Science.gov

Sample records for forensic disaster analysis

  1. Real-time Forensic Disaster Analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wenzel, F.; Daniell, J.; Khazai, B.; Mühr, B.; Kunz-Plapp, T.; Markus, M.; Vervaeck, A.

    2012-04-01

    The Center for Disaster Management and Risk Reduction Technology (CEDIM, www.cedim.de) - an interdisciplinary research center founded by the German Research Centre for Geoscience (GFZ) and Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) - has embarked on a new style of disaster research known as Forensic Disaster Analysis. The notion has been coined by the Integrated Research on Disaster Risk initiative (IRDR, www.irdrinternational.org) launched by ICSU in 2010. It has been defined as an approach to studying natural disasters that aims at uncovering the root causes of disasters through in-depth investigations that go beyond the reconnaissance reports and case studies typically conducted after disasters. In adopting this comprehensive understanding of disasters CEDIM adds a real-time component to the assessment and evaluation process. By comprehensive we mean that most if not all relevant aspects of disasters are considered and jointly analysed. This includes the impact (human, economy, and infrastructure), comparisons with recent historic events, social vulnerability, reconstruction and long-term impacts on livelihood issues. The forensic disaster analysis research mode is thus best characterized as "event-based research" through systematic investigation of critical issues arising after a disaster across various inter-related areas. The forensic approach requires (a) availability of global data bases regarding previous earthquake losses, socio-economic parameters, building stock information, etc.; (b) leveraging platforms such as the EERI clearing house, relief-web, and the many sources of local and international sources where information is organized; and (c) rapid access to critical information (e.g., crowd sourcing techniques) to improve our understanding of the complex dynamics of disasters. The main scientific questions being addressed are: What are critical factors that control loss of life, of infrastructure, and for economy? What are the critical interactions

  2. Forensic Disaster Analysis in Near-real Time

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kunz, Michael; Zschau, Jochen; Wenzel, Friedemann; Khazai, Bijan; Kunz-Plapp, Tina; Trieselmann, Werner

    2014-05-01

    The impacts of extreme hydro-meteorological and geophysical events are controlled by various factors including severity of the event (intensity, duration, spatial extent), amplification with other phenomena (multihazard or cascading effects), interdependencies of technical systems and infrastructure, preparedness and resilience of the society. The Center for Disaster Management and Risk Reduction Technology (CEDIM) has adopted the comprehensive understanding of disasters and develops methodologies of near real-time FDA as a complementing component of the FORIN program of IRDR. The new research strategy 'Near Real-Time Forensic Disaster Analysis (FDA)' aims at scrutinizing disasters closely with a multi-disciplinary approach in order to assess the various aspects of disasters and to identify mechanisms most relevant for an extreme event to become a disaster (e.g., causal loss analysis). Recent technology developments - which have opened unprecedented opportunities for real-time hazard, vulnerability and loss assessment - are used for analyzing disasters and their impacts in combination with databases of historical events. The former covers modern empirical and analytical methods available in engineering and remote sensing for rapid impact assessments, rapid information extraction from crowd sourcing as well as rapid assessments of socio-economic impacts and economic losses. The event-driven science-based assessments of CEDIM are compiled based on interdisciplinary expertise and include the critical evaluation, assessment, validation, and quantification of an event. An important component of CEDIM's FDA is the near real-time approach which is expected to significantly speed up our understanding of natural disasters and be used to provide timely, relevant and valuable information to various user groups within their respective contexts. Currently, CEDIM has developed models and methodologies to assess different types of hazard. These approaches were applied to several

  3. Social Media in Crisis Management and Forensic Disaster Analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dittrich, André; Lucas, Christian

    2014-05-01

    gathering first responder reports or eyewitness reports, which can provide important information for a first situation analysis for the various officials and volunteers, especially in case of large-scale emergencies. Eventually, this can be used in combination with conventional sensors and information sources to conduct a detailed forensic disaster analysis of an event.

  4. Current genetic methodologies in the identification of disaster victims and in forensic analysis.

    PubMed

    Ziętkiewicz, Ewa; Witt, Magdalena; Daca, Patrycja; Zebracka-Gala, Jadwiga; Goniewicz, Mariusz; Jarząb, Barbara; Witt, Michał

    2012-02-01

    This review presents the basic problems and currently available molecular techniques used for genetic profiling in disaster victim identification (DVI). The environmental conditions of a mass disaster often result in severe fragmentation, decomposition and intermixing of the remains of victims. In such cases, traditional identification based on the anthropological and physical characteristics of the victims is frequently inconclusive. This is the reason why DNA profiling became the gold standard for victim identification in mass-casualty incidents (MCIs) or any forensic cases where human remains are highly fragmented and/or degraded beyond recognition. The review provides general information about the sources of genetic material for DNA profiling, the genetic markers routinely used during genetic profiling (STR markers, mtDNA and single-nucleotide polymorphisms [SNP]) and the basic statistical approaches used in DNA-based disaster victim identification. Automated technological platforms that allow the simultaneous analysis of a multitude of genetic markers used in genetic identification (oligonucleotide microarray techniques and next-generation sequencing) are also presented. Forensic and population databases containing information on human variability, routinely used for statistical analyses, are discussed. The final part of this review is focused on recent developments, which offer particularly promising tools for forensic applications (mRNA analysis, transcriptome variation in individuals/populations and genetic profiling of specific cells separated from mixtures).

  5. From event analysis to global lessons: disaster forensics for building resilience

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Keating, Adriana; Venkateswaran, Kanmani; Szoenyi, Michael; MacClune, Karen; Mechler, Reinhard

    2016-04-01

    With unprecedented growth in disaster risk, there is an urgent need for enhanced learning about and understanding disasters, particularly in relation to the trends in the drivers of increasing risk. Building on the disaster forensics field, we introduce the Post Event Review Capability (PERC) methodology for systematically and holistically analyzing disaster events, and identifying actionable recommendations. PERC responds to a need for learning about the successes and failures in disaster risk management and resilience, and uncovers the underlying drivers of increasing risk. We draw generalizable insights identified from seven applications of the methodology to date, where we find that across the globe policy makers and practitioners in disaster risk management face strikingly similar challenges despite variations in context, indicating encouraging potential for mutual learning. These lessons highlight the importance of integrated risk reduction strategies. We invite others to utilize the freely available PERC approach and contribute to building a repository of learnings on disaster risk management and resilience.

  6. From event analysis to global lessons: disaster forensics for building resilience

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Keating, Adriana; Venkateswaran, Kanmani; Szoenyi, Michael; MacClune, Karen; Mechler, Reinhard

    2016-07-01

    With unprecedented growth in disaster risk, there is an urgent need for enhanced learning and understanding of disasters, particularly in relation to the trends in drivers of increasing risk. Building on the disaster forensics field, we introduce the post-event review capability (PERC) methodology for systematically and holistically analysing disaster events, and identifying actionable recommendations. PERC responds to a need for learning about the successes and failures in disaster risk management and resilience, and uncovers the underlying drivers of increasing risk. We draw generalisable insights identified from seven applications of the methodology to date, where we find that across the globe policy makers and practitioners in disaster risk management face strikingly similar challenges despite variations in context, indicating encouraging potential for mutual learning. These lessons highlight the importance of integrated risk reduction strategies. We invite others to utilise the freely available PERC approach and contribute to building a repository of learning on disaster risk management and resilience.

  7. Near-real-time Forensic Disaster Analysis: experiences from hurricane Sandy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kunz, Michael; Mühr, Bernhard; Schröter, Kai; Kunz-Plapp, Tina; Daniell, James; Khazai, Bijan; Wenzel, Friedemann; Vannieuwenhuyse, Marjorie; Comes, Tina; Münzberg, Thomas; Elmer, Florian; Fohringer, Joachim; Lucas, Christian; Trieselmann, Werner; Zschau, Jochen

    2013-04-01

    Hurricane Sandy was the last tropical cyclone of the 2012 Northern Atlantic Hurricane season that made landfall. It moved on an unusual track from the Caribbean to the East Coast of the United States from 24 to 30 October as a Category 1 and 2 Hurricane according to the Saffir-Simpson Scale. Along its path, the severe storm event caused widespread damage including almost 200 fatalities. In the early hours of 30 October, Sandy made landfall near Atlantic City, N.J. Sandy was an extraordinary event due to its multihazard nature and several cascading effects in the aftermath. From the hydro-meteorological perspective, most unusual was the very large spatial extent of up to 1,700 km. High wind speeds were associated with record breaking storm surges at the U.S. Mid- Atlantic and New England Coast during high (astronomical) tide, leading to widespread flooding. Though Sandy was not the most severe storm event in terms of wind speed and precipitation, the impact in the U.S. was enormous with total damage estimates of up to 90 billion US (own estimate from Dec. 2012). Although much better data emerge weeks after such an event, the Forensic Disaster Analysis (FDA) Task Force of the Center for Disaster Management and Risk Reduction Technology (CEDIM) made an effort to obtain a comprehensive and holistic overview of the causes, hazardous effects and consequences associated with Sandy immediately after landfall at the U.S. coast on 30 October 2012. This was done in an interdisciplinary way by collecting and compiling scattered and distributed information from available databases and sources via the Internet, by applying own methodologies and models for near-real time analyses developed in recent years, and by expert knowledge. This contribution gives an overview about the CEDIM-FDA analyses' results. It describes the situation that led to the extraordinary event, highlights the interaction of the tropical cyclone with other hydro-meteorological events, and examines the

  8. Near real time Forensic Disaster Analysis of the central European flood in June 2013 in Germany: Impact and management

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Khazai, Bijan; Bessel, Tina; Möhrle, Stella; Dittrich, André; Schröter, Kai; Mühr, Bernhard; Elmer, Florian; Kunz-Plapp, Tina; Trieselmann, Werner; Kunz, Michael

    2014-05-01

    Within its current research activity on near real time Forensic Disaster Analysis (FDA), researchers from the Center for Disaster Management and Risk Reduction Technology (CEDIM) aim to identify major risk drivers and to understand the root causes of disaster and infer the implications for disaster mitigation. A key component of this activity is the development of rapid assessment tools which allow for a science based estimate of disaster impacts. The central European flood in June 2013 caused in Germany severe damage to buildings, infrastructure and agricultural lands and has had a great impact on people, transportation and the economy. In many areas thousands of people were evacuated. Electrical grid and local water supply utilities failed during the floods. Furthermore, traffic was disrupted in the interregional transportation network including federal highways and long distance railways. CEDIM analysed the impact and management of the flood event within an FDA activity. An analysis on the amount and spatial distribution of flood-related Twitter messages in Germany revealed a high interest in the flood in the social media. Furthermore, an analysis of the resilience of selected affected areas in Germany has been carried out to assess the impact of the flood on the district level. The resilience indicator is based on social, economic and institutional indicators which are supplemented with information on the number of people evacuated and transportation disruptions. Combined with the magnitude of the event, an index is calculated that allows for a rapid initial but preliminary estimate of the flood impact. Results show high resilience of the administrative districts along the Danube while heavy impacts are seen along the Mulde and Elbe.

  9. Forensic odontology, part 2. Major disasters.

    PubMed

    Hinchliffe, J

    2011-03-26

    We have only to look back over the last 12 months to realise that time and time again, an incident occurs where there are mass fatalities. These incidents have instant and long-lasting impact on families, communities and sometimes whole countries. The aim of this paper is to emphasise the need for an efficient and sensitive response to assist in the identification of victims of such incidents and the necessity for trained team responses. Many countries now have Disaster Victim Identification (DVI) teams that are multi-disciplinary, and plans and protocols in place in readiness. The paper can only hope to give a brief overview of the disaster situation for the reader: whole books have been written on this topic. The forensic odontologist has a major role in disaster incidents when there are accurate and available antemortem dental records. PMID:21436819

  10. Integrating forensic anthropology into Disaster Victim Identification.

    PubMed

    Mundorff, Amy Z

    2012-06-01

    This paper will provide mass fatality emergency planners, police, medical examiners, coroners and other Disaster Victim Identification (DVI) personnel ways to integrate forensic anthropologists into DVI operations and demonstrate how anthropological contributions have improved DVI projects. In mass disaster situations, anthropologists have traditionally been limited to developing biological profiles from skeletal remains. Over the past decade, however, anthropologists' involvement in DVI has extended well beyond this traditional role as they have taken on increasingly diverse tasks and responsibilities. Anthropological involvement in DVI operations is often dictated by an incident's specific characteristics, particularly events involving extensive fragmentation, commingling, or other forms of compromised remains. This paper will provide examples from recent DVI incidents to illustrate the operational utility of anthropologists in the DVI context. The points where it is most beneficial to integrate anthropologists into the DVI process include: (1) during recovery at the disaster scene; (2) at the triage station as remains are brought into the mortuary; and (3) in conducting the reconciliation process. Particular attention will be paid to quality control and quality assurance measures anthropologists have developed and implemented for DVI projects. Overall, this paper will explain how anthropological expertise can be used to increase accuracy in DVI while reducing the project's cost and duration.

  11. The near real time Forensic Disaster Analysis of the central European flood in June 2013 - A graphical representation of the main results

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schröter, Kai; Elmer, Florian; Trieselmann, Werner; Kreibich, Heidi; Kunz, Michael; Khazai, Bijan; Dransch, Doris; Wenzel, Friedemann; Zschau, Jochen; Merz, Bruno; Mühr, Bernhard; Kunz-Plapp, Tina; Möhrle, Stella; Bessel, Tina; Fohringer, Joachim

    2014-05-01

    The Central European flood of June 2013 is one of the most severe flood events that have occurred in Central Europe in the past decades. All major German river basins were affected (Rhine, Danube, and Elbe as well as the smaller Weser catchment).In terms of spatial extent and event magnitude, it was the most severe event at least since 1950. Within the current research focus on near real time forensic disaster analysis, the Center for Disaster Management and Risk Reduction Technology (CEDIM) assessed and analysed the multiple facets of the flood event from the beginning. The aim is to describe the on-going event, analyse the event sources, link the physical characteristics to the impact and consequences of the event and to understand the root causes that turn the physical event into a disaster (or prevent it from becoming disastrous). For the near real time component of this research, tools for rapid assessment and concise presentation of analysis results are essential. This contribution provides a graphical summary of the results of the CEDIM-FDA analyses on the June 2013 flood. It demonstrates the potential of visual representations for improving the communication and hence usability of findings in a rapid, intelligible and expressive way as a valuable supplement to usual event reporting. It is based on analyses of the hydrometeorological sources, the flood pathways (from satellite imagery, data extraction from social media), the resilience of the affected regions, and causal loss analysis. The prototypical representation of the FDA-results for the June 2013 flood provides an important step in the development of graphical event templates for the visualisation of forensic disaster analyses. These are intended to become a standard component of future CEDIM-FDA event activities.

  12. Forensic Investigation of mass disasters in Nigeria: A review

    PubMed Central

    Obafunwa, John Oladapo; Faduyile, Francis Adedayo; Soyemi, Sunday Sokunle; Eze, Uwom Okereke; Nwana, Edmund J. C.; Odesanmi, William Olufemi

    2015-01-01

    This paper is to establish the present state of things in the country in terms of legal framework and the availability of personnel with a view to presenting an overview of proper mass disaster investigations. This is a retrospective review of mass disasters in Nigeria that occurred within the last 20 years. The study therefore reviews the state of the forensic investigation of the mass disasters as well as the efforts made to identify the victims of the disaster. The process of proper forensic investigation from the stage of evaluation of the scene and recovery process to the final identification of victims are presented to serve as a protocol for the country. The assessment of the present state of preparedness in Nigeria is also examined with a view to improving the practice to international standards. Data were retrieved from official documents from the aviation industry as well as Nigeria news reports. The standard protocols for disaster victim identification were retrieved from the guide released by the INTERPOL. The state of preparedness of the country and recommendations for improvement are presented. The Federal government and the states of the federation should without further delay put in place the process of reviewing the law of Coroner's system and provide the enabling environment for the proper forensic investigation. The training curriculum of the first responders should incorporate mass disaster investigations in order to produce efficient officers and personnel. A functional disaster victim identification (DVI) team is strongly advocated to incorporate different professionals involved in mass disaster management. PMID:25657485

  13. Future project concerning mass disaster management: a forensic odontology prospectus.

    PubMed

    Nuzzolese, Emilio; Di Vella, Giancarlo

    2007-08-01

    The world has experienced a plethora of mass disasters in recent years: acts of terrorism, bombings, earthquakes, hurricanes, typhoons, air crashes and other transportation mishaps, not to mention armed conflicts and migrants drowned in the Mediterranean Sea. In reviewing mass disasters to date, the principal difficulties have not changed: (1) large numbers of humans fragmented, co-mingled, and burned remains; (2) difficulty in determining who was involved in the disaster; (3) acquisition of useful medical and dental records and radiographs; (4) legal, jurisdictional, organisational, and political issues; (5) internal and external documentation and communication problems; (6) application of universal human forensic identification codes. Forensic dentistry plays a major role in victim identification. DNA and dental identification of human remains depends on sufficient availability of ante mortem information, existence of sufficient post mortem material and a comparison or match between ante and post mortem details. Forensic odontology is a specialty with a specific training, and cannot simply be carried out by dentists without such training. Strategies for developing an international forensic odontology capacity and resources are needed for the management of dead bodies following a mass disaster, together with universal guidelines and codes. To this end, Interpol's forms have proved to be a good starting point to meet these requirements.

  14. [Forensic odontological identification of disaster victims. Experience with the disaster of the Martinair DC-10 in Faro, Portugal].

    PubMed

    van der Kuijl, B; van der Pols, L C

    1995-06-01

    Forensic odontology plays an important, often decisive role in the identification of disaster victims. In the Dutch situation, the forensic odontologist is part of the Disaster Victim Identification (DVI)-team of the Dutch National Police Force. The extensive experience with forensic odontological identification of disaster victims, gained within the Dutch DVI-team is described and illustrated with reference to the identification procedure following the Martinair DC-10 aircraft crash at Faro, Portugal, december 21st, 1992. In the identification of the total of 56 victims, forensic odontology contributed in 55 cases (98.2%) to the identification; in 40 cases there were such clear agreements that identification based on forensic odontology alone would have been sufficient. The success of the forensic odontological identification method appeared to be greatly dependent of the adequate cooperation of dentists that made their treatment data available for comparison. PMID:11836814

  15. Forensic analysis of uranium

    SciTech Connect

    Stoyer, N.J.; Moody, K.J.

    1996-10-01

    As more and more offers for illicit {open_quotes}Black Market{close_quotes} radioactive materials are found, the forensic information contained within the radioactive material itself becomes more important. Many {open_quotes}Black Market{close_quotes} offers are for uranium in various forms and enrichments. Although most are scams, some countries have actually interdicted enriched uranium. We will discuss the forensic information that can be obtained from materials containing uranium along with examples of data that has been determined from analysis of uranium samples obtained from legitimate sources.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Terminology and forensic gait analysis.

    PubMed

    Birch, Ivan; Vernon, Wesley; Walker, Jeremy; Young, Maria

    2015-07-01

    The use of appropriate terminology is a fundamental aspect of forensic gait analysis. The language used in forensic gait analysis is an amalgam of that used in clinical practice, podiatric biomechanics and the wider field of biomechanics. The result can often be a lack of consistency in the language used, the definitions used and the clarity of the message given. Examples include the use of 'gait' and 'walking' as synonymous terms, confusion between 'step' and 'stride', the mixing of anatomical, positional and pathological descriptors, and inability to describe appropriately movements of major body segments such as the torso. The purpose of this paper is to share the well-established definitions of the fundamental parameters of gait, common to all professions, and advocate their use in forensic gait analysis to establish commonality. The paper provides guidance on the selection and use of appropriate terminology in the description of gait in the forensic context. This paper considers the established definitions of the terms commonly used, identifies those terms which have the potential to confuse readers, and suggests a framework of terminology which should be utilised in forensic gait analysis.

  19. A brief history of forensic odontology and disaster victim identification practices in Australia.

    PubMed

    Taylor, J

    2009-12-01

    Today we consider forensic odontology to be a specialised and reliable method of identification of the deceased, particularly in multiple fatality incidents. While this reputation has been gained from the application of forensic odontology in both single identification and disaster situations over a number of years, the professional nature of the discipline and its practices have evolved only recently. This paper summarises some of early uses of forensic odontology internationally and in Australia and discusses the development of both forensic odontology and Disaster Victim Identification (DVI) practices in each of the states and territories of Australia. The earliest accounts of the use of forensic odontology in Australia date to the 1920's and 30's, and were characterised by inexperienced practitioners and little procedural formality. An organised and semi-formal service commenced in most states during the 1960's although its use by police forces was spasmodic. Today the service provided by qualified and experienced forensic odontologists is highly professional and regularly utilised by police and coronial services. The development of DVI Practices in Australia began following the crash of a Vickers Viscount aircraft into Botany Bay in 1961 and, as with practices internationally, have evolved into an equally professional and reliable specialist discipline of policing in which forensic odontology plays a significant part.

  20. [Forensic odontology within the Disaster Victim Identification team of the Dutch Police Force].

    PubMed

    Ruiter, E

    1995-06-01

    The author participated as a forensic odontologist in the Dutch Disaster Victim Identification (DVI-)team during the period 1977-1995. In this article he describes the organization and procedure of this police unit, which is especially trained for the recovery and identification of victims. He also gives an impression of the organization and the special manner of identification of the forensic odontologists within the group of external specialists of the DVI-team. He describes the technical aspects of the identification activities of the forensic odontologists, as well as the identification problems at different sorts of mass disasters. The quality of the records obtained from the victims' dentists greatly influences the final results of dental identification. PMID:11836808

  1. Forensic Analyses on A Compound Disaster and Its Impacts Following the 2008 Wenchuan Earthquake in China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Wei

    2014-05-01

    The 7.9 Mw Wenchuan Earthquake on May 12 in 2008 was one of the most devastating natural disasters in the 21st century and caused massive damages and vast disruptions in Western China. Our analysis takes a special look into the Wolong National Nature Reserve bear the epicenter, where long-term quantitative and qualitative data on socioeconomic and natural conditions have been collected from late 1990s to 2013. The Reserve is known internationally as the hometown of Giant Pandas and a tourism hotspot, where around 5000 ethnic minorities (e.g., Tibetan, Qiang) also reside. While the Reserve suffered lower level of immediate damages and mortalities relative to several nearby areas, the reconstruction and recovery process in the Reserve have been much slower, mainly due to recurrent flush floods, landslides, and debris flow that took place in every summer since 2008. The suddenly increased frequency and intensity of these secondary natural disasters has led to the formation of compound disaster in the Reserve. The reconstruction of the only road to outside will not be completed till at least 2016, and the livelihoods of the local communities are severely compromised, which has induced a resurrection of illegal logging and hunting in the Reserve. Taking advantage of our longitudinal survey data of~200 local households (on their income, expenditure, energy use, land use behaviors, and perceptions and attitudes toward disasters and polices) over a nine-year period before as well as one and several years after the earthquake and also our in-depth knowledge on the ecology and the institutional arrangements in the area, we conducted, in an interdisciplinary and comprehensive manner, a critical cause analysis to investigate the non-human and human drivers behind the predicament that the Reserve is facing currently. We identified a series of proximate and root causes at various spatial and temporal scales and institutional levels. The results were exchanged with various local

  2. Forensic dental identification in mass disasters: the current status.

    PubMed

    Wood, James D

    2014-06-01

    Dentists continue to play a valuable role in the identification of victims in a mass disaster. Individuals and multidisciplinary teams are available to assist authorities in the process. Training, experience and advances in technology continue to improve the efficiency of the identification process.

  3. Forensic Analysis of Compromised Computers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wolfe, Thomas

    2004-01-01

    Directory Tree Analysis File Generator is a Practical Extraction and Reporting Language (PERL) script that simplifies and automates the collection of information for forensic analysis of compromised computer systems. During such an analysis, it is sometimes necessary to collect and analyze information about files on a specific directory tree. Directory Tree Analysis File Generator collects information of this type (except information about directories) and writes it to a text file. In particular, the script asks the user for the root of the directory tree to be processed, the name of the output file, and the number of subtree levels to process. The script then processes the directory tree and puts out the aforementioned text file. The format of the text file is designed to enable the submission of the file as input to a spreadsheet program, wherein the forensic analysis is performed. The analysis usually consists of sorting files and examination of such characteristics of files as ownership, time of creation, and time of most recent access, all of which characteristics are among the data included in the text file.

  4. Forensic analysis of explosions: Inverse calculation of the charge mass.

    PubMed

    van der Voort, M M; van Wees, R M M; Brouwer, S D; van der Jagt-Deutekom, M J; Verreault, J

    2015-07-01

    Forensic analysis of explosions consists of determining the point of origin, the explosive substance involved, and the charge mass. Within the EU FP7 project Hyperion, TNO developed the Inverse Explosion Analysis (TNO-IEA) tool to estimate the charge mass and point of origin based on observed damage around an explosion. In this paper, inverse models are presented based on two frequently occurring and reliable sources of information: window breakage and building damage. The models have been verified by applying them to the Enschede firework disaster and the Khobar tower attack. Furthermore, a statistical method has been developed to combine the various types of data, in order to determine an overall charge mass distribution. In relatively open environments, like for the Enschede firework disaster, the models generate realistic charge masses that are consistent with values found in forensic literature. The spread predicted by the IEA tool is however larger than presented in the literature for these specific cases. This is also realistic due to the large inherent uncertainties in a forensic analysis. The IEA-models give a reasonable first order estimate of the charge mass in a densely built urban environment, such as for the Khobar tower attack. Due to blast shielding effects which are not taken into account in the IEA tool, this is usually an under prediction. To obtain more accurate predictions, the application of Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) simulations is advised. The TNO IEA tool gives unique possibilities to inversely calculate the TNT equivalent charge mass based on a large variety of explosion effects and observations. The IEA tool enables forensic analysts, also those who are not experts on explosion effects, to perform an analysis with a largely reduced effort.

  5. Forensic analysis of explosions: Inverse calculation of the charge mass.

    PubMed

    van der Voort, M M; van Wees, R M M; Brouwer, S D; van der Jagt-Deutekom, M J; Verreault, J

    2015-07-01

    Forensic analysis of explosions consists of determining the point of origin, the explosive substance involved, and the charge mass. Within the EU FP7 project Hyperion, TNO developed the Inverse Explosion Analysis (TNO-IEA) tool to estimate the charge mass and point of origin based on observed damage around an explosion. In this paper, inverse models are presented based on two frequently occurring and reliable sources of information: window breakage and building damage. The models have been verified by applying them to the Enschede firework disaster and the Khobar tower attack. Furthermore, a statistical method has been developed to combine the various types of data, in order to determine an overall charge mass distribution. In relatively open environments, like for the Enschede firework disaster, the models generate realistic charge masses that are consistent with values found in forensic literature. The spread predicted by the IEA tool is however larger than presented in the literature for these specific cases. This is also realistic due to the large inherent uncertainties in a forensic analysis. The IEA-models give a reasonable first order estimate of the charge mass in a densely built urban environment, such as for the Khobar tower attack. Due to blast shielding effects which are not taken into account in the IEA tool, this is usually an under prediction. To obtain more accurate predictions, the application of Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) simulations is advised. The TNO IEA tool gives unique possibilities to inversely calculate the TNT equivalent charge mass based on a large variety of explosion effects and observations. The IEA tool enables forensic analysts, also those who are not experts on explosion effects, to perform an analysis with a largely reduced effort. PMID:25933424

  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.

  7. Forensic archaeology and anthropology : An Australian perspective.

    PubMed

    Oakley, Kate

    2005-09-01

    Forensic archaeology is an extremely powerful investigative discipline and, in combination with forensic anthropology, can provide a wealth of evidentiary information to police investigators and the forensic community. The re-emergence of forensic archaeology and anthropology within Australia relies on its diversification and cooperation with established forensic medical organizations, law enforcement forensic service divisions, and national forensic boards. This presents a unique opportunity to develop a new multidisciplinary approach to forensic archaeology/anthropology within Australia as we hold a unique set of environmental, social, and cultural conditions that diverge from overseas models and require different methodological approaches. In the current world political climate, more forensic techniques are being applied at scenes of mass disasters, genocide, and terrorism. This provides Australian forensic archaeology/anthropology with a unique opportunity to develop multidisciplinary models with contributions from psychological profiling, ballistics, sociopolitics, cultural anthropology, mortuary technicians, post-blast analysis, fire analysis, and other disciplines from the world of forensic science.

  8. VALIDATION GUIDELINES FOR LABORATORIES PERFORMING FORENSIC ANALYSIS OF CHEMICAL TERRORISM

    EPA Science Inventory

    The Scientific Working Group on Forensic Analysis of Chemical Terrorism (SWGFACT) has developed the following guidelines for laboratories engaged in the forensic analysis of chemical evidence associated with terrorism. This document provides a baseline framework and guidance for...

  9. Molecular forensic science analysis of nuclear materials

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reilly, Dallas David

    Concerns over the proliferation and instances of nuclear material in the environment have increased interest in the expansion of nuclear forensics analysis and attribution programs. A new related field, molecular forensic science (MFS) has helped meet this expansion by applying common scientific analyses to nuclear forensics scenarios. In this work, MFS was applied to three scenarios related to nuclear forensics analysis. In the first, uranium dioxide was synthesized and aged at four sets of static environmental conditions and studied for changes in chemical speciation. The second highlighted the importance of bulk versus particle characterizations by analyzing a heterogeneous industrially prepared sample with similar techniques. In the third, mixed uranium/plutonium hot particles were collected from the McGuire Air Force Base BOMARC Site and analyzed for chemical speciation and elemental surface composition. This work has identified new signatures and has indicated unexpected chemical behavior under various conditions. These findings have lead to an expansion of basic actinide understanding, proof of MFS as a tool for nuclear forensic science, and new areas for expansion in these fields.

  10. 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.

  11. The role of the forensic odontologist in disaster victim identification: lessons for management.

    PubMed

    Hill, Anthony J; Hewson, Ian; Lain, Russell

    2011-02-25

    Forensic odontologists are involved in all phases of disaster victim identification (DVI). The failure of DVI management to embed odontology teams within all phases of the investigation and to include them in management decisions throughout the operation may lead to delays in the reconciliation process and could possibly compromise the integrity of the DVI investigation. In the case study presented, trained and experienced teams of forensic odontologists were not utilised to full capacity in all phases of the investigation. The complexity of the initial scene investigation was not identified resulting in the incomplete recovery of all remains. The scene had to be re-examined on three subsequent occasions. The post-mortem examination of the remains had to be deferred until all subsequent material had been collected. The collection of all ante-mortem dental records was not undertaken, resulting in transcription information that was incomplete and compromised. As a result, the reconciliation (formal identification) of the deceased became problematic because of the compounded errors in all phases of this DVI investigation and the resulting odontological report of identification could have jeopardized the integrity of the entire DVI process. Following a review of this case and the recognition of possible areas of omission in the management of the investigation a strategy to address these problems is proposed. PMID:20950970

  12. 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.

  13. A forensic application of PIXE analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kravchenko, I. I.; Dunnam, F. E.; Van Rinsvelt, H. A.; Warren, M. W.; Falsetti, A. B.

    2001-07-01

    PIXE measurements were performed on various calcareous materials including identified bone residues, human cremains, and samples of disputed origin. In a forensic application, the elemental analysis suggests that the origin of a sample suspectly classified as human cremains can tentatively be identified as a mixture of sandy soil and dolomitic limestone.

  14. Information Gap Analysis: near real-time evaluation of disaster response

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Girard, Trevor

    2014-05-01

    produced under each category was then compared to establish best practices. Thus, the information produced by a disaster management system following a major disaster can be compared to these best practices within days of the disaster. The resulting "information gap analysis" can help identify areas of the response that may need to be improved and raise questions as to why critical information is lacking or delayed. This information gap analysis therefore complements ex post evaluations and can help lead to improvements in the immediate response and subsequently reduce disaster impacts on the population. The methodology has already been applied in the Center for Disaster Management and Risk Reduction Technology's (CEDIM) Forensic Disaster Analysis (FDA) activities following tropical cyclone Phailin in India, and the Bohol Earthquake and Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines.

  15. Models for regionalizing economic data and their applications within the scope of forensic disaster analyses

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schmidt, Hanns-Maximilian; Wiens, rer. pol. Marcus, , Dr.; Schultmann, rer. pol. Frank, Prof. _., Dr.

    2015-04-01

    The impact of natural hazards on the economic system can be observed in many different regions all over the world. Once the local economic structure is hit by an event direct costs instantly occur. However, the disturbance on a local level (e.g. parts of city or industries along a river bank) might also cause monetary damages in other, indirectly affected sectors. If the impact of an event is strong, these damages are likely to cascade and spread even on an international scale (e.g. the eruption of Eyjafjallajökull and its impact on the automotive sector in Europe). In order to determine these special impacts, one has to gain insights into the directly hit economic structure before being able to calculate these side effects. Especially, regarding the development of a model used for near real-time forensic disaster analyses any simulation needs to be based on data that is rapidly available or easily to be computed. Therefore, we investigated commonly used or recently discussed methodologies for regionalizing economic data. Surprisingly, even for German federal states there is no official input-output data available that can be used, although it might provide detailed figures concerning economic interrelations between different industry sectors. In the case of highly developed countries, such as Germany, we focus on models for regionalizing nationwide input-output table which is usually available at the national statistical offices. However, when it comes to developing countries (e.g. South-East Asia) the data quality and availability is usually much poorer. In this case, other sources need to be found for the proper assessment of regional economic performance. We developed an indicator-based model that can fill this gap because of its flexibility regarding the level of aggregation and the composability of different input parameters. Our poster presentation brings up a literature review and a summary on potential models that seem to be useful for this specific task

  16. Statistical Tools for Forensic Analysis of Toolmarks

    SciTech Connect

    David Baldwin; Max Morris; Stan Bajic; Zhigang Zhou; James Kreiser

    2004-04-22

    Recovery and comparison of toolmarks, footprint impressions, and fractured surfaces connected to a crime scene are of great importance in forensic science. The purpose of this project is to provide statistical tools for the validation of the proposition that particular manufacturing processes produce marks on the work-product (or tool) that are substantially different from tool to tool. The approach to validation involves the collection of digital images of toolmarks produced by various tool manufacturing methods on produced work-products and the development of statistical methods for data reduction and analysis of the images. The developed statistical methods provide a means to objectively calculate a ''degree of association'' between matches of similarly produced toolmarks. The basis for statistical method development relies on ''discriminating criteria'' that examiners use to identify features and spatial relationships in their analysis of forensic samples. The developed data reduction algorithms utilize the same rules used by examiners for classification and association of toolmarks.

