proposal

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Geesaman, Donald P.; Abrahamson, Dean E.

    1973-01-01

    Forensic science is an approach to study desirability of specific technologies in the context of value objectives and biological imperatives of society. Such groups should be formed with people from various physical and social sciences. (PS)

  13. Toxicology of chlorofluorocarbon replacements.

    PubMed Central

    Dekant, W

    1996-01-01

    Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) are stable in the atmosphere and may reach the stratosphere. They are cleaved by UV-radiation in the stratosphere to yield chlorine radicals, which are thought to interfere with the catalytic cycle of ozone formation and destruction and deplete stratospheric ozone concentrations. Due to potential adverse health effects of ozone depletion, chlorofluorocarbon replacements with much lower or absent ozone depleting potential are developed. The toxicology of these compounds that represent chlorofluorohydrocarbons (HCFCs) or fluorohydrocarbons (HFCs) has been intensively studied. All compounds investigated (1, 1-dichloro-1-fluoroethane [HCFC-141b], 1,1,1,2-tetrafluoroethane [HFC-134a], pentafluoroethane [HFC-125], 1-chloro- 1,2,2,2-tetrafluoroethane [HCFC-124], and 1,1-dichloro-2,2,2-trifluoroethane [HCFC-123]) show only a low potential for skin and eye irritation. Chronic adverse effects on the liver (HCFC-123) and the testes (HCFC-141b and HCFC-134a), including tumor formation, were observed in long-term inhalation studies in rodents using very high concentrations of these CFC replacements. All CFC replacements are, to varying extents, biotransformed in the organism, mainly by cytochrome P450-catalyzed oxidation of C-H bonds. The formed acyl halides are hydrolyzed to give excretable carboxylic acids; halogenated aldehydes that are formed may be further oxidized to halogenated carboxylic acids or reduced to halogenated alcohols, which are excretory metabolites in urine from rodents exposed experimentally to CFC replacements. The chronic toxicity of the CFC replacements studied is unlikely to be of relevance for humans exposed during production and application of CFC replacements. PMID:8722112

  14. Forensics in dermatology: part II.

    PubMed

    Reddy, Kalpana; Lowenstein, Eve J

    2011-05-01

    The evaluation of skin findings is critical in identifying many types of injury, whether self- inflicted or accidentally or intentionally inflicted. Specific causes of injury include homicide, abuse, neglect, assault, self-inflicted injury, suicide, torture, poisoning, and bioterrorism. Forensic findings in hair and nails are also discussed. This overview of dermatologic findings in forensic pathology highlights the significance of the cutaneous manifestations of injury. PMID:21496700

  15. Forensic hash for multimedia information

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lu, Wenjun; Varna, Avinash L.; Wu, Min

    2010-01-01

    Digital multimedia such as images and videos are prevalent on today's internet and cause significant social impact, which can be evidenced by the proliferation of social networking sites with user generated contents. Due to the ease of generating and modifying images and videos, it is critical to establish trustworthiness for online multimedia information. In this paper, we propose novel approaches to perform multimedia forensics using compact side information to reconstruct the processing history of a document. We refer to this as FASHION, standing for Forensic hASH for informatION assurance. Based on the Radon transform and scale space theory, the proposed forensic hash is compact and can effectively estimate the parameters of geometric transforms and detect local tampering that an image may have undergone. Forensic hash is designed to answer a broader range of questions regarding the processing history of multimedia data than the simple binary decision from traditional robust image hashing, and also offers more efficient and accurate forensic analysis than multimedia forensic techniques that do not use any side information.

  16. Toxicological approaches to complex mixtures.

    PubMed Central

    Mauderly, J L

    1993-01-01

    This paper reviews the role of toxicological studies in understanding the health effects of environmental exposures to mixtures. The approach taken is to review mixtures that have received the greatest emphasis from toxicology; major mixtures research programs; the toxicologist's view of mixtures and approaches to their study; and the complementary roles of toxicological, clinical, and epidemiological studies. Studies of tobacco smoke, engine exhaust, combustion products, and air pollutants comprise most of the past research on mixtures. Because of their great experimental control over subjects, exposures, and endpoints, toxicologists tend to consider a wider range of toxic interactions among mixture components and sequential exposures than is practical for human studies. The three fundamental experimental approaches used by toxicologists are integrative (studying the mixture as a whole), dissective (dissecting a mixture to determine causative constituents), and synthetic (studying interactions between agents in simple combinations). Toxicology provides information on potential hazards, mechanisms by which mixture constituents interact to cause effects, and exposure dose-effect relationships; but extrapolation from laboratory data to quantitative human health risks is problematic. Toxicological, clinical, and epidemiological approaches are complementary but are seldom coordinated. Fostering synergistic interactions among the disciplines in studying the risks from mixtures could be advantageous. PMID:7515806

  17. Evaluation of post-mortem lateral cerebral ventricle changes using sequential scans during post-mortem computed tomography.

    PubMed

    Hasegawa, Iwao; Shimizu, Akinobu; Saito, Atsushi; Suzuki, Hideto; Vogel, Hermann; Püschel, Klaus; Heinemann, Axel

    2016-09-01

    In the present study, we evaluated post-mortem lateral cerebral ventricle (LCV) changes using computed tomography (CT). Subsequent periodical CT scans termed "sequential scans" were obtained for three cadavers. The first scan was performed immediately after the body was transferred from the emergency room to the institute of legal medicine. Sequential scans were obtained and evaluated for 24 h at maximum. The time of death had been determined in the emergency room. The sequential scans enabled us to observe periodical post-mortem changes in CT images. The series of continuous LCV images obtained up to 24 h (two cases)/16 h (1 case) after death was evaluated. The average Hounsfield units (HU) within the LCVs progressively increased, and LCV volume progressively decreased over time. The HU in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) increased at an individual rate proportional to the post-mortem interval (PMI). Thus, an early longitudinal radiodensity change in the CSF could be potential indicator of post-mortem interval (PMI). Sequential imaging scans reveal post-mortem changes in the CSF space which may reflect post-mortem brain alterations. Further studies are needed to evaluate the proposed CSF change markers in correlation with other validated PMI indicators. PMID:27048214

  18. FEMALE REPRODUCTIVE AND DEVELOPMENTAL TOXICOLOGY: OVERVIEW AND CURRENT APPROACHES

    EPA Science Inventory

    Current approaches in Reproductive Toxicology encompass a broad spectrum. This review article summarizes several of these approaches, based on presentations at the Symposium on Reproductive ToxicologY in Michigan. here are multiple targets for toxicological injury in the developi...

  19. Prevalence of Atherosclerotic Coronary Stenosis in Asymptomatic North Indian Population: A Post-mortem Coronary Angiography Study

    PubMed Central

    Mandal, Shatrugan Prasad; Kumar, Senthil; Setia, Puneet

    2015-01-01

    Aim A preliminary study of coronaries using post-mortem angiography was undertaken to see the prevalence of atherosclerotic coronary stenosis in non-cardiac unnatural deaths. Materials and Methods This study was conducted in a tertiary care centre located in Chandigarh. A total of 128 medico-legal cases were studied comprising 88 males and 40 females. Post-mortem examinations of these MLC cases were conducted in the Department of Forensic Medicine, PGIMER, Chandigarh. All hearts were visually screened by post-mortem coronary angiography first and then grossly examined using serial transverse incision technique in positive screening cases to find the degree of narrowing. Results Of the study group, 34% males and 20% females showed evidence of narrowing on angiography. Of the males showing coronary stenosis, 83% had single vessel disease and 13% had double vessel disease, while only one individual had triple vessel disease. In cases of female, all the cases of coronary stenosis were single vessel disease. Left anterior descending coronary artery (LAD) was the most common vessel involved, followed by right coronary artery (RCA) & Left circumflex artery (LCX) and in cases of double vessel disease, LAD in combination with LCX was responsible for 75% of the cases. Remarkably 23.6% of study population in the age group of less than 40 years showed appreciable narrowing in at least one of the coronaries. Conclusion In general, the prevalence of CAD is on the rise, particularly in younger population owing to the changes in their lifestyle and food habits. This preliminary study revealed evidence of narrowing of at least one coronary in 34% male and 20% female population and 23.6% subjects were less than 40 years old. Further detailed studies are needed especially in younger age group and to support the need for preventive cardiology in the early years of life. PMID:26500922

  20. Clinical toxicology and military application.

    PubMed

    Bland, S A

    2006-01-01

    The changing operational tempo and types of deployment have, since the end of the Cold War, required a change in CBRN training. The threat from weapons of mass destruction has been replaced with the threat from improvised explosive devices and insurgent attempts to develop asymmetric weapons to target military and civilian populations. In addition exposure to hazardous materials as well as environmental hazards and natural toxins requires a greater awareness of the necessary supportive and definitive management. Developing a cadre of specialists with an interest in toxicology and environmental medicine, within either emergency or acute medicine, would be advantageous to deployed units as well as specialised units, including those tasked in support of UK homeland security. An established pathway for sub-specialisation in clinical toxicology does not yet exist. With the establishment of the College of Emergency Medicine, as well as the Acute Medicine Society and Intensive Care Society further development of clinical toxicology is likely. PMID:17310611

  1. Fire toxicology program. JSC methodology

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schneider, H.; Bafus, D.

    1978-01-01

    Toxicological testing of spacecraft materials was initiated in 1965. Toxicological evaluations of the pyrolysis/combustion products of candidate spacecraft materials were performed using a modified 142 liter Bethlehem Chamber equipped with a Linberg Model 55031 furnace external to the chamber. In all of the assessments, lethality was chosen as the endpoint. A new pyrolysis/combustion chamber was developed for toxicological testing and ranking of both spacecraft and aircraft materials. The pyrolysis/combustion chamber permits the use of both behavior and physiological measurements as indicators of incapacitation. Methods were developed which employ high resolution gas chromatography/mass spectrometry to generate chamber atmospheric profiles which indicate the reproductibility of pyrolysate concentrations. The atmospheric volatile profiles in combination with CO, CO2, and O2 analysis indicates that small chamber equipped with an internal furnace will give reproducible results.

  2. Toxicological profile for selenium. (Update)

    SciTech Connect

    1996-08-01

    Each profile includes: (1) The examination, summary, and interpretation of available toxicologic information and epidemiologic evaluations on a hazardous substance to ascertain the levels of significant human exposure for the substance and the associated acute, subacute, and chronic health effects; (2) A determination of whether adequate information on the health effects of each substance is available or in the process of development to determine levels of exposure that present a significant risk to human health of acute, subacute, and chonic health effects; and (3) Where appropriate, identification of toxicologic testing needed to identify the types or levels of exposure that may present significant risk of adverse health effects in humans.

  3. Enlarged parietal foramina: a rare forensic autopsy finding.

    PubMed

    Durão, Carlos; Carpinteiro, Dina; Pedrosa, Frederico; Machado, Marcos P; Cunha, Eugénia

    2016-05-01

    Enlarged parietal foramina (EPF) are a quite rare developmental defect of the parietal bone which has to be distinguished from the normal small parietal foramina. We report a forensic case of an individual found in an advanced state of putrefaction in his own house with an undetermined cause of death. No evidence of trauma was observed, and the toxicological exam was negative. The victim was a 40-year-old man with a history of epilepsy. The large biparietal foramina, a rare anatomical variation and unusual autopsy finding, were observed at autopsy. The recognition of anatomical variations is important to avoid false interpretations and conclusions and has a significant potential as an identity factor, thus contributing to positive identification. PMID:26233611

  4. The death of Adolf Hitler--forensic aspects.

    PubMed

    Marchetti, Daniela; Boschi, Ilaria; Polacco, Matteo; Rainio, Juha

    2005-09-01

    The death of Adolf Hitler is one of the unsolved mysteries of the twentieth century. Numerous historians and journalists have attempted to piece together the details, but despite the interest in the forensic literature regarding the identification of the body, there has not been much scientific debate about the alleged cause of death--cyanide poisoning, gunshot injury, or both. The available literature concerning Hitler's cause of death is incomplete because the toxicological analysis has not been performed and because the skull bone fragment with a gunshot wound possibly from Hitler's corpse has not been properly examined. This has given basis for various theories, which are reviewed. We believe that mtDNA analysis of the skull fragments and of Hitler's jaw, now filed in Moscow, and samples from maternal relatives of Hitler are crucial linking the skull fragment with the gunshot wound to Hitler. PMID:16225223

  5. Postmortem interval (PMI) determined by study sarcophagous biocenoses: three cases from the province of Venice (Italy).

    PubMed

    Turchetto, M; Lafisca, S; Costantini, G

    2001-08-15

    This paper presents and discusses three cases of cadavers found, unburied, in the province of Venice, Northern Italy. In each case, all insect species playing some role in carrion decay processes, both sarcophagous and their predators, found on or in the bodies, were collected and determined. In one case, many larvae of the black soldier fly, Hermetia illucens L. (Diptera: Stratiomyidae) were found and are reported, for the first time in Italy, as necrophagous. Experimental breeding of some fly species was also carried out in controlled temperature and humidity conditions. In particular, it was of interest to know how the Neotropical black soldier fly modified its life-cycle to adapt to a temperate climate. It was thus possible to establish the rate of larval growth and timing of pupation, emergence, oviposition and hatching in various external conditions. The postmortem interval (PMI) established by identifying the life-cycle stages of dipterofauna were later confirmed in all cases through police investigations and the results of forensic analyses. PMID:11457605

  6. Estimation of Early Postmortem Interval Through Biochemical and Pathological Changes in Rat Heart and Kidney.

    PubMed

    Abo El-Noor, Mona Mohamed; Elhosary, Naema Mahmoud; Khedr, Naglaa Fathi; El-Desouky, Kareema Ibraheem

    2016-03-01

    Accurate estimation of time passed since death is a complicated task in forensic medicine especially in homicide or unwitnessed death investigations. Changes in oxidant/antioxidant parameters were investigated if it can be relied upon in estimating the early postmortem interval (EPI) in rat heart and kidney, and whether these changes were correlated with histopathological findings in these tissues. Heart and kidney tissues of 84 male albino rats were divided into 2 parts. One part used for estimation of levels of malondialdehyde (MDA), nitric oxide (NO), and total thiol as well as the activity of glutathione reductase (GR), glutathione S transferase, and catalase. The second part was examined histopathologically. It was found that MDA and NO were significantly increased earlier in the heart than kidney tissues. Meanwhile, total thiol, catalase, glutathione S transferase, and GR were commenced to be significantly decreased in the heart before kidney tissues. Linear regression analysis of independent variables of heart was found to be of a high predictive value of 97.2% (EPI = 8.607 - 0.240 GR + 0.002 MDA + 0.014 NO). Structural deterioration of heart started 3 to 4 hours compared with renal sections that began 5 to 6 hours after death. The relationship between oxidant and antioxidant parameters is crucial in determining the EPI. The kidney was found to be more resistible to oxidative damage. Further research on humans is needed. PMID:26730800

  7. The cholesterol levels in median nerve and post-mortem interval evaluation.

    PubMed

    Vacchiano, G; Maldonado, A Luna; Ros, M Matas; Di Lorenzo, P; Pieri, M

    2016-08-01

    Cholesterol levels in the median nerve were studied at various post-mortem intervals (PMIs). Single median nerve samples were collected from the wrists of 36 subjects during forensic autopsies of subjects with known circumstances and times of death. Although the absolute values varied, increments in cholesterol concentration were recorded. Subsequently, 16 subjects who did not suffer of any neurological and/or metabolic diseases with known times and circumstances of death were enrolled. For each enrolled subject, two samples were collected from the wrist at an interval of approximately two hours (t1 and t2). The obtained results revealed a gradual increase in cholesterol level with increasing time since death. The cholesterol concentration data obtained for each subject at t1 and t2 were correlated with the time since death, a linear interpolation was applied, and the PMI was back-calculated. Similar trends were obtained for the samples collected at similar PMIs; thus, three groups were considered: PMI<48h, 4878h. Good correlation coefficients were obtained, especially for the first group (R(2)=0.9362) for which the PMI could be calculated with an error that ranged from -4 to 5.9h. Although it requires further confirmation via analyses of larger numbers of samples, the method proposed here can currently be applied to PMI determinations. PMID:26826850

  8. Forensic seismology revisited

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Douglas, A.

    2007-01-01

    The first technical discussions, held in 1958, on methods of verifying compliance with a treaty banning nuclear explosions, concluded that a monitoring system could be set up to detect and identify such explosions anywhere except underground: the difficulty with underground explosions was that there would be some earthquakes that could not be distinguished from an explosion. The development of adequate ways of discriminating between earthquakes and underground explosions proved to be difficult so that only in 1996 was a Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) finally negotiated. Some of the important improvements in the detection and identification of underground tests—that is in forensic seismology—have been made by the UK through a research group at the Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE). The paper describes some of the advances made in identification since 1958, particularly by the AWE Group, and the main features of the International Monitoring System (IMS), being set up to verify the Test Ban. Once the Treaty enters into force, then should a suspicious disturbance be detected the State under suspicion of testing will have to demonstrate that the disturbance was not a test. If this cannot be done satisfactorily the Treaty has provisions for on-site inspections (OSIs): for a suspicious seismic disturbance for example, an international team of inspectors will search the area around the estimated epicentre of the disturbance for evidence that a nuclear test really took place. Early observations made at epicentral distances out to 2,000 km from the Nevada Test Site showed that there is little to distinguish explosion seismograms from those of nearby earthquakes: for both source types the short-period (SP: ˜1 Hz) seismograms are complex showing multiple arrivals. At long range, say 3,000 10,000 km, loosely called teleseismic distances, the AWE Group noted that SP P waves—the most widely and well-recorded waves from underground explosions—were in

  9. Technical note: Development of Hemipyrellia ligurriens (Wiedemann) (Diptera: Calliphoridae) at constant temperatures: Applications in estimating postmortem interval.

    PubMed

    Yang, Yong-qiang; Lyu, Zhou; Li, Xue-bo; Li, Kui; Yao, Lan; Wan, Li-hua

    2015-08-01

    Blowflies (Calliphoridae) are recognized as a powerful tool for estimating the minimum postmortem interval (PMImin). The times for blowflies to develop from oviposition to eclosion is mainly controlled by temperature, which can differ between even closely related species. Hemipyrellia ligurriens (Wiedemann) (Diptera: Calliphoridae) is a blowfly distributed throughout Asia and Australia. However, a systematic determination of the developmental times of H. ligurriens under constant temperature, necessary for estimating the PMImin, is lacking. Such an examination would broaden the forensic importance of the species. Thus, this study explored the growth curves of larval H. ligurriens at 7 constant temperatures (16, 19, 22, 25, 28, 31, and 34°C). Isomegalen and isomorphen diagrams were successfully constructed, depicting the time of larval length or developmental event, respectively, at different temperatures. A thermal summation model was also constructed via regression analysis, by estimating the developmental threshold temperature t and thermal summation constant K. The thermal summation model indicated that t at 8.3°C and K at 5747.5 degree-hours (°Ch) are required for complete development from oviposition to eclosion, and suggested an optimum temperature range of 16-28°C for the development of H. ligurriens. These data establish for the first time the temperature-dependent developmental time of H. ligurriens for forensic entomology application. The 3 developmental models are provided. PMID:26046676

  10. 42 CFR 493.1213 - Condition: Toxicology.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-10-01

    ... 42 Public Health 5 2011-10-01 2011-10-01 false Condition: Toxicology. 493.1213 Section 493.1213 Public Health CENTERS FOR MEDICARE & MEDICAID SERVICES, DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES....1213 Condition: Toxicology. If the laboratory provides services in the subspecialty of Toxicology,...

  11. Science: Aquatic Toxicology Matures, Gains Importance.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dagani, Ron

    1980-01-01

    Reviews recent advances in aquatic toxicology, whose major goal is to protect diverse aquatic organisms and whole ecological communities from the dire effects of man-made chemicals. Current legislation is reviewed. Differences in mammalian and aquatic toxicology are listed, and examples of research in aquatic toxicology are discussed. (CS)

  12. 42 CFR 493.1213 - Condition: Toxicology.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-10-01

    ... 42 Public Health 5 2010-10-01 2010-10-01 false Condition: Toxicology. 493.1213 Section 493.1213 Public Health CENTERS FOR MEDICARE & MEDICAID SERVICES, DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES....1213 Condition: Toxicology. If the laboratory provides services in the subspecialty of Toxicology,...

  13. Toxicological findings in fatal motor vehicle collisions in ontario, Canada: a one-year study.

    PubMed

    Woodall, Karen L; Chow, Betty L C; Lauwers, Albert; Cass, Dan

    2015-05-01

    Drug-impaired driving is a complex area of forensic toxicology due in part to limited data concerning the type of drugs involved and the concentrations detected. This study analyzed toxicological findings in drivers from fatal motor vehicle collisions (FMVCs) in Ontario, Canada, over a one-year period using a standardized protocol. Of the 229 cases included in the study, 56% were positive for alcohol and/or drugs. After alcohol, cannabis was the most frequently encountered substance (27%), followed by benzodiazepines (17%) and antidepressants (17%). There were differences in drugs detected by age but no marked difference in drugs detected between single and multiple FMVC's. Not all drugs detected were considered impairing either due to drug type, concentration or case history. The findings indicate the importance of comprehensive drug testing in FMVCs and highlight the need to consider a variety of factors, in addition to drug type and concentration, when assessing the role of drugs in driving impairment. PMID:25693690

  14. Forensic aspects of starvation.

    PubMed

    Madea, Burkhard; Ortmann, Jan; Doberentz, Elke

    2016-09-01

    Fatal starvation is a rare cause of death in industrialized countries. However, it may have major medicolegal importance if death results from the deliberate withholding of food, especially from infants. In such cases, the task of the forensic pathologist and the medical examiner, respectively, is to clarify the cause of death and give an expert opinion on the degree and duration of starvation. Several classification systems have been developed to estimate protein-energy malnutrition in developing countries. Simpler classifications, such as the Gomez classification, use the weight expected for the respective age group as the standard. However, smaller infants will be lighter, and therefore the classification may not be accurate in this case. Following the Waterlow classification, the extent of stunted growth (referring to growth retardation in cases of chronic malnutrition) is calculated using the ratio of the measured body height to that expected for the age. Using such classification systems, grading of stunting and wasting can be achieved and may greatly help in the assessment of a given child's nutritional status in legal cases. The application of the Waterlow classification to the authors' case material and previously published cases in the literature is herein demonstrated. The Waterlow classification is not only of importance for grading the final stage of fatal starvation, but also for the chronological development of the nutritional status if anthropometrical data have been repeatedly recorded from the affected individual in vivo. PMID:27145935

  15. Forensic psychiatry in Chile.

    PubMed

    St Denis, Emily E; Sepúlveda, Enrique; Téllez, Carlos; Arboleda-Flórez, Julio; Stuart, Heather; Lam, Miu

    2012-01-01

    Mental disorders are among the most prevalent of chronic disorders, and a high prevalence of these disorders has been consistently found in jails and prisons. This study was a retrospective case series that described the population of adults charged with a criminal offense who were court ordered to undergo a psychiatric assessment within the Medical Legal Service in Santiago, Chile from 2005 to 2006. Characteristics were explored in order to better understand this population in light of the recent reforms in the judicial and health systems of Chile. Ninety percent of sampled individuals were male, primarily between the ages of 18-39 years. Seventy percent of the evaluations came from the pre-reformed judicial system and 30% were from the reformed system. Approximately 63% of evaluated offenders were considered to have a psychiatric pathology, the most common being the personality disorders. Of the evaluated offenders, approximately 84% were considered by a psychiatrist to be criminally responsible for their crime, 7% were regarded as having diminished criminal responsibility, 4% were considered to be not criminally responsible for their crime, and 4% were cases where criminal responsibility was not applicable. Profession status, municipality of residence, type of residence, ICD-10 diagnosis, treatment recommendation, and criminal responsibility were found to be significantly different between male and female evaluated offenders. Results from this investigation will contribute to knowledge about forensic psychiatry and mental health in Latin America, and will hopefully pave the way for more research and international comparisons. PMID:23102739

  16. Information Assurance and Forensic Readiness

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pangalos, Georgios; Katos, Vasilios

    Egalitarianism and justice are amongst the core attributes of a democratic regime and should be also secured in an e-democratic setting. As such, the rise of computer related offenses pose a threat to the fundamental aspects of e-democracy and e-governance. Digital forensics are a key component for protecting and enabling the underlying (e-)democratic values and therefore forensic readiness should be considered in an e-democratic setting. This position paper commences from the observation that the density of compliance and potential litigation activities is monotonically increasing in modern organizations, as rules, legislative regulations and policies are being constantly added to the corporate environment. Forensic practices seem to be departing from the niche of law enforcement and are becoming a business function and infrastructural component, posing new challenges to the security professionals. Having no a priori knowledge on whether a security related event or corporate policy violation will lead to litigation, we advocate that computer forensics need to be applied to all investigatory, monitoring and auditing activities. This would result into an inflation of the responsibilities of the Information Security Officer. After exploring some commonalities and differences between IS audit and computer forensics, we present a list of strategic challenges the organization and, in effect, the IS security and audit practitioner will face.

  17. Reproductive Toxicology Testing with EDCS

    EPA Science Inventory

    An introduction to reproductive toxicology: the basic approaches to testing chemicals for adverse effects using multigenerational studies with rats and how the regulatory agencies used the data in risk assessments. Case studies were presented of how endocrine or genomic data were...

  18. Toxicological evaluation of chemical mixtures.

    PubMed

    Feron, V J; Groten, J P

    2002-06-01

    This paper addresses major developments in the safety evaluation of chemical mixtures during the past 15 years, reviews today's state of the art of mixture toxicology, and discusses challenges ahead. Well-thought-out tailor-made mechanistic and empirical designs for studying the toxicity of mixtures have gradually substituted trial-and-error approaches, improving the insight into the testability of joint action and interaction of constituents of mixtures. The acquired knowledge has successfully been used to evaluate the safety of combined exposures and complex mixtures such as, for example, the atmosphere at hazardous waste sites, drinking water disinfection by-products, natural flavouring complexes, and the combined intake of food additives. To consolidate the scientific foundation of mixture toxicology, studies are in progress to revisit the biological concepts and mathematics underlying formulas for low-dose extrapolation and risk assessment of chemical mixtures. Conspicuous developments include the production of new computer programs applicable to mixture research (CombiTool, BioMol, Reaction Network Modelling), the application of functional genomics and proteomics to mixture studies, the use of nano-optochemical sensors for in vivo imaging of physiological processes in cells, and the application of optical sensor micro- and nano-arrays for complex sample analysis. Clearly, the input of theoretical biologists, biomathematicians and bioengineers in mixture toxicology is essential for the development of this challenging branch of toxicology into a scientific subdiscipline of full value. PMID:11983277

  19. CAROLINA CENTER FOR COMPUTATIONAL TOXICOLOGY

    EPA Science Inventory

    The Center will advance the field of computational toxicology through the development of new methods and tools, as well as through collaborative efforts. In each Project, new computer-based models will be developed and published that represent the state-of-the-art. The tools p...

  20. Public Databases Supporting Computational Toxicology

    EPA Science Inventory

    A major goal of the emerging field of computational toxicology is the development of screening-level models that predict potential toxicity of chemicals from a combination of mechanistic in vitro assay data and chemical structure descriptors. In order to build these models, resea...

  1. Death by 'ice': fatal methamphetamine intoxication of a body packer case detected by postmortem computed tomography (PMCT) and validated by autopsy.

    PubMed

    Bin Abdul Rashid, Saiful Nizam; Rahim, Amir Saad Abdul; Thali, Michael J; Flach, Patricia M

    2013-03-01

    Fatal acute methamphetamine (MA) poisoning in cases of internal drug trafficking is rarely described in the literature. This case study reports an MA 'body packer' who died from fatal methamphetamine intoxication due to leaking drug packages in the alimentary tract. The deceased was examined by postmortem computed tomography (PMCT), and the results were correlated to subsequent autopsy and toxicological findings. The deceased was arrested by the police when he was found disoriented in the city of Kuala Lumpur. He was transferred to the emergency department on suspicion of drug abuse. The initial drug screening was reactive for amphetamines. Shortly after admission to the hospital, he died despite rigorous resuscitation attempts. The postmortem plain chest and abdominal radiographs revealed multiple suspicious opacities in the gastrointestinal tract attributable to body packages. An unenhanced whole body PMCT revealed twenty-five drug packages, twenty-four in the stomach and one in the transverse colon. At least two were disintegrating, and therefore leaking. The autopsy findings were consistent with the PMCT results. Toxicology confirmed the diagnosis of fatal methamphetamine intoxication. PMID:23404531

  2. Forensic Chemistry--A Symposium Collection.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Journal of Chemical Education, 1985

    1985-01-01

    Presents a collection of articles to provide chemistry teachers with resource materials to add forensic chemistry units to their chemistry courses. Topics range from development of forensic science laboratory courses and mock-crime scenes to forensic serology and analytical techniques. (JN)

  3. Google Glass for Documentation of Medical Findings: Evaluation in Forensic Medicine

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Google Glass is a promising premarket device that includes an optical head-mounted display. Several proof of concept reports exist, but there is little scientific evidence regarding its use in a medical setting. Objective The objective of this study was to empirically determine the feasibility of deploying Glass in a forensics setting. Methods Glass was used in combination with a self-developed app that allowed for hands-free operation during autopsy and postmortem examinations of 4 decedents performed by 2 physicians. A digital single-lens reflex (DSLR) camera was used for image comparison. In addition, 6 forensic examiners (3 male, 3 female; age range 23-48 years, age mean 32.8 years, SD 9.6; mean work experience 6.2 years, SD 8.5) were asked to evaluate 159 images for image quality on a 5-point Likert scale, specifically color discrimination, brightness, sharpness, and their satisfaction with the acquired region of interest. Statistical evaluations were performed to determine how Glass compares with conventionally acquired digital images. Results All images received good (median 4) and very good ratings (median 5) for all 4 categories. Autopsy images taken by Glass (n=32) received significantly lower ratings than those acquired by DSLR camera (n=17) (region of interest: z=–5.154, P<.001; sharpness: z=–7.898, P<.001; color: z=–4.407, P<.001, brightness: z=–3.187, P=.001). For 110 images of postmortem examinations (Glass: n=54, DSLR camera: n=56), ratings for region of interest (z=–8.390, P<.001) and brightness (z=–540, P=.007) were significantly lower. For interrater reliability, intraclass correlation (ICC) values were good for autopsy (ICC=.723, 95% CI .667-.771, P<.001) and postmortem examination (ICC=.758, 95% CI .727-.787, P<.001). Postmortem examinations performed using Glass took 42.6 seconds longer than those done with the DSLR camera (z=–2.100, P=.04 using Wilcoxon signed rank test). The battery charge of Glass quickly decreased

  4. Simple and sensitive screening and quantitative determination of 88 psychoactive drugs and their metabolites in blood through LC-MS/MS: application on postmortem samples.

    PubMed

    Sempio, Cristina; Morini, Luca; Vignali, Claudia; Groppi, Angelo

    2014-11-01

    The aim of the study was to develop and validate a simple, sensitive and specific method for the detection and quantitative determination of 88 substances among psychoactive drugs and their metabolites in whole blood, and to apply the procedure to postmortem cases. Samples were consecutively diluted with methanol, acetonitrile and mobile phase. All the molecules were separated and then identified through a liquid chromatographic, tandem mass spectrometric system, and eventually fully validated according to the international guidelines. The method proved to be highly sensitive and specific and all the validation parameters fulfilled the acceptance criteria. In particular linearity was studied in the range LOQ-1000 ng/mL; matrix effects and carry over were negligible and the majority of the compounds assessed to be stable over several freeze and thaw processes. Olanzapine is the most unstable compound. Protryptiline and flupenthixol did not fulfilled acceptance criteria, and although their transitions were kept on the instrumental settings, they were not considered for the fully validation. The method was applied to several postmortem cases, and the results were compared to the GC-MS systematic toxicological analysis currently in use in our laboratory, assessing to be a good complementary procedure and providing a better sensitivity. The LC-MS/MS method could be easily applicable to routine analyses of postmortem samples, as well as to a screening procedure for clinical purposes; however it should be carried out in combination with a general unknown screening method. PMID:25218917

  5. System Support for Forensic Inference

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gehani, Ashish; Kirchner, Florent; Shankar, Natarajan

    Digital evidence is playing an increasingly important role in prosecuting crimes. The reasons are manifold: financially lucrative targets are now connected online, systems are so complex that vulnerabilities abound and strong digital identities are being adopted, making audit trails more useful. If the discoveries of forensic analysts are to hold up to scrutiny in court, they must meet the standard for scientific evidence. Software systems are currently developed without consideration of this fact. This paper argues for the development of a formal framework for constructing “digital artifacts” that can serve as proxies for physical evidence; a system so imbued would facilitate sound digital forensic inference. A case study involving a filesystem augmentation that provides transparent support for forensic inference is described.