  17. [Costicartilage analysis inspection technology in the application of forensic medicine].

    PubMed

    Meng, Hang; Xiao, Bi; Yan, Jian-Jun; Ma, Kai-Jun

    2011-10-01

    The traditional costicartilage analysis inspection is limited to morphological inspection. In recent years, with the development of forensic radiology and molecular genetics, the costicartilage analysis inspection technology has been further enriched and developed. At present, the costicartilage analysis inspection technology have been able to be used in the practice of forensic medicine. This paper reviews the research advances about the costicartilage analysis inspection technology in the identification of human gender, age and so on in order to provide the references for forensic appraisers.

  18. The contribution of forensic science to crime analysis and investigation: forensic intelligence.

    PubMed

    Ribaux, Olivier; Walsh, Simon J; Margot, Pierre

    2006-01-27

    The debate in forensic science concentrates on issues such as standardisation, accreditation and de-contextualisation, in a legal and economical context, in order to ensure the scientific objectivity and efficiency that must guide the process of collecting, analysing, interpreting and reporting forensic evidence. At the same time, it is recognised that forensic case data is still poorly integrated into the investigation and the crime analysis process, despite evidence of its great potential in various situations and studies. A change of attitude is needed in order to accept an extended role for forensic science that goes beyond the production of evidence for the court. To stimulate and guide this development, a long-term intensive modelling activity of the investigative and crime analysis process that crosses the boundaries of different disciplines has been initiated. A framework that fully integrates forensic case data shows through examples the capital accumulated that may be put to use systematically.

  19. 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…

  20. Forensic aspects of mass disasters: strategic considerations for DNA-based human identification.

    PubMed

    Budowle, Bruce; Bieber, Frederick R; Eisenberg, Arthur J

    2005-07-01

    Many mass disasters result in loss of lives. Law enforcement and/or public safety and health officials often have the responsibility for identifying the human remains found at the scene, so they can be returned to their families. The recovered human remains range from being relatively intact to highly degraded. DNA-based identity testing is a powerful tool for victim identification in that the data are not restricted to any particular one to one body landmark comparison and DNA profile comparisons can be used to associate separated remains or body parts. Even though DNA typing is straightforward, a disaster is a chaotic environment that can complicate effective identification of the remains. With some planning, or at least identification of the salient features to consider, stress can be reduced for those involved in the identification process. General guidelines are provided for developing an action plan for identification of human remains from a mass disaster by DNA analysis. These include: (1) sample collection, preservation, shipping and storage; (2) tracking and chain of custody issues; (3) laboratory facilities; (4) quality assurance and quality control practices; (5) parsing out work; (6) extraction and typing; (7) interpretation of results; (8) automation; (9) software for tracking and managing data; (10) the use of an advisory panel; (11) education and communication; and (12) privacy issues. In addition, key technologies that may facilitate the identification process are discussed, such as resin based DNA extraction, real-time PCR for quantitation of DNA, use of mini-STRs, SNP detection procedures, and software. Many of the features necessary for DNA typing of human remains from a mass disaster are the same as those for missing persons' cases. Therefore, developing a missing persons DNA identification program would also provide the basis for a mass disaster human remains DNA identification program. PMID:15975517

  1. Gait analysis in forensic medicine

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Larsen, Peter K.; Simonsen, Erik B.; Lynnerup, Niels

    2007-01-01

    We have combined the basic human ability to recognize other individuals with functional anatomical and biomechanical knowledge, in order to analyze the gait of perpetrators as recorded on surveillance video. The perpetrators are then compared with similar analyses of suspects. At present we give a statement to the police as to whether the perpetrator has a characteristic gait pattern compared to normal gait, and if a suspect has a comparable gait pattern. We have found agreements such as: limping, varus instability in the knee at heel strike, larger lateral flexion of the spinal column to one side than the other, inverted ankle during stance, pronounced sagittal head-movements, and marked head-shoulder posture. Based on these characteristic features, we state whether suspect and perpetrator could have the same identity but it is not possible to positively identify the perpetrator. Nevertheless, we have been involved in several cases where the court has found that this type of gait analysis, especially combined with photogrammetry, was a valuable tool. The primary requisites are surveillance cameras recording with sufficient frequency, ideally about 15 Hz, which are positioned in frontal and preferably also in profile view.

  2. Transcriptomic analysis of degraded forensic body fluids.

    PubMed

    Lin, Meng-Han; Jones, Daniel F; Fleming, Rachel

    2015-07-01

    Massively parallel sequencing (MPS) has facilitated a significant increase in transcriptomic studies in all biological disciplines. However, the analysis of degraded RNA remains a genuine challenge in practice. In forensic science the biological samples encountered are often extensively degraded and of low abundance. RNA from these compromised samples is used for body fluid identification through the detection of body fluid-specific transcripts. Here we demonstrate the sequencing of four forensically relevant body fluids: oral mucosa/saliva (buccal), circulatory blood, menstrual blood and vaginal fluid. RNA was extracted from fresh, two and six week aged samples. Despite the extensive degradation of most body fluids, significant high quality sequencing output (>80% sequence above Q30) was generated. An average of over 80% of reads from all but one sample aligned successfully to the reference human genome. Furthermore, FPKMs (fragments per kilobase of exon per million fragments mapped) generated indicate the accurate detection of known body fluid markers in respective body fluids. Assessment of global gene expression levels over degradation time enabled the characterisation of differential RNA degradation in different body fluids. This study demonstrates the practical application of MPS technology for the accurate analysis of degraded RNA from minimal samples.

  3. Photogrammetry Tool for Forensic Analysis

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lane, John

    2012-01-01

    A system allows crime scene and accident scene investigators the ability to acquire visual scene data using cameras for processing at a later time. This system uses a COTS digital camera, a photogrammetry calibration cube, and 3D photogrammetry processing software. In a previous instrument developed by NASA, the laser scaling device made use of parallel laser beams to provide a photogrammetry solution in 2D. This device and associated software work well under certain conditions. In order to make use of a full 3D photogrammetry system, a different approach was needed. When using multiple cubes, whose locations relative to each other are unknown, a procedure that would merge the data from each cube would be as follows: 1. One marks a reference point on cube 1, then marks points on cube 2 as unknowns. This locates cube 2 in cube 1 s coordinate system. 2. One marks reference points on cube 2, then marks points on cube 1 as unknowns. This locates cube 1 in cube 2 s coordinate system. 3. This procedure is continued for all combinations of cubes. 4. The coordinate of all of the found coordinate systems is then merged into a single global coordinate system. In order to achieve maximum accuracy, measurements are done in one of two ways, depending on scale: when measuring the size of objects, the coordinate system corresponding to the nearest cube is used, or when measuring the location of objects relative to a global coordinate system, a merged coordinate system is used. Presently, traffic accident analysis is time-consuming and not very accurate. Using cubes with differential GPS would give absolute positions of cubes in the accident area, so that individual cubes would provide local photogrammetry calibration to objects near a cube.

  4. [False forensic expertise--analysis of occurrences].

    PubMed

    Heitzman, Janusz

    2004-01-01

    Main problems that await the modern Polish forensic psychiatry are presented. The most common mistakes made in forensic expertise are discussed and their causes are shown. The need for a change in the manner of teaching forensic psychiatry at an academic, as well as post graduate level to medical students/doctors as well as law officials, has been stressed. The criteria for calling on experts, system of control and evaluation of the expertise formulated and rules of payment to the experts--all need changing. The altered criminal structure and possibilities of putting pressure on experts through corruption, threatening or blackmail were noted. The clearly defined status of the forensic psychiatric expert gives him a guarantee of legal defence and through this an unbiased position. Giving forensic expertise is not only part of the diagnostics in forensic psychiatry. An even layout of protection, treatment and rehabilitation of psychiatrically ill criminals has to be present in this system.

  5. Forensic Learning Disability Nursing Role Analysis

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mason, Tom; Phipps, Dianne; Melling, Kat

    2011-01-01

    This article reports on a study carried out on the role constructs of forensic and nonforensic Learning Disability Nursing in relation to six binary themes. The aims were to identify if there were differences in perceptions of forensic learning disability nurses and nonforensic learning disability nurses in relation to the six binary themes of the…

  6. Double parricide: forensic analysis and psycholegal implications.

    PubMed

    Weisman, Adam M; Ehrenclou, Martine G; Sharma, Kaushal K

    2002-03-01

    In a retrospective study, eleven adult parricidal forensic cases from Southern California are presented. Each case involves the murder of both parents and was referred for forensic evaluation. Common characteristics among the eleven cases are presented. Two case examples illustrate features of recognized adult parricidal subtypes. The findings are compared with studies involving parricide, double-parricide, and extant case law.

  7. Uses of software in digital image analysis: a forensic report

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sharma, Mukesh; Jha, Shailendra

    2010-02-01

    Forensic image analysis is required an expertise to interpret the content of an image or the image itself in legal matters. Major sub-disciplines of forensic image analysis with law enforcement applications include photo-grammetry, photographic comparison, content analysis and image authentication. It has wide applications in forensic science range from documenting crime scenes to enhancing faint or indistinct patterns such as partial fingerprints. The process of forensic image analysis can involve several different tasks, regardless of the type of image analysis performed. Through this paper authors have tried to explain these tasks, which are described in to three categories: Image Compression, Image Enhancement & Restoration and Measurement Extraction. With the help of examples like signature comparison, counterfeit currency comparison and foot-wear sole impression using the software Canvas and Corel Draw.

  8. Development under extreme conditions: forensic bioinformatics in the wake of the World Trade Center disaster.

    PubMed

    Cash, Howard D; Hoyle, Jonathan W; Sutton, Amy J

    2003-01-01

    The terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 resulted in death and devastation in three locations, and extraordinary efforts have been exerted to identify the remains of all victims. As mass fatalities go, this one has been unusual at a policy level because the goal has been not merely to identify remains for every decedent, but to identify every bit of remains found so that even small pieces of tissue can be returned to families for burial. While the human impact at the Pentagon and Shanksville, PA was horrific, the World Trade Center site presented a particularly complex challenge for forensic DNA matching and data handling. A complete and definitive list of all those killed is still elusive, and human remains were crushed and co-mingled by the falling towers. Software tools had never been considered for a problem of this scale and scope. New data handling systems had to be created under extreme software development conditions characterized by incomplete requirements specifications, chaotically changing priorities, truly impossible deadlines and rapidly rolling production releases. Partly because of the company's experience with mtDNA tools built for the Armed Forces DNA Identification Lab starting in 1997, the New York City Office of Chief Medical Examiner [OCME] contacted Gene Codes Corporation in late September as existing data-handling tools began to fail. We began work on the project in mid-October, 2001. Our approach to the problem included: Extreme Programming [XP] methodology for functional software development, On-site time and motion analysis at the OCME for user interface design, Evidentiary references between STR, SNP and mtDNA analysis results, and Separate data Quality Control [QC] and software Quality Assurance [QA] initiatives. A substantial software suite was developed called M-FISys, an acronym for Mass-Fatality Identification System. PMID:12603064

  9. Estimating the measurement uncertainty in forensic blood alcohol analysis.

    PubMed

    Gullberg, Rod G

    2012-04-01

    For many reasons, forensic toxicologists are being asked to determine and report their measurement uncertainty in blood alcohol analysis. While understood conceptually, the elements and computations involved in determining measurement uncertainty are generally foreign to most forensic toxicologists. Several established and well-documented methods are available to determine and report the uncertainty in blood alcohol measurement. A straightforward bottom-up approach is presented that includes: (1) specifying the measurand, (2) identifying the major components of uncertainty, (3) quantifying the components, (4) statistically combining the components and (5) reporting the results. A hypothetical example is presented that employs reasonable estimates for forensic blood alcohol analysis assuming headspace gas chromatography. These computations are easily employed in spreadsheet programs as well. Determining and reporting measurement uncertainty is an important element in establishing fitness-for-purpose. Indeed, the demand for such computations and information from the forensic toxicologist will continue to increase.

  10. DNA fingerprinting in forensics: past, present, future.

    PubMed

    Roewer, Lutz

    2013-11-18

    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.

  11. 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

  12. The future of forensic DNA analysis.

    PubMed

    Butler, John M

    2015-08-01

    The author's thoughts and opinions on where the field of forensic DNA testing is headed for the next decade are provided in the context of where the field has come over the past 30 years. Similar to the Olympic motto of 'faster, higher, stronger', forensic DNA protocols can be expected to become more rapid and sensitive and provide stronger investigative potential. New short tandem repeat (STR) loci have expanded the core set of genetic markers used for human identification in Europe and the USA. Rapid DNA testing is on the verge of enabling new applications. Next-generation sequencing has the potential to provide greater depth of coverage for information on STR alleles. Familial DNA searching has expanded capabilities of DNA databases in parts of the world where it is allowed. Challenges and opportunities that will impact the future of forensic DNA are explored including the need for education and training to improve interpretation of complex DNA profiles.

  13. Bite injuries: pathophysiology, forensic analysis, and management.

    PubMed

    Liston, P N; Tong, D C; Firth, N A; Kieser, J A

    2001-06-01

    Bites are serious injuries that constitute 1 percent of all emergency-department visits in the United States of America. Human bite injuries may lead to loss of function, infection, and gross disfigurement, and often are associated with interpersonal and sexual violence, and child abuse. Issues with infection from oral contaminants, tissue damage, and difficult surgical reconstruction make the management of human bite injuries a challenge. The unique nature of teeth and the bite marks they produce are invaluable in forensic pathology. A systematic and detailed evaluation of bite injuries should be performed by a forensic odontologist in order to provide the necessary information for forensic purposes. Management of human bite injuries includes wound debridement, surgery to repair or replace damaged tissue, and long-term antibiotic therapy. PMID:11468936

  14. The future of forensic DNA analysis

    PubMed Central

    Butler, John M.

    2015-01-01

    The author's thoughts and opinions on where the field of forensic DNA testing is headed for the next decade are provided in the context of where the field has come over the past 30 years. Similar to the Olympic motto of ‘faster, higher, stronger’, forensic DNA protocols can be expected to become more rapid and sensitive and provide stronger investigative potential. New short tandem repeat (STR) loci have expanded the core set of genetic markers used for human identification in Europe and the USA. Rapid DNA testing is on the verge of enabling new applications. Next-generation sequencing has the potential to provide greater depth of coverage for information on STR alleles. Familial DNA searching has expanded capabilities of DNA databases in parts of the world where it is allowed. Challenges and opportunities that will impact the future of forensic DNA are explored including the need for education and training to improve interpretation of complex DNA profiles. PMID:26101278

  15. Bite injuries: pathophysiology, forensic analysis, and management.

    PubMed

    Liston, P N; Tong, D C; Firth, N A; Kieser, J A

    2001-06-01

    Bites are serious injuries that constitute 1 percent of all emergency-department visits in the United States of America. Human bite injuries may lead to loss of function, infection, and gross disfigurement, and often are associated with interpersonal and sexual violence, and child abuse. Issues with infection from oral contaminants, tissue damage, and difficult surgical reconstruction make the management of human bite injuries a challenge. The unique nature of teeth and the bite marks they produce are invaluable in forensic pathology. A systematic and detailed evaluation of bite injuries should be performed by a forensic odontologist in order to provide the necessary information for forensic purposes. Management of human bite injuries includes wound debridement, surgery to repair or replace damaged tissue, and long-term antibiotic therapy.

  16. QUALITY ASSURANCE GUIDELINES FOR LABORATORIES PERFORMING FORENSIC ANALYSIS OF CHEMICAL TERRORISM

    EPA Science Inventory

    The Scientific Working Group on Forensic Analysis of Chemical Terrorism (SWGFACT) has developed the following quality assurance guidelines to provide laboratories engaged in forensic analysis of chemical evidence associated with terrorism a framework to implement a quality assura...

  17. [Possibilities and limitations of forensic bloodstain pattern analysis].

    PubMed

    Kunz, Sebastian Niko; Klawonn, Tina; Grove, Christina

    2014-09-01

    Forensic bloodstain pattern analysis includes the detection, shape analysis, classification and interpretation of relevant traces of blood at a crime scene with the aim of reconstructing the sequences of the events that occurred. Mathematical calculation of impact and cast-off patterns are the center of the analytical reconstruction, when predicting the position of the source of blood stain at the moment of impact. Taking into consideration the limits of this method, it is possible to verify reconstructions of criminal acts and reconstruct a possible sequence of events that occurred. The present article is intended to give a brief introduction to various aspects of the forensic bloodstain pattern analysis as well as to point out the application possibilities and limitations of this forensic subdiscipline. PMID:25201096

  18. Inference of Ancestry in Forensic Analysis II: Analysis of Genetic Data.

    PubMed

    Santos, Carla; Phillips, Chris; Gomez-Tato, A; Alvarez-Dios, J; Carracedo, Ángel; Lareu, Maria Victoria

    2016-01-01

    Three approaches applicable to the analysis of forensic ancestry-informative marker data-STRUCTURE, principal component analysis, and the Snipper Bayesian classification system-are reviewed. Detailed step-by-step guidance is provided for adjusting parameter settings in STRUCTURE with particular regard to their effect when differentiating populations. Several enhancements to the Snipper online forensic classification portal are described, highlighting the added functionality they bring to particular aspects of ancestry-informative SNP analysis in a forensic context.

  19. Genetic analysis and attribution of microbial forensics evidence.

    PubMed

    Budowle, Bruce; Johnson, Martin D; Fraser, Claire M; Leighton, Terrance J; Murch, Randall S; Chakraborty, Ranajit

    2005-01-01

    Because of the availability of pathogenic microorganisms and the relatively low cost of preparing and disseminating bioweapons, there is a continuing threat of biocrime and bioterrorism. Thus, enhanced capabilities are needed that enable the full and robust forensic exploitation and interpretation of microbial evidence from acts of bioterrorism or biocrimes. To respond to the need, greater resources and efforts are being applied to the burgeoning field of microbial forensics. Microbial forensics focuses on the characterization, analysis and interpretation of evidence for attributional purposes from a bioterrorism act, biocrime, hoax or inadvertent agent release. To enhance attribution capabilities, a major component of microbial forensics is the analysis of nucleic acids to associate or eliminate putative samples. The degree that attribution can be addressed depends on the context of the case, the available knowledge of the genetics, phylogeny, and ecology of the target microorganism, and technologies applied. The types of genetic markers and features that can impact statistical inferences of microbial forensic evidence include: single nucleotide polymorphisms, repetitive sequences, insertions and deletions, mobile elements, pathogenicity islands, virulence and resistance genes, house keeping genes, structural genes, whole genome sequences, asexual and sexual reproduction, horizontal gene transfer, conjugation, transduction, lysogeny, gene conversion, recombination, gene duplication, rearrangements, and mutational hotspots. Nucleic acid based typing technologies include: PCR, real-time PCR, MLST, MLVA, whole genome sequencing, and microarrays. PMID:16417203

  20. Analysis of Forensic Casework Utilizing Infrared Spectroscopic Imaging.

    PubMed

    Lanzarotta, Adam

    2016-01-01

    A search of the current scientific literature yields a limited number of studies that describe the use of Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR) spectroscopic imaging for the analysis of forensic casework, which is likely due to the fact that these instruments are fairly new commodities to the field of analytical chemistry and are therefore not yet commonplace in forensic laboratories. This report describes recent forensic case studies that have used the technique for determining the composition of a wide variety of multi-component sample types, including animal tissue sections for toxic inclusions, drugs/dietary supplements, an antibiotic with an active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) present as several different salt forms, an adulterated bulk API, unknown trace powders for illicit drugs and an ophthalmic solution suspected of being adulterated with bleach.

  1. Analysis of Forensic Casework Utilizing Infrared Spectroscopic Imaging †

    PubMed Central

    Lanzarotta, Adam

    2016-01-01

    A search of the current scientific literature yields a limited number of studies that describe the use of Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR) spectroscopic imaging for the analysis of forensic casework, which is likely due to the fact that these instruments are fairly new commodities to the field of analytical chemistry and are therefore not yet commonplace in forensic laboratories. This report describes recent forensic case studies that have used the technique for determining the composition of a wide variety of multi-component sample types, including animal tissue sections for toxic inclusions, drugs/dietary supplements, an antibiotic with an active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) present as several different salt forms, an adulterated bulk API, unknown trace powders for illicit drugs and an ophthalmic solution suspected of being adulterated with bleach. PMID:26927101

  2. A Graph Oriented Approach for Network Forensic Analysis

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wang, Wei

    2010-01-01

    Network forensic analysis is a process that analyzes intrusion evidence captured from networked environment to identify suspicious entities and stepwise actions in an attack scenario. Unfortunately, the overwhelming amount and low quality of output from security sensors make it difficult for analysts to obtain a succinct high-level view of complex…

  3. Sub-sampling and preparing forensic samples for pollen analysis.

    PubMed

    Horrocks, Mark

    2004-09-01

    The main forensic application of palynology is in providing associative evidence, assisting to prove or disprove a link between people and objects with places or with other people. Although identification and interpretation of pollen is a specialist job, sub-sampling and preparing pollen samples for analysis may be carried out by non-specialists. As few forensic laboratories have residing palynologists, laboratories may wish to reduce the cost of analysis or risk of contamination by doing their own sub-sampling and preparation. Presented is a practical guide for sub-sampling and preparing forensic samples for pollen analysis, providing a complete standard procedure for both the palynologist and non-specialist. Procedures for sub-sampling include a wide variety of materials commonly collected for forensic analysis (soil, clothing and other fabrics, footwear, twine and rope, firearms, granulated materials, plant and animal material, and illicit drugs), many of which palynologists will not be familiar with. Procedures for preparation of samples (pollen concentration) are presented as a detailed, step-by-step method. Minimizing the risks of laboratory and cross-sample contamination during sub-sampling and preparation is emphasized.

  4. Forensic document analysis using scanning microscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shaffer, Douglas K.

    2009-05-01

    The authentication and identification of the source of a printed document(s) can be important in forensic investigations involving a wide range of fraudulent materials, including counterfeit currency, travel and identity documents, business and personal checks, money orders, prescription labels, travelers checks, medical records, financial documents and threatening correspondence. The physical and chemical characterization of document materials - including paper, writing inks and printed media - is becoming increasingly relevant for law enforcement agencies, with the availability of a wide variety of sophisticated commercial printers and copiers which are capable of producing fraudulent documents of extremely high print quality, rendering these difficult to distinguish from genuine documents. This paper describes various applications and analytical methodologies using scanning electron miscoscopy/energy dispersive (x-ray) spectroscopy (SEM/EDS) and related technologies for the characterization of fraudulent documents, and illustrates how their morphological and chemical profiles can be compared to (1) authenticate and (2) link forensic documents with a common source(s) in their production history.

  5. My-Forensic-Loci-queries (MyFLq) framework for analysis of forensic STR data generated by massive parallel sequencing.

    PubMed

    Van Neste, Christophe; Vandewoestyne, Mado; Van Criekinge, Wim; Deforce, Dieter; Van Nieuwerburgh, Filip

    2014-03-01

    Forensic scientists are currently investigating how to transition from capillary electrophoresis (CE) to massive parallel sequencing (MPS) for analysis of forensic DNA profiles. MPS offers several advantages over CE such as virtually unlimited multiplexy of loci, combining both short tandem repeat (STR) and single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) loci, small amplicons without constraints of size separation, more discrimination power, deep mixture resolution and sample multiplexing. We present our bioinformatic framework My-Forensic-Loci-queries (MyFLq) for analysis of MPS forensic data. For allele calling, the framework uses a MySQL reference allele database with automatically determined regions of interest (ROIs) by a generic maximal flanking algorithm which makes it possible to use any STR or SNP forensic locus. Python scripts were designed to automatically make allele calls starting from raw MPS data. We also present a method to assess the usefulness and overall performance of a forensic locus with respect to MPS, as well as methods to estimate whether an unknown allele, which sequence is not present in the MySQL database, is in fact a new allele or a sequencing error. The MyFLq framework was applied to an Illumina MiSeq dataset of a forensic Illumina amplicon library, generated from multilocus STR polymerase chain reaction (PCR) on both single contributor samples and multiple person DNA mixtures. Although the multilocus PCR was not yet optimized for MPS in terms of amplicon length or locus selection, the results show excellent results for most loci. The results show a high signal-to-noise ratio, correct allele calls, and a low limit of detection for minor DNA contributors in mixed DNA samples. Technically, forensic MPS affords great promise for routine implementation in forensic genomics. The method is also applicable to adjacent disciplines such as molecular autopsy in legal medicine and in mitochondrial DNA research.

  6. Comparison of hard tissues that are useful for DNA analysis in forensic autopsy.

    PubMed

    Kaneko, Yu; Ohira, Hiroshi; Tsuda, Yukio; Yamada, Yoshihiro

    2015-11-01

    Forensic analysis of DNA from hard tissues can be important when investigating a variety of cases resulting from mass disaster or criminal cases. This study was conducted to evaluate the most suitable tissues, method and sample size for processing of hard tissues prior to DNA isolation. We also evaluated the elapsed time after death in relation to the quantity of DNA extracted. Samples of hard tissues (37 teeth, 42 skull, 42 rib, and 39 nails) from 42 individuals aged between 50 and 83 years were used. The samples were taken from remains following forensic autopsy (from 2 days to 2 years after death). To evaluate the integrity of the nuclear DNA isolated, the percentage of allele calls for short tandem repeat profiles were compared between the hard tissues. DNA typing results indicated that until 1 month after death, any of the four hard tissue samples could be used as an alternative to teeth, allowing analysis of all of the loci. However, in terms of the sampling site, collection method and sample size adjustment, the rib appeared to be the best choice in view of the ease of specimen preparation. Our data suggest that the rib could be an alternative hard tissue sample for DNA analysis of human remains.

  7. State of the art in bile analysis in forensic toxicology.

    PubMed

    Bévalot, F; Cartiser, N; Bottinelli, C; Guitton, J; Fanton, L

    2016-02-01

    In forensic toxicology, alternative matrices to blood are useful in case of limited, unavailable or unusable blood sample, suspected postmortem redistribution or long drug intake-to-sampling interval. The present article provides an update on the state of knowledge for the use of bile in forensic toxicology, through a review of the Medline literature from 1970 to May 2015. Bile physiology and technical aspects of analysis (sampling, storage, sample preparation and analytical methods) are reported, to highlight specificities and consequences from an analytical and interpretative point of view. A table summarizes cause of death and quantification in bile and blood of 133 compounds from more than 200 case reports, providing a useful tool for forensic physicians and toxicologists involved in interpreting bile analysis. Qualitative and quantitative interpretation is discussed. As bile/blood concentration ratios are high for numerous molecules or metabolites, bile is a matrix of choice for screening when blood concentrations are low or non-detectable: e.g., cases of weak exposure or long intake-to-death interval. Quantitative applications have been little investigated, but small molecules with low bile/blood concentration ratios seem to be good candidates for quantitative bile-based interpretation. Further experimental data on the mechanism and properties of biliary extraction of xenobiotics of forensic interest are required to improve quantitative interpretation.

  8. State of the art in bile analysis in forensic toxicology.

    PubMed

    Bévalot, F; Cartiser, N; Bottinelli, C; Guitton, J; Fanton, L

    2016-02-01

    In forensic toxicology, alternative matrices to blood are useful in case of limited, unavailable or unusable blood sample, suspected postmortem redistribution or long drug intake-to-sampling interval. The present article provides an update on the state of knowledge for the use of bile in forensic toxicology, through a review of the Medline literature from 1970 to May 2015. Bile physiology and technical aspects of analysis (sampling, storage, sample preparation and analytical methods) are reported, to highlight specificities and consequences from an analytical and interpretative point of view. A table summarizes cause of death and quantification in bile and blood of 133 compounds from more than 200 case reports, providing a useful tool for forensic physicians and toxicologists involved in interpreting bile analysis. Qualitative and quantitative interpretation is discussed. As bile/blood concentration ratios are high for numerous molecules or metabolites, bile is a matrix of choice for screening when blood concentrations are low or non-detectable: e.g., cases of weak exposure or long intake-to-death interval. Quantitative applications have been little investigated, but small molecules with low bile/blood concentration ratios seem to be good candidates for quantitative bile-based interpretation. Further experimental data on the mechanism and properties of biliary extraction of xenobiotics of forensic interest are required to improve quantitative interpretation. PMID:26773224

  9. Spatial Durbin model analysis macroeconomic loss due to natural disasters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kusrini, D. E.; Mukhtasor

    2015-03-01

    Magnitude of the damage and losses caused by natural disasters is huge for Indonesia, therefore this study aimed to analyze the effects of natural disasters for macroeconomic losses that occurred in 115 cities/districts across Java during 2012. Based on the results of previous studies it is suspected that it contains effects of spatial dependencies in this case, so that the completion of this case is performed using a regression approach to the area, namely Analysis of Spatial Durbin Model (SDM). The obtained significant predictor variable is population, and predictor variable with a significant weighting is the number of occurrences of disasters, i.e., disasters in the region which have an impact on other neighboring regions. Moran's I index value using the weighted Queen Contiguity also showed significant results, meaning that the incidence of disasters in the region will decrease the value of GDP in other.

  10. Microfluidic Devices for Forensic DNA Analysis: A Review.

    PubMed

    Bruijns, Brigitte; van Asten, Arian; Tiggelaar, Roald; Gardeniers, Han

    2016-01-01

    Microfluidic devices may offer various advantages for forensic DNA analysis, such as reduced risk of contamination, shorter analysis time and direct application at the crime scene. Microfluidic chip technology has already proven to be functional and effective within medical applications, such as for point-of-care use. In the forensic field, one may expect microfluidic technology to become particularly relevant for the analysis of biological traces containing human DNA. This would require a number of consecutive steps, including sample work up, DNA amplification and detection, as well as secure storage of the sample. This article provides an extensive overview of microfluidic devices for cell lysis, DNA extraction and purification, DNA amplification and detection and analysis techniques for DNA. Topics to be discussed are polymerase chain reaction (PCR) on-chip, digital PCR (dPCR), isothermal amplification on-chip, chip materials, integrated devices and commercially available techniques. A critical overview of the opportunities and challenges of the use of chips is discussed, and developments made in forensic DNA analysis over the past 10-20 years with microfluidic systems are described. Areas in which further research is needed are indicated in a future outlook.

  11. Microfluidic Devices for Forensic DNA Analysis: A Review

    PubMed Central

    Bruijns, Brigitte; van Asten, Arian; Tiggelaar, Roald; Gardeniers, Han

    2016-01-01

    Microfluidic devices may offer various advantages for forensic DNA analysis, such as reduced risk of contamination, shorter analysis time and direct application at the crime scene. Microfluidic chip technology has already proven to be functional and effective within medical applications, such as for point-of-care use. In the forensic field, one may expect microfluidic technology to become particularly relevant for the analysis of biological traces containing human DNA. This would require a number of consecutive steps, including sample work up, DNA amplification and detection, as well as secure storage of the sample. This article provides an extensive overview of microfluidic devices for cell lysis, DNA extraction and purification, DNA amplification and detection and analysis techniques for DNA. Topics to be discussed are polymerase chain reaction (PCR) on-chip, digital PCR (dPCR), isothermal amplification on-chip, chip materials, integrated devices and commercially available techniques. A critical overview of the opportunities and challenges of the use of chips is discussed, and developments made in forensic DNA analysis over the past 10–20 years with microfluidic systems are described. Areas in which further research is needed are indicated in a future outlook. PMID:27527231

  12. Microfluidic Devices for Forensic DNA Analysis: A Review.

    PubMed

    Bruijns, Brigitte; van Asten, Arian; Tiggelaar, Roald; Gardeniers, Han

    2016-01-01

    Microfluidic devices may offer various advantages for forensic DNA analysis, such as reduced risk of contamination, shorter analysis time and direct application at the crime scene. Microfluidic chip technology has already proven to be functional and effective within medical applications, such as for point-of-care use. In the forensic field, one may expect microfluidic technology to become particularly relevant for the analysis of biological traces containing human DNA. This would require a number of consecutive steps, including sample work up, DNA amplification and detection, as well as secure storage of the sample. This article provides an extensive overview of microfluidic devices for cell lysis, DNA extraction and purification, DNA amplification and detection and analysis techniques for DNA. Topics to be discussed are polymerase chain reaction (PCR) on-chip, digital PCR (dPCR), isothermal amplification on-chip, chip materials, integrated devices and commercially available techniques. A critical overview of the opportunities and challenges of the use of chips is discussed, and developments made in forensic DNA analysis over the past 10-20 years with microfluidic systems are described. Areas in which further research is needed are indicated in a future outlook. PMID:27527231

  13. Comprehensive analysis of information dissemination in disasters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, N.; Huang, H.; Su, Boni

    2016-11-01

    China is a country that experiences a large number of disasters. The number of deaths caused by large-scale disasters and accidents in past 10 years is around 900,000. More than 92.8 percent of these deaths could be avoided if there were an effective pre-warning system deployed. Knowledge of the information dissemination characteristics of different information media taking into consideration governmental assistance (information published by a government) in disasters in urban areas, plays a critical role in increasing response time and reducing the number of deaths and economic losses. In this paper we have developed a comprehensive information dissemination model to optimize efficiency of pre-warning mechanics. This model also can be used for disseminating information for evacuees making real-time evacuation plans. We analyzed every single information dissemination models for pre-warning in disasters by considering 14 media: short message service (SMS), phone, television, radio, news portals, Wechat, microblogs, email, newspapers, loudspeaker vehicles, loudspeakers, oral communication, and passive information acquisition via visual and auditory senses. Since governmental assistance is very useful in a disaster, we calculated the sensitivity of governmental assistance ratio. The results provide useful references for information dissemination during disasters in urban areas.

  14. Clinical application of forensic DNA analysis: a literature review.

    PubMed

    Manasatienkij, Chairat; Ra-ngabpai, Chatchawin

    2012-10-01

    Polymorphic short tandem repeat (STR) analysis after polymerase chain reaction amplification is presently the most important analytical method of forensic DNA laboratory. Beside the forensic-purpose application, STR analysis is also necessary for chimerism testing after bone marrow or allogeneic stem cell transplantation. To increase success rate of the treatment and avoid adverse effect of the transplantation procedure, serial chimerism study has to be closely monitored. Many analytical techniques have been therefore developed to improve the accuracy and sensitivity. STR-PCR is currently the most commonly used analytical method for chimerism testing. Sensitivity of the method is about 3% of the minor DNA in a specimen. The method consumes a short period of time and is convenient due to availability of the commercial kits. High discriminative ability and well-validated interpretation procedure are the attractive characteristics of the method.

  15. Forensic webwatch: Forensic computing.

    PubMed

    Bouhaidar, R

    2005-02-01

    With the rapid and continuous development of information technology, policing faces new challenges. As computer equipments are becoming cheaper and the internet more readily available, computer crime and criminal exploitation is on the increase. Investigating such crimes requires identification, preservation, analysis and presentation of digital evidence, the key elements of forensic computing. This is helped by the fact that Locard's principle is applicable to this branch of science as much as in other areas of forensic science. This webwatch considers the ever evolving area of Forensic Computing.

  16. Statistical methods for the forensic analysis of striated tool marks

    SciTech Connect

    Hoeksema, Amy Beth

    2013-01-01

    In forensics, fingerprints can be used to uniquely identify suspects in a crime. Similarly, a tool mark left at a crime scene can be used to identify the tool that was used. However, the current practice of identifying matching tool marks involves visual inspection of marks by forensic experts which can be a very subjective process. As a result, declared matches are often successfully challenged in court, so law enforcement agencies are particularly interested in encouraging research in more objective approaches. Our analysis is based on comparisons of profilometry data, essentially depth contours of a tool mark surface taken along a linear path. In current practice, for stronger support of a match or non-match, multiple marks are made in the lab under the same conditions by the suspect tool. We propose the use of a likelihood ratio test to analyze the difference between a sample of comparisons of lab tool marks to a field tool mark, against a sample of comparisons of two lab tool marks. Chumbley et al. (2010) point out that the angle of incidence between the tool and the marked surface can have a substantial impact on the tool mark and on the effectiveness of both manual and algorithmic matching procedures. To better address this problem, we describe how the analysis can be enhanced to model the effect of tool angle and allow for angle estimation for a tool mark left at a crime scene. With sufficient development, such methods may lead to more defensible forensic analyses.

  17. Recent trend and perspectives in forensic anthropology: a bibliometric analysis.

    PubMed

    Gualdi-Russo, Emanuela; Fonti, Giulia

    2013-06-01

    This paper evaluates research in Forensic Anthropology (FA) in order to report on the state of this field of science. In particular, we carried out a review of all PubMed-listed scientific studies in the past decades using "forensic anthropology" as the keyword. In our "meta-analysis", we observed variation in the number of publications per 2-year interval throughout the study period. In total, 1589 studies were found in the database and 1292 of them were published in the period 2000-2009. There was a significant positive correlation between the number of published articles and time (subdivided into 2-year intervals). The rate of increase was lower in the last decade. Based on the observed trend, we expect that the phenomenon will continue in the near future, reaching a number close to 400 FA publications in PubMed in the biennium 2012-13. We also carried out a specific content analysis of all FA papers published in the journal Forensic Science International in the last decade. During this period, the majority of FA papers concerned skeletal biology, although there was a positive shift toward virtual anthropological studies.

  18. 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.

  19. Forensic genetic analysis of bio-geographical ancestry.

    PubMed

    Phillips, Chris

    2015-09-01

    With the great strides made in the last ten years in the understanding of human population variation and the detailed characterization of the genome, it is now possible to identify sets of ancestry informative markers suitable for relatively small-scale PCR-based assays and use them to analyze the ancestry of an individual from forensic DNA. This review outlines some of the current understanding of past human population structure and how it may have influenced the complex distribution of contemporary human diversity. A simplified description of human diversity can provide a suitable basis for choosing the best ancestry-informative markers, which is important given the constraints of multiplex sizes in forensic DNA tests. It is also important to decide the level of geographic resolution that is realistic to ensure the balance between informativeness and an over-simplification of complex human diversity patterns. A detailed comparison is made of the most informative ancestry markers suitable for forensic use and assessments are made of the data analysis regimes that can provide statistical inferences of a DNA donor's bio-geographical ancestry.

  20. Are these liquids explosive? Forensic analysis of confiscated indoor fireworks.

    PubMed

    Castro, Kepa; Fdez-Ortiz de Vallejuelo, Silvia; Astondoa, Izaskun; Goñi, Félix M; Madariaga, Juan Manuel

    2011-07-01

    Complete forensic analysis of several confiscated liquids and gels putatively used as firework components was achieved by combining Raman, FTIR spectroscopy, and scanning electron microscopy combined with energy-dispersive spectroscopy (SEM-EDS). The chemical composition of the liquids was consistent with their use as indoor fireworks. Alcohols (methanol and isopropyl alcohol) were used to solubilise compounds producing coloured flames. Boric acid, recently introduced in the list of Substances of Very High Concern (SVHC) for the REACH Regulation of the European Union, was found in one of the samples.

  1. Forensic Analysis Demonstration via Hawaii Five-O

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Shmaefsky, Brian R.

    2006-01-01

    "Forensics," in its most universal sense, is defined as the use of science or technology in the investigation and establishment of facts or evidence for determining identity or relatedness. Most forensic reasoning is used for arguing legal matters. However, forensic studies are also used in agronomy, biology, chemistry, geology, and physics to…

  2. Forensic analysis of Malin landslide in India

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ering, P.; Kulkarni, R.; Kolekar, Y.; Dasaka, S. M.; Babu, G. L., Sr.

    2015-09-01

    A devastating landslide occurred on 30th July 2014, resulting in the burial of a village of about 40 houses called Malin, in western India and also led to about 160 deaths. The landslide was triggered by heavy rainfall in the area and mass movement of debris. The paper investigates slope failure in the Malin area using back analysis and numerical methods. Site investigation was conducted to obtain representative information of the area. Finite difference analyses using FLAC 2D is performed for the failed slope to determine the possible cause of failure. Analysis results show that slope failure occurred due to the loss of suction strength at the interface between rock and local soil.

  3. Objective analysis of toolmarks in forensics

    SciTech Connect

    Grieve, Taylor N.

    2013-01-01

    Since the 1993 court case of Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, Inc. the subjective nature of toolmark comparison has been questioned by attorneys and law enforcement agencies alike. This has led to an increased drive to establish objective comparison techniques with known error rates, much like those that DNA analysis is able to provide. This push has created research in which the 3-D surface profile of two different marks are characterized and the marks’ cross-sections are run through a comparative statistical algorithm to acquire a value that is intended to indicate the likelihood of a match between the marks. The aforementioned algorithm has been developed and extensively tested through comparison of evenly striated marks made by screwdrivers. However, this algorithm has yet to be applied to quasi-striated marks such as those made by the shear edge of slip-joint pliers. The results of this algorithm’s application to the surface of copper wire will be presented. Objective mark comparison also extends to comparison of toolmarks made by firearms. In an effort to create objective comparisons, microstamping of firing pins and breech faces has been introduced. This process involves placing unique alphanumeric identifiers surrounded by a radial code on the surface of firing pins, which transfer to the cartridge’s primer upon firing. Three different guns equipped with microstamped firing pins were used to fire 3000 cartridges. These cartridges are evaluated based on the clarity of their alphanumeric transfers and the clarity of the radial code surrounding the alphanumerics.

  4. Objective analysis of toolmarks in forensics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grieve, Taylor N.

    Since the 1993 court case of Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, Inc. the subjective nature of toolmark comparison has been questioned by attorneys and law enforcement agencies alike. This has led to an increased drive to establish objective comparison techniques with known error rates, much like those that DNA analysis is able to provide. This push has created research in which the 3-D surface profile of two different marks are characterized and the marks' cross-sections are run through a comparative statistical algorithm to acquire a value that is intended to indicate the likelihood of a match between the marks. The aforementioned algorithm has been developed and extensively tested through comparison of evenly striated marks made by screwdrivers. However, this algorithm has yet to be applied to quasi-striated marks such as those made by the shear edge of slip-joint pliers. The results of this algorithm's application to the surface of copper wire will be presented. Objective mark comparison also extends to comparison of toolmarks made by firearms. In an effort to create objective comparisons, microstamping of firing pins and breech faces has been introduced. This process involves placing unique alphanumeric identifiers surrounded by a radial code on the surface of firing pins, which transfer to the cartridge's primer upon firing. Three different guns equipped with microstamped firing pins were used to fire 3000 cartridges. These cartridges are evaluated based on the clarity of their alphanumeric transfers and the clarity of the radial code surrounding the alphanumerics.

  5. An intelligent crowdsourcing system for forensic analysis of surveillance video

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tahboub, Khalid; Gadgil, Neeraj; Ribera, Javier; Delgado, Blanca; Delp, Edward J.

    2015-03-01

    Video surveillance systems are of a great value for public safety. With an exponential increase in the number of cameras, videos obtained from surveillance systems are often archived for forensic purposes. Many automatic methods have been proposed to do video analytics such as anomaly detection and human activity recognition. However, such methods face significant challenges due to object occlusions, shadows and scene illumination changes. In recent years, crowdsourcing has become an effective tool that utilizes human intelligence to perform tasks that are challenging for machines. In this paper, we present an intelligent crowdsourcing system for forensic analysis of surveillance video that includes the video recorded as a part of search and rescue missions and large-scale investigation tasks. We describe a method to enhance crowdsourcing by incorporating human detection, re-identification and tracking. At the core of our system, we use a hierarchal pyramid model to distinguish the crowd members based on their ability, experience and performance record. Our proposed system operates in an autonomous fashion and produces a final output of the crowdsourcing analysis consisting of a set of video segments detailing the events of interest as one storyline.

  6. Use of Stable Isotopes in Forensic Analysis of Microorganisms

    SciTech Connect

    Kreuzer-Martin, Helen W.; Hegg, Eric L.

    2012-01-18

    The use of isotopic signatures for forensic analysis of biological materials is well-established, and the same general principles that apply to interpretation of stable isotope content of C, N, O, and H apply to the analysis of microorganisms. Heterotrophic microorganisms derive their isotopic content from their growth substrates, which are largely plant and animal products, and the water in their culture medium. Thus the isotope signatures of microbes are tied to their growth environment. The C, N, O, and H isotope ratios of spores have been demonstrated to constitute highly discriminating signatures for sample matching. They can rule out specific samples of media and/or water as possible production media, and can predict isotope ratio ranges of the culture media and water used to produce a given sample. These applications have been developed and tested through analyses of approximately 250 samples of Bacillus subtilis spores and over 500 samples of culture media, providing a strong statistical basis for data interpretation. A Bayesian statistical framework for integrating stable isotope data with other types of signatures derived from microorganisms has been able to characterize the culture medium used to produce spores of various Bacillus species, leveraging isotopic differences in different medium types and demonstrating the power of data integration for forensic investigations.

  7. Computer-aided fiber analysis for crime scene forensics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hildebrandt, Mario; Arndt, Christian; Makrushin, Andrey; Dittmann, Jana

    2012-03-01

    The forensic analysis of fibers is currently completely manual and therefore time consuming. The automation of analysis steps can significantly support forensic experts and reduce the time, required for the investigation. Moreover, a subjective expert belief is extended by objective machine estimation. This work proposes the pattern recognition pipeline containing the digital acquisition of a fiber media, the pre-processing for fiber segmentation, and the extraction of the distinctive characteristics of fibers. Currently, basic geometrical features like width, height, area of optically dominant fibers are investigated. In order to support the automatic classification of fibers, supervised machine learning algorithms are evaluated. The experimental setup includes a car seat and two pieces clothing of a different fabric. As preliminary work, acrylic as synthetic and sheep wool as natural fiber are chosen to be classified. While sitting on the seat, a test person leaves textile fibers. The test aims at automatic distinguishing of clothes through the fiber traces gained from the seat with the help of adhesive tape. The digitalization of fiber samples is provided by a contactless chromatic white light sensor. First test results showed, that two optically very different fibers can be properly assigned to their corresponding fiber type. The best classifier achieves an accuracy of 75 percent correctly classified samples for our suggested features.

  8. Structural recognition and nomenclature standardization in forensic knot analysis.

    PubMed

    Chisnall, Robert Charles

    2016-07-01

    The analysis of knots during civil and criminal investigations is characterized by two fundamental challenges: the precise recognition of all structural nuances and the application of accurate, universally recognized terms. These challenges are exacerbated by inconsistencies, contradictions and regional terminology, which occur in common practice and in mainstream books as well as within forensic science. Some knots bear multiple or value-laden names, even misnomers, and some terms have manifold applications. This can lead to ambiguity and confusion. Additionally, many topological concepts and terms are applicable to practical knot-tying, despite the differences between real-world and theoretical knots, but the esoterica of topology are inaccessible to anyone unfamiliar with that branch of mathematics. To highlight these challenges some examples of knots encountered in case work are presented. Significantly, an overview of a few previously ignored issues is examined and several new concepts are introduced. An emphasis is placed on identifying structural variations, standardized nomenclature is outlined, and recommended terminology is derived from fields such as forensic science, chemistry, archaeology, topology and the textile industry. Greater precision in knot identifications, characterizations and descriptions can assist investigators in linking specific tying practises to potential suspects, analysing the manner in which knotted evidence was tied, and understanding how knots and ligatures perform in given scenarios.

  9. Structural recognition and nomenclature standardization in forensic knot analysis.

    PubMed

    Chisnall, Robert Charles

    2016-07-01

    The analysis of knots during civil and criminal investigations is characterized by two fundamental challenges: the precise recognition of all structural nuances and the application of accurate, universally recognized terms. These challenges are exacerbated by inconsistencies, contradictions and regional terminology, which occur in common practice and in mainstream books as well as within forensic science. Some knots bear multiple or value-laden names, even misnomers, and some terms have manifold applications. This can lead to ambiguity and confusion. Additionally, many topological concepts and terms are applicable to practical knot-tying, despite the differences between real-world and theoretical knots, but the esoterica of topology are inaccessible to anyone unfamiliar with that branch of mathematics. To highlight these challenges some examples of knots encountered in case work are presented. Significantly, an overview of a few previously ignored issues is examined and several new concepts are introduced. An emphasis is placed on identifying structural variations, standardized nomenclature is outlined, and recommended terminology is derived from fields such as forensic science, chemistry, archaeology, topology and the textile industry. Greater precision in knot identifications, characterizations and descriptions can assist investigators in linking specific tying practises to potential suspects, analysing the manner in which knotted evidence was tied, and understanding how knots and ligatures perform in given scenarios. PMID:27320402

  10. The perfect match: Do criminal stereotypes bias forensic evidence analysis?

    PubMed

    Smalarz, Laura; Madon, Stephanie; Yang, Yueran; Guyll, Max; Buck, Sarah

    2016-08-01

    This research provided the first empirical test of the hypothesis that stereotypes bias evaluations of forensic evidence. A pilot study (N = 107) assessed the content and consensus of 20 criminal stereotypes by identifying perpetrator characteristics (e.g., sex, race, age, religion) that are stereotypically associated with specific crimes. In the main experiment (N = 225), participants read a mock police incident report involving either a stereotyped crime (child molestation) or a nonstereotyped crime (identity theft) and judged whether a suspect's fingerprint matched a fingerprint recovered at the crime scene. Accompanying the suspect's fingerprint was personal information about the suspect of the type that is routinely available to fingerprint analysts (e.g., race, sex) and which could activate a stereotype. Participants most often perceived the fingerprints to match when the suspect fit the criminal stereotype, even though the prints did not actually match. Moreover, participants appeared to be unaware of the extent to which a criminal stereotype had biased their evaluations. These findings demonstrate that criminal stereotypes are a potential source of bias in forensic evidence analysis and suggest that suspects who fit criminal stereotypes may be disadvantaged over the course of the criminal justice process. (PsycINFO Database Record

  11. Analysis of the alleged Kyshtym disaster

    SciTech Connect

    Soran, D.M.; Stillman, D.B.

    1982-01-01

    The alleged Kyshtym disaster has been an intriguing intelligence puzzle for almost 25 years. Zhores Medvedev, a Soviet dissident, has written numerous journal articles as well as two books on the subject. He has argued that a vast contaminated area exists east of the city of Kyshtym in the southern Ural Mountains. Further, he has alleged that a nuclear waste disposal accident in 1957 to 1958 caused the contamination. The authors of this report are in partial disagreement with Medvedev's first allegation and in complete disagreement with his second. A contaminated area does exist east of Kyshtym, but Soviet carelessness coupled with general disregard for the citizenry and the environment are the prime causative factors, not a nuclear waste accident.

  12. Automatic forensic analysis of automotive paints using optical microscopy.

    PubMed

    Thoonen, Guy; Nys, Bart; Vander Haeghen, Yves; De Roy, Gilbert; Scheunders, Paul

    2016-02-01

    The timely identification of vehicles involved in an accident, such as a hit-and-run situation, bears great importance in forensics. To this end, procedures have been defined for analyzing car paint samples that combine techniques such as visual analysis and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy. This work proposes a new methodology in order to automate the visual analysis using image retrieval. Specifically, color and texture information is extracted from a microscopic image of a recovered paint sample, and this information is then compared with the same features for a database of paint types, resulting in a shortlist of candidate paints. In order to demonstrate the operation of the methodology, a test database has been set up and two retrieval experiments have been performed. The first experiment quantifies the performance of the procedure for retrieving exact matches, while the second experiment emulates the real-life situation of paint samples that experience changes in color and texture over time. PMID:26774250

  13. Quantitative Phase Analysis by the Rietveld Method for Forensic Science.

    PubMed

    Deng, Fei; Lin, Xiaodong; He, Yonghong; Li, Shu; Zi, Run; Lai, Shijun

    2015-07-01

    Quantitative phase analysis (QPA) is helpful to determine the type attribute of the object because it could present the content of the constituents. QPA by Rietveld method requires neither measurement of calibration data nor the use of an internal standard; however, the approximate crystal structure of each phase in a mixture is necessary. In this study, 8 synthetic mixtures composed of potassium nitrate and sulfur were analyzed by Rietveld QPA method. The Rietveld refinement was accomplished with a material analysis using diffraction program and evaluated by three agreement indices. Results showed that Rietveld QPA yielded precise results, with errors generally less than 2.0% absolute. In addition, a criminal case which was broken successfully with the help of Rietveld QPA method was also introduced. This method will allow forensic investigators to acquire detailed information of the material evidence, which could point out the direction for case detection and court proceedings.

  14. Age estimation in forensic sciences: Application of combined aspartic acid racemization and radiocarbon analysis

    SciTech Connect

    Alkass, K; Buchholz, B A; Ohtani, S; Yamamoto, T; Druid, H; Spalding, S L

    2009-11-02

    Age determination of unknown human bodies is important in the setting of a crime investigation or a mass disaster, since the age at death, birth date and year of death, as well as gender, can guide investigators to the correct identity among a large number of possible matches. Traditional morphological methods used by anthropologists to determine age are often imprecise, whereas chemical analysis of tooth dentin, such as aspartic acid racemization has shown reproducible and more precise results. In this paper we analyze teeth from Swedish individuals using both aspartic acid racemization and radiocarbon methodologies. The rationale behind using radiocarbon analysis is that above-ground testing of nuclear weapons during the cold war (1955-1963) caused an extreme increase in global levels of carbon-14 ({sup 14}C) which have been carefully recorded over time. Forty-four teeth from 41 individuals were analyzed using aspartic acid racemization analysis of tooth crown dentin or radiocarbon analysis of enamel and ten of these were split and subjected to both radiocarbon and racemization analysis. Combined analysis showed that the two methods correlated well (R2=0.66, p < 0.05). Radiocarbon analysis showed an excellent precision with an overall absolute error of 0.6 {+-} 04 years. Aspartic acid racemization also showed a good precision with an overall absolute error of 5.4 {+-} 4.2 years. Whereas radiocarbon analysis gives an estimated year of birth, racemization analysis indicates the chronological age of the individual at the time of death. We show how these methods in combination can also assist in the estimation of date of death of an unidentified victim. This strategy can be of significant assistance in forensic casework involving dead victim identification.

  15. Age estimation in forensic sciences: application of combined aspartic acid racemization and radiocarbon analysis.

    PubMed

    Alkass, Kanar; Buchholz, Bruce A; Ohtani, Susumu; Yamamoto, Toshiharu; Druid, Henrik; Spalding, Kirsty L

    2010-05-01

    Age determination of unknown human bodies is important in the setting of a crime investigation or a mass disaster because the age at death, birth date, and year of death as well as gender can guide investigators to the correct identity among a large number of possible matches. Traditional morphological methods used by anthropologists to determine age are often imprecise, whereas chemical analysis of tooth dentin, such as aspartic acid racemization, has shown reproducible and more precise results. In this study, we analyzed teeth from Swedish individuals using both aspartic acid racemization and radiocarbon methodologies. The rationale behind using radiocarbon analysis is that aboveground testing of nuclear weapons during the cold war (1955-1963) caused an extreme increase in global levels of carbon-14 ((14)C), which has been carefully recorded over time. Forty-four teeth from 41 individuals were analyzed using aspartic acid racemization analysis of tooth crown dentin or radiocarbon analysis of enamel, and 10 of these were split and subjected to both radiocarbon and racemization analysis. Combined analysis showed that the two methods correlated well (R(2) = 0.66, p < 0.05). Radiocarbon analysis showed an excellent precision with an overall absolute error of 1.0 +/- 0.6 years. Aspartic acid racemization also showed a good precision with an overall absolute error of 5.4 +/- 4.2 years. Whereas radiocarbon analysis gives an estimated year of birth, racemization analysis indicates the chronological age of the individual at the time of death. We show how these methods in combination can also assist in the estimation of date of death of an unidentified victim. This strategy can be of significant assistance in forensic casework involving dead victim identification.

  16. Age estimation in forensic sciences: application of combined aspartic acid racemization and radiocarbon analysis.

    PubMed

    Alkass, Kanar; Buchholz, Bruce A; Ohtani, Susumu; Yamamoto, Toshiharu; Druid, Henrik; Spalding, Kirsty L

    2010-05-01

    Age determination of unknown human bodies is important in the setting of a crime investigation or a mass disaster because the age at death, birth date, and year of death as well as gender can guide investigators to the correct identity among a large number of possible matches. Traditional morphological methods used by anthropologists to determine age are often imprecise, whereas chemical analysis of tooth dentin, such as aspartic acid racemization, has shown reproducible and more precise results. In this study, we analyzed teeth from Swedish individuals using both aspartic acid racemization and radiocarbon methodologies. The rationale behind using radiocarbon analysis is that aboveground testing of nuclear weapons during the cold war (1955-1963) caused an extreme increase in global levels of carbon-14 ((14)C), which has been carefully recorded over time. Forty-four teeth from 41 individuals were analyzed using aspartic acid racemization analysis of tooth crown dentin or radiocarbon analysis of enamel, and 10 of these were split and subjected to both radiocarbon and racemization analysis. Combined analysis showed that the two methods correlated well (R(2) = 0.66, p < 0.05). Radiocarbon analysis showed an excellent precision with an overall absolute error of 1.0 +/- 0.6 years. Aspartic acid racemization also showed a good precision with an overall absolute error of 5.4 +/- 4.2 years. Whereas radiocarbon analysis gives an estimated year of birth, racemization analysis indicates the chronological age of the individual at the time of death. We show how these methods in combination can also assist in the estimation of date of death of an unidentified victim. This strategy can be of significant assistance in forensic casework involving dead victim identification. PMID:19965905

  17. Forensic Analysis of Mitochondrial and Autosomal Markers Using Pyrosequencing®.

    PubMed

    Bus, Magdalena M; Edlund, Hanna; Allen, Marie

    2015-01-01

    Forensic casework analyses often face challenges, such as limited genetic material with or without fragmentation and damage. To compensate for low amounts and degradation, shorter amplicons are often applied in the analysis. Also, a change of markers might be necessary using mitochondrial instead of autosomal markers. In addition, forensic research often involves analysis of large number of samples for marker evaluation and population-database compilation. Therefore, a flexible, robust but also rapid method for the detection of variation is highly useful. Pyrosequencing(®) is a rapid, reliable, easy-to-use method for sequence analysis. The method is well suited for rapid forensic analysis of a few targets or analysis of a single target in many samples. It allows sequencing of very short amplicons, which facilitates analysis of degraded DNA. Here we present the use of Pyrosequencing, a robust method for sensitive forensic analysis of mitochondrial DNA, autosomal STRs, and Y-chromosome STRs and SNPs.

  18. Potential Analysis of Rainfall-induced Sediment Disaster

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Jing-Wen; Chen, Yie-Ruey; Hsieh, Shun-Chieh; Tsai, Kuang-Jung; Chue, Yung-Sheng

    2014-05-01

    Most of the mountain regions in Taiwan are sedimentary and metamorphic rocks which are fragile and highly weathered. Severe erosion occurs due to intensive rainfall and rapid flow, the erosion is even worsen by frequent earthquakes and severely affects the stability of hillsides. Rivers are short and steep in Taiwan with large runoff differences in wet and dry seasons. Discharges respond rapidly with rainfall intensity and flood flows usually carry large amount of sediment. Because of the highly growth in economics and social change, the development in the slope land is inevitable in Taiwan. However, sediment disasters occur frequently in high and precipitous region during typhoon. To make the execution of the regulation of slope land development more efficiency, construction of evaluation model for sediment potential is very important. In this study, the Genetic Adaptive Neural Network (GANN) was implemented in texture analysis techniques for the classification of satellite images of research region before and after typhoon or extreme rainfall and to obtain surface information and hazard log data. By using GANN weight analysis, factors, levels and probabilities of disaster of the research areas are presented. Then, through geographic information system the disaster potential map is plotted to distinguish high potential regions from low potential regions. Finally, the evaluation processes for sediment disaster after rainfall due to slope land use are established. In this research, the automatic image classification and evaluation modules for sediment disaster after rainfall due to slope land disturbance and natural environment are established in MATLAB to avoid complexity and time of computation. After implementation of texture analysis techniques, the results show that the values of overall accuracy and coefficient of agreement of the time-saving image classification for different time periods are at intermediate-high level and above. The results of GANN show that

  19. New cyt b gene universal primer set for forensic analysis.

    PubMed

    Lopez-Oceja, A; Gamarra, D; Borragan, S; Jiménez-Moreno, S; de Pancorbo, M M

    2016-07-01

    Analysis of mitochondrial DNA, and in particular the cytochrome b gene (cyt b), has become an essential tool for species identification in routine forensic practice. In cases of degraded samples, where the DNA is fractionated, universal primers that are highly efficient for the amplification of the target region are necessary. Therefore, in the present study a new universal cyt b primer set with high species identification capabilities, even in samples with highly degraded DNA, has been developed. In order to achieve this objective, the primers were designed following the alignment of complete sequences of the cyt b from 751 species from the Class of Mammalia listed in GenBank. A highly variable region of 148bp flanked by highly conserved sequences was chosen for placing the primers. The effectiveness of the new pair of primers was examined in 63 animal species belonging to 38 Families from 14 Orders and 5 Classes (Mammalia, Aves, Reptilia, Actinopterygii, and Malacostraca). Species determination was possible in all cases, which shows that the fragment analyzed provided a high capability for species identification. Furthermore, to ensure the efficiency of the 148bp fragment, the intraspecific variability was analyzed by calculating the concordance between individuals with the BLAST tool from the NCBI (National Center for Biotechnological Information). The intraspecific concordance levels were superior to 97% in all species. Likewise, the phylogenetic information from the selected fragment was confirmed by obtaining the phylogenetic tree from the sequences of the species analyzed. Evidence of the high power of phylogenetic discrimination of the analyzed fragment of the cyt b was obtained, as 93.75% of the species were grouped within their corresponding Orders. Finally, the analysis of 40 degraded samples with small-size DNA fragments showed that the new pair of primers permits identifying the species, even when the DNA is highly degraded as it is very common in

  20. New cyt b gene universal primer set for forensic analysis.

    PubMed

    Lopez-Oceja, A; Gamarra, D; Borragan, S; Jiménez-Moreno, S; de Pancorbo, M M

    2016-07-01

    Analysis of mitochondrial DNA, and in particular the cytochrome b gene (cyt b), has become an essential tool for species identification in routine forensic practice. In cases of degraded samples, where the DNA is fractionated, universal primers that are highly efficient for the amplification of the target region are necessary. Therefore, in the present study a new universal cyt b primer set with high species identification capabilities, even in samples with highly degraded DNA, has been developed. In order to achieve this objective, the primers were designed following the alignment of complete sequences of the cyt b from 751 species from the Class of Mammalia listed in GenBank. A highly variable region of 148bp flanked by highly conserved sequences was chosen for placing the primers. The effectiveness of the new pair of primers was examined in 63 animal species belonging to 38 Families from 14 Orders and 5 Classes (Mammalia, Aves, Reptilia, Actinopterygii, and Malacostraca). Species determination was possible in all cases, which shows that the fragment analyzed provided a high capability for species identification. Furthermore, to ensure the efficiency of the 148bp fragment, the intraspecific variability was analyzed by calculating the concordance between individuals with the BLAST tool from the NCBI (National Center for Biotechnological Information). The intraspecific concordance levels were superior to 97% in all species. Likewise, the phylogenetic information from the selected fragment was confirmed by obtaining the phylogenetic tree from the sequences of the species analyzed. Evidence of the high power of phylogenetic discrimination of the analyzed fragment of the cyt b was obtained, as 93.75% of the species were grouped within their corresponding Orders. Finally, the analysis of 40 degraded samples with small-size DNA fragments showed that the new pair of primers permits identifying the species, even when the DNA is highly degraded as it is very common in

  1. Compositional data analysis for elemental data in forensic science.

    PubMed

    Campbell, Gareth P; Curran, James M; Miskelly, Gordon M; Coulson, Sally; Yaxley, Gregory M; Grunsky, Eric C; Cox, Simon C

    2009-07-01

    Discrimination of material based on elemental composition was achieved within a compositional data (CoDa) analysis framework in a form appropriate for use in forensic science. The methods were carried out on example data from New Zealand nephrite. We have achieved good separation of the in situ outcrops of nephrite from within a well-defined area. The most significant achievement of working within the CoDa analysis framework is that the implications of the constraints on the data are acknowledged and dealt with, not ignored. The full composition was reduced based on collinearity of elements, principal components analysis (PCA) and scalings from a backwards linear discriminant analysis (LDA). Thus, a descriptive subcomposition was used for the final discrimination, using LDA, and proved to be more successful than using the full composition. The classification based on the LDA model showed a mean error rate of 2.9% when validated using a 10 repeat, three-fold cross-validation. The methods presented lend objectivity to the process of interpretation, rather than relying on subjective pattern matching type approaches.

  2. PIZZARO: Forensic analysis and restoration of image and video data.

    PubMed

    Kamenicky, Jan; Bartos, Michal; Flusser, Jan; Mahdian, Babak; Kotera, Jan; Novozamsky, Adam; Saic, Stanislav; Sroubek, Filip; Sorel, Michal; Zita, Ales; Zitova, Barbara; Sima, Zdenek; Svarc, Petr; Horinek, Jan

    2016-07-01

    This paper introduces a set of methods for image and video forensic analysis. They were designed to help to assess image and video credibility and origin and to restore and increase image quality by diminishing unwanted blur, noise, and other possible artifacts. The motivation came from the best practices used in the criminal investigation utilizing images and/or videos. The determination of the image source, the verification of the image content, and image restoration were identified as the most important issues of which automation can facilitate criminalists work. Novel theoretical results complemented with existing approaches (LCD re-capture detection and denoising) were implemented in the PIZZARO software tool, which consists of the image processing functionality as well as of reporting and archiving functions to ensure the repeatability of image analysis procedures and thus fulfills formal aspects of the image/video analysis work. Comparison of new proposed methods with the state of the art approaches is shown. Real use cases are presented, which illustrate the functionality of the developed methods and demonstrate their applicability in different situations. The use cases as well as the method design were solved in tight cooperation of scientists from the Institute of Criminalistics, National Drug Headquarters of the Criminal Police and Investigation Service of the Police of the Czech Republic, and image processing experts from the Czech Academy of Sciences.

  3. Forensic analysis of MTBE contamination using basic hydrogeologic concepts.

    PubMed

    Boving, Thomas

    2014-07-01

    Contamination of groundwater with petroleum hydrocarbons and additives, such as methyl tert-butyl ether (MTBE), is often linked to the leaking product distribution system of gas stations. In very few cases is it know if and when a leak occurred and how much product was released to the environment. In the absence of direct evidence, a careful analysis of the available data, such as contaminant breakthrough at receptor wells or discrepancies in the product inventory data, may provide evidence about the nature of the release, its timing and magnitude. Using a MTBE contamination site in the formerly glaciated New England region as an example, two possible release scenarios (slow, long-term release vs. spill) were examined. Of the two scenarios, the slow release could be ruled out as the sole source even though there was no direct evidence for a spill. The analysis of hydraulic test results together with chemical data further permitted to estimate when such an undocumented spill might have occurred. Analyses of the data also allowed these results to be compared to that of a prior transport and fate modeling study. Good agreement and consistency for contaminant travel times was confirmed. This forensic analysis demonstrates that applying basic hydrogeologic principles can aide in the reconstruction of contamination events while providing more readily understandable and defendable evidence relative to complex models. Conceptually, the approach described herein is transferable to other sites with similar hydrogeologies.