  6. Forensic Botany: Evidence and Analysis.

    PubMed

    Coyle, H M

    2009-01-01

    Forensic botany is the use of plant evidence in matters of law. While plant fragments are often collected as trace evidence, they are only occasionally identified using microscopy and are still more rarely assessed using molecular biology techniques for individualization and sourcing of a sample. There are many different methods useful for DNA typing of plants; this review focuses on those techniques (DNA sequencing, STR, AFLP, RAPD) most relevant to the forensic science community and on those methods currently in practice. Plant evidence is commonly associated with homicides, with clandestine graves, as trace pollen on clothing, vehicles, or packaging, or in the transport of illicit drugs. DNA can be especially useful for the identification of minute quantity of samples, for differentiation of plants that lack distinguishing morphological features, and for generating a unique identifier for associative forensic evidence. PMID:26242238

  7. The Emergence of Systematic Review in Toxicology.

    PubMed

    Stephens, Martin L; Betts, Kellyn; Beck, Nancy B; Cogliano, Vincent; Dickersin, Kay; Fitzpatrick, Suzanne; Freeman, James; Gray, George; Hartung, Thomas; McPartland, Jennifer; Rooney, Andrew A; Scherer, Roberta W; Verloo, Didier; Hoffmann, Sebastian

    2016-07-01

    The Evidence-based Toxicology Collaboration hosted a workshop on "The Emergence of Systematic Review and Related Evidence-based Approaches in Toxicology," on November 21, 2014 in Baltimore, Maryland. The workshop featured speakers from agencies and organizations applying systematic review approaches to questions in toxicology, speakers with experience in conducting systematic reviews in medicine and healthcare, and stakeholders in industry, government, academia, and non-governmental organizations. Based on the workshop presentations and discussion, here we address the state of systematic review methods in toxicology, historical antecedents in both medicine and toxicology, challenges to the translation of systematic review from medicine to toxicology, and thoughts on the way forward. We conclude with a recommendation that as various agencies and organizations adapt systematic review methods, they continue to work together to ensure that there is a harmonized process for how the basic elements of systematic review methods are applied in toxicology. PMID:27208075

  8. The Emergence of Systematic Review in Toxicology

    PubMed Central

    Stephens, Martin L.; Betts, Kellyn; Beck, Nancy B.; Cogliano, Vincent; Dickersin, Kay; Fitzpatrick, Suzanne; Freeman, James; Gray, George; Hartung, Thomas; McPartland, Jennifer; Rooney, Andrew A.; Scherer, Roberta W.; Verloo, Didier; Hoffmann, Sebastian

    2016-01-01

    The Evidence-based Toxicology Collaboration hosted a workshop on “The Emergence of Systematic Review and Related Evidence-based Approaches in Toxicology,” on November 21, 2014 in Baltimore, Maryland. The workshop featured speakers from agencies and organizations applying systematic review approaches to questions in toxicology, speakers with experience in conducting systematic reviews in medicine and healthcare, and stakeholders in industry, government, academia, and non-governmental organizations. Based on the workshop presentations and discussion, here we address the state of systematic review methods in toxicology, historical antecedents in both medicine and toxicology, challenges to the translation of systematic review from medicine to toxicology, and thoughts on the way forward. We conclude with a recommendation that as various agencies and organizations adapt systematic review methods, they continue to work together to ensure that there is a harmonized process for how the basic elements of systematic review methods are applied in toxicology. PMID:27208075

  9. High Performance Proactive Digital Forensics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alharbi, Soltan; Moa, Belaid; Weber-Jahnke, Jens; Traore, Issa

    2012-10-01

    With the increase in the number of digital crimes and in their sophistication, High Performance Computing (HPC) is becoming a must in Digital Forensics (DF). According to the FBI annual report, the size of data processed during the 2010 fiscal year reached 3,086 TB (compared to 2,334 TB in 2009) and the number of agencies that requested Regional Computer Forensics Laboratory assistance increasing from 689 in 2009 to 722 in 2010. Since most investigation tools are both I/O and CPU bound, the next-generation DF tools are required to be distributed and offer HPC capabilities. The need for HPC is even more evident in investigating crimes on clouds or when proactive DF analysis and on-site investigation, requiring semi-real time processing, are performed. Although overcoming the performance challenge is a major goal in DF, as far as we know, there is almost no research on HPC-DF except for few papers. As such, in this work, we extend our work on the need of a proactive system and present a high performance automated proactive digital forensic system. The most expensive phase of the system, namely proactive analysis and detection, uses a parallel extension of the iterative z algorithm. It also implements new parallel information-based outlier detection algorithms to proactively and forensically handle suspicious activities. To analyse a large number of targets and events and continuously do so (to capture the dynamics of the system), we rely on a multi-resolution approach to explore the digital forensic space. Data set from the Honeynet Forensic Challenge in 2001 is used to evaluate the system from DF and HPC perspectives.

  10. [Sudden unexpected natural death from a viewpoint of forensic pathology].

    PubMed

    Takatsu, A

    1995-12-01

    Sudden unexpected natural death (SUND) has several characteristics, such as unknown clinical history, very short course to death, evidence of trauma, interference of postmortem changes and social implications of diagnosis. From these points, SUND involves important challenges in forensic pathology. Presented here are the highlights of our SUND studies which allow scientific speculation into the antemortem pathophysiological course to death and a subsequent accurate diagnosis of the cause of death in SUND cases. 1. Forensic problems of SUND of unknown etiology 1) Do sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) studies continue endlessly? In Japan there are many cases of sudden unexpected infant death (SUID) which were regarded as SIDS, often without postmortem examination. Pure SIDS should be a diagnosis of exclusion under thorough postmortem examination. Additionally, many SIDS studies have focused on pathogenesis of pure SIDS based on the analysis of so-called SIDS cases described above. In this sense, SIDS studies may continue forever. To clarify whether SIDS is an onion type, that is a heterogeneous disease entity, or bamboo shoot type, a single disease entity with a single cause, it is more vital to accurately search autopsy findings to exclude the cause of death, rather than to study pathogenesis of SIDS. Thereafter, pure SIDS will be carved in relief and we could study the pathogenesis, if it remains in the future. Present in 40% of our SUID cases examined was the existence of viral infection as a cause of death. 2) Pokkuri disease It has long been believed that the main branches of coronary arteries in Pokkuri-disease cases are macroscopically hypoplastic and cause sudden cardiac death. However, our two-dimensional morphometric analysis of the main branches, such as wall thickness, degree of stenosis, lumen area, area within internal elastic lamina, showed no significant differences between Pokkuri-disease cases and age and sex-matched control cases. 2. Information

  11. The Clinician and Forensic Medicine

    PubMed Central

    Root, Irving; Scott, Wayne

    1973-01-01

    Although it is an intrinsic part of all medical practice forensic medicine often is either unrecognized as such or is consciously or subconsciously evaded. The failure to apply some rather basic and simple forensic principles that only the physician is capable of doing may result in problems to the patient ranging from frustration to near catastrophe. For physicians who are reasonably well equipped to understand the legal system, the successful conclusion of a legal case, including, sometimes, an appearance in court, can be stimulating and interesting. PMID:4733272

  12. Forensic seismology revisited

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Douglas, A.

    2007-01-01

    The first technical discussions, held in 1958, on methods of verifying compliance with a treaty banning nuclear explosions, concluded that a monitoring system could be set up to detect and identify such explosions anywhere except underground: the difficulty with underground explosions was that there would be some earthquakes that could not be distinguished from an explosion. The development of adequate ways of discriminating between earthquakes and underground explosions proved to be difficult so that only in 1996 was a Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) finally negotiated. Some of the important improvements in the detection and identification of underground tests—that is in forensic seismology—have been made by the UK through a research group at the Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE). The paper describes some of the advances made in identification since 1958, particularly by the AWE Group, and the main features of the International Monitoring System (IMS), being set up to verify the Test Ban. Once the Treaty enters into force, then should a suspicious disturbance be detected the State under suspicion of testing will have to demonstrate that the disturbance was not a test. If this cannot be done satisfactorily the Treaty has provisions for on-site inspections (OSIs): for a suspicious seismic disturbance for example, an international team of inspectors will search the area around the estimated epicentre of the disturbance for evidence that a nuclear test really took place. Early observations made at epicentral distances out to 2,000 km from the Nevada Test Site showed that there is little to distinguish explosion seismograms from those of nearby earthquakes: for both source types the short-period (SP: ˜1 Hz) seismograms are complex showing multiple arrivals. At long range, say 3,000 10,000 km, loosely called teleseismic distances, the AWE Group noted that SP P waves—the most widely and well-recorded waves from underground explosions—were in

  13. Forensic methods and the podiatric physician.

    PubMed

    Nirenberg, M S

    1989-05-01

    This is an introductory study of forensic podiatry. To elevate forensic podiatry to the level of forensic odontology and forensic anthropology, the podiatric medical profession must begin educational programs and research. A system for monitoring the activities of podiatrists involved in forensic medicine must be established to ensure that the high degree of integrity to which the profession is committed is maintained. By following these guidelines, the author believes that sometime in the future a podiatrist will be on the staff of every major police department in the country. At that point, the podiatric medical profession will have achieved unsurpassed status, recognition, and prestige. PMID:2664129

  14. A Review of Forensic Science Management Literature.

    PubMed

    Houck, M M; McAndrew, W P; Porter, M; Davies, B

    2015-01-01

    The science in forensic science has received increased scrutiny in recent years, but interest in how forensic science is managed is a relatively new line of research. This paper summarizes the literature in forensic science management generally from 2009 to 2013, with some recent additions, to provide an overview of the growth of topics, results, and improvements in the management of forensic services in the public and private sectors. This review covers only the last three years or so and a version of this paper was originally produced for the 2013 Interpol Forensic Science Managers Symposium and is available at interpol.int. PMID:26227138

  15. Towards a Formalization of Digital Forensics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Slay, Jill; Lin, Yi-Chi; Turnbull, Benjamin; Beckett, Jason; Lin, Paul

    While some individuals have referred to digital forensics as an art, the literature of the discipline suggests a trend toward the formalization of digital forensics as a forensic science. Questions about the quality of digital evidence and forensic soundness continue to be raised by researchers and practitioners in order to ensure the trustworthiness of digital evidence and its value to the courts. This paper reviews the development of digital forensic models, procedures and standards to lay a foundation for the discipline. It also points to new work that provides validation models through a complete mapping of the discipline.

  16. A Control Framework for Digital Forensics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    von Solms, Sebastiaan; Louwrens, Cecil; Reekie, Colette; Grobler, Talania

    This paper introduces a control framework for digital forensics. It proposes a taxonomy for control objectives, categorized within the phases of the digital forensic process: planning and preparation, incident response, investigation and juridical/evidentiary. Using the taxonomy as a basis, a digital forensic reference framework, consisting of control groupings, control objectives and detailed control objectives, is defined. The control framework is intended to provide a sound theoretical basis for digital forensics as well as a reference framework for digital forensics governance within organizations.

  17. Veterinary Forensic Pathology: The Search for Truth.

    PubMed

    McDonough, S P; McEwen, B J

    2016-09-01

    Veterinary forensic pathology is emerging as a distinct discipline, and this special issue is a major step forward in establishing the scientific basis of the discipline. A forensic necropsy uses the same skill set needed for investigations of natural disease, but the analytical framework and purpose of forensic pathology differ significantly. The requirement of legal credibility and all that it entails distinguishes the forensic from routine diagnostic cases. Despite the extraordinary depth and breadth of knowledge afforded by their training, almost 75% of veterinary pathologists report that their training has not adequately prepared them to handle forensic cases. Many veterinary pathologists, however, are interested and willing to develop expertise in the discipline. Lessons learned from tragic examples of wrongful convictions in medical forensic pathology indicate that a solid foundation for the evolving discipline of veterinary forensic pathology requires a commitment to education, training, and certification. The overarching theme of this issue is that the forensic necropsy is just one aspect in the investigation of a case of suspected animal abuse or neglect. As veterinary pathologists, we must be aware of the roles filled by other veterinary forensic experts involved in these cases and how our findings are an integral part of an investigation. We hope that the outcome of this special issue of the journal is that veterinary pathologists begin to familiarize themselves with not only forensic pathology but also all aspects of veterinary forensic science. PMID:27515387

  18. Concepts and possibilities in forensic intelligence.

    PubMed

    Bell, Chris

    2006-10-16

    Forensic intelligence can be viewed as comprising two parts, one directly concerning intelligence delivery in forensic casework, the other considering performance aspects of forensic work, loosely termed here as business intelligence. Forensic casework can be viewed as processes that produce an intelligence product useful to police investigations. Traditionally, forensic intelligence production has been confined to discipline-specific activity. This paper examines the concepts, processes and intelligence products delivered in forensic casework, the information repositories available from forensic examinations, and ways to produce within- and across-discipline casework correlations by using information technology to capitalise on the information sets available. Such analysis presents opportunities to improve forensic intelligence services as well as challenges for technical solutions to deliver appropriate data-mining capabilities for available information sets, such as digital photographs. Business intelligence refers primarily to examination of efficiency and effectiveness of forensic service delivery. This paper discusses measures of forensic activity and their relationship to crime outcomes as a measure of forensic effectiveness. PMID:16893621

  19. QUANTITATIVE TOXICOLOGIC PATHOLOGY-METHODS AND INTERPRETATION' SESSION AT THE JOINT MEETING OF SOCIETY OF TOXICOLOGIC PATHOLOGISTS AND THE INTERNATIONAL FEDERATION OF SOCIETIES OF TOXICOLOGIC PATHOLOGISTS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Report of the 'Quantitative Toxicologic Pathology - Methods and Interpretation' session at the Joint meeting of Society of Toxicologic Pathologists and the International Federation of Societies of Toxicologic Pathologists, Orlando, Florida, USA, June 24-28, 2001. Douglas C. Wolf,...

  20. Clinical and forensic signs related to chemical burns: a mechanistic approach.

    PubMed

    Dinis-Oliveira, Ricardo Jorge; Carvalho, Félix; Moreira, Roxana; Proença, Jorge Brandão; Santos, Agostinho; Duarte, José Alberto; Bastos, Maria de Lourdes; Magalhães, Teresa

    2015-06-01

    This manuscript highlights and critically analyses clinical and forensic signs related to chemical burns. Signs that may lead to suspicion of a particular chemical are thoroughly discussed regarding its underlying mechanisms. Burns due to sulfuric, hydrofluoric, nitric, hydrochloric (muriatic) and acetic (including derivatives) acids, hydrogen sulphide, sodium (caustic soda) and calcium (cement) hydroxides, paraquat, burns after inflation and rupture of airbags, povidone-iodine, chlorhexidine/alcohol (in preterm infants), laxatives, and vesicants (warfare agents), will be reviewed since these are the most common agents found in daily practice, for which relevant and timed information may be helpful in formulating an emergency treatment protocols and toxicological analysis. PMID:25280586

  1. Significance of toxic interactions in medicolegal evidence. Complex fatal poisoning with drugs of abuse in the material of the Chair of Forensic Medicine, Collegium Medicum, Jagiellonian University in Kraków.

    PubMed

    Kłys, M; Bystrowska, B; Bujak-Gizycka, B; Nowak, G

    2001-01-01

    The subject of the study was fatal complex poisonings with drugs of abuse in two young men. In the first case, postmortem investigation revealed cardiotoxic death as the result of an interaction between opiates, amphetamine derivatives and oxazepam. In the second case, death followed the administration of amphetamine derivatives and cocaine (xenobiotics known on the illicit drug market as "UFO"). Based on the toxicological postmortem analysis the authors discuss the interpretation of the results in the light of general problems of interactions taking place in toxicokinetic and toxicodynamic phases of intoxication processes. PMID:11985341

  2. 18. Photocopy of photograph. VIEW WITHIN POSTMORTEM CELL OF MANIPULATOR ...

    Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

    18. Photocopy of photograph. VIEW WITHIN POST-MORTEM CELL OF MANIPULATOR ARMS BEING USED TO MOVE METAL BARS FROM ONE LOCATION TO ANOTHER. Photographer unknown, ca. 1965, original photograph and negative on file at the Remote Sensing Laboratory, Department of Energy, Nevada Operations Office. - Nevada Test Site, Engine Maintenance Assembly & Disassembly Facility, Area 25, Jackass Flats, Mercury, Nye County, NV

  3. 13. VIEW OF EAST OPERATING GALLERY ALONG THE POSTMORTEM CELLS. ...

    Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

    13. VIEW OF EAST OPERATING GALLERY ALONG THE POST-MORTEM CELLS. A NUMBER OF MANIPULATOR ARMS COVERED WITH PLASTIC ARE ON THE LEFT WALL. - Nevada Test Site, Engine Maintenance Assembly & Disassembly Facility, Area 25, Jackass Flats, Mercury, Nye County, NV

  4. Sarcomere length influences postmortem proteolysis of excised bovine semitendinosus muscle

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The interaction between sarcomere length and postmortem proteolysis as related to meat tenderness is not clear. The extent of thick and thin filament overlap alters actomyosin binding and may alter substrate availability during aging-induced tenderization. The objective of this study was to determin...

  5. Interpretation of postmortem vitreous concentrations of sodium and chloride.

    PubMed

    Zilg, B; Alkass, K; Berg, S; Druid, H

    2016-06-01

    Vitreous fluid can be used to analyze sodium and chloride levels in deceased persons, but it remains unclear to what extent such results can be used to diagnose antemortem sodium or chloride imbalances. In this study we present vitreous sodium and chloride levels from more than 3000 cases. We show that vitreous sodium and chloride levels both decrease with approximately 2.2mmol/L per day after death. Since potassium is a well-established marker for postmortem interval (PMI) and easily can be analyzed along with sodium and chloride, we have correlated sodium and chloride levels with the potassium levels and present postmortem reference ranges relative the potassium levels. We found that virtually all cases outside the reference range show signs of antemortem hypo- or hypernatremia. Vitreous sodium or chloride levels can be the only means to diagnose cases of water or salt intoxication, beer potomania or dehydration. We further show that postmortem vitreous sodium and chloride strongly correlate and in practice can be used interchangeably if analysis of one of the ions fails. It has been suggested that vitreous sodium and chloride levels can be used to diagnose drowning or to distinguish saltwater from freshwater drowning. Our results show that in cases of freshwater drowning, vitreous sodium levels are decreased, but that this mainly is an effect of postmortem diffusion between the eye and surrounding water rather than due to the drowning process, since the decrease in sodium levels correlates with immersion time. PMID:27105154

  6. Toxicological significance of dihydrodiol metabolites

    SciTech Connect

    Hsia, M.T.