  4. PIZZARO: Forensic analysis and restoration of image and video data.

    PubMed

    Kamenicky, Jan; Bartos, Michal; Flusser, Jan; Mahdian, Babak; Kotera, Jan; Novozamsky, Adam; Saic, Stanislav; Sroubek, Filip; Sorel, Michal; Zita, Ales; Zitova, Barbara; Sima, Zdenek; Svarc, Petr; Horinek, Jan

    2016-07-01

    This paper introduces a set of methods for image and video forensic analysis. They were designed to help to assess image and video credibility and origin and to restore and increase image quality by diminishing unwanted blur, noise, and other possible artifacts. The motivation came from the best practices used in the criminal investigation utilizing images and/or videos. The determination of the image source, the verification of the image content, and image restoration were identified as the most important issues of which automation can facilitate criminalists work. Novel theoretical results complemented with existing approaches (LCD re-capture detection and denoising) were implemented in the PIZZARO software tool, which consists of the image processing functionality as well as of reporting and archiving functions to ensure the repeatability of image analysis procedures and thus fulfills formal aspects of the image/video analysis work. Comparison of new proposed methods with the state of the art approaches is shown. Real use cases are presented, which illustrate the functionality of the developed methods and demonstrate their applicability in different situations. The use cases as well as the method design were solved in tight cooperation of scientists from the Institute of Criminalistics, National Drug Headquarters of the Criminal Police and Investigation Service of the Police of the Czech Republic, and image processing experts from the Czech Academy of Sciences. PMID:27182830

  5. NanoSIMS analysis of Bacillus spores for forensics

    SciTech Connect

    Weber, P K; Davisson, M L; Velsko, S P

    2010-02-23

    The threat associated with the potential use of radiological, nuclear, chemical and biological materials in terrorist acts has resulted in new fields of forensic science requiring the application of state-of-the-science analytical techniques. Since the anthrax letter attacks in the United States in the fall of 2001, there has been increased interest in physical and chemical characterization of bacterial spores. While molecular methods are powerful tools for identifying genetic differences, other methods may be able to differentiate genetically identical samples based on physical and chemical properties, as well as provide complimentary information, such as methods of production and approximate date of production. Microanalysis has the potential to contribute significantly to microbial forensics. Bacillus spores are highly structured, consisting of a core, cortex, coat, and in some species, an exosporium. This structure provides a template for constraining elemental abundance differences at the nanometer scale. The primary controls on the distribution of major elements in spores are likely structural and physiological. For example, P and Ca are known to be abundant in the spore core because that is where P-rich nucleic acids and Cadipicolinic acid are located, respectively. Trace elements are known to bind to the spore coat but the controls on these elements are less well understood. Elemental distributions and abundances may be directly related to spore production, purification and stabilization methodologies, which are of particular interest for forensic investigation. To this end, we are developing a high-resolution secondary ion mass spectrometry method using a Cameca NanoSIMS 50 to study the distribution and abundance of trace elements in bacterial spores. In this presentation we will review and compare methods for preparing and analyzing samples, as well as review results on the distribution and abundance of elements in bacterial spores. We use NanoSIMS to

  6. Forensic Analysis of Windows Hosts Using UNIX-based Tools

    SciTech Connect

    Cory Altheide

    2004-07-19

    Many forensic examiners are introduced to UNIX-based forensic utilities when faced with investigating a UNIX-like operating system for the first time. They will use these utilities for this very specific task, because in many cases these tools are the only ones for the given job. For example, at the time of this writing, given a FreeBSD 5.x file system, the author's only choice is to use The Coroner's Toolkit running on FreeBSD 5.x. However, many of the same tools examiners use for the occasional UNIX-like system investigation are extremely capable when a Windows system is the target. Indeed, the Linux operating system itself can prove to be an extremely useful forensics platform with very little use of specialized forensics utilities at all.

  7. Development of a novel forensic STR multiplex for ancestry analysis and extended identity testing.

    PubMed

    Phillips, Chris; Fernandez-Formoso, Luis; Gelabert-Besada, Miguel; Garcia-Magariños, Manuel; Santos, Carla; Fondevila, Manuel; Carracedo, Angel; Lareu, Maria Victoria

    2013-04-01

    There is growing interest in developing additional DNA typing techniques to provide better investigative leads in forensic analysis. These include inference of genetic ancestry and prediction of common physical characteristics of DNA donors. To date, forensic ancestry analysis has centered on population-divergent SNPs but these binary loci cannot reliably detect DNA mixtures, common in forensic samples. Furthermore, STR genotypes, forming the principal DNA profiling system, are not routinely combined with forensic SNPs to strengthen frequency data available for ancestry inference. We report development of a 12-STR multiplex composed of ancestry informative marker STRs (AIM-STRs) selected from 434 tetranucleotide repeat loci. We adapted our online Bayesian classifier for AIM-SNPs: Snipper, to handle multiallele STR data using frequency-based training sets. We assessed the ability of the 12-plex AIM-STRs to differentiate CEPH Human Genome Diversity Panel populations, plus their informativeness combined with established forensic STRs and AIM-SNPs. We found combining STRs and SNPs improves the success rate of ancestry assignments while providing a reliable mixture detection system lacking from SNP analysis alone. As the 12 STRs generally show a broad range of alleles in all populations, they provide highly informative supplementary STRs for extended relationship testing and identification of missing persons with incomplete reference pedigrees. Lastly, mixed marker approaches (combining STRs with binary loci) for simple ancestry inference tests beyond forensic analysis bring advantages and we discuss the genotyping options available.

  8. "New turns from old STaRs": enhancing the capabilities of forensic short tandem repeat analysis.

    PubMed

    Phillips, Christopher; Gelabert-Besada, Miguel; Fernandez-Formoso, Luis; García-Magariños, Manuel; Santos, Carla; Fondevila, Manuel; Ballard, David; Syndercombe Court, Denise; Carracedo, Angel; Lareu, Maria Victoria

    2014-11-01

    The field of research and development of forensic STR genotyping remains active, innovative, and focused on continuous improvements. A series of recent developments including the introduction of a sixth dye have brought expanded STR multiplex sizes while maintaining sensitivity to typical forensic DNA. New supplementary kits complimenting the core STRs have also helped improve analysis of challenging identification cases such as distant pairwise relationships in deficient pedigrees. This article gives an overview of several recent key developments in forensic STR analysis: availability of expanded core STR kits and supplementary STRs, short-amplicon mini-STRs offering practical options for highly degraded DNA, Y-STR enhancements made from the identification of rapidly mutating loci, and enhanced analysis of genetic ancestry by analyzing 32-STR profiles with a Bayesian forensic classifier originally developed for SNP population data. As well as providing scope for genotyping larger numbers of STRs optimized for forensic applications, the launch of compact next-generation sequencing systems provides considerable potential for genotyping the sizeable proportion of nucleotide variation existing in forensic STRs, which currently escapes detection with CE.

  9. "New turns from old STaRs": enhancing the capabilities of forensic short tandem repeat analysis.

    PubMed

    Phillips, Christopher; Gelabert-Besada, Miguel; Fernandez-Formoso, Luis; García-Magariños, Manuel; Santos, Carla; Fondevila, Manuel; Ballard, David; Syndercombe Court, Denise; Carracedo, Angel; Lareu, Maria Victoria

    2014-11-01

    The field of research and development of forensic STR genotyping remains active, innovative, and focused on continuous improvements. A series of recent developments including the introduction of a sixth dye have brought expanded STR multiplex sizes while maintaining sensitivity to typical forensic DNA. New supplementary kits complimenting the core STRs have also helped improve analysis of challenging identification cases such as distant pairwise relationships in deficient pedigrees. This article gives an overview of several recent key developments in forensic STR analysis: availability of expanded core STR kits and supplementary STRs, short-amplicon mini-STRs offering practical options for highly degraded DNA, Y-STR enhancements made from the identification of rapidly mutating loci, and enhanced analysis of genetic ancestry by analyzing 32-STR profiles with a Bayesian forensic classifier originally developed for SNP population data. As well as providing scope for genotyping larger numbers of STRs optimized for forensic applications, the launch of compact next-generation sequencing systems provides considerable potential for genotyping the sizeable proportion of nucleotide variation existing in forensic STRs, which currently escapes detection with CE. PMID:24888494

  10. Forensic analysis of the microbiome of phones and shoes

    DOE PAGES

    Lax, Simon; Hampton-Marcell, Jarrad T.; Gibbons, Sean M.; Colares, Geórgia Barguil; Smith, Daniel; Eisen, Jonathan A.; Gilbert, Jack A.

    2015-05-12

    Background: Microbial interaction between human-associated objects and the environments we inhabit may have forensic implications, and the extent to which microbes are shared between individuals inhabiting the same space may be relevant to human health and disease transmission. In this study, two participants sampled the front and back of their cell phones, four different locations on the soles of their shoes, and the floor beneath them every waking hour over a 2-day period. A further 89 participants took individual samples of their shoes and phones at three different scientific conferences. Results: Samples taken from different surface types maintained significantly differentmore » microbial community structures. The impact of the floor microbial community on that of the shoe environments was strong and immediate, as evidenced by Procrustes analysis of shoe replicates and significant correlation between shoe and floor samples taken at the same time point. Supervised learning was highly effective at determining which participant had taken a given shoe or phone sample, and a Bayesian method was able to determine which participant had taken each shoe sample based entirely on its similarity to the floor samples. Both shoe and phone samples taken by conference participants clustered into distinct groups based on location, though much more so when an unweighted distance metric was used, suggesting sharing of low-abundance microbial taxa between individuals inhabiting the same space. In conclusion, correlations between microbial community sources and sinks allow for inference of the interactions between humans and their environment.« less

  11. Forensic analysis of the microbiome of phones and shoes

    SciTech Connect

    Lax, Simon; Hampton-Marcell, Jarrad T.; Gibbons, Sean M.; Colares, Geórgia Barguil; Smith, Daniel; Eisen, Jonathan A.; Gilbert, Jack A.

    2015-05-12

    Background: Microbial interaction between human-associated objects and the environments we inhabit may have forensic implications, and the extent to which microbes are shared between individuals inhabiting the same space may be relevant to human health and disease transmission. In this study, two participants sampled the front and back of their cell phones, four different locations on the soles of their shoes, and the floor beneath them every waking hour over a 2-day period. A further 89 participants took individual samples of their shoes and phones at three different scientific conferences. Results: Samples taken from different surface types maintained significantly different microbial community structures. The impact of the floor microbial community on that of the shoe environments was strong and immediate, as evidenced by Procrustes analysis of shoe replicates and significant correlation between shoe and floor samples taken at the same time point. Supervised learning was highly effective at determining which participant had taken a given shoe or phone sample, and a Bayesian method was able to determine which participant had taken each shoe sample based entirely on its similarity to the floor samples. Both shoe and phone samples taken by conference participants clustered into distinct groups based on location, though much more so when an unweighted distance metric was used, suggesting sharing of low-abundance microbial taxa between individuals inhabiting the same space. In conclusion, correlations between microbial community sources and sinks allow for inference of the interactions between humans and their environment.

  12. Retrospective analysis of the forensic autopsy cases of psychiatric patients.

    PubMed

    Hitosugi, M

    1999-10-01

    This paper describes a retrospective analysis dealing with the sudden natural or unnatural death of psychiatric patients using actual autopsy findings, clinical information and demographic status. More than 70% of the 141 patients had schizophrenia, mood disorders or substance-related disorders. Accidental deaths were the most common (34.8%) and followed by natural deaths (28.4%), suicide (22.7%) and homicide (9.2%). Nearly half of mentally retarded patients died natural deaths, whereas two-thirds of patients with substance-related disorders died accidental deaths and about one-third of patients with schizophrenia and mood disorders committed suicide. Furthermore, patients with substance-related disorders were significantly more likely to live alone than were patients with schizophrenia or mood disorders. Twenty-five cases died in hospitals or other healthcare facilities; it is noteworthy that in the 12 patients who died natural deaths the reported symptoms had been less severe than might be expected and correct clinical diagnosis was not made before death. The present findings should be useful for both forensic pathologists and clinical psychologists.

  13. Stable Isotope Ratios and the Forensic Analysis of Microorganisms

    SciTech Connect

    Kreuzer-Martin, Helen W.; Jarman, Kristin H.

    2007-06-01

    In the aftermath of the anthrax letters of 2001, researchers have been exploring various analytical signatures for the purpose of characterizing the production environment of microorganisms. One such signature is stable isotope ratios, which in heterotrophs are a function of nutrient and water sources. Here we discuss the use of stable isotope ratios in microbe forensics, using as a database the carbon, nitrogen, oxygen and hydrogen stable isotope ratios of 247 separate cultures of B. subtilis 6051 spores produced on a total of 32 different culture media. In the context of using stable isotope ratios as a signature for sample matching, we present an analysis of variation between individual samples, between cultures produced in tandem, and between cultures produced in the same medium but at different times. Additionally, we correlate the stable isotope ratios of carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, and hydrogen for growth medium nutrients or water with those of spores and show examples of how these relationships can be used to exclude nutrient or water samples as possible growth substrates for specific cultures.

  14. An Architecture for the Forensic Analysis of Windows System Artifacts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hashim, Noor; Sutherland, Iain

    We propose an architecture to enable the forensic investigator to analyze and visualise a range of system generated artifacts with known and unknown data structures. The architecture is intended to facilitate the extraction and analysis of operating system artifacts while being extensible, flexible and reusable. The examples selected for the paper are the Windows Event Logs and Swap Files. Event logs can reveal evidence regarding logons, authentication, accounts and privileged use and can address questions relating to which user accounts were being used and which machines were accessed. The Swap file may contain fragments of data, remnants or entire documents, e-mail messages or the results of internet browsing which may reveal past user activities. Issues relating to understanding and visualising artifacts data structures are discussed and possible solutions are explored. We outline a proposed solution; an extraction component responsible for extracting data and preparing the data for visualisation, a storage subsystem consisting of a database that holds all of the extracted data and the interface, an integrated set of visualization tools.

  15. Principles, Practice, and Evolution of Capillary Electrophoresis as a Tool for Forensic DNA Analysis.

    PubMed

    Shewale, J G; Qi, L; Calandro, L M

    2012-07-01

    Capillary electrophoresis (CE) is a versatile and widely used analysis platform with application in diverse areas such as analytical chemistry, chiral separations, clinical, forensics, molecular biology, natural products, organic chemistry, and the pharmaceutical industry. Forensic applications of CE include fragment analysis, DNA sequencing, SNP typing, and analysis of gunshot residues, explosive residues, and drugs. Fragment analysis is a widely used method for short tandem repeat (STR) profiling for human identification (HID) due to the single-base resolution capability of CE. This approach circumvents the tedious and expensive approach of DNA sequencing for STR typing. The high sizing precision, ability to detect fluorescence emitted from multiple dyes, automated electrophoretic runs, and data collection software are key factors in the worldwide adoption of CE as the preferred platform for forensic DNA analysis. The most common CE systems used in forensic DNA analysis include the ABI PRISM® 310, 3100, 3100 Avant, 3130, 3130xl, 3500, and 3500xL Genetic Analyzers (GAs). The 3500 series GAs are developed with features useful for forensic scientists, including a normalization feature for analysis of the data designed to reduce the variation in peak height from instrument to instrument and injection to injection. Other hardware and software features include improved temperature control, radio frequency identification (RFID) tags for monitoring instrument consumables, HID-focused software features, and security and maintenance.

  16. Illustration and analysis of a coordinated approach to an effective forensic trace evidence capability.

    PubMed

    Stoney, David A; Stoney, Paul L

    2015-08-01

    An effective trace evidence capability is defined as one that exploits all useful particle types, chooses appropriate technologies to do so, and directly integrates the findings with case-specific problems. Limitations of current approaches inhibit the attainment of an effective capability and it has been strongly argued that a new approach to trace evidence analysis is essential. A hypothetical case example is presented to illustrate and analyze how forensic particle analysis can be used as a powerful practical tool in forensic investigations. The specifics in this example, including the casework investigation, laboratory analyses, and close professional interactions, provide focal points for subsequent analysis of how this outcome can be achieved. This leads to the specification of five key elements that are deemed necessary and sufficient for effective forensic particle analysis: (1) a dynamic forensic analytical approach, (2) concise and efficient protocols addressing particle combinations, (3) multidisciplinary capabilities of analysis and interpretation, (4) readily accessible external specialist resources, and (5) information integration and communication. A coordinating role, absent in current approaches to trace evidence analysis, is essential to achieving these elements. However, the level of expertise required for the coordinating role is readily attainable. Some additional laboratory protocols are also essential. However, none of these has greater staffing requirements than those routinely met by existing forensic trace evidence practitioners. The major challenges that remain are organizational acceptance, planning and implementation.

  17. Nuclear forensic analysis of a non-traditional actinide sample.

    PubMed

    Doyle, Jamie L; Kuhn, Kevin; Byerly, Benjamin; Colletti, Lisa; Fulwyler, James; Garduno, Katherine; Keller, Russell; Lujan, Elmer; Martinez, Alexander; Myers, Steve; Porterfield, Donivan; Spencer, Khalil; Stanley, Floyd; Townsend, Lisa; Thomas, Mariam; Walker, Laurie; Xu, Ning; Tandon, Lav

    2016-10-01

    Nuclear forensic publications, performance tests, and research and development efforts typically target the bulk global inventory of intentionally safeguarded materials, such as plutonium (Pu) and uranium (U). Other materials, such as neptunium (Np), pose a nuclear security risk as well. Trafficking leading to recovery of an interdicted Np sample is a realistic concern especially for materials originating in countries that reprocesses fuel. Using complementary forensic methods, potential signatures for an unknown Np oxide sample were investigated. Measurement results were assessed against published Np processes to present hypotheses as to the original intended use, method of production, and origin for this Np oxide. PMID:27474299

  18. Nuclear forensic analysis of a non-traditional actinide sample.

    PubMed

    Doyle, Jamie L; Kuhn, Kevin; Byerly, Benjamin; Colletti, Lisa; Fulwyler, James; Garduno, Katherine; Keller, Russell; Lujan, Elmer; Martinez, Alexander; Myers, Steve; Porterfield, Donivan; Spencer, Khalil; Stanley, Floyd; Townsend, Lisa; Thomas, Mariam; Walker, Laurie; Xu, Ning; Tandon, Lav

    2016-10-01

    Nuclear forensic publications, performance tests, and research and development efforts typically target the bulk global inventory of intentionally safeguarded materials, such as plutonium (Pu) and uranium (U). Other materials, such as neptunium (Np), pose a nuclear security risk as well. Trafficking leading to recovery of an interdicted Np sample is a realistic concern especially for materials originating in countries that reprocesses fuel. Using complementary forensic methods, potential signatures for an unknown Np oxide sample were investigated. Measurement results were assessed against published Np processes to present hypotheses as to the original intended use, method of production, and origin for this Np oxide.

  19. Global Human Settlement Analysis for Disaster Risk Reduction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pesaresi, M.; Ehrlich, D.; Ferri, S.; Florczyk, A.; Freire, S.; Haag, F.; Halkia, M.; Julea, A. M.; Kemper, T.; Soille, P.

    2015-04-01

    The Global Human Settlement Layer (GHSL) is supported by the European Commission, Joint Research Center (JRC) in the frame of his institutional research activities. Scope of GHSL is developing, testing and applying the technologies and analysis methods integrated in the JRC Global Human Settlement analysis platform for applications in support to global disaster risk reduction initiatives (DRR) and regional analysis in the frame of the European Cohesion policy. GHSL analysis platform uses geo-spatial data, primarily remotely sensed and population. GHSL also cooperates with the Group on Earth Observation on SB-04-Global Urban Observation and Information, and various international partners andWorld Bank and United Nations agencies. Some preliminary results integrating global human settlement information extracted from Landsat data records of the last 40 years and population data are presented.

  20. Forensic isotope analysis to refine a hydrologic conceptual model.

    PubMed

    Bassett, R L; Steinwand, Aaron; Jorat, Saeed; Petersen, Christian; Jackson, Randy

    2008-01-01

    Water resources in the arid southwestern United States are frequently the subject of conflict from competing private and public interests. Legal remedies may remove impasses, but the technical analysis of the problem often determines the future success of legal solutions. In Owens Valley, California, the source of water for the Los Angeles Aqueduct (LAA) is flow diverted from the Owens River and its tributaries and ground water from valley aquifers. Future management of ground water delivered to the LAA needs technical support regarding quantity available, interconnection of shallow and confined aquifers, impact on local springs, and rate of recharge. Ground water flow models and ground water composition are tools already in use, but these have large uncertainty for local interpretations. This study conducted targeted sampling of springs and wells to evaluate the hydrologic system to corroborate conceptual and numerical models. The effort included measurement of intrinsic isotopic composition at key locations in the aquifers. The stable isotopic data of boron (delta(11)B), sulfur (delta(34)S), oxygen (delta(18)O), hydrogen (delta D), and tritium ((3)H) supported by basic chemical data provided rules for characterizing the upper and the lower aquifer system, confirmed the interpretation of ground water flow near faults and flow barriers, and detected hydraulic connections between the LAA and the perennial springs at key locations along the unlined reach of the LAA. This study exemplifies the use of forensic isotopic approaches as independent checks on the consistency of interpretations of conceptual models of a ground water system and the numerical hydrologic simulations.

  1. Paint Analysis Using Visible Reflectance Spectroscopy: An Undergraduate Forensic Lab

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hoffman, Erin M.; Beussman, Douglas J.

    2007-01-01

    The study of forensic science is found throughout undergraduate programs in growing numbers, both as stand-alone courses as well as specific examples within existing courses. Part of the driving force for this trend is the ability to apply common chemistry techniques to everyday situations, all couched in the context of a mystery that must be…

  2. Establishing standards for criminal forensic reports: an empirical analysis.

    PubMed

    Borum, R; Grisso, T

    1996-01-01

    Forensic psychologists and forensic psychiatrists (about 80% of whom were certified by a specialty board) were surveyed regarding their beliefs about the necessary and appropriate content for reports on competency to stand trial (CST) (N = 102) and criminal responsibility/not guilty by reason of insanity (CR) (N = 96). Report elements concerning the identification of the defendant and evaluation methods (e.g., names, relevant dates, charges, data sources, notification to defendant of the purpose of the evaluation, and limits on confidentiality) were generally seen as "essential." Clinical data such as psychiatric history, current mental status, and current use of psychotropic medication were also seen as essential, as were data elements specific to each forensic question (e.g., understanding charges/penalties, possible pleas, and roles of trial participants for CST, and collateral information and defendant's description of alleged offense for CR). While most respondents agreed that it was important to provide an opinion about and reasoning for any diagnosis and its relation to the psycholegal question, there was lack of consensus regarding the propriety of offering "ultimate opinions," particularly concerning CR. Although there was general cross-disciplinary agreement regarding the appropriate content for criminal forensic reports, there was some disagreement as to the degree of importance of certain elements. Implications for practice and the development of professional standards are discussed, including advantages and cautions about using these data to influence issues of standards and policy.

  3. [Analysis of 38 cases with epilepsy in forensic psychiatric evaluation].

    PubMed

    Han, C

    1989-12-01

    Analysing 38 cases with epilepsy in forensic psychiatric evaluation shown that violence behavior were frequently seen, especially significant difference in psychomotor epilepsy in comparison with the other typical epilepsy (0. 01), and that epileptic psychopathy were frequently seen in intermission. Authors dealt with criminal responsibility in epileptic psychopathy.

  4. Interviewing a Silent (Radioactive) Witness through Nuclear Forensic Analysis.

    PubMed

    Mayer, Klaus; Wallenius, Maria; Varga, Zsolt

    2015-12-01

    Nuclear forensics is a relatively young discipline in science which aims at providing information on nuclear material of unknown origin. The determination of characteristic parameters through tailored analytical techniques enables establishing linkages to the material's processing history and hence provides hints on its place and date of production and on the intended use. PMID:26376028

  5. A Simple Cost-Effective Framework for iPhone Forensic Analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Husain, Mohammad Iftekhar; Baggili, Ibrahim; Sridhar, Ramalingam

    Apple iPhone has made significant impact on the society both as a handheld computing device and as a cellular phone. Due to the unique hardware system as well as storage structure, iPhone has already attracted the forensic community in digital investigation of the device. Currently available commercial products and methodologies for iPhone forensics are somewhat expensive, complex and often require additional hardware for analysis. Some products are not robust and often fail to extract optimal evidence without modifying the iPhone firmware which makes the analysis questionable in legal platforms. In this paper, we present a simple and inexpensive framework (iFF) for iPhone forensic analysis. Through experimental results using real device, we have shown the effectiveness of this framework in extracting digital evidence from an iPhone.

  6. A meta-analysis of risk factors for depression in adults and children after natural disasters

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background A number of studies have shown a range of negative psychological symptoms (e.g. depression) after exposure to natural disasters. The aim of this study was to determine risk factors for depression in both children and adults who have survived natural disasters. Methods Four electronic databases (PubMed, Embase, Web of Science, and PsychInfo) were used to search for observational studies (case–control, cross-sectional, and cohort studies) about depression following natural disasters. The literature search, study selection, and data extraction were conducted independently by two authors. Thirty-one articles were included in the study, of which twenty included adult participants and eleven included child participants. Summary estimates were obtained using random-effects models. Subgroup analysis, sensitivity analysis, and publication bias tests were performed on the data. Results The prevalence of depression after natural disasters ranged from 5.8% to 54.0% in adults and from 7.5% to 44.8% in children. We found a number of risk factors for depression after exposure to natural disasters. For adults, the significant predictors were being female ;not married;holding religious beliefs; having poor education; prior trauma; experiencing fear, injury, or bereavement during the disaster; or losing employment or property, suffering house damage as a result of the disaster. For children, the significant predictors were prior trauma; being trapped during the disaster; experiencing injury, fear, or bereavement during the disaster; witnessing injury/death during the disaster; or having poor social support. Conclusions The current analysis provides evidence of risk factors for depression in survivors of natural disasters. Further research is necessary to design interventions to improve the mental health of survivors of natural disasters. PMID:24941890

  7. Temporary disaster debris management site identification using binomial cluster analysis and GIS.

    PubMed

    Grzeda, Stanislaw; Mazzuchi, Thomas A; Sarkani, Shahram

    2014-04-01

    An essential component of disaster planning and preparation is the identification and selection of temporary disaster debris management sites (DMS). However, since DMS identification is a complex process involving numerous variable constraints, many regional, county and municipal jurisdictions initiate this process during the post-disaster response and recovery phases, typically a period of severely stressed resources. Hence, a pre-disaster approach in identifying the most likely sites based on the number of locational constraints would significantly contribute to disaster debris management planning. As disasters vary in their nature, location and extent, an effective approach must facilitate scalability, flexibility and adaptability to variable local requirements, while also being generalisable to other regions and geographical extents. This study demonstrates the use of binomial cluster analysis in potential DMS identification in a case study conducted in Hamilton County, Indiana.

  8. Temporary disaster debris management site identification using binomial cluster analysis and GIS.

    PubMed

    Grzeda, Stanislaw; Mazzuchi, Thomas A; Sarkani, Shahram

    2014-04-01

    An essential component of disaster planning and preparation is the identification and selection of temporary disaster debris management sites (DMS). However, since DMS identification is a complex process involving numerous variable constraints, many regional, county and municipal jurisdictions initiate this process during the post-disaster response and recovery phases, typically a period of severely stressed resources. Hence, a pre-disaster approach in identifying the most likely sites based on the number of locational constraints would significantly contribute to disaster debris management planning. As disasters vary in their nature, location and extent, an effective approach must facilitate scalability, flexibility and adaptability to variable local requirements, while also being generalisable to other regions and geographical extents. This study demonstrates the use of binomial cluster analysis in potential DMS identification in a case study conducted in Hamilton County, Indiana. PMID:24601923

  9. Forensic analysis of social networking application on iOS devices

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Shuhui; Wang, Lianhai

    2013-12-01

    The increased use of social networking application on iPhone and iPad make these devices a goldmine for forensic investigators. Besides, QQ, Wechat, Sina Weibo and skype applications are very popular in China and didn't draw attention to researchers. These social networking applications are used not only on computers, but also mobile phones and tablets. This paper focuses on conducting forensic analysis on these four social networking applications on iPhone and iPad devices. The tests consisted of installing the social networking applications on each device, conducting common user activities through each application and correlation analysis with other activities. Advices to the forensic investigators are also given. It could help the investigators to describe the crime behavior and reconstruct the crime venue.

  10. Forensic Analysis of a Contact Lens in a Murder Case.

    PubMed

    Zwerling, Charles S

    2016-03-01

    Contact lenses have had rare relevance in trials and/or investigations. After 5 years of burial, orbital remnants were retrieved from an exhumed body and subsequently identified as a key piece of material evidence in a murder trial. The exhumed case materials were evaluated under laboratory conditions and were determined to be contact lens remnants. Contact lens fracture and burial simulation studies were performed to provide additional corroboration of the physical findings of the exhumed contact lens remnants. This material evidence was instrumental in providing factual proof refuting the defendant's testimony in the murder trial. A brief history of contact lens composition and use is provided for understanding the methods and observational results. This forensic case study represents the first published documentation of a contact lens from an exhumed body being used in a murder investigation and establishes an operational procedure for future forensic contact lens examinations. PMID:27404629

  11. Forensic Analysis of a Contact Lens in a Murder Case.

    PubMed

    Zwerling, Charles S

    2016-03-01

    Contact lenses have had rare relevance in trials and/or investigations. After 5 years of burial, orbital remnants were retrieved from an exhumed body and subsequently identified as a key piece of material evidence in a murder trial. The exhumed case materials were evaluated under laboratory conditions and were determined to be contact lens remnants. Contact lens fracture and burial simulation studies were performed to provide additional corroboration of the physical findings of the exhumed contact lens remnants. This material evidence was instrumental in providing factual proof refuting the defendant's testimony in the murder trial. A brief history of contact lens composition and use is provided for understanding the methods and observational results. This forensic case study represents the first published documentation of a contact lens from an exhumed body being used in a murder investigation and establishes an operational procedure for future forensic contact lens examinations.

  12. Application of Material Characterization Techniques to Electrical Forensic Analysis

    SciTech Connect

    Mills, T.D.

    2003-03-11

    The application of forensic science techniques to electrical equipment failure investigation has not been widely documented in the engineering world. This paper is intended to share an example of using material characterization techniques to support an initial cause determination of an electrical component failure event. The resulting conclusion supported the initial cause determination and ruled out the possibility of design deficiencies. Thus, the qualification testing of the equipment was allowed to continue to successful completion.

  13. [The concept of "forensic medicine"].

    PubMed

    Popov, V L

    2013-01-01

    The analysis of the definition of forensic medicine and its evolution during the past 300 years is presented. The special character of forensic medicine, its subject-matter, scope of research, procedures, goals and targeted application of forensic medical knowledge are discussed. The original definition of the notion of "forensic medicine" is proposed.

  14. GC-MS Analysis of [gamma]-Hydroxybutyric Acid Analogs: A Forensic Chemistry Experiment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Henck, Colin; Nally, Luke

    2007-01-01

    An upper-division forensic chemistry experiment is described. It involves using glycolic acid and sodium glycolate as analogs of [gamma]-hydroxybutyric acid and its sodium salt. The experiment shows the use of silylation in GC-MS analysis and gives students the opportunity to work with a commonly used silylating reagent,…

  15. The 'relics of Joan of Arc': a forensic multidisciplinary analysis.

    PubMed

    Charlier, P; Poupon, J; Eb, A; De Mazancourt, P; Gilbert, T; Huynh-Charlier, I; Loublier, Y; Verhille, A M; Moulheirat, C; Patou-Mathis, M; Robbiola, L; Montagut, R; Masson, F; Etcheberry, A; Brun, L; Willerslev, E; de la Grandmaison, G Lorin; Durigon, M

    2010-01-30

    Archaeological remains can provide concrete cases, making it possible to develop, refine or validate medico-legal techniques. In the case of the so-called 'Joan of Arc's relics' (a group of bone and archaeological remains known as the 'Bottle of Chinon'), 14 specialists analysed the samples such as a cadaver X of carbonised aspect: forensic anthropologist, medical examiners, pathologists, geneticists, radiologist, biochemists, palynologists, zoologist and archaeologist. Materials, methods and results of this study are presented here. This study aims to offer an exploitable methodology for the modern medico-legal cases of small quantities of human bones of carbonised aspect. PMID:19913375

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Droplet Impact on Inclined Surfaces for Forensic Bloodstain Analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smith, Marc; Lockard, Michael; Neitzel, G. Paul

    2015-11-01

    During a crime scene investigation, bloodstains are used to infer the size, impact angle, and velocity of the blood droplet that produced the stain. This droplet impact process was explored using experiments and numerical simulations of droplets impacting planar, inclined surfaces with different roughness and wetting properties over a range of Reynolds numbers (1,000 - 5,500) and Weber numbers (200 - 2,000) typical of some forensics applications. Results will be presented showing how the size and shape of the final elliptical bloodstain varies with impact angle and surface roughness. The common forensics practice to predict the impact angle is fairly accurate for near-normal impacts, but it under-predicts the angle for oblique impacts less than about 40° and this effect worsens for rougher surfaces. The spreading of the droplet normal to the impact plane is shown to follow that of a droplet under normal impact as the impact velocity increases. This effect is also lessened by increased surface roughness. The reasons for these effects will be explored using a new GPU-based wavelet-adaptive flow simulation, which can resolve the flows near the solid surface and near the moving contact line of these droplets for the large Reynolds and Weber numbers of these experiments. Supported by the National Institute of Justice.

  19. Disaster medicine: genealogy of a concept.

    PubMed

    Stehrenberger, Cécile Stephanie; Goltermann, Svenja

    2014-11-01

    This paper evaluates disaster medicine from a historical perspective that facilitates the understanding of its present. Today, disaster medicine and humanitarian medicine are inextricably linked and the terms are sometimes used synonymously. An in-depth analysis of an extensive body of concrete empirical cases from various sources (i.e. archival records) reveals, however, that they have not always been the same. A genealogical, history-of-knowledge approach demonstrates that the concept of disaster medicine emerged in the early 20th century in Switzerland in the context of industrialization. Even though it gained important impetus during the First World War, the concept was informed by the experiences of forensic physicians in technological disasters such as mining explosions. The Cold War constituted the historical constellation in which disaster medicine was developed in West Germany during the 1960s and 1970s in a way that was paradigmatic for other Western European countries. At the same time, it was contested there in an unusual, historically unique way. Although focusing on a Western European context, this paper explores how medical interventions in disasters were international events and how the practice of disaster medicine was developed and "trained" through being applied in the Global South. It demonstrates the historicity of disaster medicine's political character and of the controversies generated by its involvement in civil and military operations. Throughout the 20th century, the political nature and military involvement of disaster medicine resulted in a number of ethical and practical issues, which are similar to the challenges facing humanitarian medicine today. The exploration of disaster medicine's past can therefore open up critical interventions in humanitarian medicine's present.

  20. Disaster medicine: genealogy of a concept.

    PubMed

    Stehrenberger, Cécile Stephanie; Goltermann, Svenja

    2014-11-01

    This paper evaluates disaster medicine from a historical perspective that facilitates the understanding of its present. Today, disaster medicine and humanitarian medicine are inextricably linked and the terms are sometimes used synonymously. An in-depth analysis of an extensive body of concrete empirical cases from various sources (i.e. archival records) reveals, however, that they have not always been the same. A genealogical, history-of-knowledge approach demonstrates that the concept of disaster medicine emerged in the early 20th century in Switzerland in the context of industrialization. Even though it gained important impetus during the First World War, the concept was informed by the experiences of forensic physicians in technological disasters such as mining explosions. The Cold War constituted the historical constellation in which disaster medicine was developed in West Germany during the 1960s and 1970s in a way that was paradigmatic for other Western European countries. At the same time, it was contested there in an unusual, historically unique way. Although focusing on a Western European context, this paper explores how medical interventions in disasters were international events and how the practice of disaster medicine was developed and "trained" through being applied in the Global South. It demonstrates the historicity of disaster medicine's political character and of the controversies generated by its involvement in civil and military operations. Throughout the 20th century, the political nature and military involvement of disaster medicine resulted in a number of ethical and practical issues, which are similar to the challenges facing humanitarian medicine today. The exploration of disaster medicine's past can therefore open up critical interventions in humanitarian medicine's present. PMID:24862174

  1. A critical analysis of the South African Disaster Management Act and Policy Framework.

    PubMed

    van Niekerk, Dewald

    2014-10-01

    The promulgation of the South African Disaster Management Act No. 57 of 2002 and the National Disaster Management Policy Framework of 2005 placed South Africa at the international forefront by integrating disaster risk reduction into all spheres of government through a decentralised approach. Yet, good policy and legislation do not necessarily translate into good practice. This paper provides a critical analysis of the Act and Policy Framework. Using qualitative research methods, it analyses the attitudes and perceptions of senior public officials on all levels of government, the private sector and academia. The study finds that one of the weakest aspects of the Act and Framework is the absence of clear guidance to local municipalities. The placement of the disaster risk management function on all tiers of government remains problematic, funding is inadequate and overall knowledge and capacities for disaster risk reduction are insufficient.

  2. Validation of a Framework for Measuring Hospital Disaster Resilience Using Factor Analysis

    PubMed Central

    Zhong, Shuang; Clark, Michele; Hou, Xiang-Yu; Zang, Yuli; FitzGerald, Gerard

    2014-01-01

    Hospital disaster resilience can be defined as “the ability of hospitals to resist, absorb, and respond to the shock of disasters while maintaining and surging essential health services, and then to recover to its original state or adapt to a new one.” This article aims to provide a framework which can be used to comprehensively measure hospital disaster resilience. An evaluation framework for assessing hospital resilience was initially proposed through a systematic literature review and Modified-Delphi consultation. Eight key domains were identified: hospital safety, command, communication and cooperation system, disaster plan, resource stockpile, staff capability, disaster training and drills, emergency services and surge capability, and recovery and adaptation. The data for this study were collected from 41 tertiary hospitals in Shandong Province in China, using a specially designed questionnaire. Factor analysis was conducted to determine the underpinning structure of the framework. It identified a four-factor structure of hospital resilience, namely, emergency medical response capability (F1), disaster management mechanisms (F2), hospital infrastructural safety (F3), and disaster resources (F4). These factors displayed good internal consistency. The overall level of hospital disaster resilience (F) was calculated using the scoring model: F = 0.615F1 + 0.202F2 + 0.103F3 + 0.080F4. This validated framework provides a new way to operationalise the concept of hospital resilience, and it is also a foundation for the further development of the measurement instrument in future studies. PMID:24945190

  3. The Kaprun cable car fire disaster--aspects of forensic organisation following a mass fatality with 155 victims.

    PubMed

    Meyer, Harald J

    2003-12-17

    In November 2000, a tunnel-bound cable car in Kaprun caught fire, with the subsequent death of 155 persons. No passenger list was in existence and bodies were burnt to such an extent that morphological identification was not feasible. A full post-mortem examination was performed on all bodies. All bodies were positively identified within 19 days after the incident by DNA analysis. Cause of death was determined to be carbon monoxide poisoning in combination with suffocation due to inhalation of smoke. The organisational aspects of processing are portrayed.

  4. Forensic analysis and psycholegal implications of parricide and attempted parricide.

    PubMed

    Weisman, A M; Sharma, K K

    1997-11-01

    In a retrospective archive study, 64 adjudicated adult cases involving the murder or attempted murder of at least one parent, referred for forensic evaluations are described. Biographic, demographic, diagnostic, crime scene, psycholoegal opinion, and disposition data are presented. Results indicated a 40% rate of insanity acquitees. Attempted parricide subjects were more likely to have inpatient psychiatric histories, witnesses present during the criminal act, nonresponsiveness towards their actions, competency raised, and a hospital disposition. Gender and ethnicity were found to have a significant effect on ultimate disposition. Fifty-four percent of the sample opined psychotic were sentenced to prison, suggesting other factors considered by judge and jury. Profile characteristics and typologies are presented. The findings are compared to studies involving parricide and legal strategies involving similar cases.

  5. 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.

  6. Climate Change, Disaster and Sentiment Analysis over Social Media Mining

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, J.; McCusker, J. P.; McGuinness, D. L.

    2012-12-01

    Accelerated climate change causes disasters and disrupts people living all over the globe. Disruptive climate events are often reflected in expressed sentiments of the people affected. Monitoring changes in these sentiments during and after disasters can reveal relationships between climate change and mental health. We developed a semantic web tool that uses linked data principles and semantic web technologies to integrate data from multiple sources and analyze them together. We are converting statistical data on climate change and disaster records obtained from the World Bank data catalog and the International Disaster Database into a Resource Description Framework (RDF) representation that was annotated with the RDF Data Cube vocabulary. We compare these data with a dataset of tweets that mention terms from the Emotion Ontology to get a sense of how disasters can impact the affected populations. This dataset is being gathered using an infrastructure we developed that extracts term uses in Twitter with controlled vocabularies. This data was also converted to RDF structure so that statistical data on the climate change and disasters is analyzed together with sentiment data. To visualize and explore relationship of the multiple data across the dimensions of time and location, we use the qb.js framework. We are using this approach to investigate the social and emotional impact of climate change. We hope that this will demonstrate the use of social media data as a valuable source of understanding on global climate change.

  7. Forensic microbiology.

    PubMed

    Lehman, Donald C

    2012-01-01

    The field of forensic microbiology is fairly new and still evolving. With a threat of bioterror and biocrime, the rapid identification and subtyping of infectious agents is of upmost importance. Microbial genetic analysis is a valuable tool in this arena. The cost to sequence a microbial genome has fallen dramatically in recent years making this method more widely available. Surveillance and vigilance are important as is further research. The United States Department of Homeland Security established the Bioforensics Analysis Center to become the foremost U.S. biodefense research institution involved with bioforensics. Many countries are better prepared for biologic events than ever before, but more work is needed. Most medical laboratory scientists are not familiar with forensic principles or testifying in court. Demonstrating chain of custody and quality assurance are critical so that test results will be admissible in a court of law. The Scientific Working Group on Microbial Genetics and Forensics has published guidelines for forensic microbiology laboratories. Incorporating these guidelines help to provide test results that are useful in legal proceedings. If a laboratory scientist suspects bioterror or biocrime, or other legal case, law enforcement agents must be notified and diagnostic samples preserved. Additional sample testing might be necessary in court cases.

  8. Chemical Differentiation of Osseous, Dental, and Non-skeletal Materials in Forensic Anthropology using Elemental Analysis.

    PubMed

    Zimmerman, Heather A; Meizel-Lambert, Cayli J; Schultz, John J; Sigman, Michael E

    2015-03-01

    Forensic anthropologists are generally able to identify skeletal materials (bone and tooth) using gross anatomical features; however, highly fragmented or taphonomically altered materials may be problematic to identify. Several chemical analysis techniques have been shown to be reliable laboratory methods that can be used to determine if questionable fragments are osseous, dental, or non-skeletal in nature. The purpose of this review is to provide a detailed background of chemical analysis techniques focusing on elemental compositions that have been assessed for use in differentiating osseous, dental, and non-skeletal materials. More recently, chemical analysis studies have also focused on using the elemental composition of osseous/dental materials to evaluate species and provide individual discrimination, but have generally been successful only in small, closed groups, limiting their use forensically. Despite significant advances incorporating a variety of instruments, including handheld devices, further research is necessary to address issues in standardization, error rates, and sample size/diversity.

  9. Chemical Differentiation of Osseous, Dental, and Non-skeletal Materials in Forensic Anthropology using Elemental Analysis.

    PubMed

    Zimmerman, Heather A; Meizel-Lambert, Cayli J; Schultz, John J; Sigman, Michael E

    2015-03-01

    Forensic anthropologists are generally able to identify skeletal materials (bone and tooth) using gross anatomical features; however, highly fragmented or taphonomically altered materials may be problematic to identify. Several chemical analysis techniques have been shown to be reliable laboratory methods that can be used to determine if questionable fragments are osseous, dental, or non-skeletal in nature. The purpose of this review is to provide a detailed background of chemical analysis techniques focusing on elemental compositions that have been assessed for use in differentiating osseous, dental, and non-skeletal materials. More recently, chemical analysis studies have also focused on using the elemental composition of osseous/dental materials to evaluate species and provide individual discrimination, but have generally been successful only in small, closed groups, limiting their use forensically. Despite significant advances incorporating a variety of instruments, including handheld devices, further research is necessary to address issues in standardization, error rates, and sample size/diversity. PMID:25753999

  10. Portable XRF and principal component analysis for bill characterization in forensic science.

    PubMed

    Appoloni, C R; Melquiades, F L

    2014-02-01

    Several modern techniques have been applied to prevent counterfeiting of money bills. The objective of this study was to demonstrate the potential of Portable X-ray Fluorescence (PXRF) technique and the multivariate analysis method of Principal Component Analysis (PCA) for classification of bills in order to use it in forensic science. Bills of Dollar, Euro and Real (Brazilian currency) were measured directly at different colored regions, without any previous preparation. Spectra interpretation allowed the identification of Ca, Ti, Fe, Cu, Sr, Y, Zr and Pb. PCA analysis separated the bills in three groups and subgroups among Brazilian currency. In conclusion, the samples were classified according to its origin identifying the elements responsible for differentiation and basic pigment composition. PXRF allied to multivariate discriminate methods is a promising technique for rapid and no destructive identification of false bills in forensic science.

  11. 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.

  12. Forensic Analysis of Cigarette Ash-Brand Determination Through Trace-metal Analysis.

    PubMed

    Groth, Anja C; Barnes, James H; Lewis, Cris; Murray, Cynthia K; Albahadily, Fakhrildeen; Jourdan, Thomas H

    2016-07-01

    The information inherent in cigarette ash in the form of trace-metal concentrations may be of use in a forensic context as it can indicate the brand from which the ash originated. This knowledge might help place suspects at crime scenes or determine how many people may have been present. To develop and test statistical models capable of classifying ash samples according to brand, commercial cigarettes procured in the U.S. and overseas were "smoked" using a peristaltic pump, mimicking the range of human smoking habits. Ash samples were digested in a mixture of nitric and hydrochloric acid applying microwave digestion and analyzed using inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry. Principal component analysis of the elemental data showed intrinsic differences between brands. Partial least squares-discriminant analysis demonstrated that brand classification yields good sensitivity and specificity for a number of models tested. Varying smoking parameters did not impact the classification of ash samples. PMID:27364270

  13. Forensic Analysis of Cigarette Ash-Brand Determination Through Trace-metal Analysis.

    PubMed

    Groth, Anja C; Barnes, James H; Lewis, Cris; Murray, Cynthia K; Albahadily, Fakhrildeen; Jourdan, Thomas H

    2016-07-01

    The information inherent in cigarette ash in the form of trace-metal concentrations may be of use in a forensic context as it can indicate the brand from which the ash originated. This knowledge might help place suspects at crime scenes or determine how many people may have been present. To develop and test statistical models capable of classifying ash samples according to brand, commercial cigarettes procured in the U.S. and overseas were "smoked" using a peristaltic pump, mimicking the range of human smoking habits. Ash samples were digested in a mixture of nitric and hydrochloric acid applying microwave digestion and analyzed using inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry. Principal component analysis of the elemental data showed intrinsic differences between brands. Partial least squares-discriminant analysis demonstrated that brand classification yields good sensitivity and specificity for a number of models tested. Varying smoking parameters did not impact the classification of ash samples.

  14. 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.

  15. 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)

  16. Image data integration and analysis for natural disaster decision support systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roper, William E.

    2001-06-01

    Natural disasters have a major impact, globally and within the United States causing injury and loss of life, as well as economic losses. To better address disaster response needs, a task force has been established to leverage technological capabilities to improve disaster response management. Web based geospatial analysis is one of these important capabilities. Samples of geospatial technologies applicable to disaster management are presented. These include 3D visualization, hyperspectral imagery, LIDAR, use of spectral libraries, digital multispectral video, radar imaging systems, photogeologic analysis and geographic information systems. An example scenario of a hurricane with landfall at Mobile, Alabama is used to demonstrate the interoperable use of web-based geospatial information to support decision support systems and assist public information communication.

  17. Forensic trace DNA: a review

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    DNA analysis is frequently used to acquire information from biological material to aid enquiries associated with criminal offences, disaster victim identification and missing persons investigations. As the relevance and value of DNA profiling to forensic investigations has increased, so too has the desire to generate this information from smaller amounts of DNA. Trace DNA samples may be defined as any sample which falls below recommended thresholds at any stage of the analysis, from sample detection through to profile interpretation, and can not be defined by a precise picogram amount. Here we review aspects associated with the collection, DNA extraction, amplification, profiling and interpretation of trace DNA samples. Contamination and transfer issues are also briefly discussed within the context of trace DNA analysis. Whilst several methodological changes have facilitated profiling from trace samples in recent years it is also clear that many opportunities exist for further improvements. PMID:21122102

  18. The return period analysis of natural disasters with statistical modeling of bivariate joint probability distribution.

    PubMed

    Li, Ning; Liu, Xueqin; Xie, Wei; Wu, Jidong; Zhang, Peng

    2013-01-01

    New features of natural disasters have been observed over the last several years. The factors that influence the disasters' formation mechanisms, regularity of occurrence and main characteristics have been revealed to be more complicated and diverse in nature than previously thought. As the uncertainty involved increases, the variables need to be examined further. This article discusses the importance and the shortage of multivariate analysis of natural disasters and presents a method to estimate the joint probability of the return periods and perform a risk analysis. Severe dust storms from 1990 to 2008 in Inner Mongolia were used as a case study to test this new methodology, as they are normal and recurring climatic phenomena on Earth. Based on the 79 investigated events and according to the dust storm definition with bivariate, the joint probability distribution of severe dust storms was established using the observed data of maximum wind speed and duration. The joint return periods of severe dust storms were calculated, and the relevant risk was analyzed according to the joint probability. The copula function is able to simulate severe dust storm disasters accurately. The joint return periods generated are closer to those observed in reality than the univariate return periods and thus have more value in severe dust storm disaster mitigation, strategy making, program design, and improvement of risk management. This research may prove useful in risk-based decision making. The exploration of multivariate analysis methods can also lay the foundation for further applications in natural disaster risk analysis. PMID:22616629

  19. The return period analysis of natural disasters with statistical modeling of bivariate joint probability distribution.

    PubMed

    Li, Ning; Liu, Xueqin; Xie, Wei; Wu, Jidong; Zhang, Peng

    2013-01-01

    New features of natural disasters have been observed over the last several years. The factors that influence the disasters' formation mechanisms, regularity of occurrence and main characteristics have been revealed to be more complicated and diverse in nature than previously thought. As the uncertainty involved increases, the variables need to be examined further. This article discusses the importance and the shortage of multivariate analysis of natural disasters and presents a method to estimate the joint probability of the return periods and perform a risk analysis. Severe dust storms from 1990 to 2008 in Inner Mongolia were used as a case study to test this new methodology, as they are normal and recurring climatic phenomena on Earth. Based on the 79 investigated events and according to the dust storm definition with bivariate, the joint probability distribution of severe dust storms was established using the observed data of maximum wind speed and duration. The joint return periods of severe dust storms were calculated, and the relevant risk was analyzed according to the joint probability. The copula function is able to simulate severe dust storm disasters accurately. The joint return periods generated are closer to those observed in reality than the univariate return periods and thus have more value in severe dust storm disaster mitigation, strategy making, program design, and improvement of risk management. This research may prove useful in risk-based decision making. The exploration of multivariate analysis methods can also lay the foundation for further applications in natural disaster risk analysis.

  20. Ontogenetic study of three Calliphoridae of forensic importance through cuticular hydrocarbon analysis.

    PubMed

    Roux, O; Gers, C; Legal, L

    2008-12-01

    The ontogeny of the cuticular hydrocarbons of three dipterans of importance to forensic entomology, Calliphora vomitoria (Linné), Calliphora vicina (Robineau-Desvoidy) and Protophormia terraenovae (Robineau-Desvoidy) (Diptera: Calliphoridae), was explored using gas chromatography analysis. The stages examined ranged from eggs to 8-day-old adults. Cuticular hydrocarbon profiles revealed that odd linear alkanes dominate in all three species. Short-chain carbon compounds in larvae and post-feeding larvae were seen to evolve to long-chain carbon compounds in pupae and adults. Discriminant analysis of cuticular hydrocarbon profiles showed a clear differentiation among the different stages (larvae, post-feeding larvae, pupae and adults) and within stages, according to the age of individuals. This study concluded that the postmortem interval can be determined from the composition of cuticular waxes in Calliphoridae in forensic situations.

  1. Soil examination for a forensic trace evidence laboratory - Part 2: Elemental analysis.

    PubMed

    Woods, Brenda; Paul Kirkbride, K; Lennard, Chris; Robertson, James

    2014-12-01

    Laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS), X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy (XRF) and scanning electron microscopy/energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (SEM/EDX) are compared in terms of their discrimination power when applied to Australian soil specimens. SEM/EDX and XRF are frequently used in forensic laboratories for the elemental analysis of paint and glass, and for miscellaneous examinations. LIBS is an emerging technique for forensic applications, with a number of researchers promoting its use for the elemental profiling of glass fragments. In this study, 29 soil specimens were analysed, with 12 specimens coming from the Canberra area and the remaining 17 specimens from other sites around Australia. As very good discrimination results were obtained for each of the analytical methods, any of these elemental analysis techniques, available in a trace evidence laboratory, could be used as part of a wider examination protocol to differentiate soil specimens.

  2. 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 ...

  3. Identifying 1st instar larvae for three forensically important blowfly species using "fingerprint" cuticular hydrocarbon analysis.

    PubMed

    Moore, Hannah E; Adam, Craig D; Drijfhout, Falko P

    2014-07-01

    Calliphoridae are known to be the most forensically important insects when it comes to establishing the minimum post mortem interval (PMImin) in criminal investigations. The first step in calculating the PMImin is to identify the larvae present to species level. Accurate identification which is conventionally carried out by morphological analysis is crucial because different insects have different life stage timings. Rapid identification in the immature larvae stages would drastically cut time in criminal investigations as it would eliminate the need to rear larvae to adult flies to determine the species. Cuticular hydrocarbon analysis on 1st instar larvae has been applied to three forensically important blowflies; Lucilia sericata, Calliphora vicina and Calliphora vomitoria, using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) and principal component analysis (PCA). The results show that each species holds a distinct "fingerprint" hydrocarbon profile, allowing for accurate identification to be established in 1-day old larvae, when it can be challenging to apply morphological criteria. Consequently, this GC-MS based technique could accelerate and strengthen the identification process, not only for forensically important species, but also for other entomological samples which are hard to identify using morphological features.

  4. Blood species identification for forensic purposes using Raman spectroscopy combined with advanced statistical analysis.

    PubMed

    Virkler, Kelly; Lednev, Igor K

    2009-09-15

    Forensic analysis has become one of the most growing areas of analytical chemistry in recent years. The ability to determine the species of origin of a body fluid sample is a very important and crucial part of a forensic investigation. We introduce here a new technique which utilizes a modern analytical method based on the combination of Raman spectroscopy and advanced statistics to analyze the composition of blood traces from different species. Near-infrared Raman spectroscopy (NIR) was used to analyze multiple dry samples of human, canine, and feline blood for the ultimate application to forensic species identification. All of the spectra were combined into a single data matrix, and the number of principle components that described the system was determined using multiple statistical methods such as significant factor analysis (SFA), principle component analysis (PCA), and several cross-validation methods. Of the six principle components that were determined to be present, the first three, which contributed over 90% to the spectral data of the system, were used to form a three-dimensional scores plot that clearly showed significant separation between the three groups of species. Ellipsoids representing a 99% confidence interval surrounding each species group showed no overlap. This technique using Raman spectroscopy is nondestructive and quick and can potentially be performed at the scene of a crime.

  5. Forensic soil DNA analysis using high-throughput sequencing: a comparison of four molecular markers.

    PubMed

    Young, Jennifer M; Weyrich, Laura S; Cooper, Alan

    2014-11-01

    Soil analysis, such as mineralogy, geophysics, texture and colour, are commonly used in forensic casework to link a suspect to a crime scene. However, DNA analysis can also be applied to characterise the vast diversity of organisms present in soils. DNA metabarcoding and high-throughput sequencing (HTS) now offer a means to improve discrimination between forensic soil samples by identifying individual taxa and exploring non-culturable microbial species. Here, we compare the small-scale reproducibility and resolution of four molecular markers targeting different taxa (bacterial 16S rRNA, eukaryotic18S rRNA, plant trnL intron and fungal internal transcribed spacer I (ITS1) rDNA) to distinguish two sample sites. We also assess the background DNA level associated with each marker and examine the effects of filtering Operational Taxonomic Units (OTUs) detected in extraction blank controls. From this study, we show that non-bacterial taxa in soil, particularly fungi, can provide the greatest resolution between the sites, whereas plant markers may be problematic for forensic discrimination. ITS and 18S markers exhibit reliable amplification, and both show high discriminatory power with low background DNA levels. The 16S rRNA marker showed comparable discriminatory power post filtering; however, presented the highest level of background DNA. The discriminatory power of all markers was increased by applying OTU filtering steps, with the greatest improvement observed by the removal of any sequences detected in extraction blanks. This study demonstrates the potential use of multiple DNA markers for forensic soil analysis using HTS, and identifies some of the standardisation and evaluation steps necessary before this technique can be applied in casework.

  6. Iranian nurses’ experience of essential technical competences in disaster response: A qualitative content analysis study

    PubMed Central

    Aliakbari, Fatemeh; Bahrami, Masoud; Aein, Fereshteh; Khankeh, Hamidreza

    2014-01-01

    Background: Today disasters are a part of many people's lives. Iran has a long history of disaster events and nurses are one of the most significant groups within the Iranian disaster relief operations, providing immediate and long-term care for those affected by the disaster. However, the technical competence of Iranian nurses and their training for this work has received little attention. This article presents the results of a study that aims to explore this context. Materials and Methods: A qualitative study was conducted using in-depth interviews to collect data from 30 nurses, who were deliberately selected from the health centers affiliated to the Isfahan University of Medical Sciences. Themes were identified using the conventional qualitative content analysis. The trustworthiness of the study was supported by considering the auditability, neutrality, consistency, and transferability. The study lasted from 2011 to 2012. Results: Data analysis undertaken for the qualitative study resulted in the identification of five main themes, which included: (1) Management competences, (2) ethical and legal competences, (3) team working, and (4) personal abilities and the specific technical competences presented in this report. Conclusions: This report presents an overview of the nursing technical capabilities required for Iranian nurses during disaster relief. It is argued that additional competencies are required for nurses who care in high-risk situations, including disasters. Nurses need to prepare themselves more effectively to be responsible and effective in nursing care. PMID:25558255

  7. Analysis of cases of forensic veterinary opinions produced in a research and teaching unit.

    PubMed

    Listos, Piotr; Gryzinska, Magdalena; Kowalczyk, Marek

    2015-11-01

    The aim of the study was to present the results of necropsies carried out in the years 2000-2014 in the Department of Pathological Anatomy, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Life Sciences in Lublin. The material used for the analysis consisted of expert opinions prepared on the basis of a decision by a judicial body to admit an expert opinion as evidence. An increase was observed in the demand for the services of veterinary forensic experts, beginning in 2006 and persisting through 2014. The response to the growing popularity of veterinary forensic examinations should be systematization of knowledge and exchange of experience, which would enable the further development of this interdisciplinary science.

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. Whole-Genome Sequencing in Microbial Forensic Analysis of Gamma-Irradiated Microbial Materials

    PubMed Central

    Broomall, Stacey M.; Ait Ichou, Mohamed; Krepps, Michael D.; Johnsky, Lauren A.; Karavis, Mark A.; Hubbard, Kyle S.; Insalaco, Joseph M.; Betters, Janet L.; Redmond, Brady W.; Rivers, Bryan A.; Liem, Alvin T.; Hill, Jessica M.; Fochler, Edward T.; Roth, Pierce A.; Rosenzweig, C. Nicole; Skowronski, Evan W.

    2015-01-01

    Effective microbial forensic analysis of materials used in a potential biological attack requires robust methods of morphological and genetic characterization of the attack materials in order to enable the attribution of the materials to potential sources and to exclude other potential sources. The genetic homogeneity and potential intersample variability of many of the category A to C bioterrorism agents offer a particular challenge to the generation of attributive signatures, potentially requiring whole-genome or proteomic approaches to be utilized. Currently, irradiation of mail is standard practice at several government facilities judged to be at particularly high risk. Thus, initial forensic signatures would need to be recovered from inactivated (nonviable) material. In the study described in this report, we determined the effects of high-dose gamma irradiation on forensic markers of bacterial biothreat agent surrogate organisms with a particular emphasis on the suitability of genomic DNA (gDNA) recovered from such sources as a template for whole-genome analysis. While irradiation of spores and vegetative cells affected the retention of Gram and spore stains and sheared gDNA into small fragments, we found that irradiated material could be utilized to generate accurate whole-genome sequence data on the Illumina and Roche 454 sequencing platforms. PMID:26567301

  11. Monte Carlo analysis of thermochromatography as a fast separation method for nuclear forensics

    SciTech Connect

    Hall, Howard L

    2012-01-01

    Nuclear forensic science has become increasingly important for global nuclear security, and enhancing the timeliness of forensic analysis has been established as an important objective in the field. New, faster techniques must be developed to meet this objective. Current approaches for the analysis of minor actinides, fission products, and fuel-specific materials require time-consuming chemical separation coupled with measurement through either nuclear counting or mass spectrometry. These very sensitive measurement techniques can be hindered by impurities or incomplete separation in even the most painstaking chemical separations. High-temperature gas-phase separation or thermochromatography has been used in the past for the rapid separations in the study of newly created elements and as a basis for chemical classification of that element. This work examines the potential for rapid separation of gaseous species to be applied in nuclear forensic investigations. Monte Carlo modeling has been used to evaluate the potential utility of the thermochromatographic separation method, albeit this assessment is necessarily limited due to the lack of available experimental data for validation.

  12. Comparative analysis of LWR and FBR spent fuels for nuclear forensics evaluation

    SciTech Connect

    Permana, Sidik; Suzuki, Mitsutoshi; Su'ud, Zaki

    2012-06-06

    Some interesting issues are attributed to nuclide compositions of spent fuels from thermal reactors as well as fast reactors such as a potential to reuse as recycled fuel, and a possible capability to be manage as a fuel for destructive devices. In addition, analysis on nuclear forensics which is related to spent fuel compositions becomes one of the interesting topics to evaluate the origin and the composition of spent fuels from the spent fuel foot-prints. Spent fuel compositions of different fuel types give some typical spent fuel foot prints and can be estimated the origin of source of those spent fuel compositions. Some technics or methods have been developing based on some science and technological capability including experimental and modeling or theoretical aspects of analyses. Some foot-print of nuclear forensics will identify the typical information of spent fuel compositions such as enrichment information, burnup or irradiation time, reactor types as well as the cooling time which is related to the age of spent fuels. This paper intends to evaluate the typical spent fuel compositions of light water (LWR) and fast breeder reactors (FBR) from the view point of some foot prints of nuclear forensics. An established depletion code of ORIGEN is adopted to analyze LWR spent fuel (SF) for several burnup constants and decay times. For analyzing some spent fuel compositions of FBR, some coupling codes such as SLAROM code, JOINT and CITATION codes including JFS-3-J-3.2R as nuclear data library have been adopted. Enriched U-235 fuel composition of oxide type is used for fresh fuel of LWR and a mixed oxide fuel (MOX) for FBR fresh fuel. Those MOX fuels of FBR come from the spent fuels of LWR. Some typical spent fuels from both LWR and FBR will be compared to distinguish some typical foot-prints of SF based on nuclear forensic analysis.

  13. Comparative analysis of LWR and FBR spent fuels for nuclear forensics evaluation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Permana, Sidik; Suzuki, Mitsutoshi; Su'ud, Zaki

    2012-06-01

    Some interesting issues are attributed to nuclide compositions of spent fuels from thermal reactors as well as fast reactors such as a potential to reuse as recycled fuel, and a possible capability to be manage as a fuel for destructive devices. In addition, analysis on nuclear forensics which is related to spent fuel compositions becomes one of the interesting topics to evaluate the origin and the composition of spent fuels from the spent fuel foot-prints. Spent fuel compositions of different fuel types give some typical spent fuel foot prints and can be estimated the origin of source of those spent fuel compositions. Some technics or methods have been developing based on some science and technological capability including experimental and modeling or theoretical aspects of analyses. Some foot-print of nuclear forensics will identify the typical information of spent fuel compositions such as enrichment information, burnup or irradiation time, reactor types as well as the cooling time which is related to the age of spent fuels. This paper intends to evaluate the typical spent fuel compositions of light water (LWR) and fast breeder reactors (FBR) from the view point of some foot prints of nuclear forensics. An established depletion code of ORIGEN is adopted to analyze LWR spent fuel (SF) for several burnup constants and decay times. For analyzing some spent fuel compositions of FBR, some coupling codes such as SLAROM code, JOINT and CITATION codes including JFS-3-J-3.2R as nuclear data library have been adopted. Enriched U-235 fuel composition of oxide type is used for fresh fuel of LWR and a mixed oxide fuel (MOX) for FBR fresh fuel. Those MOX fuels of FBR come from the spent fuels of LWR. Some typical spent fuels from both LWR and FBR will be compared to distinguish some typical foot-prints of SF based on nuclear forensic analysis.

  14. 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.

  15. Real-Time Earthquake Analysis for Disaster Mitigation (READI) Network

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bock, Y.

    2014-12-01

    Real-time GNSS networks are making a significant impact on our ability to forecast, assess, and mitigate the effects of geological hazards. I describe the activities of the Real-time Earthquake Analysis for Disaster Mitigation (READI) working group. The group leverages 600+ real-time GPS stations in western North America operated by UNAVCO (PBO network), Central Washington University (PANGA), US Geological Survey & Scripps Institution of Oceanography (SCIGN project), UC Berkeley & US Geological Survey (BARD network), and the Pacific Geosciences Centre (WCDA project). Our goal is to demonstrate an earthquake and tsunami early warning system for western North America. Rapid response is particularly important for those coastal communities that are in the near-source region of large earthquakes and may have only minutes of warning time, and who today are not adequately covered by existing seismic and basin-wide ocean-buoy monitoring systems. The READI working group is performing comparisons of independent real time analyses of 1 Hz GPS data for station displacements and is participating in government-sponsored earthquake and tsunami exercises in the Western U.S. I describe a prototype seismogeodetic system using a cluster of southern California stations that includes GNSS tracking and collocation with MEMS accelerometers for real-time estimation of seismic velocity and displacement waveforms, which has advantages for improved earthquake early warning and tsunami forecasts compared to seismic-only or GPS-only methods. The READI working group's ultimate goal is to participate in an Indo-Pacific Tsunami early warning system that utilizes GNSS real-time displacements and ionospheric measurements along with seismic, near-shore buoys and ocean-bottom pressure sensors, where available, to rapidly estimate magnitude and finite fault slip models for large earthquakes, and then forecast tsunami source, energy scale, geographic extent, inundation and runup. This will require

  16. 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

  17. Detection strategies for malingering with the Miller Forensic Assessment of Symptoms Test: a confirmatory factor analysis of its underlying dimensions.

    PubMed

    Vitacco, Michael J; Jackson, Rebecca L; Rogers, Richard; Neumann, Craig S; Miller, Holly A; Gabel, Jason

    2008-03-01

    Two of the most widely used measures for the assessment of malingering in forensic populations are the Miller Forensic Assessment of Symptoms Test (M-FAST) and the Structured Interview of Reported Symptoms (SIRS). The underlying dimensions of the SIRS have been well established in the literature, but the structure of the M-FAST remains relatively untested. Understanding of its dimensions is critical for construct validity and guiding its proper use. Confirmatory factor analysis was used to provide evidence of a single parsimonious malingering factor to account for the covariation of the M-FAST items in a sample of 244 forensic patients. In addition, the model was cross-validated with an independent sample of 210 forensic patients. Finally, the M-FAST factor was modeled in conjunction with two factors of the SIRS. Results provide further validation of the underlying detection strategy found in the M-FAST.

  18. Phylogenetic analysis and forensic characteristics of 12 populations using 23 Y-STR loci.

    PubMed

    Gao, Tianzhen; Yun, Libing; Gu, Yan; He, Wang; Wang, Zheng; Hou, Yiping

    2015-11-01

    Genetic analysis of Y-STRs has the potential to be used to explore the complexity in population substructures and to perform forensic ancestry inference. In this study, 334 individuals from 12 populations were typed using the PowerPlex(®) Y23 System (Promega, USA) to investigate their relationship. Population comparisons with other East Asian populations collated from YHRD (Y-STR Haplotype Reference Database) were also performed. Variant alleles, including seven intermediate alleles in 15 samples were observed, while the novel allele 11.3 at the DYS549 locus was confirmed by sequencing. Our results showed that the fraction of unique haplotypes differed among the 12 populations studied here. A close relationship was found between Chinese and other East Asian populations. The present study contributed to the enrichment of the forensic Y-chromosome databases with a high resolution 23 Y-STR marker set, which is informative in forensic casework, such as familial searching and estimating the geographical origin of the offender.