    1982-01-01

    Dihydrodiols are often found as the major organic-extractable metabolites of various olefinic or aromatic xenobiotics in many biological samples. Studies on the chemistry of dihydrodiol metabolites have provided insight into the pharmacokinetic behavior and the mode of action of the parent compound. The toxicology of dihydrodiol is more complex than what can be deduced solely on the basis of diminished bioavailability of the epoxide precursor, and the increased hydrophilicity associated with the dihydrodiol moiety. Dihydrodiols can be intrinsically toxic and may even represent metabolically activated species. Some of the dihydrodiol metabolites may still retain sufficient lipophilic character to serve again as substrates for microsomal oxygenases. Because of the tremendous chemical and biological diversity that existed among the various dihydrodiols, more mechanistic studies are needed to examine the toxicological properties of these compounds. It may be premature to conclude dihydrodiol formation as purely a detoxification route for xenobioties.

  7. Forensic anthropology: developments of a classical discipline in the new millennium.

    PubMed

    Cattaneo, Cristina

    2007-01-17

    The present brief review is a survey of the role of forensic anthropology (FA) in the new millennium. After an introduction which deals with the expanding definition of the discipline and the issue of professionality and training, the author approaches the role and novel developments of the field, with particular reference to the past 5 years. Such developments are discussed in a sectorial manner, distinguishing the role of research in the areas of forensic anthropology which deal with human remains and those that deal with the living. As regards the "human remains" domain, advances and stalls still present in the fields of species and postmortem interval determination, sexing, aging and attribution of ancestry are stressed. The need for standards in facial reconstruction and positive identification by bone morphology are underlined, as well as the growing role of the anthropologist in detecting signs of trauma. Finally, the relatively new role of the forensic anthropologist in the domain of identification of the living is described, although this area is still underrepresented as regards research activity: these studies concern the strive to devise methods for identifying faces (e.g. in the case of crimes registered by videosurveillance systems), aging living individuals or juveniles represented in pedopornographic material. PMID:16843626

  8. Poetic Interventions with Forensic Patients.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Berger, Art; Giovan, Marti

    1990-01-01

    Describes the use of poetry, music, and creative writing with forensic patients at a state mental health institute. Demonstrates that expressive interventions were helpful in group treatment by promoting verbalization, decision making, and the recognition of personal responsibility for incarceration. (SR)

  9. Forensics: Enhancing Civic Literacy & Democracy

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Briscoe, Shawn F.

    2009-01-01

    Forensics--interpretation, speech, and debate--can and should be a meaningful part of every school's curriculum. To put it simply, the course of study, alongside cocurricular competition, promotes civic education and enhances the standard curriculum by helping students explore myriad topics from multiple angles and find the truth in each,…

  10. Incorporating Argumentation through Forensic Science

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wheeler, Lindsay B.; Maeng, Jennifer L.; Smetana, Lara K.

    2014-01-01

    This article outlines how to incorporate argumentation into a forensic science unit using a mock trial. Practical details of the mock trial include: (1) a method of scaffolding students' development of their argument for the trial, (2) a clearly outlined set of expectations for students during the planning and implementation of the mock…

  11. Genetic structure of forensic populations.

    PubMed Central

    Morton, N E

    1992-01-01

    DNA-based identification depends on the probability that two different individuals have the same phenotype, which is given by kinship theory. Together with the large and consistent body of evidence on human population structure, kinship theory provides a sound basis for forensic use of DNA markers. PMID:1557360

  12. Curriculum Guidelines on Forensic Dentistry.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Journal of Dental Education, 1990

    1990-01-01

    The American Association of Dental Schools' guidelines for curriculum design explain the scope of forensic dentistry and interrelationships with other fields, give an overview of the curriculum, and outline suggested primary educational goals, prerequisites, core content, specific behavioral objectives, sequencing, faculty and facility…

  13. Forensic Palynology as Classroom Inquiry

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Babcock, Steven L.; Warny, Sophie

    2014-01-01

    This activity introduces the science of "forensic palynology": the use of microscopic pollen and spores (also called "palynomorphs") to solve criminal cases. Plants produce large amounts of pollen or spores during reproductive cycles. Because of their chemical resistance, small size, and morphology, pollen and spores can be…

  14. Is it worth carrying out determination of N-butane in postmortem samples? A case report and a comprehensive review of the literature.

    PubMed

    El Balkhi, Souleiman; Coutaz-Fluck, Caroline; Moreau, Fanny; Paraf, François; Gaulier, Jean-Michel

    2016-09-01

    The aim of this article is to illustrate the importance of N-butane determination in postmortem samples through a case report and to propose actions and precautions to be taken into consideration when butane is suspected to be involved in cases of death. The case concerns a 15-year-old boy found dead after sniffing a cigarette lighter refill. Toxicological investigation revealed the presence of butane in the heart and femoral blood (1280 and 1170 μg/L, respectively), in the gastric contents (326 μg/L), and in the liver (1010 μg/kg) and lung tissues (210 μg/kg). Propane was present only in the blood samples at concentrations tenfolds lower.Butane can be involved in three kinds of fatalities: deliberate inhalations including volatile substance abuse (VSA), involuntary exposure, and homicides. A fatal outcome of butane inhalation can be caused by asphyxia and/or cardiac arrhythmia. In the context where butane exposure is evidenced by non-toxicological investigations, the usefulness of the determination of butane in postmortem samples is often questionable. However, it is admitted that butane-related deaths are generally underreported. Several difficulties including sample handling and storage, substantial variation in tissue concentrations, and lack of a lethal threshold make the interpretation of butane results challenging. In our opinion, systematic toxicological methods should be developed in order to analyze butane, at least when it concerns a typical VSA victim, even when butane is not actually suspected to be the cause of death. PMID:26364197

  15. Toxicologic studies of SRC materials

    SciTech Connect

    Mahlum, D.D.; Pelroy, R.A.; Drucker, H.; Wilson, B.W.; Massey, M.J.; Schmalzer, D.K.

    1980-02-01

    Investigations on the toxicity of SRC materials are reported. Toxicological studies include: microbial mutageneis (Ames test); in vitro mammalian cell toxicity and transformation assays; epidermal carcinogenesis (skin painting); acute and subchronic oral toxicity; developmental toxicity; dominant lethal assays; inhalation toxicity; and dosimetry and metabolism. The materials tested include: SRC-I process solvent, wash solvent, and light oil; SRC-II heavy distillate, middle distillate, and light distillate; shale oil; crude petroleum; and pure carcinogens. (DC)

  16. Recent advances in materials toxicology

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Russo, D. M.

    1979-01-01

    An overview of the fire toxicology program, its principal objectives and approach, is outlined. The laboratory methods of assessing pyrolysis product toxicity for two experiments are presented. The two experiments are: a comparison of test end points; and an evaluation of operant techniques. A third experiment is outlined for a comparison of full-scale and laboratory toxicity tests, with the purpose of determining animal survivability in full-scale tests. Future research plans are also outlined.

  17. Embedding Forensic Capabilities into Networks: Addressing Inefficiencies in Digital Forensics Investigations

    SciTech Connect

    Endicott-Popovsky, Barbara; Frincke, Deb A.

    2006-08-01

    A typical incident response pits technicians against networks that aren't prepared forensically. [1, 2] If practitioners do consider collecting network forensic data, they face a choice between expending extraordinary effort (time and money) collecting forensically sound data, or simply restoring the network as quickly as possible. In this context, the concept of organizational network forensic readiness has emerged. This paper proposes a methodology for "operationalizing" organizational network forensic readiness. The methodology, and the theoretical analysis that led to its development, are offered as a conceptual framework for thinking about more efficient, proactive approaches to digital forensics on networks.

  18. Forensic applications of 14C at CIRCE

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marzaioli, F.; Fiumano, V.; Capano, M.; Passariello, I.; Cesare, N. De.; Terrasi, F.

    2011-12-01

    The decreasing trend of the radiocarbon pulse produced during the atmospheric tests of nuclear weapons (bomb-carbon) coupled with high sensitivity accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) measurements, drastically increased the precision of radiocarbon age determinations since the second part of the sixties, allowing the application of radiocarbon AMS to a wide range of studies previously not directly involving conventional radiocarbon dating (i.e. food authenticity, forensic, biochemistry). In the framework of authenticity evaluation of artworks, high precision radiocarbon ( 14C) AMS measurements (Δ R/ R < 0.3%) reduce the conventional uncertainty of the dating to few decades, allowing precise age estimation of materials containing carbon (C). The Centre for Isotopic Research on Cultural and Environmental heritage (CIRCE) during its activity on AMS 14C dating achieved high precision measurements opening the opportunity to these kinds of applications. This paper presents the main results obtained from radiocarbon measurements on a set of bone samples analyzed for the determination of the post-mortem interval in the framework of an unsolved case investigated by the Rome prosecutor office. The chronological characterization of the wooden support of the "Acerenza portrait" is also presented with the aim to evaluate its age and to further investigate the possibility to attribute this artwork to Leonardo da Vinci. Bomb- 14C dating on the lipid and collagen fractions of bones allows the evaluation of the year of the death of the individuals by means of ad hoc calibration data sheet with the typical few years precision and difference between collagen apparent age and the year of death appeared in agreement with the age of one individual estimated by dating of tooth collagen. Conventional radiocarbon dating on both wood and wood extracted cellulose leads to an estimation of the portrait wood board age (2σ) of 1459-1524 AD (57% relative probability), 1571-1631 AD interval (42

  19. Postmortem evidence of cerebral inflammation in schizophrenia: a systematic review

    PubMed Central

    Trépanier, M O; Hopperton, K E; Mizrahi, R; Mechawar, N; Bazinet, R P

    2016-01-01

    Schizophrenia is a psychiatric disorder which has a lifetime prevalence of ~1%. Multiple candidate mechanisms have been proposed in the pathogenesis of schizophrenia. One such mechanism is the involvement of neuroinflammation. Clinical studies, including neuroimaging, peripheral biomarkers and randomized control trials, have suggested the presence of neuroinflammation in schizophrenia. Many studies have also measured markers of neuroinflammation in postmortem brain samples from schizophrenia patients. The objective of this study was to conduct a systematic search of the literature on neuroinflammation in postmortem brains of schizophrenia patients indexed in MEDLINE, Embase and PsycINFO. Databases were searched up until 20th March 2016 for articles published on postmortem brains in schizophrenia evaluating microglia, astrocytes, glia, cytokines, the arachidonic cascade, substance P and other markers of neuroinflammation. Two independent reviewers extracted the data. Out of 5385 articles yielded by the search, 119 articles were identified that measured neuroinflammatory markers in schizophrenic postmortem brains. Glial fibrillary acidic protein expression was elevated, lower or unchanged in 6, 6 and 21 studies, respectively, and similar results were obtained for glial cell densities. On the other hand, microglial markers were increased, lower or unchanged in schizophrenia in 11, 3 and 8 studies, respectively. Results were variable across all other markers, but SERPINA3 and IFITM were consistently increased in 4 and 5 studies, respectively. Despite the variability, some studies evaluating neuroinflammation in postmortem brains in schizophrenia suggest an increase in microglial activity and other markers such as SERPINA3 and IFITM. Variability across studies is partially explained by multiple factors including brain region evaluated, source of the brain, diagnosis, age at time of death, age of onset and the presence of suicide victims in the cohort. PMID:27271499

  20. Postmortem evidence of cerebral inflammation in schizophrenia: a systematic review.

    PubMed

    Trépanier, M O; Hopperton, K E; Mizrahi, R; Mechawar, N; Bazinet, R P

    2016-08-01

    Schizophrenia is a psychiatric disorder which has a lifetime prevalence of ~1%. Multiple candidate mechanisms have been proposed in the pathogenesis of schizophrenia. One such mechanism is the involvement of neuroinflammation. Clinical studies, including neuroimaging, peripheral biomarkers and randomized control trials, have suggested the presence of neuroinflammation in schizophrenia. Many studies have also measured markers of neuroinflammation in postmortem brain samples from schizophrenia patients. The objective of this study was to conduct a systematic search of the literature on neuroinflammation in postmortem brains of schizophrenia patients indexed in MEDLINE, Embase and PsycINFO. Databases were searched up until 20th March 2016 for articles published on postmortem brains in schizophrenia evaluating microglia, astrocytes, glia, cytokines, the arachidonic cascade, substance P and other markers of neuroinflammation. Two independent reviewers extracted the data. Out of 5385 articles yielded by the search, 119 articles were identified that measured neuroinflammatory markers in schizophrenic postmortem brains. Glial fibrillary acidic protein expression was elevated, lower or unchanged in 6, 6 and 21 studies, respectively, and similar results were obtained for glial cell densities. On the other hand, microglial markers were increased, lower or unchanged in schizophrenia in 11, 3 and 8 studies, respectively. Results were variable across all other markers, but SERPINA3 and IFITM were consistently increased in 4 and 5 studies, respectively. Despite the variability, some studies evaluating neuroinflammation in postmortem brains in schizophrenia suggest an increase in microglial activity and other markers such as SERPINA3 and IFITM. Variability across studies is partially explained by multiple factors including brain region evaluated, source of the brain, diagnosis, age at time of death, age of onset and the presence of suicide victims in the cohort. PMID:27271499

  1. European Council of Legal Medicine (ECLM) accreditation of forensic pathology services in Europe.

    PubMed

    Mangin, P; Bonbled, F; Väli, M; Luna, A; Bajanowski, T; Hougen, H P; Ludes, B; Ferrara, D; Cusack, D; Keller, E; Vieira, N

    2015-03-01

    Forensic experts play a major role in the legal process as they offer professional expert opinion and evidence within the criminal justice system adjudicating on the innocence or alleged guilt of an accused person. In this respect, medico-legal examination is an essential part of the investigation process, determining in a scientific way the cause(s) and manner of unexpected and/or unnatural death or bringing clinical evidence in case of physical, psychological, or sexual abuse in living people. From a legal perspective, these types of investigation must meet international standards, i.e., it should be independent, effective, and prompt. Ideally, the investigations should be conducted by board-certified experts in forensic medicine, endowed with a solid experience in this field, without any hierarchical relationship with the prosecuting authorities and having access to appropriate facilities in order to provide forensic reports of high quality. In this respect, there is a need for any private or public national or international authority including non-governmental organizations seeking experts qualified in forensic medicine to have at disposal a list of specialists working in accordance with high standards of professional performance within forensic pathology services that have been successfully submitted to an official accreditation/certification process using valid and acceptable criteria. To reach this goal, the National Association of Medical Examiners (NAME) has elaborated an accreditation/certification checklist which should be served as decision-making support to assist inspectors appointed to evaluate applicants. In the same spirit than NAME Accreditation Standards, European Council of Legal Medicine (ECLM) board decided to set up an ad hoc working group with the mission to elaborate an accreditation/certification procedure similar to the NAME's one but taking into account the realities of forensic medicine practices in Europe and restricted to post-mortem

  2. Bruised witness: Bernard Spilsbury and the performance of early twentieth-century English forensic pathology.

    PubMed

    Burney, Ian; Pemberton, Neil

    2011-01-01

    This article explores the status, apparatus and character of forensic pathology in the inter-war period, with a special emphasis on the 'people's pathologist', Bernard Spilsbury. The broad expert and public profile of forensic pathology, of which Spilsbury was the most prominent contemporary representative, will be outlined and discussed. In so doing, close attention will be paid to the courtroom strategies by which he and other experts translated their isolated post-mortem encounters with the dead body into effective testimony. Pathologists built a high-profile practice that transfixed the popular, legal and scientific imagination, and this article also explores, through the celebrated 1925 murder trial of Norman Thorne, how Spilsbury's courtroom performance focused critical attention on the practices of pathology itself, which threatened to destabilise the status of forensic pathology. In particular, the Thorne case raised questions about the interrelation between bruising and putrefaction as sources of interpretative anxiety. Here, the question of practice is vital, especially in understanding how Spilsbury's findings clashed with those of rival pathologists whose autopsies centred on a corpse that had undergone further putrefactive changes and that had thereby mutated as an evidentiary object. Examining how pathologists dealt with interpretative problems raised by the instability of their core investigative object enables an analysis of the ways in which pathological investigation of homicide was inflected with a series of conceptual, professional and cultural difficulties stemming in significant ways from the materiality of the corpse itself. This article presents early findings of a larger study of twentieth-century English homicide investigation which focuses on the interaction between two dominant forensic regimes: the first, outlined in part here, is a body-centred forensics, associated with the lone, 'celebrity' pathologist, his scalpel and the mortuary

  3. Bruised Witness: Bernard Spilsbury and the Performance of Early Twentieth-Century English Forensic Pathology

    PubMed Central

    BURNEY, IAN; PEMBERTON, NEIL

    2011-01-01

    This article explores the status, apparatus and character of forensic pathology in the inter-war period, with a special emphasis on the ‘people’s pathologist’, Bernard Spilsbury. The broad expert and public profile of forensic pathology, of which Spilsbury was the most prominent contemporary representative, will be outlined and discussed. In so doing, close attention will be paid to the courtroom strategies by which he and other experts translated their isolated post-mortem encounters with the dead body into effective testimony. Pathologists built a high-profile practice that transfixed the popular, legal and scientific imagination, and this article also explores, through the celebrated 1925 murder trial of Norman Thorne, how Spilsbury’s courtroom performance focused critical attention on the practices of pathology itself, which threatened to destabilise the status of forensic pathology. In particular, the Thorne case raised questions about the interrelation between bruising and putrefaction as sources of interpretative anxiety. Here, the question of practice is vital, especially in understanding how Spilsbury’s findings clashed with those of rival pathologists whose autopsies centred on a corpse that had undergone further putrefactive changes and that had thereby mutated as an evidentiary object. Examining how pathologists dealt with interpretative problems raised by the instability of their core investigative object enables an analysis of the ways in which pathological investigation of homicide was inflected with a series of conceptual, professional and cultural difficulties stemming in significant ways from the materiality of the corpse itself. This article presents early findings of a larger study of twentieth-century English homicide investigation which focuses on the interaction between two dominant forensic regimes: the first, outlined in part here, is a body-centred forensics, associated with the lone, ‘celebrity’ pathologist, his scalpel and

  4. 21 CFR 862.3200 - Clinical toxicology calibrator.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-04-01

    ... 21 Food and Drugs 8 2012-04-01 2012-04-01 false Clinical toxicology calibrator. 862.3200 Section... (CONTINUED) MEDICAL DEVICES CLINICAL CHEMISTRY AND CLINICAL TOXICOLOGY DEVICES Clinical Toxicology Test Systems § 862.3200 Clinical toxicology calibrator. (a) Identification. A clinical toxicology calibrator...