  19. Opportunities for Fluid Dynamics Research in the Forensic Discipline of Bloodstain Pattern Analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Attinger, Daniel; Moore, Craig; Donaldson, Adam; Jafari, Arian; Stone, Howard

    2013-11-01

    This review [Forensic Science International, vol. 231, pp. 375-396, 2013] highlights research opportunities for fluid dynamics (FD) studies related to the forensic discipline of bloodstain pattern analysis (BPA). The need for better integrating FD and BPA is mentioned in a 2009 report by the US National Research Council, entitled ``Strengthening Forensic Science in the United States: A Path Forward''. BPA aims for practical answers to specific questions of the kind: ``How did a bloodletting incident happen?'' FD, on the other hand, aims to quantitatively describe the transport of fluids and the related causes, with general equations. BPA typically solves the indirect problem of inspecting stains in a crime scene to infer the most probable bloodletting incident that produced these patterns. FD typically defines the initial and boundary conditions of a fluid system and from there describe how the system evolves in time and space, most often in a deterministic manner. We review four topics in BPA with strong connections to FD: the generation of drops, their flight, their impact and the formation of stains. Future research on these topics would deliver new quantitative tools and methods for BPA, and present new multiphase flow problems for FD.

  20. Forensic animal DNA analysis using economical two-step direct PCR.

    PubMed

    Kitpipit, Thitika; Chotigeat, Wilaiwan; Linacre, Adrian; Thanakiatkrai, Phuvadol

    2014-03-01

    Wildlife forensic DNA analysis by amplification of a mitochondrial locus followed by DNA sequencing is routine, yet suffers from being costly and time-consuming. To address these disadvantages we report on a low-cost two-step direct PCR assay to efficiently analyze 12 forensically relevant mammalian sample types without DNA extraction. A cytochrome oxidase I degenerate-universal primer pair was designed and validated for the developed assay. The 12 sample types, which included bone, horn, feces, and urine, were amplified successfully by the assay using a pre-direct PCR dilution protocol. The average amplification success rate was as high as 92.5 % (n = 350), with an average PCR product concentration of 220.71 ± 180.84 ng/μL. Differences in amplification success rate and PCR product quantity between sample types were observed; however, most samples provided high quality sequences, permitting a 100 % nucleotide similarity to their respective species via BLAST database queries. The combination of PBS and Phire(®) Hot Start II DNA polymerase gave comparable amplification success rate and amplicon quantity with the proprietary commercial kits (P > 0.05, n = 350) but at considerably lower cost. The stability of the assay was tested by successfully amplifying samples that had been stored for up to 12 months. Our data indicate that this low-cost two-step direct amplification assay has the potential to be a valuable tool for the forensic DNA community.

  1. Forensic identification science evidence since Daubert: Part I--A quantitative analysis of the exclusion of forensic identification science evidence.

    PubMed

    Page, Mark; Taylor, Jane; Blenkin, Matt

    2011-09-01

    The U.S. Supreme Court decisions in Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals Inc. and Kumho Tire Co. Ltd. v. Carmichael transformed the way scientific expert evidence was reviewed in courts across the United States. To gauge the impact of these rulings on the admission of forensic identification evidence, the authors analyzed 548 judicial opinions from cases where admission of such evidence was challenged. Eighty-one cases (15%) involved exclusion or limitation of identification evidence, with 50 (65.7%) of these failing to meet the "reliability" threshold. This was largely because of a failure to demonstrate a sufficient scientific foundation for either the technique (27 cases) or the expert's conclusions (17 cases). The incidence of exclusion/limitation because of a lack of demonstrable reliability suggests that there is a continuing need for the forensic sciences to pursue research validating their underlying theories and techniques of identification to ensure their continued acceptance by the courts.

  2. [The analysis of the subject-matter and the structure of scientific articles related to forensic biology published in the journal "Sudebno-meditsinskaya ekspertiza (Forensic Medical Expertise)" in 1960-2010].

    PubMed

    Gusarov, A A; Shigeev, S V; Fetisov, V A

    2015-01-01

    This paper reports the results of the analysis of the subject-matter and the structure of scientific articles related to forensic biology published in the journal "Sudebno-meditsinskaya ekspertiza" over the period from 1960 till 2010. The sceintometric analysis made it possible to distinguish the main avenues along which forensic biology developed during its most productive period. The results of this analytical study have provided in the summarized form the entire spectrum of the main trends in the forensic biology throughout the half-century period.

  3. Enhanced genetic analysis of single human bioparticles recovered by simplified micromanipulation from forensic 'touch DNA' evidence.

    PubMed

    Farash, Katherine; Hanson, Erin K; Ballantyne, Jack

    2015-03-09

    DNA profiles can be obtained from 'touch DNA' evidence, which comprises microscopic traces of human biological material. Current methods for the recovery of trace DNA employ cotton swabs or adhesive tape to sample an area of interest. However, such a 'blind-swabbing' approach will co-sample cellular material from the different individuals, even if the individuals' cells are located in geographically distinct locations on the item. Thus, some of the DNA mixtures encountered in touch DNA samples are artificially created by the swabbing itself. In some instances, a victim's DNA may be found in significant excess thus masking any potential perpetrator's DNA. In order to circumvent the challenges with standard recovery and analysis methods, we have developed a lower cost, 'smart analysis' method that results in enhanced genetic analysis of touch DNA evidence. We describe an optimized and efficient micromanipulation recovery strategy for the collection of bio-particles present in touch DNA samples, as well as an enhanced amplification strategy involving a one-step 5 µl microvolume lysis/STR amplification to permit the recovery of STR profiles from the bio-particle donor(s). The use of individual or few (i.e., "clumps") bioparticles results in the ability to obtain single source profiles. These procedures represent alternative enhanced techniques for the isolation and analysis of single bioparticles from forensic touch DNA evidence. While not necessary in every forensic investigation, the method could be highly beneficial for the recovery of a single source perpetrator DNA profile in cases involving physical assault (e.g., strangulation) that may not be possible using standard analysis techniques. Additionally, the strategies developed here offer an opportunity to obtain genetic information at the single cell level from a variety of other non-forensic trace biological material.

  4. Forensic DNA typing in China.

    PubMed

    Hou, Y P

    2009-04-01

    In the field of forensic genetics, essential developmental impulses come from the advances of the molecular biology and human genome projects. This paper overviews existing technologies for forensic genetics in China and gives a perspective of forensic DNA analysis. In China, work has been done in the development of blood group serology of the conventional markers. Forensic scientists in China also contributed to the progress of DNA analysis by the validation of numerous test methods and by optimization of these methods. During these years, forensic DNA analysis in China has experienced tremendous progress towards development of robust, efficient and precise protocols, including the development of short tandem repeat analysis, mitochondrial DNA and Y-chromosome analysis. Forensic scientists are constantly looking for new methods to further improve DNA typing. Therefore, this paper also focuses on emerging new technologies in China, which represent an interest for forensic genetics.

  5. State of the art in risk analysis of workforce criticality influencing disaster preparedness for interdependent systems.

    PubMed

    Santos, Joost R; Herrera, Lucia Castro; Yu, Krista Danielle S; Pagsuyoin, Sheree Ann T; Tan, Raymond R

    2014-06-01

    The objective of this article is to discuss a needed paradigm shift in disaster risk analysis to emphasize the role of the workforce in managing the recovery of interdependent infrastructure and economic systems. Much of the work that has been done on disaster risk analysis has focused primarily on preparedness and recovery strategies for disrupted infrastructure systems. The reliability of systems such as transportation, electric power, and telecommunications is crucial in sustaining business processes, supply chains, and regional livelihoods, as well as ensuring the availability of vital services in the aftermath of disasters. There has been a growing momentum in recognizing workforce criticality in the aftermath of disasters; nevertheless, significant gaps still remain in modeling, assessing, and managing workforce disruptions and their associated ripple effects to other interdependent systems. The workforce plays a pivotal role in ensuring that a disrupted region continues to function and subsequently recover from the adverse effects of disasters. With this in mind, this article presents a review of recent studies that have underscored the criticality of workforce sectors in formulating synergistic preparedness and recovery policies for interdependent infrastructure and regional economic systems. PMID:24593287

  6. State of the art in risk analysis of workforce criticality influencing disaster preparedness for interdependent systems.

    PubMed

    Santos, Joost R; Herrera, Lucia Castro; Yu, Krista Danielle S; Pagsuyoin, Sheree Ann T; Tan, Raymond R

    2014-06-01

    The objective of this article is to discuss a needed paradigm shift in disaster risk analysis to emphasize the role of the workforce in managing the recovery of interdependent infrastructure and economic systems. Much of the work that has been done on disaster risk analysis has focused primarily on preparedness and recovery strategies for disrupted infrastructure systems. The reliability of systems such as transportation, electric power, and telecommunications is crucial in sustaining business processes, supply chains, and regional livelihoods, as well as ensuring the availability of vital services in the aftermath of disasters. There has been a growing momentum in recognizing workforce criticality in the aftermath of disasters; nevertheless, significant gaps still remain in modeling, assessing, and managing workforce disruptions and their associated ripple effects to other interdependent systems. The workforce plays a pivotal role in ensuring that a disrupted region continues to function and subsequently recover from the adverse effects of disasters. With this in mind, this article presents a review of recent studies that have underscored the criticality of workforce sectors in formulating synergistic preparedness and recovery policies for interdependent infrastructure and regional economic systems.

  7. Comparative evaluation of different extraction and quantification methods for forensic RNA analysis.

    PubMed

    Grabmüller, Melanie; Madea, Burkhard; Courts, Cornelius

    2015-05-01

    Since about 2005, there is increasing interest in forensic RNA analysis whose versatility may very favorably complement traditional DNA profiling in forensic casework. There is, however, no method available specifically dedicated for extraction of RNA from forensically relevant sample material. In this study we compared five commercially available and commonly used RNA extraction kits and methods (mirVana™ miRNA Isolation Kit Ambion; Trizol® Reagent, Invitrogen; NucleoSpin® miRNA Kit Macherey-Nagel; AllPrep DNA/RNA Mini Kit and RNeasy® Mini Kit both Qiagen) to assess their relative effectiveness of yielding RNA of good quality and their compatibility with co-extraction of DNA amenable to STR profiling. We set up samples of small amounts of dried blood, liquid saliva, semen and buccal mucosa that were aged for different time intervals for co-extraction of RNA and DNA. RNA quality was assessed by determination of 'RNA integrity number' (RIN) and quantitative PCR based expression analysis. DNA quality was assessed via monitoring STR typing success rates. By comparison, the different methods exhibited considerable differences between RNA and DNA yields, RNA quality values and expression levels, and STR profiling success, with the AllPrep DNA/RNA Mini Kit and the NucleoSpin® miRNA Kit excelling at DNA co-extraction and RNA results, respectively. Overall, there was no 'best' method to satisfy all demands of comprehensible co-analysis of RNA and DNA and it appears that each method has specific merits and flaws. We recommend to cautiously choose from available methods and align its characteristics with the needs of the experimental setting at hand.

  8. Discriminant analysis of Raman spectra for body fluid identification for forensic purposes.

    PubMed

    Sikirzhytski, Vitali; Virkler, Kelly; Lednev, Igor K

    2010-01-01

    Detection and identification of blood, semen and saliva stains, the most common body fluids encountered at a crime scene, are very important aspects of forensic science today. This study targets the development of a nondestructive, confirmatory method for body fluid identification based on Raman spectroscopy coupled with advanced statistical analysis. Dry traces of blood, semen and saliva obtained from multiple donors were probed using a confocal Raman microscope with a 785-nm excitation wavelength under controlled laboratory conditions. Results demonstrated the capability of Raman spectroscopy to identify an unknown substance to be semen, blood or saliva with high confidence.

  9. Critical review of forensic trace evidence analysis and the need for a new approach.

    PubMed

    Stoney, David A; Stoney, Paul L

    2015-06-01

    The historical development, contributions and limitations of the two traditional approaches to trace evidence analysis are reviewed. The first approach was as generalist practitioner, looking broadly at an assemblage of many different particle types. The second was that of specialist practitioner, with attention focused on one specific particle type. Four factors have significantly impacted the effectiveness of these approaches: (1) increasing technological capabilities, (2) increasing complexity in the character of manufactured materials, (3) changes in forensic laboratory management, and (4) changing scientific and legal expectations. The effectiveness of each approach is assessed within the context of these changes. More recently, new technologies have been applied to some trace evidence problems, intended to address one or more limitations. This has led to a third approach founded on discrete, highly technical methods addressing specific analytical problems. After evaluating the contributions and limitations of this third approach, we consider the different ways that technologies could be developed to address unmet needs in forensic trace evidence analysis. The route toward effective use of new technologies is contrasted with how forensic science laboratories are currently choosing and employing them. The conclusion is that although new technologies are contributing, we are not on a path that will result in their most effective and appropriate use. A new approach is required. Based on an analysis of the contributions of each of the three exisiting approaches, seven characteristics of an effective trace evidence analysis capability were determined: (1) particle traces should be a major problem-solving tool, (2) there should be readily available, straightforward methods to enable their use, (3) all available and potentially useful particle types should be considered, (4) decisions to use them should be made in the context of each case, guided by what they can

  10. Advanced Signal Analysis for Forensic Applications of Ground Penetrating Radar

    SciTech Connect

    Steven Koppenjan; Matthew Streeton; Hua Lee; Michael Lee; Sashi Ono

    2004-06-01

    Ground penetrating radar (GPR) systems have traditionally been used to image subsurface objects. The main focus of this paper is to evaluate an advanced signal analysis technique. Instead of compiling spatial data for the analysis, this technique conducts object recognition procedures based on spectral statistics. The identification feature of an object type is formed from the training vectors by a singular-value decomposition procedure. To illustrate its capability, this procedure is applied to experimental data and compared to the performance of the neural-network approach.

  11. Frequency spectrum method-based stress analysis for oil pipelines in earthquake disaster areas.

    PubMed

    Wu, Xiaonan; Lu, Hongfang; Huang, Kun; Wu, Shijuan; Qiao, Weibiao

    2015-01-01

    When a long distance oil pipeline crosses an earthquake disaster area, inertial force and strong ground motion can cause the pipeline stress to exceed the failure limit, resulting in bending and deformation failure. To date, researchers have performed limited safety analyses of oil pipelines in earthquake disaster areas that include stress analysis. Therefore, using the spectrum method and theory of one-dimensional beam units, CAESAR II is used to perform a dynamic earthquake analysis for an oil pipeline in the XX earthquake disaster area. This software is used to determine if the displacement and stress of the pipeline meet the standards when subjected to a strong earthquake. After performing the numerical analysis, the primary seismic action axial, longitudinal and horizontal displacement directions and the critical section of the pipeline can be located. Feasible project enhancement suggestions based on the analysis results are proposed. The designer is able to utilize this stress analysis method to perform an ultimate design for an oil pipeline in earthquake disaster areas; therefore, improving the safe operation of the pipeline.

  12. Frequency Spectrum Method-Based Stress Analysis for Oil Pipelines in Earthquake Disaster Areas

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Xiaonan; Lu, Hongfang; Huang, Kun; Wu, Shijuan; Qiao, Weibiao

    2015-01-01

    When a long distance oil pipeline crosses an earthquake disaster area, inertial force and strong ground motion can cause the pipeline stress to exceed the failure limit, resulting in bending and deformation failure. To date, researchers have performed limited safety analyses of oil pipelines in earthquake disaster areas that include stress analysis. Therefore, using the spectrum method and theory of one-dimensional beam units, CAESAR II is used to perform a dynamic earthquake analysis for an oil pipeline in the XX earthquake disaster area. This software is used to determine if the displacement and stress of the pipeline meet the standards when subjected to a strong earthquake. After performing the numerical analysis, the primary seismic action axial, longitudinal and horizontal displacement directions and the critical section of the pipeline can be located. Feasible project enhancement suggestions based on the analysis results are proposed. The designer is able to utilize this stress analysis method to perform an ultimate design for an oil pipeline in earthquake disaster areas; therefore, improving the safe operation of the pipeline. PMID:25692790

  13. [Analysis of genetic diversity of the mitochondrial DNA in the forensic medical expert identification of individuals].

    PubMed

    Ivanov, P L; Orekhov, V A; Frolova, S A; Zemskova, E Iu; Solov'eva, N O; Bin'ko, I A

    2003-01-01

    Spectra of haplotype frequencies were studied for locuses of hypervariable segments 1 and 2 (HVS1 and HVS2), separately for each, and for linked segment HVS1-HVS2. The obtained data were used to determine the values and to evaluate comparatively the discriminating characteristics of the corresponding individualizing systems based on the typing of mtDNA. The system of typing, based on HVS2 (mv = 0.098), was found to possess the least discriminating potential; while the highest information rate is ensured in the analysis of HVS1 (m omega = 0.02) and in the joint analysis of HVS1 and HVS2 (mw = 0.007). The frequency rates of the key haplogroups were estimated within a random sampling of Russian citizens. A random population sampling of Russian citizens was shown not to differ essentially from an ethnically homogeneous population sampling of Russians selected with regard for a genetic diversity and for a spectrum of mitochondrial lines. The results point at the most rational algorithm of examinations in a forensic expert's analysis of mtDNA. The studied sampling can trigger the development of a referential data base designed for conducting, in the Russian Federation, the forensic-medical expert's examinations based on the mtDNA typing.

  14. Nuclear forensic analysis of uranium oxide powders interdicted in Victoria, Australia

    DOE PAGES

    Kristo, Michael Joseph; Keegan, Elizabeth; Colella, Michael; Williams, Ross; Lindvall, Rachel; Eppich, Gary; Roberts, Sarah; Borg, Lars; Gaffney, Amy; Plaue, Jonathan; et al

    2015-04-13

    Nuclear forensic analysis was conducted on two uranium samples confiscated during a police investigation in Victoria, Australia. The first sample, designated NSR-F-270409-1, was a depleted uranium powder of moderate purity (~1000 μg/g total elemental impurities). The chemical form of the uranium was a compound similar to K2(UO2)3O4·4H2O. While aliquoting NSR-F-270409-1 for analysis, the body and head of a Tineid moth was discovered in the sample. The second sample, designated NSR-F-270409-2, was also a depleted uranium powder. It was of reasonably high purity (~380 μg/g total elemental impurities). The chemical form of the uranium was primarily UO3·2H2O, with minor phases ofmore » U3O8 and UO2. While aliquoting NSR-F-270409-2 for analysis, a metal staple of unknown origin was discovered in the sample. The presence of 236U and 232U in both samples indicates that the uranium feed stocks for these samples experienced a neutron flux at some point in their history. The reactor burn-up calculated from the isotopic composition of the uranium is consistent with that of spent fuel from natural uranium (NU) fueled Pu production. These nuclear forensic conclusions allow us to categorically exclude Australia as the origin of the material and greatly reduce the number of candidate sources.« less

  15. 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)

  16. [Analysis of criminal acts and forensic evaluation of psychiatric deviance].

    PubMed

    Janzarik, W

    2000-03-01

    The psycho-scientific diagnosis transposed to legal terms defines and limits the extent of the psychic disturbances that have to be considered in the test of criminal responsibility. The analysis of the criminal act that has to be carried out on this basis is of decisive importance. It must place particular emphasis on the automatic nature of structural orientations and their regulation by de-actualization. The psychopathological reference system proposed by Sass can be used to measure the severity of psychic deviance ("abnormality")--the different forms its manifestation can take are treated separately in detail--against acute psychosis and against delusion as two basic patterns of psychopathology. If a severe abnormality is confirmed the analysis of the offence that has to be undertaken independently of psychopathological comparisons must be centred on orientations that are contrary to automatically criminal action. These can be respected or overcome by decisions for which the perpetrator can bear the responsibility, or restricted or negated by psychic impairment. Before the author's concluding remarks on the place of such considerations in the enforcement of disciplinary proceedings, some examples of severe psychic abnormality are treated in detail. They are found more frequently in sexual offenders and those involved in drug-related crimes than in other groups of offenders.

  17. Differentiation of five body fluids from forensic samples by expression analysis of four microRNAs using quantitative PCR.

    PubMed

    Sauer, Eva; Reinke, Ann-Kathrin; Courts, Cornelius

    2016-05-01

    Applying molecular genetic approaches for the identification of forensically relevant body fluids, which often yield crucial information for the reconstruction of a potential crime, is a current topic of forensic research. Due to their body fluid specific expression patterns and stability against degradation, microRNAs (miRNA) emerged as a promising molecular species, with a range of candidate markers published. The analysis of miRNA via quantitative Real-Time PCR, however, should be based on a relevant strategy of normalization of non-biological variances to deliver reliable and biologically meaningful results. The herein presented work is the as yet most comprehensive study of forensic body fluid identification via miRNA expression analysis based on a thoroughly validated qPCR procedure and unbiased statistical decision making to identify single source samples.

  18. The relationship of forensic odontology with various dental specialties in the articles published in the Journal of Forensic odonto-stomatology from 2005 to 2012

    PubMed Central

    Shamim, Thorakkal

    2015-01-01

    Background: There is a paucity of information about the relationship of forensic odontology with various dental specialties in the articles published in the Journal of Forensic Odonto-Stomatology. This study aimed to find the relationship of forensic odontology with various dental specialties in the articles published in the Journal of Forensic Odonto-Stomatology from 2005 to 2012 over an 8-year period. Methods: Bibliometric analysis was performed using web-based search during December 2013. Results: Out of the total 97 published articles, the maximum number of published articles were related to oral medicine and radiology (20) and community dentistry (20), followed by orthodontics (18), prosthodontics (15), and oral pathology and microbiology (8), pedodontics (7), oral and maxillofacial surgery (4) and conservative dentistry and endodontics (3). Among the articles published in Journal of Forensic Odonto-Stomatology, mass disasters (10) and bite mark analysis (10), followed by sexual dimorphism (8) and dental fraud and malpractice (8), followed by craniofacial superimposition (6) and identification (6) form the major attraction of the contributors. Conclusion: This paper has tried to evaluate the new working classification proposed for forensic odontology based on its relationship with other dental specialties. PMID:26097336

  19. Forensic Archaeological Recovery of a Large-Scale Mass Disaster Scene: Lessons Learned from Two Complex Recovery Operations at the World Trade Center Site.

    PubMed

    Warnasch, Scott C

    2016-05-01

    In 2006, unexpected discoveries of buried World Trade Center (WTC) debris and human remains were made at the World Trade Center mass disaster site. New York City's Office of Chief Medical Examiner (OCME) was given the task of systematically searching the site for any remaining victims' remains. The subsequent OCME assessment and archaeological excavation conducted from 2006 until 2013, resulted in the recovery of over 1,900 victims' remains. In addition, this operation demonstrated the essential skills archaeologists can provide in a mass disaster recovery operation. The OCME excavation data illustrates some of the challenges encountered during the original recovery effort of 2001/2002. It suggests that when understood within the larger site recovery context, certain fundamental components of the original recovery effort, such as operational priorities and activities in effect during the original recovery, directly or indirectly resulted in unsearched deposits that contained human remains.

  20. Differential Power Analysis as a digital forensic tool.

    PubMed

    Souvignet, T; Frinken, J

    2013-07-10

    Electronic payment fraud is considered a serious international crime by Europol. An important part of this fraud comes from payment card data skimming. This type of fraud consists of an illegal acquisition of payment card details when a user is withdrawing cash at an automated teller machine (ATM) or paying at a point of sale (POS). Modern skimming devices, also known as skimmers, use secure crypto-algorithms (e.g. Advanced Encryption Standard (AES)) to protect skimmed data stored within their memory. In order to provide digital evidence in criminal cases involving skimmers, law enforcement agencies (LEAs) must retrieve the plaintext skimmed data, generally without having knowledge of the secret key. This article proposes an alternative to the current solution at the Bundeskriminalamt (BKA) to reveal the secret key. The proposed solution is non-invasive, based on Power Analysis Attack (PAA). This article first describes the structure and the behaviour of an AES skimmer, followed by the proposal of the full operational PAA process, from power measurements to attack computation. Finally, it presents results obtained in several cases, explaining the latest improvements and providing some ideas for further developments. PMID:23623248

  1. DNA degradation and genetic analysis of empty puparia: genetic identification limits in forensic entomology.

    PubMed

    Mazzanti, Morena; Alessandrini, Federica; Tagliabracci, Adriano; Wells, Jeffrey D; Campobasso, Carlo P

    2010-02-25

    Puparial cases are common remnants of necrophagous flies in crime investigations. They usually represent the longest developmental time and, therefore, they can be very useful for the estimation of the post-mortem interval (PMI). However, before any PMI estimate, it is crucial to identify the species of fly eclosed from each puparium associated with the corpse. Morphological characteristics of the puparium are often distinctive enough to permit a species identification. But, even an accurate morphological analysis of empty puparia cannot discriminate among different species of closely related flies. Furthermore, morphological identification may be impossible if the fly puparia are poorly preserved or in fragments. This study explores the applicability of biomolecular techniques on empty puparia and their fragments for identification purposes. A total of 63 empty puparia of necrophagous Diptera resulting from forensic casework were examined. Samples were divided into three groups according to size, type and time of eclosion in order to verify whether the physical characteristics and puparia weathering can influence the amount of DNA extraction. The results suggest that a reliable genetic identification of forensically important flies may also be performed from empty puparia and/or their fragments. However, DNA degradation can deeply compromise the genetic analysis since the older the fly puparia, the smaller are the amplified fragments.

  2. Population studies of 17 equine STR for forensic and phylogenetic analysis.

    PubMed

    van de Goor, L H P; van Haeringen, W A; Lenstra, J A

    2011-12-01

    As a consequence of the close integration of horses into human society, equine DNA analysis has become relevant for forensic purposes. However, the information content of the equine Short Tandem Repeat (STR) loci commonly used for the identification or paternity testing has so far not been fully characterized. Population studies were performed for 17 polymorphic STR loci (AHT4, AHT5, ASB2, ASB17, ASB23, CA425, HMS1, HMS2, HMS3, HMS6, HMS7, HTG4, HTG6, HTG7, HTG10, LEX3 and VHL20) including 8641 horses representing 35 populations. The power of parental exclusion, polymorphic information content, expected and observed heterozygosity and probability of identity were calculated, showing that the set of 17 STRs has sufficient discriminating power for forensic analysis in almost all breeds. We also explored the reliability of individual assignment tests in identifying the correct breeds of origin for unknown samples. The overall proportion of individuals correctly assigned to a population was 97.2%. Finally, we demonstrate the phylogenetic signal of the 17 STR. We found three clusters of related breeds: (i) the cold-blooded draught breeds Haflinger, Dutch draft and Friesian; (ii) the pony breeds Shetland and Miniature horse with the Falabella, Appaloosa and Icelandic; and (iii) The Warmblood riding breeds, together with the hot-blooded Standard-bred, Thoroughbred and Arabian. PMID:22035004

  3. The development of a tool for assessing the quality of closed circuit camera footage for use in forensic gait analysis.

    PubMed

    Birch, Ivan; Vernon, Wesley; Walker, Jeremy; Saxelby, Jai

    2013-10-01

    Gait analysis from closed circuit camera footage is now commonly used as evidence in criminal trials. The biomechanical analysis of human gait is a well established science in both clinical and laboratory settings. However, closed circuit camera footage is rarely of the quality of that taken in the more controlled clinical and laboratory environments. The less than ideal quality of much of this footage for use in gait analysis is associated with a range of issues, the combination of which can often render the footage unsuitable for use in gait analysis. The aim of this piece of work was to develop a tool for assessing the suitability of closed circuit camera footage for the purpose of forensic gait analysis. A Delphi technique was employed with a small sample of expert forensic gait analysis practitioners, to identify key quality elements of CCTV footage used in legal proceedings. Five elements of the footage were identified and then subdivided into 15 contributing sub-elements, each of which was scored using a 5-point Likert scale. A Microsoft Excel worksheet was developed to calculate automatically an overall score from the fifteen sub-element scores. Five expert witnesses experienced in using CCTV footage for gait analysis then trialled the prototype tool on current case footage. A repeatability study was also undertaken using standardized CCTV footage. The results showed the tool to be a simple and repeatable means of assessing the suitability of closed circuit camera footage for use in forensic gait analysis. The inappropriate use of poor quality footage could lead to challenges to the practice of forensic gait analysis. All parties involved in criminal proceedings must therefore understand the fitness for purpose of any footage used. The development of this tool could offer a method of achieving this goal, and help to assure the continued role of forensic gait analysis as an aid to the identification process.

  4. 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.

  5. The Engagement of Academic Institutions in Community Disaster Response: A Comparative Analysis

    PubMed Central

    Dunlop, Anne L.; Logue, Kristi M.

    2014-01-01

    Objective Using comparative analysis, we examined the factors that influence the engagement of academic institutions in community disaster response. Methods We identified colleges and universities located in counties affected by four Federal Emergency Management Agency-declared disasters (Kentucky ice storms, Hurricanes Ike and Gustav, California wildfires, and the Columbia space shuttle disintegration) and performed key informant interviews with officials from public health, emergency management, and academic institutions in those counties. We used a comparative case study approach to explore particular resources provided by academic institutions, processes for engagement, and reasons for engagement or lack thereof in the community disaster response. Results Academic institutions contribute a broad range of resources to community disaster response. Their involvement and the extent of their engagement is variable and influenced by (1) their resources, (2) preexisting relationships with public health and emergency management organizations, (3) the structure and organizational placement of the school's disaster planning and response office, and (4) perceptions of liability and lines of authority. Facilitators of engagement include (1) the availability of faculty expertise or special training programs, (2) academic staff presence on public health and emergency management planning boards, (3) faculty contracts and student practica, (4) incident command system or emergency operations training of academic staff, and (5) the existence of mutual aid or memoranda of agreements. Conclusion While a range of relationships exist between academic institutions that engage with public health and emergency management agencies in community disaster response, recurrent win-win themes include co-appointed faculty and staff; field experience opportunities for students; and shared planning and training for academic, public health, and emergency management personnel. PMID:25355979

  6. Characterization and forensic analysis of soil samples using laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS).

    PubMed

    Jantzi, Sarah C; Almirall, José R

    2011-07-01

    A method for the quantitative elemental analysis of surface soil samples using laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) was developed and applied to the analysis of bulk soil samples for discrimination between specimens. The use of a 266 nm laser for LIBS analysis is reported for the first time in forensic soil analysis. Optimization of the LIBS method is discussed, and the results compared favorably to a laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS) method previously developed. Precision for both methods was <10% for most elements. LIBS limits of detection were <33 ppm and bias <40% for most elements. In a proof of principle study, the LIBS method successfully discriminated samples from two different sites in Dade County, FL. Analysis of variance, Tukey's post hoc test and Student's t test resulted in 100% discrimination with no type I or type II errors. Principal components analysis (PCA) resulted in clear groupings of the two sites. A correct classification rate of 99.4% was obtained with linear discriminant analysis using leave-one-out validation. Similar results were obtained when the same samples were analyzed by LA-ICP-MS, showing that LIBS can provide similar information to LA-ICP-MS. In a forensic sampling/spatial heterogeneity study, the variation between sites, between sub-plots, between samples and within samples was examined on three similar Dade sites. The closer the sampling locations, the closer the grouping on a PCA plot and the higher the misclassification rate. These results underscore the importance of careful sampling for geographic site characterization.

  7. A new triplex STR system without irregular alleles by silver staining and its potential application to forensic analysis.

    PubMed

    Yoshimoto, T; Yamamoto, T; Uchihi, R; Tamaki, K; Huang, X L; Mizutani, M; Tanaka, M; Armour, J A; Katsumata, Y

    2001-05-01

    In order to increase the discriminating power of DNA analysis in forensic science, we devised a new triplex STR system using three novel STR loci we previously reported, D14S299 (wglc5), D15S233 (wgldl), and 9q2h2. We designated this system a CDH triplex system. The CDH triplex system showed a high discriminating power, especially in Caucasians. This system is composed of three STR loci showing only regular tetranucleotide repeat alleles. We easily enlarged the databases mainly of Japanese, using this system, and compared them with those of Caucasian and Chinese. This CDH triplex system therefore appears to be useful for forensic practice. PMID:11372981

  8. Comparison of DNA polymerases for improved forensic analysis of challenging samples.

    PubMed

    Nilsson, Martina; Grånemo, Joakim; Buś, Magdalena M; Havsjö, Mikael; Allen, Marie

    2016-09-01

    Inhibitors of polymerase chain reaction (PCR) amplification often present a challenge in forensic investigations of e.g., terrorism, missing persons, sexual assaults and other criminal cases. Such inhibitors may be counteracted by dilution of the DNA extract, using different additives, and selecting an inhibitory resistant DNA polymerase. Additionally, DNA in forensic samples is often present in limited amounts and degraded, requiring special analyses of short nuclear targets or mitochondrial DNA. The present study evaluated the enzymes AmpliTaq Gold, HotStarTaq Plus, KAPA3G Plant, and KAPA2G Robust, with regard to their ability to overcome inhibitory effects. Our data showed that diluting the extracts and adding bovine serum albumin may increase the yield of the PCR product. However, the largest impact was observed when alternative enzymes were utilized, instead of the commonly used AmpliTaq Gold. KAPA2G Robust presented the highest amplification efficiency in the presence of the inhibitor ammonium nitrate. Moreover, the KAPA3G Plant enzyme had the highest efficiency in amplifying degraded DNA from old buried bone material. KAPA3G Plant and KAPA2G Robust may thus be useful for counteracting inhibitors and improving the analysis of challenging samples.

  9. Characterization/Selection of a Continuous Wave Laser for RIMS Analysis in Nuclear Forensics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lau, Sunny; Alves, F.; Karunasiri, G.; Smith, C.; Isselhardt, B.

    2015-03-01

    The effort to implement the technology of resonance ionization mass spectroscopy (RIMS) to problems of nuclear forensics involves the use of multiple lasers to selectively ionize the elements of concern. While current systems incorporate pulsed lasers, we present the results of a feasibility study to determine alternative (Continuous Wave) laser technologies to be employed for analysis of the actinides and fission products of debris from a nuclear detonation. RIMS has the potential to provide rapid isotope ratio quantification of the actinides and important fission products for post detonation nuclear forensics. The current approach to ionize uranium and plutonium uses three Ti-Sapphire pulsed lasers capable of a fundamental wavelength range of 700-1000 nm. In this work, we describe the use of a COTS CW laser to replace one of the pulsed lasers used for the second resonance excitation step of plutonium near 847.282 nm. We characterize the critical laser parameters necessary to achieve high precision isotope ratio measurements including the stability over time of the mean wavelength, bandwidth and spectral mode purity. This far narrower bandwidth laser provides a simpler setup, more robust hardware (greater mobility), and more efficient use of laser irradiance.