  5. 21 CFR 862.3280 - Clinical toxicology control material.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-04-01

    ... 21 Food and Drugs 8 2012-04-01 2012-04-01 false Clinical toxicology control material. 862.3280... (CONTINUED) MEDICAL DEVICES CLINICAL CHEMISTRY AND CLINICAL TOXICOLOGY DEVICES Clinical Toxicology Test Systems § 862.3280 Clinical toxicology control material. (a) Identification. A clinical toxicology...

  6. 21 CFR 862.3280 - Clinical toxicology control material.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-04-01

    ... 21 Food and Drugs 8 2014-04-01 2014-04-01 false Clinical toxicology control material. 862.3280... (CONTINUED) MEDICAL DEVICES CLINICAL CHEMISTRY AND CLINICAL TOXICOLOGY DEVICES Clinical Toxicology Test Systems § 862.3280 Clinical toxicology control material. (a) Identification. A clinical toxicology...

  7. 21 CFR 862.3280 - Clinical toxicology control material.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-04-01

    ... 21 Food and Drugs 8 2013-04-01 2013-04-01 false Clinical toxicology control material. 862.3280... (CONTINUED) MEDICAL DEVICES CLINICAL CHEMISTRY AND CLINICAL TOXICOLOGY DEVICES Clinical Toxicology Test Systems § 862.3280 Clinical toxicology control material. (a) Identification. A clinical toxicology...

  8. 21 CFR 862.3200 - Clinical toxicology calibrator.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-04-01

    ... 21 Food and Drugs 8 2013-04-01 2013-04-01 false Clinical toxicology calibrator. 862.3200 Section... (CONTINUED) MEDICAL DEVICES CLINICAL CHEMISTRY AND CLINICAL TOXICOLOGY DEVICES Clinical Toxicology Test Systems § 862.3200 Clinical toxicology calibrator. (a) Identification. A clinical toxicology calibrator...

  9. 21 CFR 862.3200 - Clinical toxicology calibrator.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-04-01

    ... 21 Food and Drugs 8 2014-04-01 2014-04-01 false Clinical toxicology calibrator. 862.3200 Section... (CONTINUED) MEDICAL DEVICES CLINICAL CHEMISTRY AND CLINICAL TOXICOLOGY DEVICES Clinical Toxicology Test Systems § 862.3200 Clinical toxicology calibrator. (a) Identification. A clinical toxicology calibrator...

  10. Resource Guide to Careers in Toxicology, 3rd Edition.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Society of Toxicology, Reston, VA.

    This resource guide was prepared by the Tox 90's Educational Issues Task Force of the Society of Toxicology. The introduction provides information on the Society of Toxicology and financial support for graduate students in toxicology. Other sections include career opportunities in toxicology, academic and postdoctoral programs in toxicology, and…

  11. 21 CFR 862.3280 - Clinical toxicology control material.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-04-01

    ... 21 Food and Drugs 8 2011-04-01 2011-04-01 false Clinical toxicology control material. 862.3280... (CONTINUED) MEDICAL DEVICES CLINICAL CHEMISTRY AND CLINICAL TOXICOLOGY DEVICES Clinical Toxicology Test Systems § 862.3280 Clinical toxicology control material. (a) Identification. A clinical toxicology...

  12. 21 CFR 862.3280 - Clinical toxicology control material.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-04-01

    ... 21 Food and Drugs 8 2010-04-01 2010-04-01 false Clinical toxicology control material. 862.3280... (CONTINUED) MEDICAL DEVICES CLINICAL CHEMISTRY AND CLINICAL TOXICOLOGY DEVICES Clinical Toxicology Test Systems § 862.3280 Clinical toxicology control material. (a) Identification. A clinical toxicology...

  13. 21 CFR 862.3200 - Clinical toxicology calibrator.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-04-01

    ... 21 Food and Drugs 8 2011-04-01 2011-04-01 false Clinical toxicology calibrator. 862.3200 Section... (CONTINUED) MEDICAL DEVICES CLINICAL CHEMISTRY AND CLINICAL TOXICOLOGY DEVICES Clinical Toxicology Test Systems § 862.3200 Clinical toxicology calibrator. (a) Identification. A clinical toxicology calibrator...

  14. 21 CFR 862.3200 - Clinical toxicology calibrator.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-04-01

    ... 21 Food and Drugs 8 2010-04-01 2010-04-01 false Clinical toxicology calibrator. 862.3200 Section... (CONTINUED) MEDICAL DEVICES CLINICAL CHEMISTRY AND CLINICAL TOXICOLOGY DEVICES Clinical Toxicology Test Systems § 862.3200 Clinical toxicology calibrator. (a) Identification. A clinical toxicology calibrator...

  15. On the added value of forensic science and grand innovation challenges for the forensic community.

    PubMed

    van Asten, Arian C

    2014-03-01

    In this paper the insights and results are presented of a long term and ongoing improvement effort within the Netherlands Forensic Institute (NFI) to establish a valuable innovation programme. From the overall perspective of the role and use of forensic science in the criminal justice system, the concepts of Forensic Information Value Added (FIVA) and Forensic Information Value Efficiency (FIVE) are introduced. From these concepts the key factors determining the added value of forensic investigations are discussed; Evidential Value, Relevance, Quality, Speed and Cost. By unravelling the added value of forensic science and combining this with the future needs and scientific and technological developments, six forensic grand challenges are introduced: i) Molecular Photo-fitting; ii) chemical imaging, profiling and age estimation of finger marks; iii) Advancing Forensic Medicine; iv) Objective Forensic Evaluation; v) the Digital Forensic Service Centre and vi) Real time In-Situ Chemical Identification. Finally, models for forensic innovation are presented that could lead to major international breakthroughs on all these six themes within a five year time span. This could cause a step change in the added value of forensic science and would make forensic investigative methods even more valuable than they already are today. PMID:24630329

  16. Toxicological analysis of formalin-fixed or embalmed tissues: a review.

    PubMed

    Nikolaou, Panagiota; Papoutsis, Ioannis; Dona, Artemisia; Spiliopoulou, Chara; Athanaselis, Sotiris

    2013-12-10

    During the autopsy of forensic cases, when there is no suspicion of drug use or chemical exposure, biological fluids may not be obtained for toxicological analysis, while specimens of tissues may be collected and preserved in a formalin solution for histological examination. When specific questions arise after the burial, the only possible options are the exhumation of an embalmed body or the toxicological analysis of the formalin-fixed specimens. The drug concentrations in these specimens can be altered due to the extraction efficiency and/or the chemical activity of the formalin solutions used during chemical fixation or embalming process. The aim of this paper is to review the published studies about the determination of specific groups of drugs in formalin-fixed or embalmed specimens and their stability after chemical fixation or embalming process. The analytical aspects of this determination are also discussed. The stability of drugs in formalin environment and the possible reaction of the drugs with formaldehyde, which is a highly reactive chemical substance, should always be considered during post-mortem/post-embalming forensic analysis. The additional analysis of the formalin solution in which the tissue was preserved is considered necessary. The identification and the evaluation of the possible degradation products or chemical derivatives are extremely useful during the interpretation of the results. PMID:24314535

  17. Optimization and Validation of an ETAAS Method for the Determination of Nickel in Postmortem Material.

    PubMed

    Dudek-Adamska, Danuta; Lech, Teresa; Kościelniak, Paweł

    2015-01-01

    In this article, optimization and validation of a procedure for the determination of total nickel in wet digested samples of human body tissues (internal organs) for forensic toxicological purposes are presented. Four experimental setups of the electrothermal atomic absorption spectrometry (ETAAS) using a Solaar MQZe (Thermo Electron Co.) were compared, using the following (i) no modifier, (ii) magnesium nitrate, (iii) palladium nitrate and (iv) magnesium nitrate and ammonium dihydrogen phosphate mixture as chemical modifiers. It was ascertained that the ETAAS without any modifier with 1,300/2,400°C as the pyrolysis and atomization temperatures, respectively, can be used to determine total nickel at reference levels in biological materials as well as its levels found in chronic or acute poisonings. The method developed was validated, obtaining a linear range of calibration from 0.76 to 15.0 μg/L, limit of detection at 0.23 µg/L, limit of quantification at 0.76 µg/L, precision (as relative standard deviation) up to 10% and accuracy of 97.1% for the analysis of certified material (SRM 1577c Bovine Liver) and within a range from 99.2 to 109.9% for the recovery of fortified liver samples. PMID:25868556

  18. Postmortem distribution of ametryn in the blood and organ tissues of an herbicide-poisoning victim.

    PubMed

    Takayasu, Tatunori; Ishida, Yuko; Kimura, Akihiko; Nosaka, Mizuho; Kawaguchi, Mariko; Kondo, Toshikazu

    2010-06-01

    We report a case of fatal intoxication caused by the ingestion of the herbicide Gesapax (an emulsion type), which consists of 25% ametryn (ametryne, ametrin, ametrine, and ametrina), and 75% other components (xylene and cyclohexanone). A female in her 70's was found dead in her bed. Forensic autopsy revealed no remarkable injury or morphological changes. In a gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) screening test, ametryn was qualitatively detected in her stomach content. Then, the other components of xylene and cyclohexanone were detected by headspace GC-MS in the stomach content. The amount of ametryn (microg/g) extract from each body fluid or organ tissue was determined by GC-MS as follows: 6.69 (heart blood), 3.50 (peripheral blood), 0.085 (urine), 17.2 (brain frontal lobe), 71.9 (right lung), 23.9 (liver), 19.1 (right kidney), and 74,200 (stomach contents). The other components, xylene and cyclohexanone, were also determined in the body fluids and organ tissues. These data strongly suggest that the female orally ingested the herbicide. From these toxicological data together with autopsy findings, the cause of her death was determined to be an acute herbicide poisoning. PMID:20529463

  19. Toxicologic properties of fluorescent whitening agents.

    PubMed

    Gloxhuber, C; Bloching, H

    1978-01-01

    From the collection of toxicologic data, it is seen that the fluorescent whitening agents are a well-investigated class of compounds. Only in one of the groups of compounds investigated did it appear advisable to discontinue the use of a particular product on the basis of the toxicologic findings. In the large number of the other cases, the findings indicate that there is a considerable degree of toxicologic safety in the use of the FWAs in soap and detergent products. PMID:367695

  20. Foundations of Forensic Meteoritics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Treiman, A. H.

    1992-07-01

    , soil) adhering to a meteorite are samples of the actual physical environment in which the meteorite rested. Adhesion may derive from chemical cementation (incl. rust from the meteorite), biologic activity (incl. desert varnish?), or impact processes [2]. Given the wide diversity of geological materials and processes on the Earth, adhering geological materials may be useful forensic tools. For instance, fall in a volcanic terrane may be inconsistent with adhering sediments of clean quartz sand. Biologic matter on meteorites includes animal and vegetable matter mixed with the adhering geological materials, lichens and other plants growing in place, and purposefully attached animal matter (e.g. insect eggs). The most useful biological data may be provided by pollen, which can often be referred unambiguously to genera and species of plants. For example, sediments adhering to meteorites from the central Nullabor Plain (W. Australia) are different from sediments from the Plain's margin in S. Australia. Sediment on meteorites from the central Nullabor (e.g. Mundrabilla) lacks quartz sand and consists almost entirely of clay-sized particles, consistent with derivation from the local saprolitic soil. Sediment on meteorites from the eastern Nullabor (e.g. Hughes and Cook, S.A.) contains a significant fraction of quartz sand, 1/4- to 1/2-mm grains, probably blown from the Great Victoria Desert to the north and northwest. However, sedimentologic data alone may be misleading. For instance, sediments adhering to Nuevo Mercurio stones (H5; Zacatecas, Mexico) are clay-sized and lack coarser material. But sediment on Nuevo Mercurio (b), a ureilite found in the Nuevo Mercurio strewn field, consists of quartz sand and clay pellets, 1/4 to 1/2 mm diameter. Clearly, local environments may affect the character of sediment adhering to a meteorite, and careful detailed study may be required to determine whether a meteorite has been transported. I am grateful to R. Farrell and D. New for

  1. Microbial Forensics: A Scientific Assessment

    SciTech Connect

    Keim, Paul

    2003-02-17

    Microorganisms have been used as weapons in criminal acts, most recently highlighted by the terrorist attack using anthrax in the fall of 2001. Although such ''biocrimes'' are few compared with other crimes, these acts raise questions about the ability to provide forensic evidence for criminal prosecution that can be used to identify the source of the microorganisms used as a weapon and, more importantly, the perpetrator of the crime. Microbiologists traditionally investigate the sources of microorganisms in epidemiological investigations, but rarely have been asked to assist in criminal investigations. A colloquium was convened by the American Academy of Microbiology in Burlington, Vermont, on June 7-9, 2002, in which 25 interdisciplinary, expert scientists representing evolutionary microbiology, ecology, genomics, genetics, bioinformatics, forensics, chemistry, and clinical microbiology, deliberated on issues in microbial forensics. The colloquium's purpose was to consider issues relating to microbial forensics, which included a detailed identification of a microorganism used in a bioattack and analysis of such a microorganism and related materials to identify its forensically meaningful source--the perpetrators of the bioattack. The colloquium examined the application of microbial forensics to assist in resolving biocrimes with a focus on what research and education are needed to facilitate the use of microbial forensics in criminal investigations and the subsequent prosecution of biocrimes, including acts of bioterrorism. First responders must consider forensic issues, such as proper collection of samples to allow for optimal laboratory testing, along with maintaining a chain of custody that will support eventual prosecution. Because a biocrime may not be immediately apparent, a linkage must be made between routine diagnosis, epidemiological investigation, and criminal investigation. There is a need for establishing standard operating procedures and training to

  2. Immunoassay for ethyl glucuronide in vitreous humor: a new tool for postmortem diagnostics of alcohol use.

    PubMed

    Rainio, Juha; Kultti, Johanna; Kangastupa, Päivikki; Tuomi, Heidi; Ahola, Sanna; Karhunen, Pekka J; Helander, Anders; Niemelä, Onni

    2013-03-10

    Although excessive alcohol consumption plays a major role in fatal events, the role of alcohol use as a possible contributing factor at the time of death is not easy to establish due to lack of suitable biomarkers for postmortem analyses. We used an immunological approach to measure ethyl glucuronide (EtG) concentrations from vitreous humor (VH) and serum from 58 individuals representing a forensic autopsy population of cases with either a well-documented history of excessive alcohol use (n=37) or cases without such history (n=21), according to medical and police records and blood alcohol determinations (BAC). The immunoassay was based on the Microgenics DRI-EtG EIA reagents applied on an automated Abbott Architect c8000 clinical chemistry analyzer. Liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) determination of EtG and ethyl sulfate (EtS) was used as a reference method. At a cut-off of 0.3mg/l for VH-EtG, the immunoassay correctly identified 92% of the cases with a history of excessive alcohol use, whereas the BAC was positive (cut-off 10mg/dl) in 68% of the cases. A significant correlation emerged between VH-EtG and serum EtG (r=0.77, p<0.001) and between VH-EtG and BAC (r=0.62, p<0.001), although VH-EtG was frequently elevated also in cases with no detectable BAC. The EtG immunoassay showed a strong correlation with the LC-MS/MS reference method (r=0.94, p<0.001) and there was 100% agreement in the frequency of marker positive and negative findings between the immunoassay EtG results and the LC-MS/MS analysis of EtG and EtS. The present data indicate that the immunoassay for VH-EtG is a useful forensic tool for screening of antemortem alcohol use. PMID:23415594

  3. Forensic botany: usability of bryophyte material in forensic studies.

    PubMed

    Virtanen, Viivi; Korpelainen, Helena; Kostamo, Kirsi

    2007-10-25

    Two experiments were performed to test the relevance of bryophyte (Plantae, Bryophyta) material for forensic studies. The first experiment was conducted to reveal if, and how well, plant fragments attach to footwear in general. In the test, 16 persons walked outdoors wearing rubber boots or hiking boots. After 24h of use outdoors the boots were carefully cleaned, and all plant fragments were collected. Afterwards, all plant material was examined to identify the species. In the second experiment, fresh material of nine bryophyte species was kept in a shed in adverse conditions for 18 months, after which DNA was extracted and subjected to genotyping to test the quality of the material. Both experiments give support for the usability of bryophyte material in forensic studies. The bryophyte fragments become attached to shoes, where they remain even after the wearer walks on a dry road for several hours. Bryophyte DNA stays intact, allowing DNA profiling after lengthy periods following detachment from the original plant source. Based on these experiments, and considering the fact that many bryophytes are clonal plants, we propose that bryophytes are among the most usable plants to provide botanical evidence for forensic investigations. PMID:17300893

  4. ACToR A Aggregated Computational Toxicology Resource

    EPA Science Inventory

    We are developing the ACToR system (Aggregated Computational Toxicology Resource) to serve as a repository for a variety of types of chemical, biological and toxicological data that can be used for predictive modeling of chemical toxicology.