  10. Forensic analysis of polymorphism and regional stratification of Y-chromosomal microsatellites in Belarus.

    PubMed

    Rebała, Krzysztof; Tsybovsky, Iosif S; Bogacheva, Anna V; Kotova, Svetlana A; Mikulich, Alexei I; Szczerkowska, Zofia

    2011-01-01

    Nine loci defining minimal haplotypes and four other Y-chromosomal short tandem repeats (Y-STRs) DYS437, DYS438, DYS439 and GATA H4.1 were analysed in 414 unrelated males residing in four regions of Belarus. Haplotypes of 328 males were further extended by 7 additional Y-STRs: DYS388, DYS426, DYS448, DYS456, DYS458, DYS460 and DYS635. The 13-locus haplotype diversity was 0.9978 and discrimination capacity was 78.7%, indicating presence of identical haplotypes among unrelated males. Seven additional Y-STRs enabled almost complete discrimination of undifferentiated 13-locus haplotypes, increasing haplotype diversity to 0.9998 and discrimination capacity to 97.9%. Analysis of molecular variance of minimal haplotypes excluded the use of a Y-STR database for Belarusians residing in northeastern Poland as representative for the Belarusian population in forensic practice, and revealed regional stratification within the country. However, four additional markers (DYS437, DYS438, DYS439 and GATA H4.1) were shown to eliminate the observed geographical substructure among Belarusian males. The results imply that in case of minimal and PowerPlex Y haplotypes, a separate frequency database should be used for northern Belarus to estimate Y-STR profile frequencies in forensic casework. In case of Yfiler haplotypes, regional stratification within Belarus may be neglected.

  11. Comparison of DNA polymerases for improved forensic analysis of challenging samples.

    PubMed

    Nilsson, Martina; Grånemo, Joakim; Buś, Magdalena M; Havsjö, Mikael; Allen, Marie

    2016-09-01

    Inhibitors of polymerase chain reaction (PCR) amplification often present a challenge in forensic investigations of e.g., terrorism, missing persons, sexual assaults and other criminal cases. Such inhibitors may be counteracted by dilution of the DNA extract, using different additives, and selecting an inhibitory resistant DNA polymerase. Additionally, DNA in forensic samples is often present in limited amounts and degraded, requiring special analyses of short nuclear targets or mitochondrial DNA. The present study evaluated the enzymes AmpliTaq Gold, HotStarTaq Plus, KAPA3G Plant, and KAPA2G Robust, with regard to their ability to overcome inhibitory effects. Our data showed that diluting the extracts and adding bovine serum albumin may increase the yield of the PCR product. However, the largest impact was observed when alternative enzymes were utilized, instead of the commonly used AmpliTaq Gold. KAPA2G Robust presented the highest amplification efficiency in the presence of the inhibitor ammonium nitrate. Moreover, the KAPA3G Plant enzyme had the highest efficiency in amplifying degraded DNA from old buried bone material. KAPA3G Plant and KAPA2G Robust may thus be useful for counteracting inhibitors and improving the analysis of challenging samples. PMID:27299290

  12. Assessment of palatal rugae pattern and their reproducibility for application in forensic analysis

    PubMed Central

    Shetty, Divya; Juneja, Achint; Jain, Anshi; Khanna, Kaveri Surya; Pruthi, Neha; Gupta, Amit; Chowdhary, Meenakshi

    2013-01-01

    Background: Rugae are the anatomical folds that are located on the anterior third of palate behind the incisive papillae. They are also known as “Plica palatine,” and the study of these patterns is called palatoscopy. It can be used in various fields such as sex determination, orthodontics and forensic odontology. Objective: To investigate palatal rugae patterns in females and males and to evaluate the stability of these patterns in pre- and post-operative orthodontic cases. Materials and Methods: Fifty patients were selected for this study (25 males and 25 females). From the above sample, 10 males and 10 females had undergone orthodontic treatment and their casts were retrieved for sex determination analysis and stability of rugae patterns pre- and post-treatment. Results: Changes occur in bony structures during fixed orthodontic treatment but rugae patterns remain stable. Kappa stats and Chi square test were used to analyze agreement between the two evaluators, and 95% correct matches were achieved. Conclusion: Palatal rugae are unique to every individual and can be used as an indicator in forensic odontology. PMID:24255558

  13. The Central European Flood in June 2013: Experiences from a Near-Real Time Disaster Analysis in Germany

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schröter, Kai; Khazai, Bijan; Mühr, Bernhard; Elmer, Florian; Bessel, Tina; Möhrle, Stella; Dittrich, André; Kreibich, Heidi; Fohringer, Joachim; Kunz-Plapp, Tina; Trieselmann, Werner; Kunz, Michael; Merz, Bruno

    2014-05-01

    The central European flood in June 2013 once again revealed that complete flood protection is not possible. Inundations caused severe damage to buildings, infrastructure and agricultural lands. Official estimates of total damage in Germany amount to approx. 8bn € which is lower than the damage caused by the August 2002 flood - the most expensive natural hazard experienced so far in Germany. Repeated and long lasting precipitation in combination with extremely adverse preconditions induced a large scale flood event. In Germany, particularly the catchment areas of the Danube and Elbe were affected. The June 2013 flood has been the most severe flood event in terms of spatial extent and magnitude of flood peaks in Germany during the last 60 years. Large scale inundation occurred as a consequence of levee breaches near Deggendorf (Danube), Groß Rosenau and Fischbeck (Elbe). The flood has had a great impact on people, transportation and the economy. In many areas more than 50,000 thousand people were evacuated. Electrical grid and local water supply utilities failed during the floods. Furthermore, traffic was disrupted in the interregional transportation network including federal highways and long distance railways. CEDIM analysed and assessed the flood event within its current research activity on near real time forensic disaster analysis (CEDIM FDA: www.cedim.de). This contribution gives an overview about the CEDIM FDA analyses' results. It describes the key hydro-meteorological factors that triggered this extraordinary event and draws comparisons to major flood events in August 2002 and July 1954. Further, it shows the outcomes of a rapid initial impact assessment on the district level using social, economic and institutional indicators which are supplemented with information on the number of people evacuated and transportation disruptions and combined with the magnitude of the event.

  14. The Potential of Cosmetic Applicators as a Source of DNA for Forensic Analysis.

    PubMed

    Adamowicz, Michael S; Labonte, Renáe D; Schienman, John E

    2015-07-01

    Personal products, such as toothbrushes, have been used as both known reference and evidentiary samples for forensic DNA analysis. This study examined the viability of a broad selection of cosmetic applicators for use as targets for human DNA extraction and short tandem repeat (STR) analysis using standard polymerase chain reaction (PCR) conditions. Applicator types included eyeliner smudgers, pencils and crayons, eye shadow sponges, mascara wands, concealer wands, face makeup sponges, pads and brushes, lipsticks and balms, and lip gloss wands. The quantity and quality of DNA extracted from each type of applicator were examined by assessing the number of loci successfully amplified and the peak balance of the heterozygous alleles in each full STR profile. While degraded DNA, stochastic amplification, and PCR inhibition were observed for some items, full STR profiles were developed for 14 of 76 applicators. The face makeup sponge applicators yielded the highest proportional number of full STR profiles (4/7).

  15. The Potential of Cosmetic Applicators as a Source of DNA for Forensic Analysis.

    PubMed

    Adamowicz, Michael S; Labonte, Renáe D; Schienman, John E

    2015-07-01

    Personal products, such as toothbrushes, have been used as both known reference and evidentiary samples for forensic DNA analysis. This study examined the viability of a broad selection of cosmetic applicators for use as targets for human DNA extraction and short tandem repeat (STR) analysis using standard polymerase chain reaction (PCR) conditions. Applicator types included eyeliner smudgers, pencils and crayons, eye shadow sponges, mascara wands, concealer wands, face makeup sponges, pads and brushes, lipsticks and balms, and lip gloss wands. The quantity and quality of DNA extracted from each type of applicator were examined by assessing the number of loci successfully amplified and the peak balance of the heterozygous alleles in each full STR profile. While degraded DNA, stochastic amplification, and PCR inhibition were observed for some items, full STR profiles were developed for 14 of 76 applicators. The face makeup sponge applicators yielded the highest proportional number of full STR profiles (4/7). PMID:25783027

  16. Autopsy practice in forensic pathology - evidence-based or experience-based? a review of autopsies performed on victims of traumatic asphyxia in a mass disaster.

    PubMed

    Colville-Ebeling, Bonnie; Freeman, Michael; Banner, Jytte; Lynnerup, Niels

    2014-02-01

    Current autopsy practice in forensic pathology is to a large extent based on experience and individual customary practices as opposed to evidence and consensus based practices. As a result there is the potential for substantial variation in how knowledge is applied in each case. In the present case series, we describe the variation observed in autopsy reports by five different pathologists of eight victims who died simultaneously from traumatic asphyxia due to compression during a human stampede. We observed that there was no mention of the availability of medical charts in five of the reports, of potentially confounding resuscitation efforts in three reports, of cardinal signs in seven reports and of associated injuries to a various degree in all reports. Further, there was mention of supplemental histological examination in two reports and of pre-autopsy radiograph in six reports. We inferred that reliance on experience and individual customary practices led to disparities between the autopsy reports as well as omissions of important information such as cardinal signs, and conclude that such reliance increases the potential for error in autopsy practice. We suggest that pre-autopsy data-gathering and the use of check lists specific to certain injury causes are likely to result in less deviation from evidence-based practices in forensic pathology. Pre-autopsy data-gathering and check lists will help ensure a higher degree of standardization in autopsy reports thus enhancing the quality and accuracy of the report as a legal document as well as rendering it more useful for data-gathering efforts.

  17. 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.

  18. Nuclear forensic analysis of uranium oxide powders interdicted in Victoria, Australia

    SciTech Connect

    Kristo, Michael Joseph; Keegan, Elizabeth; Colella, Michael; Williams, Ross; Lindvall, Rachel; Eppich, Gary; Roberts, Sarah; Borg, Lars; Gaffney, Amy; Plaue, Jonathan; Knight, Kim; Loi, Elaine; Hotchkis, Michael; Moody, Kenton; Singleton, Michael; Robel, Martin; Hutcheon, Ian

    2015-04-13

    Nuclear forensic analysis was conducted on two uranium samples confiscated during a police investigation in Victoria, Australia. The first sample, designated NSR-F-270409-1, was a depleted uranium powder of moderate purity (~1000 μg/g total elemental impurities). The chemical form of the uranium was a compound similar to K2(UO2)3O4·4H2O. While aliquoting NSR-F-270409-1 for analysis, the body and head of a Tineid moth was discovered in the sample. The second sample, designated NSR-F-270409-2, was also a depleted uranium powder. It was of reasonably high purity (~380 μg/g total elemental impurities). The chemical form of the uranium was primarily UO3·2H2O, with minor phases of U3O8 and UO2. While aliquoting NSR-F-270409-2 for analysis, a metal staple of unknown origin was discovered in the sample. The presence of 236U and 232U in both samples indicates that the uranium feed stocks for these samples experienced a neutron flux at some point in their history. The reactor burn-up calculated from the isotopic composition of the uranium is consistent with that of spent fuel from natural uranium (NU) fueled Pu production. These nuclear forensic conclusions allow us to categorically exclude Australia as the origin of the material and greatly reduce the number of candidate sources.

  19. The global role of natural disaster fatalities in decision-making: statistics, trends and analysis from 116 years of disaster data compared to fatality rates from other causes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Daniell, James; Wenzel, Friedemann; McLennan, Amy; Daniell, Katherine; Kunz-Plapp, Tina; Khazai, Bijan; Schaefer, Andreas; Kunz, Michael; Girard, Trevor

    2016-04-01

    In this study, analysis is undertaken showing disaster fatalities trends from around the world using the CATDAT Natural Disaster and Socioeconomic Indicator databases from 1900-2015. Earthquakes have caused over 2.3 million fatalities since 1900; however absolute numbers of deaths caused by them have remained rather constant over time. However, floods have caused somewhere between 1.7 and 5.4 million fatalities, mostly in the earlier half of the 20th century (depending on the 1931 China floods). Storm and storm surges (ca. 1.3 million fatalities), on the other hand, have shown an opposite trend with increasing fatalities over the century (or a lack of records in the early 1900s). Earthquakes due to their sporadic nature, do not inspire investment pre-disaster. When looking at the investment in flood control vs. earthquakes, there is a marked difference in the total investment, which has resulted in a much larger reduction in fatalities. However, a key consideration for decision-makers in different countries around the world when choosing to implement disaster sensitive design is the risk of a natural disaster death, compared to other types of deaths in their country. The creation of empirical annualised ratios of earthquake, flood and storm fatalities from the year 1900 onwards vs. other methods of fatalities (cancer, diseases, accidents etc.) for each country using the CATDAT damaging natural disasters database is undertaken. On an annualised level, very few countries show earthquakes and other disaster types to be one of the highest probability methods for death. However, in particular years with large events, annual rates can easily exceed the total death count for a particular country. An example of this is Haiti, with the equivalent earthquake death rate in 2010 exceeding the total all-cause death rate in the country. Globally, fatality rates due to disasters are generally at least 1 order of magnitude lower than other causes such as heart disease. However, in

  20. A model for data analysis of microRNA expression in forensic body fluid identification.

    PubMed

    Wang, Zheng; Luo, Haibo; Pan, Xiongfei; Liao, Miao; Hou, Yiping

    2012-05-01

    MicroRNAs (miRNAs, 18-25 bases in length) are small, non-coding RNAs that regulate gene expression at the post-transcriptional level. MiRNA expression patterns, including presence and relative abundance of particular miRNA species, provide cell- and tissue-specific information that can be used for body fluid identification. Recently, two published studies reported that a number of body fluid-specific miRNAs had been identified. However, the results were inconsistent when different technology platforms and statistical methods were applied. To further study the role of miRNAs in identification of body fluids, this study sets out to develop an accurate and reliable model for data analysis of miRNA expression. To that end, the relative expression levels of three miRNAs were studied using the mirVana™ miRNA Isolation Kit, high-specificity stem-loop reverse transcription (RT) and high-sensitivity hydrolysis probes (TaqMan) quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) in forensically relevant biological fluids, including venous blood, vaginal secretions, menstrual blood, semen and saliva. Accurate quantification of miRNAs requires not only a highly sensitive and specific detection platform for experiment operation, but also a reproducible methodology with an adequate model for data analysis. In our study, the efficiency-calibrated model that incorporated the impact of the quantification cycle (Cq) values and PCR efficiencies of target and reference genes was developed to calculate the relative expression ratio of miRNAs in forensically relevant body fluids. Our results showed that venous blood was distinguished from other body fluids according to the relative expression ratio of miR16 using as little as 50pg of total RNA, while the expression level of miR658 was unstable and that of miR205 was nonspecific among different body fluids. Collectively, the findings may constitute a basis for future miRNA-based research on body fluid identification and show mi

  1. [The analysis of publications in the journal "Sudebno-meditsinskaya ekspertiza (Forensic Medical Expertise)" for the period from 2000 till 2014].

    PubMed

    Fetisov, V A; Gusarov, A A; Khabova, Z S

    2015-01-01

    This paper presents the result of the analysis of the scientometric characteristics of the materials concerning the main aspects of research carried out in the framework of the speciality 14.03.05 (Forensic medicine published in the journal "Sudebno-meditsinskaya ekspertiza (Forensic Medical Expertise)" during a long period. The objective of the analysis was to establish the priorities in this field, reveal the lines of research of the highest interest for domestic and foreign authors, and estimate the value of the relevant scientific publications. It is concluded that the scientometric analysis of the scientific literature on the problems of forensic medical examination is indispensable for the further improvement of its quality.

  2. Forensic analysis of ignitable liquids in fire debris by comprehensive two-dimensional gas chromatography.

    PubMed

    Frysinger, Glenn S; Gaines, Richard B

    2002-05-01

    The application of comprehensive two-dimensional gas chromatography (GC x GC) for the forensic analysis of ignitable liquids in fire debris is reported. GC x GC is a high resolution, multidimensional gas chromatographic method in which each component of a complex mixture is subjected to two independent chromatographic separations. The high resolving power of GC x GC can separate hundreds of chemical components from a complex fire debris extract. The GC x GC chromatogram is a multicolor plot of two-dimensional retention time and detector signal intensity that is well suited for rapid identification and fingerprinting of ignitable liquids. GC x GC chromatograms were used to identify and classify ignitable liquids, detect minor differences between similar ignitable liquids, track the chemical changes associated with weathering, characterize the chemical composition of fire debris pyrolysates, and detect weathered ignitable liquids against a background of fire debris pyrolysates.

  3. Measurement and analysis of diastereomer ratios for forensic characterization of brodifacoum

    SciTech Connect

    Cort, John R.; Alperin, Paul J.; Cho, Herman M.

    2012-01-10

    The highly toxic organic compound brodifacoum exists as two diastereomers. The diasteromer ratio in a sample depends on the methods and conditions used for synthesis and purification, and may vary over time due to differential stability of the diastereomers. The stereoisomer distribution may thus be viewed as a chemical forensic signature, containing information about the production and history of unknown samples, and providing a basis of comparison between samples. A determination of diastereomer ratios can be performed by a number of techniques, notably gas or liquid chromatography or nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy. An analysis of a cross-section of U.S.-made commercial technical grade brodifacoum material shows that there are detectable manufacturer-to-manufacturer and batch-to-batch variations in diastereomer ratios. Pacific Northwest National Laboratory is operated by Battelle for the US Department of Energy.

  4. Design of experiments and data analysis challenges in calibration for forensics applications

    DOE PAGES

    Anderson-Cook, Christine M.; Burr, Thomas L.; Hamada, Michael S.; Ruggiero, Christy E.; Thomas, Edward V.

    2015-07-15

    Forensic science aims to infer characteristics of source terms using measured observables. Our focus is on statistical design of experiments and data analysis challenges arising in nuclear forensics. More specifically, we focus on inferring aspects of experimental conditions (of a process to produce product Pu oxide powder), such as temperature, nitric acid concentration, and Pu concentration, using measured features of the product Pu oxide powder. The measured features, Y, include trace chemical concentrations and particle morphology such as particle size and shape of the produced Pu oxide power particles. Making inferences about the nature of inputs X that were usedmore » to create nuclear materials having particular characteristics, Y, is an inverse problem. Therefore, statistical analysis can be used to identify the best set (or sets) of Xs for a new set of observed responses Y. One can fit a model (or models) such as Υ = f(Χ) + error, for each of the responses, based on a calibration experiment and then “invert” to solve for the best set of Xs for a new set of Ys. This perspectives paper uses archived experimental data to consider aspects of data collection and experiment design for the calibration data to maximize the quality of the predicted Ys in the forward models; that is, we assume that well-estimated forward models are effective in the inverse problem. In addition, we consider how to identify a best solution for the inferred X, and evaluate the quality of the result and its robustness to a variety of initial assumptions, and different correlation structures between the responses. In addition, we also briefly review recent advances in metrology issues related to characterizing particle morphology measurements used in the response vector, Y.« less

  5. Forensic Analysis of Venezuelan Elections during the Chávez Presidency

    PubMed Central

    Jiménez, Raúl; Hidalgo, Manuel

    2014-01-01

    Hugo Chávez dominated the Venezuelan electoral landscape since his first presidential victory in 1998 until his death in 2013. Nobody doubts that he always received considerable voter support in the numerous elections held during his mandate. However, the integrity of the electoral system has come into question since the 2004 Presidential Recall Referendum. From then on, different sectors of society have systematically alleged electoral irregularities or biases in favor of the incumbent party. We have carried out a thorough forensic analysis of the national-level Venezuelan electoral processes held during the 1998–2012 period to assess these complaints. The second-digit Benford's law and two statistical models of vote distributions, recently introduced in the literature, are reviewed and used in our case study. In addition, we discuss a new method to detect irregular variations in the electoral roll. The outputs obtained from these election forensic tools are examined taking into account the substantive context of the elections and referenda under study. Thus, we reach two main conclusions. Firstly, all the tools uncover anomalous statistical patterns, which are consistent with election fraud from 2004 onwards. Although our results are not a concluding proof of fraud, they signal the Recall Referendum as a turning point in the integrity of the Venezuelan elections. Secondly, our analysis calls into question the reliability of the electoral register since 2004. In particular, we found irregular variations in the electoral roll that were decisive in winning the 50% majority in the 2004 Referendum and in the 2012 Presidential Elections. PMID:24971462

  6. Forensic analysis of Venezuelan elections during the Chávez presidency.

    PubMed

    Jiménez, Raúl; Hidalgo, Manuel

    2014-01-01

    Hugo Chávez dominated the Venezuelan electoral landscape since his first presidential victory in 1998 until his death in 2013. Nobody doubts that he always received considerable voter support in the numerous elections held during his mandate. However, the integrity of the electoral system has come into question since the 2004 Presidential Recall Referendum. From then on, different sectors of society have systematically alleged electoral irregularities or biases in favor of the incumbent party. We have carried out a thorough forensic analysis of the national-level Venezuelan electoral processes held during the 1998-2012 period to assess these complaints. The second-digit Benford's law and two statistical models of vote distributions, recently introduced in the literature, are reviewed and used in our case study. In addition, we discuss a new method to detect irregular variations in the electoral roll. The outputs obtained from these election forensic tools are examined taking into account the substantive context of the elections and referenda under study. Thus, we reach two main conclusions. Firstly, all the tools uncover anomalous statistical patterns, which are consistent with election fraud from 2004 onwards. Although our results are not a concluding proof of fraud, they signal the Recall Referendum as a turning point in the integrity of the Venezuelan elections. Secondly, our analysis calls into question the reliability of the electoral register since 2004. In particular, we found irregular variations in the electoral roll that were decisive in winning the 50% majority in the 2004 Referendum and in the 2012 Presidential Elections.

  7. Design of experiments and data analysis challenges in calibration for forensics applications

    SciTech Connect

    Anderson-Cook, Christine M.; Burr, Thomas L.; Hamada, Michael S.; Ruggiero, Christy E.; Thomas, Edward V.

    2015-07-15

    Forensic science aims to infer characteristics of source terms using measured observables. Our focus is on statistical design of experiments and data analysis challenges arising in nuclear forensics. More specifically, we focus on inferring aspects of experimental conditions (of a process to produce product Pu oxide powder), such as temperature, nitric acid concentration, and Pu concentration, using measured features of the product Pu oxide powder. The measured features, Y, include trace chemical concentrations and particle morphology such as particle size and shape of the produced Pu oxide power particles. Making inferences about the nature of inputs X that were used to create nuclear materials having particular characteristics, Y, is an inverse problem. Therefore, statistical analysis can be used to identify the best set (or sets) of Xs for a new set of observed responses Y. One can fit a model (or models) such as Υ = f(Χ) + error, for each of the responses, based on a calibration experiment and then “invert” to solve for the best set of Xs for a new set of Ys. This perspectives paper uses archived experimental data to consider aspects of data collection and experiment design for the calibration data to maximize the quality of the predicted Ys in the forward models; that is, we assume that well-estimated forward models are effective in the inverse problem. In addition, we consider how to identify a best solution for the inferred X, and evaluate the quality of the result and its robustness to a variety of initial assumptions, and different correlation structures between the responses. In addition, we also briefly review recent advances in metrology issues related to characterizing particle morphology measurements used in the response vector, Y.

  8. Development of a forensically useful age prediction method based on DNA methylation analysis.

    PubMed

    Zbieć-Piekarska, Renata; Spólnicka, Magdalena; Kupiec, Tomasz; Parys-Proszek, Agnieszka; Makowska, Żanetta; Pałeczka, Anna; Kucharczyk, Krzysztof; Płoski, Rafał; Branicki, Wojciech

    2015-07-01

    Forensic DNA phenotyping needs to be supplemented with age prediction to become a relevant source of information on human appearance. Recent progress in analysis of the human methylome has enabled selection of multiple candidate loci showing linear correlation with chronological age. Practical application in forensic science depends on successful validation of these potential age predictors. In this study, eight DNA methylation candidate loci were analysed using convenient and reliable pyrosequencing technology. A total number of 41 CpG sites was investigated in 420 samples collected from men and women aged from 2 to 75 years. The study confirmed correlation of all the investigated markers with human age. The five most significantly correlated CpG sites in ELOVL2 on 6p24.2, C1orf132 on 1q32.2, TRIM59 on 3q25.33, KLF14 on 7q32.3 and FHL2 on 2q12.2 were chosen to build a prediction model. This restriction allowed the technical analysis to be simplified without lowering the prediction accuracy significantly. Model parameters for a discovery set of 300 samples were R(2)=0.94 and the standard error of the estimate=4.5 years. An independent set of 120 samples was used to test the model performance. Mean absolute deviation for this testing set was 3.9 years. The number of correct predictions ±5 years achieved a very high level of 86.7% in the age category 2-19 and gradually decreased to 50% in the age category 60-75. The prediction model was deterministic for individuals belonging to these two extreme age categories. The developed method was implemented in a freely available online age prediction calculator. PMID:26026729

  9. The power of contextual effects in forensic anthropology: a study of biasability in the visual interpretations of trauma analysis on skeletal remains.

    PubMed

    Nakhaeizadeh, Sherry; Hanson, Ian; Dozzi, Nathalie

    2014-09-01

    The potential for contextual information to bias assessments in the forensic sciences has been demonstrated, in several forensic disiplines. In this paper, biasability potential within forensic anthropology was examined by analyzing the effects of external manipulations on judgments and decision-making in visual trauma assessment. Three separate websites were created containing fourteen identical images. Participants were randomly assigned to one website. Each website provided different contextual information, to assess variation of interpretation of the same images between contexts. The results indicated a higher scoring of trauma identification responses for the Mass grave context. Furthermore, a significant biasing effect was detected in the interpretation of four images. Less experienced participants were more likely to indicate presence of trauma. This research demonstrates bias impact in forensic anthropological trauma assessments and highlights the importance of recognizing and limiting cognitive vulnerabilities that forensic anthropologists might bring to the analysis.

  10. The power of contextual effects in forensic anthropology: a study of biasability in the visual interpretations of trauma analysis on skeletal remains.

    PubMed

    Nakhaeizadeh, Sherry; Hanson, Ian; Dozzi, Nathalie

    2014-09-01

    The potential for contextual information to bias assessments in the forensic sciences has been demonstrated, in several forensic disiplines. In this paper, biasability potential within forensic anthropology was examined by analyzing the effects of external manipulations on judgments and decision-making in visual trauma assessment. Three separate websites were created containing fourteen identical images. Participants were randomly assigned to one website. Each website provided different contextual information, to assess variation of interpretation of the same images between contexts. The results indicated a higher scoring of trauma identification responses for the Mass grave context. Furthermore, a significant biasing effect was detected in the interpretation of four images. Less experienced participants were more likely to indicate presence of trauma. This research demonstrates bias impact in forensic anthropological trauma assessments and highlights the importance of recognizing and limiting cognitive vulnerabilities that forensic anthropologists might bring to the analysis. PMID:24666192

  11. Scanning electron microscopic analysis of skin resolution as an aid in identifying trauma in forensic investigations.

    PubMed

    Rawson, R B; Starich, G H; Rawson, R D

    2000-09-01

    agreement for both linearity and resolution. Analysis of the microgrooves suggests that discrete morphological characteristics are seen in skin tissue traumas. This method could expand the tools available for the forensic investigation of blunt force trauma.

  12. Analysis of seismic disaster failure mechanism and dam-break simulation of high arch dam

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Jingkui; Zhang, Liaojun

    2014-06-01

    Based on a Chinese national high arch dam located in a meizoseismal region, a nonlinear numerical analysis model of the damage and failure process of a dam-foundation system is established by employing a 3-D deformable distinct element code (3DEC) and its re-development functions. The proposed analysis model considers the dam-foundation-reservoir coupling effect, influence of nonlinear contact in the opening and closing of the dam seam surface and abutment rock joints during strong earthquakes, and radiation damping of far field energy dissipation according to the actual workability state of an arch dam. A safety assessment method and safety evaluation criteria is developed to better understand the arch dam system disaster process from local damage to ultimate failure. The dynamic characteristics, disaster mechanism, limit bearing capacity and the entire failure process of a high arch dam under a strong earthquake are then analyzed. Further, the seismic safety of the arch dam is evaluated according to the proposed evaluation criteria and safety assessment method. As a result, some useful conclusions are obtained for some aspects of the disaster mechanism and failure process of an arch dam. The analysis method and conclusions may be useful in engineering practice.

  13. FORENSIC ANALYSIS OF WINDOW’S® VIRTUAL MEMORY INCORPORATING THE SYSTEM’S PAGEFILE COUNTERINTELLIGENCE THROUGH MALICIOUS CODE ANALYSIS

    SciTech Connect

    Jared Stimson Edward Murphy

    2007-06-01

    FORENSIC ANALYSIS OF WINDOW’S® VIRTUAL MEMORY INCORPORATING THE SYSTEM’S PAGEFILE Computer Forensics is concerned with the use of computer investigation and analysis techniques in order to collect evidence suitable for presentation in court. The examination of volatile memory is a relatively new but important area in computer forensics. More recently criminals are becoming more forensically aware and are now able to compromise computers without accessing the hard disk of the target computer. This means that traditional incident response practice of pulling the plug will destroy the only evidence of the crime. While some techniques are available for acquiring the contents of main memory, few exist which can analyze these data in a meaningful way. One reason for this is how memory is managed by the operating system. Data belonging to one process can be distributed arbitrarily across physical memory or the hard disk, making it very difficult to recover useful information. This report will focus on how these disparate sources of information can be combined to give a single, contiguous address space for each process. Using address translation a tool is developed to reconstruct the virtual address space of a process by combining a physical memory dump with the page-file on the hard disk. COUNTERINTELLIGENCE THROUGH MALICIOUS CODE ANALYSIS As computer network technology continues to grow so does the reliance on this technology for everyday business functionality. To appeal to customers and employees alike, businesses are seeking an increased online prescience, and to increase productivity the same businesses are computerizing their day-to-day operations. The combination of a publicly accessible interface to the businesses network, and the increase in the amount of intellectual property present on these networks presents serious risks. All of this intellectual property now faces constant attacks from a wide variety of malicious software that is intended to uncover

  14. Consequences of Decontamination Procedures in Forensic Hair Analysis Using Metal-Assisted Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry Analysis.

    PubMed

    Cuypers, Eva; Flinders, Bryn; Boone, Carolien M; Bosman, Ingrid J; Lusthof, Klaas J; Van Asten, Arian C; Tytgat, Jan; Heeren, Ron M A

    2016-03-15

    Today, hair testing is considered to be the standard method for the detection of chronic drug abuse. Nevertheless, the differentiation between systemic exposure and external contamination remains a major challenge in the forensic interpretation of hair analysis. Nowadays, it is still impossible to directly show the difference between external contamination and use-related incorporation. Although the effects of washing procedures on the distribution of (incorporated) drugs in hair remain unknown, these decontamination procedures prior to hair analysis are considered to be indispensable in order to exclude external contamination. However, insights into the effect of decontamination protocols on levels and distribution of drugs incorporated in hair are essential to draw the correct forensic conclusions from hair analysis; we studied the consequences of these procedures on the spatial distribution of cocaine in hair using imaging mass spectrometry. Additionally, using metal-assisted secondary ion mass spectrometry, we are the first to directly show the difference between cocaine-contaminated and user hair without any prior washing procedure.

  15. The joint return period analysis of natural disasters based on monitoring and statistical modeling of multidimensional hazard factors.

    PubMed

    Liu, Xueqin; Li, Ning; Yuan, Shuai; Xu, Ning; Shi, Wenqin; Chen, Weibin

    2015-12-15

    As a random event, a natural disaster has the complex occurrence mechanism. The comprehensive analysis of multiple hazard factors is important in disaster risk assessment. In order to improve the accuracy of risk analysis and forecasting, the formation mechanism of a disaster should be considered in the analysis and calculation of multi-factors. Based on the consideration of the importance and deficiencies of multivariate analysis of dust storm disasters, 91 severe dust storm disasters in Inner Mongolia from 1990 to 2013 were selected as study cases in the paper. Main hazard factors from 500-hPa atmospheric circulation system, near-surface meteorological system, and underlying surface conditions were selected to simulate and calculate the multidimensional joint return periods. After comparing the simulation results with actual dust storm events in 54years, we found that the two-dimensional Frank Copula function showed the better fitting results at the lower tail of hazard factors and that three-dimensional Frank Copula function displayed the better fitting results at the middle and upper tails of hazard factors. However, for dust storm disasters with the short return period, three-dimensional joint return period simulation shows no obvious advantage. If the return period is longer than 10years, it shows significant advantages in extreme value fitting. Therefore, we suggest the multivariate analysis method may be adopted in forecasting and risk analysis of serious disasters with the longer return period, such as earthquake and tsunami. Furthermore, the exploration of this method laid the foundation for the prediction and warning of other nature disasters.

  16. The joint return period analysis of natural disasters based on monitoring and statistical modeling of multidimensional hazard factors.

    PubMed

    Liu, Xueqin; Li, Ning; Yuan, Shuai; Xu, Ning; Shi, Wenqin; Chen, Weibin

    2015-12-15

    As a random event, a natural disaster has the complex occurrence mechanism. The comprehensive analysis of multiple hazard factors is important in disaster risk assessment. In order to improve the accuracy of risk analysis and forecasting, the formation mechanism of a disaster should be considered in the analysis and calculation of multi-factors. Based on the consideration of the importance and deficiencies of multivariate analysis of dust storm disasters, 91 severe dust storm disasters in Inner Mongolia from 1990 to 2013 were selected as study cases in the paper. Main hazard factors from 500-hPa atmospheric circulation system, near-surface meteorological system, and underlying surface conditions were selected to simulate and calculate the multidimensional joint return periods. After comparing the simulation results with actual dust storm events in 54years, we found that the two-dimensional Frank Copula function showed the better fitting results at the lower tail of hazard factors and that three-dimensional Frank Copula function displayed the better fitting results at the middle and upper tails of hazard factors. However, for dust storm disasters with the short return period, three-dimensional joint return period simulation shows no obvious advantage. If the return period is longer than 10years, it shows significant advantages in extreme value fitting. Therefore, we suggest the multivariate analysis method may be adopted in forecasting and risk analysis of serious disasters with the longer return period, such as earthquake and tsunami. Furthermore, the exploration of this method laid the foundation for the prediction and warning of other nature disasters. PMID:26327640

  17. Compound-specific isotope analysis of diesel fuels in a forensic investigation

    PubMed Central

    Muhammad, Syahidah A.; Frew, Russell D.; Hayman, Alan R.