  5. ACToR A Aggregated Computational Toxicology Resource (S)

    EPA Science Inventory

    We are developing the ACToR system (Aggregated Computational Toxicology Resource) to serve as a repository for a variety of types of chemical, biological and toxicological data that can be used for predictive modeling of chemical toxicology.

  6. Graduate Training in Toxicology in Colleges of Veterinary Medicine.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Robens, J. F.; Buck, W. B.

    1979-01-01

    Presented are an American Board of Veterinary Toxicology survey and evaluation of the training resources available in graduate programs in toxicology located in colleges of veterinary medicine. Regulatory toxicology, number of toxicologists needed, and curriculum are also discussed. (JMD)

  7. Radiology in forensic identification: the Mt Erebus disaster.

    PubMed

    Alexander, C J; Foote, G A

    1998-11-01

    Although radiology has exceptional discriminatory power in the identification of individuals, it is not often used for this purpose. This under-utilization stems in part from insufficient appreciation of its potential, and in part from a lack of agreed operational protocols. Descriptions of criteria used for radiological identification are scattered in individual reports and have not been collated. The circumstances in which identification is required are various and pose different problems for which guidelines have not been established. The areas in which radiology has a high capacity for identification of age, sex or identity are reviewed and their strengths and limitations are discussed. A survey of the literature identified three different circumstances in which cadaver identification is needed, and a protocol is suggested to meet the differing requirements of these three situations. The use of these protocols and techniques in the identification of bodies recovered from the Mt Erebus disaster is described. Postmortem radiographs established the identity of 11 bodies not identified by other techniques. There is a need for greater awareness in police and forensic circles of the identifying power of radiology. PMID:9833369

  8. The Helderberg air disaster--forensic odontological investigations.

    PubMed

    Ligthelm, A J

    1994-06-01

    A Boeing 747-224B Combi of the South African Airways, the "Helderberg", crashed into the sea near Mauritius on 28 November 1987. All 159 people on board died and dental tissues were present in only eight of the 15 lots of human remains recovered. Ante-mortem dental records were collected by a team in Johannesburg while the post-mortem examinations were conducted in Mauritius. The special circumstances surrounding an accident at sea resulted in the low number of bodies available for identification procedures. Of the eight remains which included dental tissues, five were identified by means of simple dental restorations, advanced dentistry, anatomical features of teeth and stages of development of teeth. One of the victims was identified by a process of exclusion and radiographic evidence played a decisive role in the identification process. (J Forensic Odontostomatol 1994; 12: 15-18) The variety of record-keeping styles and abbreviations used in different countries posed a major problem during the process and it is concluded that international standardization in record-keeping requires urgent attention. PMID:9227085

  9. The complex spectrum of forensic issues arising from obesity.

    PubMed

    Byard, Roger W

    2012-12-01

    The increasing numbers of obese and morbidly obese individuals in the community are having a direct effect on forensic facilities. In addition to having to install more robust equipment for handling large bodies, the quality of autopsy examinations may be reduced by the physical difficulties that arise in trying to position bodies correctly so that normal examinations can proceed. Accelerated putrefaction is often an added complication. Metabolic disturbances resulting from obesity increase susceptibility to a range of conditions that are associated with sudden and unexpected death, and surgery may have increased complications. The rates of a number of different malignancies, including lymphoma, leukemia, melanoma and multiple myeloma, and carcinomas of the esophagus, stomach, colon, gallbladder, thyroid, prostate, breast and endometrium, are increased. In addition, obese individuals have higher rates of diabetes mellitus, and sepsis. The unexpected collapse of an obese individual should raise the possibility of a wide range of conditions, many of which may be more difficult to demonstrate at autopsy than in an individual with a normal body mass index. Although sudden cardiac death due to cardiomegaly, pulmonary thromboembolism, or ischemic heart disease may be the most probable diagnosis in an unexpected collapse, the range of possible underlying conditions is extensive and often only determinable after full postmortem examination. PMID:22383171

  10. DNA fingerprinting: its application in forensic case work.

    PubMed

    Bär, W; Hummel, K

    1991-01-01

    Forensic serology deals with cases of disputed paternity and criminal stains. The spectacular improvement using DNA-profiling is best demonstrated with cases of criminal stains where with the same ease as a suspect can be identified, an innocent person can be excluded. In cases with band-shifting, a statistical definition of a match applying Bayes theorem as a decision making tool seems mandatory since matching or non-matching cannot be treated as a binary event. Good postmortem DNA stability is found in brain cortex, lymph nodes and psoas muscle. DNA fingerprinting is also a perfect tool to investigate disputed identity of blood alcohol samples. In paternity cases, we recommend both multi locus and single locus probes in kinship cases, e.g. in mother-child-putative father cases as well as father-daughter and brother-sister incest cases, grandparent cases and two-men cases. For the biostatistical evaluation of SLP patterns the formal genetics for a system of multiple allelism is used and for multi locus probes the model of multiple diallelism is applicable. PMID:1831162

  11. A combined protocol for identification of maggots of forensic interest.

    PubMed

    Tuccia, Fabiola; Giordani, Giorgia; Vanin, Stefano

    2016-07-01

    In Forensic Entomology the estimation of the age of insects is used for the estimation of the minimum post-mortem interval. As insect development is temperature dependent and species specific, a correct species identification is therefore fundamental. In the majority of cases the molecular identification is based on a destructive approach. In this paper a working protocol for molecular identification of fly larvae without affecting the anatomical characters used for morphological identification is presented. The suggested technique allows the preservation of the larval exoskeleton and of the unused soft tissues in the same vial allowing a repetition of both the morphological and molecular identification and reducing the risk of loss of the evidence. This method also allows the possibility of measuring the size of the specimens before their morphological and biomolecular characterization. In order to demonstrate that this technique can be applied on maggots of a large spectrum of dimensions it has been tested and validated using larvae of different size from ~1.7-1.3cm [Calliphora vomitoria and Lucilia sericata (Diptera: Calliphoridae)] to ~10-6.5mm [Musca domestica (Diptera: Muscidae) and Megaselia scalaris (Diptera: Phoridae)]. The importance of a unique identifier and of a complete database with all the specimen information (origin, sample size, identification, etc.) is also discussed. PMID:27320399

  12. The Non-Forensics After-Life of a Forensics Director.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nicolai, Michael T.

    A study investigated the personal and career choices that motivate an educator's departure from active involvement in forensics activities, and what trends, if any, exist concerning what former directors do in place of forensics. The study also investigated how forensics participation as a coach/director impacted on the individual, and what…

  13. Sex determination in forensic odontology: A review.

    PubMed

    Ramakrishnan, K; Sharma, Subramanya; Sreeja, C; Pratima, D Bhavani; Aesha, I; Vijayabanu, B

    2015-08-01

    Forensic odontology is the application of dental principles to legal issues. Sex determination is a subdivision of forensic odontology and it is very important especially when information relating to the deceased is unavailable. Sex determination becomes the first priority in the process of identification of a person by a forensic investigator in the case of mishaps, chemical and nuclear bomb explosions, natural disasters crime investigations, and ethnic studies. This article reviews upon the various methods used in sex determination. PMID:26538886

  14. Client-side Skype forensics: an overview

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Meißner, Tina; Kröger, Knut; Creutzburg, Reiner

    2013-03-01

    IT security and computer forensics are important components in the information technology. In the present study, a client-side Skype forensics is performed. It is designed to explain which kind of user data are stored on a computer and which tools allow the extraction of those data for a forensic investigation. There are described both methods - a manual analysis and an analysis with (mainly) open source tools, respectively.

  15. Sex determination in forensic odontology: A review

    PubMed Central

    Ramakrishnan, K.; Sharma, Subramanya; Sreeja, C.; Pratima, D. Bhavani; Aesha, I.; Vijayabanu, B.

    2015-01-01

    Forensic odontology is the application of dental principles to legal issues. Sex determination is a subdivision of forensic odontology and it is very important especially when information relating to the deceased is unavailable. Sex determination becomes the first priority in the process of identification of a person by a forensic investigator in the case of mishaps, chemical and nuclear bomb explosions, natural disasters crime investigations, and ethnic studies. This article reviews upon the various methods used in sex determination. PMID:26538886

  16. Review, discussion, and summary: toxicology

    SciTech Connect

    Graham, J.A.

    1989-02-01

    The research presented in the toxicology session of the Symposium on the Health Effects of Acid Aerosols significantly advances our understanding of the health effects of acid aerosols and clearly illustrates the importance of animal inhalation toxicology to risk assessment. The description of the effects of acid on airway mucus buffering capacity and viscosity helps explain some of the mechanisms responsible for the effects of sulfuric acid on mucociliary clearance and pulmonary function observed in man and animals. Several of the papers illustrate that other pollutants interact with sulfuric acid (H/sub 2/SO/sub 4/), causing concern about exposure risks and helping in elucidating the effects observed in epidemiology studies that have not yet been duplicated in a laboratory. For example, H/sub 2/SO/sub 4/ absorbed in zinc oxide (ZnO) particles appears to be about a log more potent than H/sub 2/SO/sub 4/ alone in causing pulmonary function decrements. Low levels of H/sub 2/SO/sub 4/ and O/sub 3/ were found to be synergistic in increasing collagen synthesis, implying a risk in development of lung fibrosis. More complex mixtures containing H/sub 2/SO/sub 4/ cause a variety of interactions, depending upon the end points examined and the chemistry of the mixture. Other reports indicate that dose rate and length of exposure issues are critical to toxicological outcomes. Animal data on mucociliary clearance, which parallels that of human data, was extended to show that concentration of exposure was more important than time of exposure in eliciting a response, although time played a significant role. A recent chronic study showed that H/sub 2/SO/sub 4/ caused effects that also can occur in the development of chronic bronchitis.

  17. Toxicology - A primer on toxicology principles and applications

    SciTech Connect

    Kamrin, M.A.

    1988-01-01

    As the use of synthetic chemicals increased dramatically after World War II, concern about the possible adverse health and environmental effects of such use grew. The book opens with a discussion of the general principles of toxicology and how these general principles are applied in assessing the acute, subacute and chronic effects of chemicals. Both qualitative and quantitative measures of toxicity are addressed and the protocols for the various tests are described. Emphasis is placed on both the strengths and limitations of the techniques which are in current use. This is then followed by a discussion of risk assessment and risk management. Risk assessment deals with both the toxic potential of a chemical and the exposure likely to occur in specific situations. Risk management includes the steps taken to reduce or eliminate risks identified in the assessment process. The components of risk assessment are described in relation to a variety of possible toxic effects and exposure scenarios. The last part of the book provides a description and analysis of four case studies, each dealing with a different substance. These include the food additives, cyclamate and saccharin; asbestos; formaldehyde; and benzene. The basic toxicological information regarding each, and the different regulations to which they have been subject, provide the basis for exploring how the principles introduced in the first part of the book are applied in practice.

  18. Forensic osteological investigations in Kosovo.

    PubMed

    Rainio, J; Hedman, M; Karkola, K; Lalu, K; Peltola, P; Ranta, H; Sajantila, A; Söderholm, N; Penttilä, A

    2001-10-01

    A team of Finnish forensic experts performed investigations of alleged mass graves in Kosovo under the mandate of the European Union (EU). Human skeletal remains from two locations were examined. The remains contained three almost complete skeletons, and individual bones and bone fragments, part of which were burned. Injuries, pathological changes, and findings for identification purposes were examined and documented using standard methods of forensic pathology and osteology. Gunshot injuries were found in some cases, but reliable determination of the cause and manner of death was not possible. A discrepancy arose between the number of victims reported in information received from the presiding district court, and results of the investigations. The estimation of the minimum number of victims was mostly acquired by DNA analysis. PMID:11566420

  19. Forensic Implications of Neuroscientific Advancements.

    PubMed

    Hauser, Lori L

    2016-06-01

    Im draws a parallel between the neurobiology of individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and that of trauma survivors, to explain why individuals with ASD may be more vulnerable to trauma as a risk factor for violence. This commentary raises questions about how we use this information in a forensic context, including its potential misuses. It urges caution in not overstating the data before we have a more nuanced understanding of how our neural circuitry influences specific behaviors and mental states, while not allowing the science to advance faster than we can harness it, overstepping its bounds in decisions we make regarding fairness and justice. It raises these concerns against a backdrop of the diametrically opposed assumptions about human behavior embraced by the two disciplines, mental health and the law, that come together in the forensic arena. PMID:27236174

  20. Neurobehavioral assessment in forensic practice

    PubMed Central

    Woods, George W.; Freedman, David; Greenspan, Stephen

    2013-01-01

    There is a growing awareness among mental health practitioners that many mental disorders previously believed to be primarily behavioral in nature, reflecting character and environment, are actually grounded in brain mal-development or brain disorder. This growing awareness, influenced by the advent of new diagnostic procedures and measures, is also found among forensic practitioners. In this paper, we describe some of the elements involved in conducting a neurobehavioral assessment of cognitive functioning, particularly in capital cases, organizing this material in terms of the professional disciplines – social work, mitigation investigation, psychological, and medical – with which these methods are mainly identified. The paper concludes with a brief discussion of how to integrate the multiple areas of expertise to create an accurate understanding of the neurobehavioral functioning and capacity of the subject. This is the basis from which civil and criminal forensic opinions must emanate. PMID:23059206

  1. Procedures to recover DNA from pre-molar and molar teeth of decomposed cadavers with different post-mortem intervals.

    PubMed

    Raimann, Paulo E; Picanço, Juliane B; Silva, Deborah S B S; Albuquerque, Trícia C K; Paludo, Francis Jackson O; Alho, Clarice S

    2012-11-01

    A task-force to resolve 26 pending forensic caseworks was carried out. We tested four different protocols to extract DNA from molar and pre-molar teeth from 26 cadavers with post-mortem intervals from 2 months to 12 years. We compared the amount of DNA and DNA profiles with the time elapsed between death and laboratory procedures. Molar or pre-molar teeth were removed from the corpses, cleaned, and DNA was extracted using 2 or 12h of incubation on lysis buffer and filtered using concentration column or precipitated with isopropanol. DNA profiles were obtained using PowerPlex16™ System PCR Amplification Kit, AmpFlSTR(®) Yfiler™ and/or mtDNA sequencing. Complete DNA profiles comparison and statistical evaluation allowed unambiguous identification of the 26 victims. No significant differences were observed in the amount of DNA obtained with the distinct incubation times. The use of concentration column resulted in an increased amount of DNA when compared to isopropanol. However, the lower concentration of DNA obtained with isopropanol seemed to have been compensated by the higher purity. No significant differences in the number of amplified loci were found. A non-significant tendency was found between the amount of total DNA recovered and the time elapsed between death and laboratory procedures. The increase of post-mortem time did not interfere in the analysed autosomal loci. In conclusion, molar and pre-molar teeth were shown to be good candidates to obtain satisfactory DNA profiles, suggesting the high potential of tooth samples as source for DNA typing independently of the decomposed corpse's time or laboratory procedures. PMID:23040740

  2. Toxicology of indigo. A review.

    PubMed

    Ferber, K H

    1987-01-01

    Most reports relating to the biological and toxicological properties of indigo have never been published in scientific journals. They are in the files of commercial testing laboratories, government agencies or sponsoring industrial corporations. They include studies of acute oral, dermal and inhalation toxicity, subchronic and chronic dietary effects in the rat and dog, multi-generation and dose-response effects, repeated dermal applications, human skin sensitization, and end-use in surgical sutures for the eye. This review summarizes the experimental protocols and results of these studies and others reported in the literature. It is concluded that indigo has a very low order of both acute and chronic toxicity. PMID:3598883

  3. Safety and Toxicology of Cannabinoids.

    PubMed

    Sachs, Jane; McGlade, Erin; Yurgelun-Todd, Deborah

    2015-10-01

    There is extensive research on the safety, toxicology, potency, and therapeutic potential of cannabis. However, uncertainty remains facilitating continued debate on medical and recreational cannabis policies at the state and federal levels. This review will include a brief description of cannabinoids and the endocannabinoid system; a summary of the acute and long-term effects of cannabis; and a discussion of the therapeutic potential of cannabis. The conclusions about safety and efficacy will then be compared with the current social and political climate to suggest future policy directions and general guidelines. PMID:26269228

  4. Design and evaluation of a bioreactor with application to forensic burial environments.

    PubMed

    Dunphy, Melissa A; Weisensee, Katherine E; Mikhailova, Elena A; Harman, Melinda K

    2015-12-01

    Existing forensic taphonomic methods lack specificity in estimating the postmortem interval (PMI) in the period following active decomposition. New methods, such as the use of citrate concentration in bone, are currently being considered; however, determining the applicability of these methods in differing environmental contexts is challenging. This research aims to design a forensic bioreactor that can account for environmental factors known to impact decomposition, specifically temperature, moisture, physical damage from animals, burial depth, soil pH, and organic matter content. These forensically relevant environmental variables were characterized in a soil science context. The resulting metrics were soil temperature regime, soil moisture regime, slope, texture, soil horizon, cation exchange capacity, soil pH, and organic matter content. Bioreactor chambers were constructed using sterilized thin-walled polystyrene boxes housed in calibrated temperature units. Gravesoil was represented using mineral soil (Ultisols), and organic soil proxy for Histosols, horticulture mix. Gravesoil depth was determined using mineral soil horizons A and Bt2 to simulate surface scatter and shallow grave burial respectively. A total of fourteen different environmental conditions were created and controlled successfully over a 90-day experiment. These results demonstrate successful implementation and control of forensic bioreactor simulating precise environments in a single research location, rather than site-specific testing occurring in different geographic regions. Bone sections were grossly assessed for weathering characteristics, which revealed notable differences related to exposure to different temperature regimes and soil types. Over the short 90-day duration of this experiment, changes in weathering characteristics were more evident across the different temperature regimes rather than the soil types. Using this methodology, bioreactor systems can be created to replicate many

  5. Imaging maculopathy in post-mortem human eyes.

    PubMed

    Curcio, Christine A

    2005-12-01

    Age-related maculopathy (ARM) remains a poorly understood degeneration. To discover new pathways using contemporary genomics, proteomics, and immunohistochemistry, validate emerging animal models, and validate new imaging modalities, human tissues obtained from donor eyes will be essential to ARM research for the foreseeable future. Because fundus appearance is the clinical diagnostic lingua franca, laboratory investigators adapted these standards to the distinctive appearance of post-mortem tissues in order to identify and stage ARM in donor eyes. Post-mortem tissues offer unique advantages and limitations relative to pre-mortem tissues for imaging studies. One fellow eye can be used for imaging and the other for correlative laboratory studies, if some degree of disease stage asymmetry between eyes is acceptable. Histological verification is a necessary, albeit challenging, step in validating a grading system. PMID:16171840

  6. Forensic DNA Profiling and Database

    PubMed Central

    Panneerchelvam, S.; Norazmi, M.N.

    2003-01-01

    The incredible power of DNA technology as an identification tool had brought a tremendous change in crimnal justice . DNA data base is an information resource for the forensic DNA typing community with details on commonly used short tandem repeat (STR) DNA markers. This article discusses the essential steps in compilation of COmbined DNA Index System (CODIS) on validated polymerase chain amplified STRs and their use in crime detection. PMID:23386793

  7. Forensic Analysis of BIOS Chips

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gershteyn, Pavel; Davis, Mark; Shenoi, Sujeet

    Data can be hidden in BIOS chips without hindering computer performance. This feature has been exploited by virus writers and computer game enthusiasts. Unused BIOS storage can also be used by criminals, terrorists and intelligence agents to conceal secrets. However, BIOS chips are largely ignored in digital forensic investigations. Few techniques exist for imaging BIOS chips and no tools are available specifically for analyzing BIOS data.

  8. [Taste disorders in forensic medicine].

    PubMed

    Canale, M; Canale, F; Pallestrini, E; Castello, E

    1994-01-01

    Taste disorders can a rise from lesions of peripheral receptors, taste control pathways or cortical area involvement. Among peripheral lesions, trauma of the tongue and oropharynx are the most common. Iatrogenic lesions of facial and glossopharingeal nerves are very important in Forensic Medicine, while there are different opinions about taste alterations due to head injuries; hypogeusia associated to smell disorders are found in 0.4-0.5% of patient after head trauma with good prognosis (90% healing) while qualitative disorders are more common (30%). The Authors describe clinical methodologies for taste evaluation and their application in Forensic Medicine. Forensic estimation of taste disorders con be classified by two main groups: study of cause relation between the occurrence and damage and quantitative valuation of the damage in three different juridical ambits: Penal, Civil, Insurance and foresight. In Penal Right taste damages could be classified among personal lesion crimes and can be classified as serious (permanent injury of taste) ore very serious (complete lost of taste function). Italian Legislation equipare the 5 sense organs. In Civil Right evaluation the so-called "biologic damage" and working ability are considered; this means very different evaluations. In the most recent baremes, generic damage is estimated by different Authors from 0 to 10% while with regard to specific working capacity, common evaluation criteria does not exist. In Insurance taste disorders evaluation is based only on working ability and not on biologic damage. In the previdenzial ambit, taste disorders are not even included in the most recent tables of permanent invalidity estimation. The Authors propose new and more efficacious valutation criteria for taste disorders in all ambits, hoping for more interest in the Forensic aspects of taste, a too often forgotten sensory function. PMID:7810326

  9. Nuclear Forensic Materials and Methods

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hutcheon, I. D.; Grant, P. M.; Moody, K. J.

    A short history and treatment of the various aspects of nuclear forensic analysis is followed by a discussion of the most common chemical procedures, including applications of tracers, radioisotopic generators, and sample chronometry. Analytic methodology discussed includes sample preparation, radiation detection, various forms of microscopy, and mass-spectrometric techniques. The chapter concludes with methods for the production and treatment of special nuclear materials and with a description of several actual case studies conducted at Livermore.

  10. Audit Log for Forensic Photography

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Neville, Timothy; Sorell, Matthew

    We propose an architecture for an audit log system for forensic photography, which ensures that the chain of evidence of a photograph taken by a photographer at a crime scene is maintained from the point of image capture to its end application at trial. The requirements for such a system are specified and the results of experiments are presented which demonstrate the feasibility of the proposed approach.

  11. Evolution of forensic odontology: An overview.

    PubMed

    Balachander, N; Babu, N Aravindha; Jimson, Sudha; Priyadharsini, C; Masthan, K M K

    2015-04-01

    Forensic dentistry or forensic odontology admits dentists' participation or identification of the victim and assisting legal and criminal issues. It refers to the proper handling, examination, identification and evaluation of dental evidence. This article summarizes the evolution of forensic odontology that started right from Garden of Eden to the modern scenario in identification of the gang rape case which happened in the state capital. Forensic dentistry plays a significant role in identifying the victims of crime, deceased individuals through the examination of anatomical structures, dental appliances and dental restorations. PMID:26015703

  12. DNA fingerprinting in forensics: past, present, future

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    DNA fingerprinting, one of the great discoveries of the late 20th century, has revolutionized forensic investigations. This review briefly recapitulates 30 years of progress in forensic DNA analysis which helps to convict criminals, exonerate the wrongly accused, and identify victims of crime, disasters, and war. Current standard methods based on short tandem repeats (STRs) as well as lineage markers (Y chromosome, mitochondrial DNA) are covered and applications are illustrated by casework examples. Benefits and risks of expanding forensic DNA databases are discussed and we ask what the future holds for forensic DNA fingerprinting. PMID:24245688

  13. Evolution of forensic odontology: An overview

    PubMed Central

    Balachander, N.; Babu, N. Aravindha; Jimson, Sudha; Priyadharsini, C.; Masthan, K. M. K.

    2015-01-01

    Forensic dentistry or forensic odontology admits dentists’ participation or identification of the victim and assisting legal and criminal issues. It refers to the proper handling, examination, identification and evaluation of dental evidence. This article summarizes the evolution of forensic odontology that started right from Garden of Eden to the modern scenario in identification of the gang rape case which happened in the state capital. Forensic dentistry plays a significant role in identifying the victims of crime, deceased individuals through the examination of anatomical structures, dental appliances and dental restorations. PMID:26015703

  14. USE OF DNA TECHNOLOGY IN FORENSIC DENTISTRY

    PubMed Central

    da Silva, Ricardo Henrique Alves; Sales-Peres, Arsenio; de Oliveira, Rogério Nogueira; de Oliveira, Fernando Toledo; Sales-Peres, Sílvia Helena de Carvalho

    2007-01-01

    The established importance of Forensic Dentistry for human identification, mainly when there is little remaining material to perform such identification (e.g., in fires, explosions, decomposing bodies or skeletonized bodies), has led dentists working with forensic investigation to become more familiar with the new molecular biology techniques. The currently available DNA tests have high reliability and are accepted as legal proofs in courts. This article presents a literature review referring to the main studies on Forensic Dentistry that involve the use of DNA for human identification, and makes an overview of the evolution of this technology in the last years, highlighting the importance of molecular biology in forensic sciences. PMID:19089123

  15. DNA quality and quantity from up to 16 years old post-mortem blood stored on FTA cards.

    PubMed

    Rahikainen, Anna-Liina; Palo, Jukka U; de Leeuw, Wiljo; Budowle, Bruce; Sajantila, Antti

    2016-04-01

    Blood samples preserved on FTA cards offer unique opportunities for genetic research. DNA recovered from these cards should be stable for long periods of time. However, it is not well established as how well the DNA stored on FTA card for substantial time periods meets the demands of forensic or genomic DNA analyses and especially so for from post-mortem (PM) samples in which the quality can vary upon initial collection. The aim of this study was to evaluate the time-dependent degradation on DNA quality and quantity extracted from up to 16 years old post-mortem bloodstained FTA cards. Four random FTA samples from eight time points spanning 1998 to 2013 (n=32) were collected and extracted in triplicate. The quantity and quality of the extracted DNA samples were determined with Quantifiler(®) Human Plus (HP) Quantification kit. Internal sample and sample-to-sample variation were evaluated by comparing recovered DNA yields. The DNA from the triplicate samplings were subsequently combined and normalized for further analysis. The practical effect of degradation on DNA quality was evaluated from normalized samples both with forensic and pharmacogenetic target markers. Our results suggest that (1) a PM change, e.g. blood clotting prior to sampling, affects the recovered DNA yield, creating both internal and sample-to-sample variation; (2) a negative correlation between the FTA card storage time and DNA quantity (r=-0.836 at the 0.01 level) was observed; (3) a positive correlation (r=0.738 at the level 0.01) was found between FTA card storage time and degradation levels. However, no inhibition was observed with the method used. The effect of degradation was manifested clearly with functional applications. Although complete STR-profiles were obtained for all samples, there was evidence of degradation manifested as decreased peak heights in the larger-sized amplicons. Lower amplification success was notable with the large 5.1kb CYP2D6 gene fragment which strongly supports

  16. Forensic neuropsychology: a selective introduction.

    PubMed

    Gilandas, A J; Touyz, S W

    1983-07-01

    During the last decade, neuropsychology has emerged as one of the fastest growing disciplines within clinical psychology. One of the most important roles for neuropsychologists is their contribution to the forensic sciences. The present paper reviews how lawyers may best utilize the services of clinical neuropsychologists. Suggestions are also offered to neuropsychologists on how better to meet the needs of lawyers. The following forensic science issues are discussed: the legal framework in which neuropsychologists function; contributions psychologists may make towards answering basic medicolegal questions such as the elucidation of the nature, extent, and duration of head injury sequelae; criteria for acceptable neuropsychological reports; medicolegal aspects of severe head injury, minor head injury (posttraumatic syndrome), and pseudo-head injury (malingering). There are many causes of damage to the nervous system (for example, industrial toxins and medical malpractice) that are eligible for compensation. Examples will be confined to head injury since the basic forensic science principles remain the same, whatever the etiology of such brain damage. PMID:6619781

  17. Advanced toxicology for health compliance officers (instructor manual)

    SciTech Connect

    Brown, E.M.

    1980-03-15

    The course includes an overview of the Toxic Substances Control Act; the biologic transformation mechanisms; some of the chemical hazards encountered in the workplace; an overview of human biochemistry; the kinetics of toxication; and finally the toxicology of metal dust. The general classification of pesticides is also discussed. The course is divided into 16 lessons. The specific titles of the course are as follows: Legislation, Organ physiology (overview), Organ physiology blood, Liver, Kidney, Organ system physiology, Nervous system, Biochemistry (overview), Dose response relationship, Toxification and biotransformation, Experimental studies, Special toxicology problems, Biological monitoring, Toxicology of gases, Toxicology of dusts, Toxicology of solvents, Toxicology of metals, Toxicology of pesticides, Toxicology of miscellaneous substances.

  18. Forensic features of a fatal Datura poisoning case during a robbery.

    PubMed

    Le Garff, E; Delannoy, Y; Mesli, V; Hédouin, V; Tournel, G

    2016-04-01

    Datura poisonings have been previously described but remain rare in forensic practice. Here, we present a homicide case involving Datura poisoning, which occurred during a robbery. Toxicological results were obtained by second autopsy performed after one previous autopsy and full body embalmment. A 35-year-old man presented with severe stomach and digestive pain, became unconscious and ultimately died during a trip in Asia. A first autopsy conducted in Asia revealed no trauma, intoxication or pathology. The corpse was embalmed with methanol/formalin. A second autopsy was performed in France, and toxicology samples were collected. Scopolamine, atropine, and hyoscyamine were found in the vitreous humor, in addition to methanol. Police investigators questioned the local travel guide, who admitted to having added Datura to a drink to stun and rob his victim. The victim's death was attributed to disordered heart rhythm due to severe anticholinergic syndrome following fatal Datura intoxication. This is a recent case of a rare homicide involving Datura that highlights general information on Datura and discusses forensic interpretation after a previous autopsy and body embalmment. PMID:26952786

  19. The Role of Postmortem Studies in Pneumonia Etiology Research

    PubMed Central

    Bunthi, Charatdao; Wonodi, Chizoba B.; Morpeth, Susan C.; Molyneux, Catherine S.; Zaki, Sherif R.; Levine, Orin S.; Murdoch, David R.; Scott, J. Anthony G.

    2012-01-01

    The diagnosis of etiology in severe pneumonia remains a challenging area. Postmortem lung tissue potentially increases the sensitivity of investigations for identification of causative pathogens in fatal cases of pneumonia and can confirm antemortem microbiological diagnoses. Tissue sampling allows assessment of histological patterns of disease and ancillary immunohistochemical or molecular diagnostic techniques. It may also enhance the recognition of noninfectious conditions that clinically simulate acute pneumonia. Biobanking of lung tissue or postmortem culture isolates offers opportunities for new pathogen discovery and research into host-pathogen interactions. The Pneumonia Etiology Research for Child Health study proposes a percutaneous needle biopsy approach to obtain postmortem samples, rather than a full open autopsy. This has the advantage of greater acceptability to relatives, but risks greater sampling error. Both approaches may be susceptible to microbiological contamination or pathogen degradation. However, previous autopsy studies have confirmed the value of histological examination in revealing unsuspected pathogens and influencing clinical guidelines for the diagnosis and treatment of future pneumonia cases. PMID:22403232

  20. Effects of postmortem delays on protein composition and oxidation.

    PubMed

    ElHajj, Zeinab; Cachot, Amélie; Müller, Terry; Riederer, Irène M; Riederer, Beat M

    2016-03-01

    Human autopsy brain tissue is widely used to study neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and other diseases. However, when it comes to an evaluation of data obtained from such tissue, it is essential to consider potential postmortem effects on protein composition, posttranslational modification and proteolysis with increasing postmortem delays. In this study, we analyzed mouse brain tissues with different postmortem delays (pmd) of 0 h, 6h and 24h, for changes in protein composition, proteolysis and modifications such as S-nitrosylation, carbonylation and ubiquitination. Proteins involved in Alzheimer's disease (AD) were of special interest, including cytoskeletal and synaptic proteins or proteins involved in inflammation. Several proteins were fairly resistant to degradation during the first 6h but started to degrade thereafter. S-nitrosylation and carbonylation showed not much variation, except for those proteins that were susceptible to degradation. Brain spectrin was S-nitrosylated at death, and S-nitrosylated degradation fragments were measured at a pmd of 24h, indicating a susceptibility of brain spectrin to degradation. Furthermore, the physiological role of S-nitrosylation remains to be investigated. When studying human brain tissue, some proteins are more susceptible to degradation than others, while ubiquitination and carbonylation were little affected during the first 24h after death. PMID:26791740

  1. The Toxicology Education Summit: Building the Future of Toxicology Through Education

    PubMed Central

    Barchowsky, Aaron; Buckley, Lorrene A.; Carlson, Gary P.; Fitsanakis, Vanessa A.; Ford, Sue M.; Genter, Mary Beth; Germolec, Dori R.; Leavens, Teresa L.; Lehman-McKeeman, Lois D.; Safe, Stephen H.; Sulentic, Courtney E. W.; Eidemiller, Betty J.

    2012-01-01

    Toxicology and careers in toxicology, as well as many other scientific disciplines, are undergoing rapid and dramatic changes as new discoveries, technologies, and hazards advance at a blinding rate. There are new and ever increasing demands on toxicologists to keep pace with expanding global economies, highly fluid policy debates, and increasingly complex global threats to public health. These demands must be met with new paradigms for multidisciplinary, technologically complex, and collaborative approaches that require advanced and continuing education in toxicology and associated disciplines. This requires paradigm shifts in educational programs that support recruitment, development, and training of the modern toxicologist, as well as continued education and retraining of the midcareer professional to keep pace and sustain careers in industry, government, and academia. The Society of Toxicology convened the Toxicology Educational Summit to discuss the state of toxicology education and to strategically address educational needs and the sustained advancement of toxicology as a profession. The Summit focused on core issues of: building for the future of toxicology through educational programs; defining education and training needs; developing the “Total Toxicologist”; continued training and retraining toxicologists to sustain their careers; and, finally, supporting toxicology education and professional development. This report summarizes the outcomes of the Summit, presents examples of successful programs that advance toxicology education, and concludes with strategies that will insure the future of toxicology through advanced educational initiatives. PMID:22461448

  2. Applications of Proteomic Technologies to Toxicology

    EPA Science Inventory

    Proteomics is the large-scale study of gene expression at the protein level. This cutting edge technology has been extensively applied to toxicology research recently. The up-to-date development of proteomics has presented the toxicology community with an unprecedented opportunit...

  3. 42 CFR 493.845 - Standard; Toxicology.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-10-01

    ... 42 Public Health 5 2013-10-01 2013-10-01 false Standard; Toxicology. 493.845 Section 493.845... (CONTINUED) STANDARDS AND CERTIFICATION LABORATORY REQUIREMENTS Participation in Proficiency Testing for... These Tests § 493.845 Standard; Toxicology. (a) Failure to attain a score of at least 80 percent...

  4. 2007 TOXICOLOGY AND RISK ASSESSMENT CONFERENCE

    EPA Science Inventory

    EPA has announced

    The 2007 Toxicology and Risk Assessment Conference
    Cincinnati Marriott North, West Chester (Cincinnati), OH
    April 23- 26, 2007 - Click to register!

    The Annual Toxicology and Risk Ass...

  5. 2009 TOXICOLOGY AND RISK ASSESSMENT CONFERENCE

    EPA Science Inventory

    EPA has announced

    The 2009 Toxicology and Risk Assessment Conference
    Cincinnati Marriott North, West Chester (Cincinnati), OH
    April 27-30, 2009 - Click to register!

    The Annual Toxicology and Risk Ass...

  6. 2008 TOXICOLOGY AND RISK ASSESSMENT CONFERENCE

    EPA Science Inventory

    EPA has announced

    The 2008 Toxicology and Risk Assessment Conference
    Cincinnati Marriott North, West Chester (Cincinnati), OH
    April 14 - 17, 2008 - Click to register!

    The Annual Toxicology and Risk ...

  7. 42 CFR 493.845 - Standard; Toxicology.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-10-01

    ... 42 Public Health 5 2011-10-01 2011-10-01 false Standard; Toxicology. 493.845 Section 493.845 Public Health CENTERS FOR MEDICARE & MEDICAID SERVICES, DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES... These Tests § 493.845 Standard; Toxicology. (a) Failure to attain a score of at least 80 percent...

  8. The black soldier-fly, Hermetia illucens (Diptera, Stratiomyidae), used to estimate the postmortem interval in a case in Amapá State, Brazil.

    PubMed

    Pujol-Luz, José R; Francez, Pablo Abdon da Costa; Ururahy-Rodrigues, Alexandre; Constantino, Reginaldo

    2008-03-01

    The black soldier-fly (Hermetia illucens) is a generalist detritivore which is commonly present in corpses in later stages of decomposition and may be useful in forensic entomology. This paper describes the estimation of the postmortem interval (PMI) based on the life cycle of the black soldier-fly in a case in northern Brazil. A male child was abducted from his home and 42 days later his corpse was found in an advanced stage of decay. Two black soldier-fly larvae were found associated with the body. The larvae emerged as adults after 25-26 days. Considering the development cycle of H. illucens, the date of oviposition was estimated as 24-25 days after abduction. Since H. illucens usually (but not always) colonizes corpses in more advanced stages of decay, this estimate is consistent with the hypothesis that the child was killed immediately after abduction. PMID:18366584

  9. Toxicologic methods: controlled human exposures.

    PubMed Central

    Utell, M J; Frampton, M W

    2000-01-01

    The assessment of risk from exposure to environmental air pollutants is complex, and involves the disciplines of epidemiology, animal toxicology, and human inhalation studies. Controlled, quantitative studies of exposed humans help determine health-related effects that result from breathing the atmosphere. The major unique feature of the clinical study is the ability to select, control, and quantify pollutant exposures of subjects of known clinical status, and determine their effects under ideal experimental conditions. The choice of outcomes to be assessed in human clinical studies can be guided by both scientific and practical considerations, but the diversity of human responses and responsiveness must be considered. Subjects considered to be among the most susceptible include those with asthma, chronic obstructive lung disease, and cardiovascular disease. New experimental approaches include exposures to concentrated ambient air particles, diesel engine exhaust, combustion products from smoking machines, and experimental model particles. Future investigations of the health effects of air pollution will benefit from collaborative efforts among the disciplines of epidemiology, animal toxicology, and human clinical studies. PMID:10931779

  10. Evolution of toxicology information systems

    SciTech Connect

    Wassom, J.S.; Lu, P.Y.

    1990-12-31

    Society today is faced with new health risk situations that have been brought about by recent scientific and technical advances. Federal and state governments are required to assess the many potential health risks to exposed populations from the products (chemicals) and by-products (pollutants) of these advances. Because a sound analysis of any potential health risk should be based on the use of relevant information, it behooves those individuals responsible for making the risk assessments to know where to obtain needed information. This paper reviews the origins of toxicology information systems and explores the specialized information center concept that was proposed in 1963 as a means of providing ready access to scientific and technical information. As a means of illustrating this concept, the operation of one specialized information center (the Environmental Mutagen Information Center at Oak Ridge National Laboratory) will be discussed. Insights into how toxicological information resources came into being, their design and makeup, will be of value to those seeking to acquire information for risk assessment purposes. 7 refs., 1 fig., 4 tabs.

  11. Blood transcriptomics: applications in toxicology

    PubMed Central

    Joseph, Pius; Umbright, Christina; Sellamuthu, Rajendran

    2015-01-01

    The number of new chemicals that are being synthesized each year has been steadily increasing. While chemicals are of immense benefit to mankind, many of them have a significant negative impact, primarily owing to their inherent chemistry and toxicity, on the environment as well as human health. In addition to chemical exposures, human exposures to numerous non-chemical toxic agents take place in the environment and workplace. Given that human exposure to toxic agents is often unavoidable and many of these agents are found to have detrimental human health effects, it is important to develop strategies to prevent the adverse health effects associated with toxic exposures. Early detection of adverse health effects as well as a clear understanding of the mechanisms, especially at the molecular level, underlying these effects are key elements in preventing the adverse health effects associated with human exposure to toxic agents. Recent developments in genomics, especially transcriptomics, have prompted investigations into this important area of toxicology. Previous studies conducted in our laboratory and elsewhere have demonstrated the potential application of blood gene expression profiling as a sensitive, mechanistically relevant and practical surrogate approach for the early detection of adverse health effects associated with exposure to toxic agents. The advantages of blood gene expression profiling as a surrogate approach to detect early target organ toxicity and the molecular mechanisms underlying the toxicity are illustrated and discussed using recent studies on hepatotoxicity and pulmonary toxicity. Furthermore, the important challenges this emerging field in toxicology faces are presented in this review article. PMID:23456664

  12. Toxicological Assessment of Noxious Inhalants

    PubMed Central

    Kleinsasser, N. H.; Sassen, A. W.; Wallner, B. W.; Staudenmaier, R.; Harréus, U. A.; Richter, E.

    2004-01-01

    In the past centuries mankind has been exposed to various forms of air pollution not only at his occupational but also in his social environment. He mainly gets exposed with these pollutants through the respiratory organs and partially absorbs them into the body. Many of these airborne substances can be harmful for humans and some of them may account for tumorigenic effects. The following essay describes the main features of toxicological assessment of inhalative environmental and workplace xenobiotics. The essay also explains relevant characteristics and limit values of noxious compounds and gases and depicts modern testing methods. To this end, emphasis is given on methods characterizing the different stages of tumorigenic processes. Various test systems have been developed which can be used in vivo, ex vivo or in vitro. They are to a great part based on the evidence of changes in DNA or particular genes of cells. Among others they have highlighted the impact of interindividual variability on enzymatic activation of xenobiotics and on susceptibility of the host to tumor diseases. Unfortunately, for many inhalative environmental noxious agents no sufficient risk profiles have been developed. The completion of these profiles should be the goal of toxicological assessment in order to allow reasonable socioeconomic or individual-based risk reduction. PMID:22073045

  13. Social network forensics: using commercial software in a university forensics lab environment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Halkin, Pavel; Kröger, Knut; Creutzburg, Reiner

    2013-05-01

    The aim of this article is to give a practical overview of forensic investigation of social networks cases using certain commercial software packages in a university forensics lab environment. Students have to learn the usefulness of forensic procedures to ensure evidence collection, evidence preservation, forensic analysis, and reporting. It is demonstrated how to investigate important data from social network users. Different scenarios of investigations are presented that are well-suited for forensics lab work in university. In particular, we focus on the new version of Belkasoft Evidence Center and compare it with other well-known tools regarding functionality, usability and capabilities.

  14. Toxicological profile for beryllium. Final report

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1988-12-01

    The ATSDR Toxicological Profile for Beryllium is intended to characterize succinctly the toxicological and health-effects information for the substance. It identifies and reviews the key literature. More comprehensive sources of specialty information are referenced. The profile begins with a public-health statement, which describes in nontechnical language the substance's relevant toxicological properties. Following the statement is material that presents levels of significant human exposure and, where known, significant health effects. The adequacy of information to determine the substance's health effects is described. Research gaps in toxicologic and health effects information are described. Research gaps that are of significance to the protection of public health will be identified in a separate effort. The focus of the document is on health and toxicological information.

  15. An Acute Butyr-Fentanyl Fatality: A Case Report with Postmortem Concentrations.

    PubMed

    McIntyre, Iain M; Trochta, Amber; Gary, Ray D; Wright, Jennifer; Mena, Othon

    2016-03-01

    In this case report, we present an evaluation of the distribution of postmortem concentrations of butyr-fentanyl in a fatality attributed principally to the drug. A man who had a history of intravenous drug abuse was found unresponsive on the bathroom floor of his home. Drug paraphernalia was located on the bathroom counter. Toxicology testing, which initially screened positive for fentanyl by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, subsequently confirmed butyr-fentanyl, which was then quantitated by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry-specific ion monitoring (GC-MS SIM) analysis following liquid-liquid extraction. The butyr-fentanyl peripheral blood concentration was quantitated at 58 ng/mL compared with the central blood concentration of 97 ng/mL. The liver concentration was 320 ng/g, the vitreous was 40 ng/mL, the urine was 670 ng/mL and the gastric contained 170 mg. Acetyl-fentanyl was also detected in all biological specimens tested. Peripheral blood concentration was quantitated at 38 ng/mL compared with the central blood concentration of 32 ng/mL. The liver concentration was 110 ng/g, the vitreous was 38 ng/mL, the urine was 540 ng/mL and the gastric contained <70 mg. The only other drug detected was a relatively low concentration of benzoylecgonine. The cause of death was certified as acute butyr-fentanyl, acetyl-fentanyl and cocaine intoxication, and the manner of death was certified as accident. PMID:26683128

  16. Toxicology

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Macewen, J. W.

    1973-01-01

    Oxygen toxicity is examined, including the effects of oxygen partial pressure variations on toxicity and oxygen effects on ozone and nitrogen dioxide toxicity. Toxicity of fuels and oxidizers, such as hydrazines, are reported. Carbon monoxide, spacecraft threshold limit values, emergency exposure limits, spacecraft contaminants, and water quality standards for space missions are briefly summarized.

  17. Postmortem diagnosis of cytomegalovirus and accompanying other infection agents by real-time PCR in cases of sudden unexpected death in infancy (SUDI).

    PubMed

    Yagmur, Gulhan; Ziyade, Nihan; Elgormus, Neval; Das, Taner; Sahin, M Feyzi; Yildirim, Muzaffer; Ozgun, Ayse; Akcay, Arzu; Karayel, Ferah; Koc, Sermet

    2016-02-01

    As an opportunistic pathogen with high mortality rates, Cytomegalovirus (CMV) may lead to fatal disseminated CMV infection of the premature and newborn; thus necessitating the demonstration of CMV-DNA with clinical history and/or histopathological findings of CMV infection and defining other bacterial and viral infection agents with real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) in udden unexpected death in infancy (SUDI) cases as we aimed in this study. 314 (144 female, 170 male) SUDI cases were prospectively investigated from January 2013 to January 2015 in Istanbul Forensic Medicine Institution. The study includes 87 tissue samples of 39 cases for post-mortem histopathological examination of interstitial pneumonia, myocarditis, meningitis, encephalitis, hepatitis, colitis or tubulointerstitial nephritis and/or accompanying chronic sialadenitis. CMV-DNA was found positive in 35 (40.2%) salivary gland, 19 (21.8%) lung, 1 (1.1%) tonsil, and 1 (1.1%) brain tissues. CMV sialadenitis and/or CMV pneumonia associated with other viral and/or bacterial agents were detected in 23 (60%) of 39 infant cases. The demonstration of CMV-DNA would significantly clarify the cause of death and collection of epidemiological data in SUDI cases with clinical history and histopathological findings of CMV infection accompanying chronic CMV sialadenitis. Furthermore, CMV suppresses the immune system, and may predispose to other bacterial and/or viral infections in these cases. Post-mortem molecular investigations are useful in explaining cause of death in SUDI with a suspicion of infection in forensic autopsies. PMID:26694873

  18. Research issues in forensic pathology: a survey of academic institutions employing forensic pathologists.

    PubMed

    Nolte, Kurt B

    2004-05-01

    In an effort to characterize research efforts in forensic pathology, a questionnaire was sent to a representative of each of the 14 academic medical centers that employ full-time faculty forensic pathologists. Responses were received from all 14 (100%) of the institutions queried, representing a total of 39 forensic pathology faculty positions; 21 positions were tenure track and 18 positions were clinical or other tracks. Of the 39 positions, 25 positions (64%) at 10 institutions required some degree of research or scholarly output. Of the 25 forensic pathologists with a research imperative, only 3 (12%) were principal investigators or co-investigators on funded forensic pathology-based projects. The major limitation cited by respondents on the performance of forensic pathology research was the lack of protected time from service responsibilities. Fellowship training in forensic pathology was available at 6 of the 14 respondent institutions. Of these institutions, 4 (67%) had a research requirement for trainees, and 4 (67%) provided research training. In conclusion, very few US medical schools currently employ full-time faculty forensic pathologists. Of these, only a small number of institutions prioritize research by these faculty members. Scant federal funds are available to support research in forensic pathology. Few forensic pathology fellowship programs provide research training. To achieve a robust research agenda in forensic pathology that is sufficient to support the needs of the criminal justice and public health systems will require a paradigm shift in the medicolegal death investigative system and investment by federal agencies. PMID:15138925

  19. Forensic focused treatment planning: a new standard for forensic mental health systems.

    PubMed

    Schaufenbil, Robert J; Kornbluh, Rebecca; Stahl, Stephen M; Warburton, Katherine D

    2015-06-01

    Almost no literature addresses treatment planning for the forensic psychiatric patient. In the absence of such guidance, recovery-oriented multifocal treatment planning has been imported into forensic mental health systems from community psychiatric settings, despite the fact that conditions of admission and discharge are vastly different for forensic psychiatry inpatients. We propose that instead of focusing on recovery, forensic treatment planning should prioritize forensic outcomes, such as restoration of trial competence or mitigation of violence risk, as the first steps in a continuum of care that eventually leads to the patient's ability to resolve forensic issues and return to the community for recovery-oriented care. Here we offer a model for treatment planning in the forensic setting. PMID:25801440

  20. Fatal brodifacoum rodenticide poisoning: autopsy and toxicologic findings.

    PubMed

    Palmer, R B; Alakija, P; de Baca, J E; Nolte, K B

    1999-07-01

    This report details the pathologic and toxicologic findings in the case of a 15-year-old girl who deliberately and fatally ingested brodifacoum, a commonly used rodenticide. The mechanism of death, massive pulmonary hemorrhage, has not been previously reported. Brodifacoum was quantitated in liver, spleen, lung, brain, bile, vitreous humor, heart blood, and femoral blood using HPLC with fluorescence detection. The highest brodifacoum concentrations were detected in bile (4276 ng/mL) and femoral blood (3919 ng/mL). No brodifacoum was detected in brain or vitreous humor. A brodifacoum concentration of 50 ng/g was observed in frozen liver while formalin fixed liver exhibited a concentration of 820 ng/g. A very high blood:liver brodifacoum concentration ratio suggested acute poisoning but the historical and pathologic findings suggested a longer period of anticoagulation. Though most cases of brodifacoum poisoning in humans are non-fatal, this compound can be deadly because of its very long half-life. Forensic pathologists and toxicologists should suspect superwarfarin rodenticides when confronted with cases of unexplained bleeding. Anticoagulant poisoning can mimic fatal leukemia or infectious diseases such as bacterial sepsis, rickettsioses, plague, and leptospirosis. A thorough death scene investigation may provide clues that a person has ingested these substances. PMID:10432620