    2015-01-01

    Compound-specific isotope analysis (CSIA) offers great potential as a tool to provide chemical evidence in a forensic investigation. Many attempts to trace environmental oil spills were successful where isotopic values were particularly distinct. However, difficulties arise when a large data set is analyzed and the isotopic differences between samples are subtle. In the present study, discrimination of diesel oils involved in a diesel theft case was carried out to infer the relatedness of the samples to potential source samples. This discriminatory analysis used a suite of hydrocarbon diagnostic indices, alkanes, to generate carbon and hydrogen isotopic data of the compositions of the compounds which were then processed using multivariate statistical analyses to infer the relatedness of the data set. The results from this analysis were put into context by comparing the data with the δ13C and δ2H of alkanes in commercial diesel samples obtained from various locations in the South Island of New Zealand. Based on the isotopic character of the alkanes, it is suggested that diesel fuels involved in the diesel theft case were distinguishable. This manuscript shows that CSIA when used in tandem with multivariate statistical analysis provide a defensible means to differentiate and source-apportion qualitatively similar oils at the molecular level. This approach was able to overcome confounding challenges posed by the near single-point source of origin, i.e., the very subtle differences in isotopic values between the samples. PMID:25774366

  18. Compound-Specific Isotope Analysis of Diesel Fuels in a Forensic Investigation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Muhammad, Syahidah; Frew, Russell; Hayman, Alan

    2015-02-01

    Compound-specific isotope analysis (CSIA) offers great potential as a tool to provide chemical evidence in a forensic investigation. Many attempts to trace environmental oil spills were successful where isotopic values were particularly distinct. However, difficulties arise when a large data set is analyzed and the isotopic differences between samples are subtle. In the present study, discrimination of diesel oils involved in a diesel theft case was carried out to infer the relatedness of the samples to potential source samples. This discriminatory analysis used a suite of hydrocarbon diagnostic indices, alkanes, to generate carbon and hydrogen isotopic data of the compositions of the compounds which were then processed using multivariate statistical analyses to infer the relatedness of the data set. The results from this analysis were put into context by comparing the data with the δ13C and δ2H of alkanes in commercial diesel samples obtained from various locations in the South Island of New Zealand. Based on the isotopic character of the alkanes, it is suggested that diesel fuels involved in the diesel theft case were distinguishable. This manuscript shows that CSIA when used in tandem with multivariate statistical analysis provide a defensible means to differentiate and source-apportion qualitatively similar oils at the molecular level. This approach was able to overcome confounding challenges posed by the near single-point source of origin i.e. the very subtle differences in isotopic values between the samples.

  19. The transferability of diatoms to clothing and the methods appropriate for their collection and analysis in forensic geoscience.

    PubMed

    Scott, Kirstie R; Morgan, Ruth M; Jones, Vivienne J; Cameron, Nigel G

    2014-08-01

    Forensic geoscience is concerned with the analysis of geological materials in order to compare and exclude environmental samples from a common source, or to identify an unknown provenance in a criminal investigation. Diatom analysis is currently an underused technique within the forensic geoscience approach, which has the potential to provide an independent ecological assessment of trace evidence. This study presents empirical data to provide a preliminary evidence base in order to be able to understand the nature of diatom transfers to items of clothing, and the collection of transferred diatom trace evidence from a range of environments under experimental conditions. Three diatom extraction methods were tested on clothing that had been in contact with soil and water sites: rinsing in water (RW), rinsing in ethanol (RE), and submersion in H2O2 solution (H). Scanning electron microscopy (S.E.M.) analysis was undertaken in order to examine the degree of diatom retention on treated clothing samples. The total diatom yield and species richness data was recorded from each experimental sample in order to compare the efficacy of each method in collecting a representative sample for analysis. Similarity was explored using correspondence analysis. The results highlight the efficiency of H2O2 submersion in consistently extracting high diatom counts with representative species from clothing exposed to both aquatic and terrestrial sites. This is corroborated by S.E.M. analysis. This paper provides an important empirical evidence base for both establishing that diatoms do indeed transfer to clothing under forensic conditions in a range of environments, and in identifying that H2O2 extraction is the most efficient technique for the optimal collection of comparative samples. There is therefore potentially great value in collecting and analysing diatom components of geoforensic samples in order to aid in forensic investigation.

  20. FORENSIC SCIENCE:

    PubMed Central

    Brkić, Hrvoje

    2014-01-01

    Data from available literature point to an early beginning of Forensic Dentistry in Croatia relating to a post-mortem examination of a female patient after a dental procedure in the 1930s. Later on, there were several mass casualties due to collisions and airplane crashes and a railway accident at the Zagreb Main Railway Station wherein the identity of the victims was established based on dental features. Foreign experts in forensics helped identify those victims, particularly forensic dentists because this specialty was almost unknown in our region at the time. During the twenty-year period of the development of Forensic Dentistry at the University of Zagreb, the School of Dental Medicine, the city of Zagreb and Croatia have become internationally recognised on the forensic map of the world. PMID:27688352

  1. FORENSIC SCIENCE:

    PubMed Central

    Brkić, Hrvoje

    2014-01-01

    Data from available literature point to an early beginning of Forensic Dentistry in Croatia relating to a post-mortem examination of a female patient after a dental procedure in the 1930s. Later on, there were several mass casualties due to collisions and airplane crashes and a railway accident at the Zagreb Main Railway Station wherein the identity of the victims was established based on dental features. Foreign experts in forensics helped identify those victims, particularly forensic dentists because this specialty was almost unknown in our region at the time. During the twenty-year period of the development of Forensic Dentistry at the University of Zagreb, the School of Dental Medicine, the city of Zagreb and Croatia have become internationally recognised on the forensic map of the world.

  2. Activation analysis study on Li-ion batteries for nuclear forensic applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Johnson, Erik B.; Whitney, Chad; Holbert, Keith E.; Zhang, Taipeng; Stannard, Tyler; Christie, Anthony; Harper, Peter; Anderson, Blake; Christian, James F.

    2015-06-01

    The nuclear materials environment has been increasing significantly in complexity over the past couple of decades. The prevention of attacks from nuclear weapons is becoming more difficult, and nuclear forensics is a deterrent by providing detailed information on any type of nuclear event for proper attribution. One component of the nuclear forensic analysis is a measurement of the neutron spectrum. As an example, the neutron component provides information on the composition of the weapons, whether boosting is involved or the mechanisms used in creating a supercritical state. As 6Li has a large cross-section for thermal neutrons, the lithium battery is a primary candidate for assessing the neutron spectrum after detonation. The absorption process for 6Li yields tritium, which can be measured at a later point after the nuclear event, as long as the battery can be processed in a manner to successfully extract the tritium content. In addition, measuring the activated constituents after exposure provides a means to reconstruct the incident neutron spectrum. The battery consists of a spiral or folded layers of material that have unique, energy dependent interactions associated with the incident neutron flux. A detailed analysis on the batteries included a pre-irradiated mass spectrometry analysis to be used as input for neutron spectrum reconstruction. A set of batteries were exposed to a hard neutron spectrum delivered by the University of Massachusetts, Lowell research reactor Fast Neutron Irradiator (FNI). The gamma spectra were measured from the batteries within a few days and within a week after the exposure to obtain sufficient data on the activated materials in the batteries. The activity was calculated for a number of select isotopes, indicating the number of associated neutron interactions. The results from tritium extraction are marginal. A measurable increase in detected particles (gammas and betas) below 50 keV not self-attenuated by the battery was observed

  3. The construction and periodicity analysis of natural disaster database of Alxa area based on Chinese local records

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yan, Zheng; Mingzhong, Tian; Hengli, Wang

    2010-05-01

    Chinese hand-written local records were originated from the first century. Generally, these local records include geography, evolution, customs, education, products, people, historical sites, as well as writings of an area. Through such endeavors, the information of the natural materials of China nearly has had no "dark ages" in the evolution of its 5000-year old civilization. A compilation of all meaningful historical data of natural-disasters taken place in Alxa of inner-Mongolia, the second largest desert in China, is used here for the construction of a 500-year high resolution database. The database is divided into subsets according to the types of natural-disasters like sand-dust storm, drought events, cold wave, etc. Through applying trend, correlation, wavelet, and spectral analysis on these data, we can estimate the statistically periodicity of different natural-disasters, detect and quantify similarities and patterns of the periodicities of these records, and finally take these results in aggregate to find a strong and coherent cyclicity through the last 500 years which serves as the driving mechanism of these geological hazards. Based on the periodicity obtained from the above analysis, the paper discusses the probability of forecasting natural-disasters and the suitable measures to reduce disaster losses through history records. Keyword: Chinese local records; Alxa; natural disasters; database; periodicity analysis

  4. Real-time forensic DNA analysis at a crime scene using a portable microchip analyzer.

    PubMed

    Liu, Peng; Yeung, Stephanie H I; Crenshaw, Karin A; Crouse, Cecelia A; Scherer, James R; Mathies, Richard A

    2008-09-01

    An integrated lab-on-a-chip system has been developed and successfully utilized for real-time forensic short tandem repeat (STR) analysis. The microdevice comprises a 160-nL polymerase chain reaction reactor with an on-chip heater and a temperature sensor for thermal cycling, microvalves for fluidic manipulation, a co-injector for sizing standard injection, and a 7-cm-long separation channel for capillary electrophoretic analysis. A 9-plex autosomal STR typing system consisting of amelogenin and eight combined DNA index system (CODIS) core STR loci has been constructed and optimized for this real-time human identification study. Reproducible STR profiles of control DNA samples are obtained in 2h and 30min with analysis establishes the feasibility of real-time DNA typing to identify the contributor of probative biological evidence at a crime scene and for real-time human identification.

  5. A Comparative Analysis of Disaster Risk, Vulnerability and Resilience Composite Indicators

    PubMed Central

    Beccari, Benjamin

    2016-01-01

    related to the social environment, 25% to the disaster environment, 20% to the economic environment, 13% to the built environment, 6% to the natural environment and 3% were other indices. However variables specifically measuring action to mitigate or prepare for disasters only comprised 12%, on average, of the total number of variables in each index. Only 19% of methodologies employed any sensitivity or uncertainty analysis and in only a single case was this comprehensive. Discussion: A number of potential limitations of the present state of practice and how these might impact on decision makers are discussed. In particular the limited deployment of sensitivity and uncertainty analysis and the low use of direct measures of disaster risk, vulnerability and resilience could significantly limit the quality and reliability of existing methodologies. Recommendations for improvements to indicator development and use are made, as well as suggested future research directions to enhance the theoretical and empirical knowledge base for composite indicator development. PMID:27066298

  6. What is the cost of a life in a disaster? - Examples, Practice and Global Analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Daniell, James; Kunz-Plapp, Tina; Schaefer, Andreas; Wenzel, Friedemann; Khazai, Bijan

    2015-04-01

    An analysis is presented based on historical evidence and global exposure metrics using the CATDAT Socioeconomic databases, in order to create a global distribution of the cost of life in a disaster using various metrics. Casualty insurance models require a value of life & mitigation and cost-benefit studies require a value of life in order to make decisions and set premiums. Although this is a contentious concept, there are two general approaches to human life costing: the first is based on human capital which looks at the production capacity and potential output as a proxy for future earning; the second looks at willingness to pay which estimates people's value on reducing risk and compensation payouts. A combination approach is used. For each of the 245 nations, a value of life is estimated using the following parameters:- (1) Age of people in a country using the life expectancy and distribution data in CATDAT (2) Output of the economy and wage distribution (3) Household and community interactions (4) Lost quality of life The range of statistical life costs are examined globally from different sources, with the range of a life value being from 10,000 up to in the order of 10 million between different countries. The difference of the cost for a fatality vs. that of a severe injury is also discussed with a severe injury often having higher costs than a fatality for loss purposes. The losses in terms of historical disasters are looked at and examined with the percentage of life cost shown as a proportion of total losses. The losses of a future major earthquake in a low seismicity region show some of the largest potential life cost losses with that of a M6.8 in Adelaide, Australia; having around 160 billion in life costs (25,000 deaths, 15,000 severe injuries). This study has benefits post-disaster for quantification of human capital losses in major disasters, and pre-disaster for the analysis of insurance and mitigation options.

  7. Reverse engineering--rapid prototyping of the skull in forensic trauma analysis.

    PubMed

    Kettner, Mattias; Schmidt, Peter; Potente, Stefan; Ramsthaler, Frank; Schrodt, Michael

    2011-07-01

    Rapid prototyping (RP) comprises a variety of automated manufacturing techniques such as selective laser sintering (SLS), stereolithography, and three-dimensional printing (3DP), which use virtual 3D data sets to fabricate solid forms in a layer-by-layer technique. Despite a growing demand for (virtual) reconstruction models in daily forensic casework, maceration of the skull is frequently assigned to ensure haptic evidence presentation in the courtroom. Owing to the progress in the field of forensic radiology, 3D data sets of relevant cases are usually available to the forensic expert. Here, we present a first application of RP in forensic medicine using computed tomography scans for the fabrication of an SLS skull model in a case of fatal hammer impacts to the head. The report is intended to show that this method fully respects the dignity of the deceased and is consistent with medical ethics but nevertheless provides an excellent 3D impression of anatomical structures and injuries.

  8. Nuclear Forensic Science: Analysis of Nuclear Material Out of Regulatory Control

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kristo, Michael J.; Gaffney, Amy M.; Marks, Naomi; Knight, Kim; Cassata, William S.; Hutcheon, Ian D.

    2016-06-01

    Nuclear forensic science seeks to identify the origin of nuclear materials found outside regulatory control. It is increasingly recognized as an integral part of a robust nuclear security program. This review highlights areas of active, evolving research in nuclear forensics, with a focus on analytical techniques commonly employed in Earth and planetary sciences. Applications of nuclear forensics to uranium ore concentrates (UOCs) are discussed first. UOCs have become an attractive target for nuclear forensic researchers because of the richness in impurities compared to materials produced later in the fuel cycle. The development of chronometric methods for age dating nuclear materials is then discussed, with an emphasis on improvements in accuracy that have been gained from measurements of multiple radioisotopic systems. Finally, papers that report on casework are reviewed, to provide a window into current scientific practice.

  9. Forensic massively parallel sequencing data analysis tool: Implementation of MyFLq as a standalone web- and Illumina BaseSpace(®)-application.

    PubMed

    Van Neste, Christophe; Gansemans, Yannick; De Coninck, Dieter; Van Hoofstat, David; Van Criekinge, Wim; Deforce, Dieter; Van Nieuwerburgh, Filip

    2015-03-01

    Routine use of massively parallel sequencing (MPS) for forensic genomics is on the horizon. The last few years, several algorithms and workflows have been developed to analyze forensic MPS data. However, none have yet been tailored to the needs of the forensic analyst who does not possess an extensive bioinformatics background. We developed our previously published forensic MPS data analysis framework MyFLq (My-Forensic-Loci-queries) into an open-source, user-friendly, web-based application. It can be installed as a standalone web application, or run directly from the Illumina BaseSpace environment. In the former, laboratories can keep their data on-site, while in the latter, data from forensic samples that are sequenced on an Illumina sequencer can be uploaded to Basespace during acquisition, and can subsequently be analyzed using the published MyFLq BaseSpace application. Additional features were implemented such as an interactive graphical report of the results, an interactive threshold selection bar, and an allele length-based analysis in addition to the sequenced-based analysis. Practical use of the application is demonstrated through the analysis of four 16-plex short tandem repeat (STR) samples, showing the complementarity between the sequence- and length-based analysis of the same MPS data.

  10. Non-parametric frequency analysis of extreme values for integrated disaster management considering probable maximum events

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Takara, K. T.

    2015-12-01

    This paper describes a non-parametric frequency analysis method for hydrological extreme-value samples with a size larger than 100, verifying the estimation accuracy with a computer intensive statistics (CIS) resampling such as the bootstrap. Probable maximum values are also incorporated into the analysis for extreme events larger than a design level of flood control. Traditional parametric frequency analysis methods of extreme values include the following steps: Step 1: Collecting and checking extreme-value data; Step 2: Enumerating probability distributions that would be fitted well to the data; Step 3: Parameter estimation; Step 4: Testing goodness of fit; Step 5: Checking the variability of quantile (T-year event) estimates by the jackknife resampling method; and Step_6: Selection of the best distribution (final model). The non-parametric method (NPM) proposed here can skip Steps 2, 3, 4 and 6. Comparing traditional parameter methods (PM) with the NPM, this paper shows that PM often underestimates 100-year quantiles for annual maximum rainfall samples with records of more than 100 years. Overestimation examples are also demonstrated. The bootstrap resampling can do bias correction for the NPM and can also give the estimation accuracy as the bootstrap standard error. This NPM has advantages to avoid various difficulties in above-mentioned steps in the traditional PM. Probable maximum events are also incorporated into the NPM as an upper bound of the hydrological variable. Probable maximum precipitation (PMP) and probable maximum flood (PMF) can be a new parameter value combined with the NPM. An idea how to incorporate these values into frequency analysis is proposed for better management of disasters that exceed the design level. The idea stimulates more integrated approach by geoscientists and statisticians as well as encourages practitioners to consider the worst cases of disasters in their disaster management planning and practices.

  11. Identification of forensically important blowfly species (Diptera: Calliphoridae) by high-resolution melting PCR analysis.

    PubMed

    Malewski, Tadeusz; Draber-Mońko, Agnieszka; Pomorski, Jan; Łoś, Marta; Bogdanowicz, Wiesław

    2010-07-01

    We describe here the successful coupling of real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and high-resolution melting (HRM) analysis to rapidly identify 15 forensically important species of blowfly from the family Calliphoridae (Diptera), which occur in Poland. Two short regions (119 and 70 base pairs, respectively) of cytochrome oxidase gene subunit I with sufficient sequence diversity were selected. In the case of lacking taxa (e.g., reference species) these amplicons can be synthesized using sequences deposited in gene banks. The technique utilizes low template DNA concentration and is highly reproducible. The melting profile was not altered up to a 10,000-fold difference in DNA template concentration (ranging from 5 pg to 50 ng). The several HRM runs performed on different specimens from Poland belonging to the same species and on different days resulted in only minor variations in the amplification curves and in melting temperatures of the peaks. Intraspecific variation in a larger scale was tested using synthesized oligonucleotides from cosmopolitan Lucilia illustris originating from Poland, France, Great Britain, India, and USA. As HRM PCR analysis is sensitive to even single base changes, all geographic variants of this species were identified. This technique is also cost-effective and simple, and it may even be used by non-geneticists. A working protocol was ultimately constructed for the purpose of rapid and accurate species identification in most countries in Europe regardless of which stage or which part of a blowfly was collected.

  12. Forensic analysis of ballpoint pen inks using paper spray mass spectrometry.

    PubMed

    da Silva Ferreira, Priscila; Fernandes de Abreu e Silva, Débora; Augusti, Rodinei; Piccin, Evandro

    2015-02-01

    A novel analytical approach based on paper spray mass spectrometry (PS-MS) is developed for a fast and effective forensic analysis of inks in documents. Ink writings made in ordinary paper with blue ballpoint pens were directly analyzed under ambient conditions without any prior sample preparation. Firstly, the method was explored on a set of distinct pens and the results obtained in the positive ion mode, PS(+)-MS, demonstrated that pens from different brands provide typical profiles. Simple visual inspection of the PS(+)-MS led to the distinction of four different combinations of dyes and additives in the inks. Further discrimination was performed by using the concept of relative ion intensity (RII), owing to the large variability of dyes BV3 and BB26 regarding their demethylated homologues. Following screening and differentiation studies, the composition changes of ink entries subjected to light exposure were also monitored by PS-MS. The results of these tests revealed distinct degradation behaviors which were reflected on the typical chemical profiles of the studied inks, attesting that PS-MS may be also useful to verify the fading of dyes thus allowing the discrimination of entries on a document. As proof of concept experiments, PS-MS was successfully utilized for the analysis of archived documents and characterization of overlapped ink lines made on simulated forged documents. PMID:25431809

  13. Forensic analysis of Salvia divinorum using multivariate statistical procedures. Part I: discrimination from related Salvia species.

    PubMed

    Willard, Melissa A Bodnar; McGuffin, Victoria L; Smith, Ruth Waddell

    2012-01-01

    Salvia divinorum is a hallucinogenic herb that is internationally regulated. In this study, salvinorin A, the active compound in S. divinorum, was extracted from S. divinorum plant leaves using a 5-min extraction with dichloromethane. Four additional Salvia species (Salvia officinalis, Salvia guaranitica, Salvia splendens, and Salvia nemorosa) were extracted using this procedure, and all extracts were analyzed by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. Differentiation of S. divinorum from other Salvia species was successful based on visual assessment of the resulting chromatograms. To provide a more objective comparison, the total ion chromatograms (TICs) were subjected to principal components analysis (PCA). Prior to PCA, the TICs were subjected to a series of data pretreatment procedures to minimize non-chemical sources of variance in the data set. Successful discrimination of S. divinorum from the other four Salvia species was possible based on visual assessment of the PCA scores plot. To provide a numerical assessment of the discrimination, a series of statistical procedures such as Euclidean distance measurement, hierarchical cluster analysis, Student's t tests, Wilcoxon rank-sum tests, and Pearson product moment correlation were also applied to the PCA scores. The statistical procedures were then compared to determine the advantages and disadvantages for forensic applications.

  14. 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

  15. Using hydrophilic adhesive tape for collection of evidence for forensic DNA analysis.

    PubMed

    Li, Richard C; Harris, Howard A

    2003-11-01

    Known exemplar samples of human DNA have traditionally been body fluids, such as blood, saliva, and semen. In each case, the presence of water is a risk for the bacterial growth, which may degrade the DNA evidence. In this study, the authors have developed a method that employed a hydrophilic adhesive tape (HAT) for collecting DNA evidence. The HAT method was used to remove surface cells from relatively hairless areas on the body. The area examined were ankle, arm, behind the ear, between fingers and back of the neck. The HAT was then dissolved in the extraction buffer. DNA typing was performed at vWA, THo1, F13A1, and FES loci using the short tandem repeat (STR) analysis. Our results show that the samples collected from ear give the best results with a success rate of 100%. All subjects tested by this method had known STR genotypes established from buccal swabs. The authors' results suggest that the HAT method can be used as a less invasive method for collecting biological evidence for forensic DNA analysis. In addition, this collection method should reduce the risk of DNA degradation due to the moisture, which is encountered using conventional collecting methods.

  16. Population-Sequencing as a Biomarker of Burkholderia mallei and Burkholderia pseudomallei Evolution through Microbial Forensic Analysis

    PubMed Central

    Jakupciak, John P.; Wells, Jeffrey M.; Karalus, Richard J.; Pawlowski, David R.; Lin, Jeffrey S.; Feldman, Andrew B.

    2013-01-01

    Large-scale genomics projects are identifying biomarkers to detect human disease. B. pseudomallei and B. mallei are two closely related select agents that cause melioidosis and glanders. Accurate characterization of metagenomic samples is dependent on accurate measurements of genetic variation between isolates with resolution down to strain level. Often single biomarker sensitivity is augmented by use of multiple or panels of biomarkers. In parallel with single biomarker validation, advances in DNA sequencing enable analysis of entire genomes in a single run: population-sequencing. Potentially, direct sequencing could be used to analyze an entire genome to serve as the biomarker for genome identification. However, genome variation and population diversity complicate use of direct sequencing, as well as differences caused by sample preparation protocols including sequencing artifacts and mistakes. As part of a Department of Homeland Security program in bacterial forensics, we examined how to implement whole genome sequencing (WGS) analysis as a judicially defensible forensic method for attributing microbial sample relatedness; and also to determine the strengths and limitations of whole genome sequence analysis in a forensics context. Herein, we demonstrate use of sequencing to provide genetic characterization of populations: direct sequencing of populations. PMID:24455204

  17. How useful and reliable are disaster databases in the context of climate and global change? A comparative case study analysis in Peru

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huggel, C.; Raissig, A.; Rohrer, M.; Romero, G.; Diaz, A.; Salzmann, N.

    2015-03-01

    Damage caused by weather- and climate-related disasters have increased over the past decades, and growing exposure and wealth have been identified as main drivers of this increase. Disaster databases are a primary tool for the analysis of disaster characteristics and trends at global or national scales, and they support disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation. However, the quality, consistency and completeness of different disaster databases are highly variable. Even though such variation critically influences the outcome of any study, comparative analyses of different databases are still rare to date. Furthermore, there is an unequal geographic distribution of current disaster trend studies, with developing countries being underrepresented. Here, we analyze three different disaster databases in the developing-country context of Peru: a global database (Emergency Events Database: EM-DAT), a multinational Latin American database (DesInventar) and a national database (Peruvian National Information System for the Prevention of Disasters: SINPAD). The analysis is performed across three dimensions: (1) spatial scales, from local to regional (provincial) and national scale; (2) timescales, from single events to decadal trends; and (3) disaster categories and metrics, including the number of single disaster event occurrence, or people killed and affected. Results show limited changes in disaster occurrence in the Cusco and ApurÍmac regions in southern Peru over the past four decades but strong positive trends in people affected at the national scale. We furthermore found large variations of the disaster metrics studied over different spatial and temporal scales, depending on the disaster database analyzed. We conclude and recommend that the type, method and source of documentation should be carefully evaluated for any analysis of disaster databases; reporting criteria should be improved and documentation efforts strengthened.

  18. UV-visible microscope spectrophotometric polarization and dichroism with increased discrimination power in forensic analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Purcell, Dale Kevin

    Microanalysis of transfer (Trace) evidence is the application of a microscope and microscopical techniques for the collection, observation, documentation, examination, identification, and discrimination of micrometer sized particles or domains. Microscope spectrophotometry is the union of microscopy and spectroscopy for microanalysis. Analytical microspectroscopy is the science of studying the emission, reflection, transmission, and absorption of electromagnetic radiation to determine the structure or chemical composition of microscopic-size materials. Microscope spectrophotometry instrument designs have evolved from monochromatic illumination which transmitted through the microscope and sample and then is detected by a photometer detector (photomultiplier tube) to systems in which broad-band (white light) illumination falls incident upon a sample followed by a non-scanning grating spectrometer equipped with a solid-state multi-element detector. Most of these small modern spectrometers are configured with either silicon based charged-couple device detectors (200-950 nm) or InGaAs based diode array detectors (850-2300 nm) with computerized data acquisition and signal processing being common. A focus of this research was to evaluate the performance characteristics of various modern forensic (UV-Vis) microscope photometer systems as well as review early model instrumental designs. An important focus of this research was to efficiently measure ultraviolet-visible spectra of microscopically small specimens for classification, differentiation, and possibly individualization. The first stage of the project consisted of the preparation of microscope slides containing neutral density filter reference materials, molecular fluorescence reference materials, and dichroic reference materials. Upon completion of these standard slide preparations analysis began with measurements in order to evaluate figures of merit for comparison of the instruments investigated. The figures of

  19. Sequestering of suffering: critical discourse analysis of natural disaster media coverage.

    PubMed

    Cox, Robin S; Long, Bonita C; Jones, Megan I; Handler, Risa J

    2008-05-01

    This article is a critical discourse analysis of the local print-news media coverage of the recovery process in two rural communities following a devastating forest fire. Two hundred and fifty fire-related articles from the North Thompson Star Journal (2003) were analyzed. Results revealed a neoliberal discursive framing of recovery, emphasizing the economic-material aspects of the process and a reliance on experts. A sequestering of suffering discourse promoted psychological functionalism and focused attention on a return to normalcy through the compartmentalization of distress. The dominant 'voice' was male, authoritative, and institutionalized. Implications for disaster recovery and potential health consequences are discussed.

  20. 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)

  1. Coding region SNP analysis to enhance dog mtDNA discrimination power in forensic casework.

    PubMed

    Verscheure, Sophie; Backeljau, Thierry; Desmyter, Stijn

    2015-01-01

    The high population frequencies of three control region haplotypes contribute to the low discrimination power of the dog mtDNA control region. It also diminishes the evidential power of a match with one of these haplotypes in forensic casework. A mitochondrial genome study of 214 Belgian dogs suggested 26 polymorphic coding region sites that successfully resolved dogs with the three most frequent control region haplotypes. In this study, three SNP assays were developed to determine the identity of the 26 informative sites. The control region of 132 newly sampled dogs was sequenced and added to the study of 214 dogs. The assays were applied to 58 dogs of the haplotypes of interest, which confirmed their suitability for enhancing dog mtDNA discrimination power. In the Belgian population study of 346 dogs, the set of 26 sites divided the dogs into 25 clusters of mtGenome sequences with substantially lower population frequency estimates than their control region sequences. In case of a match with one of the three control region haplotypes, using these three SNP assays in conjunction with control region sequencing would augment the exclusion probability of dog mtDNA analysis from 92.9% to 97.0%.

  2. Analysis of Carbohydrate and Fatty Acid Marker Abundance in Ricin Toxin Preparations for Forensic Information

    SciTech Connect

    Colburn, Heather A.; Wunschel, David S.; Kreuzer-Martin, Helen W.; Moran, James J.; Antolick, Kathryn C.; Melville, Angela M.

    2010-07-15

    One challenge in the forensic analysis of ricin samples is determining the method and extent of sample preparation. Ricin purification from the source castor seeds is essentially a protein purification through removal of the non-protein fractions of the seed. Two major, non-protein constituents in the seed are the castor oil and carbohydrates. Ricinoleic acid is a relatively unique fatty acid in nature and is the most abundant component of castor oil, which comprises roughly half the seed weight. The carbohydrate component comprises roughly half of the remaining “mash” left after oil and hull removal. We used derivatization of carbohydrate and fatty acid markers followed by identification and quantification using gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS) to assess compositional changes in ricin samples purified by different methods. The loss of ricinoleic acid indicated steps for oil removal had occurred. Changes to the carbohydrate content of the sample were also observed following protein precipitation. The differential loss of arabinose relative to mannose indicated removal of the major carbohydrate fraction of the seed and enrichment of the protein content. Taken together, these changes in fatty acid and carbohydrate abundance are indicative of the preparation method used for each sample.

  3. Analysis of 11 tetrameric STRs in wild boars for forensic purposes.

    PubMed

    Caratti, Stefano; Rossi, Luca; Sona, Bruno; Origlia, Silvia; Viara, Silvana; Martano, Giuseppe; Torre, Carlo; Robino, Carlo

    2010-10-01

    STR profiling of animal species has a wide range of applications, including forensic identification, wildlife preservation, veterinary public health protection and food safety. We tested the efficacy of a multiplex PCR-based assay including 11 porcine-specific tetrameric STRs in a population sample of wild boars (n=142) originating from Piedmont (North West Italy). Multiple deviations from Hardy-Weinberg expectations were observed, mostly due to a reduction in observed heterozygosity indicative of a high degree of inbreeding. A value of θ of 0.046 and an inbreeding coefficient of 0.089 were estimated. Combined power of discrimination and probability of exclusion values for the STR panel were 0.9999999999996 and 0.99989. In order to test the suitability of the method for meat traceability purposes, a domestic pig reference sample (n=412), consisting of commercial lines commonly used in the meat production process, was also typed. A Bayesian cluster analysis carried out using the observed genotypes, showed a percentage of correct subspecies assignment of individual samples of 0.974 for wild boars and 0.991 for pigs, thus demonstrating the usefulness of the multiplex STR-typing system for discrimination purposes. PMID:20685189

  4. Coding region SNP analysis to enhance dog mtDNA discrimination power in forensic casework.

    PubMed

    Verscheure, Sophie; Backeljau, Thierry; Desmyter, Stijn

    2015-01-01

    The high population frequencies of three control region haplotypes contribute to the low discrimination power of the dog mtDNA control region. It also diminishes the evidential power of a match with one of these haplotypes in forensic casework. A mitochondrial genome study of 214 Belgian dogs suggested 26 polymorphic coding region sites that successfully resolved dogs with the three most frequent control region haplotypes. In this study, three SNP assays were developed to determine the identity of the 26 informative sites. The control region of 132 newly sampled dogs was sequenced and added to the study of 214 dogs. The assays were applied to 58 dogs of the haplotypes of interest, which confirmed their suitability for enhancing dog mtDNA discrimination power. In the Belgian population study of 346 dogs, the set of 26 sites divided the dogs into 25 clusters of mtGenome sequences with substantially lower population frequency estimates than their control region sequences. In case of a match with one of the three control region haplotypes, using these three SNP assays in conjunction with control region sequencing would augment the exclusion probability of dog mtDNA analysis from 92.9% to 97.0%. PMID:25299153

  5. Analysis of 11 tetrameric STRs in wild boars for forensic purposes.

    PubMed

    Caratti, Stefano; Rossi, Luca; Sona, Bruno; Origlia, Silvia; Viara, Silvana; Martano, Giuseppe; Torre, Carlo; Robino, Carlo

    2010-10-01

    STR profiling of animal species has a wide range of applications, including forensic identification, wildlife preservation, veterinary public health protection and food safety. We tested the efficacy of a multiplex PCR-based assay including 11 porcine-specific tetrameric STRs in a population sample of wild boars (n=142) originating from Piedmont (North West Italy). Multiple deviations from Hardy-Weinberg expectations were observed, mostly due to a reduction in observed heterozygosity indicative of a high degree of inbreeding. A value of θ of 0.046 and an inbreeding coefficient of 0.089 were estimated. Combined power of discrimination and probability of exclusion values for the STR panel were 0.9999999999996 and 0.99989. In order to test the suitability of the method for meat traceability purposes, a domestic pig reference sample (n=412), consisting of commercial lines commonly used in the meat production process, was also typed. A Bayesian cluster analysis carried out using the observed genotypes, showed a percentage of correct subspecies assignment of individual samples of 0.974 for wild boars and 0.991 for pigs, thus demonstrating the usefulness of the multiplex STR-typing system for discrimination purposes.

  6. Separation of sperm and epithelial cells based on the hydrodynamic effect for forensic analysis

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Weiran; Chen, Weixing; Liu, Ran; Ou, Yuan; Liu, Haoran; Xie, Lan; Lu, Ying; Li, Caixia; Li, Bin; Cheng, Jing

    2015-01-01

    In sexual assault cases, forensic samples are a mixture of sperm from the perpetrator and epithelial cells from the victim. To obtain an independent short tandem repeat (STR) profile of the perpetrator, sperm cells must be separated from the mixture of cells. However, the current method used in crime laboratories, namely, differential extraction, is a time-consuming and labor-intensive process. To achieve a rapid and automated sample pretreatment process, we fabricated a microdevice for hydrodynamic and size-based separation of sperm and epithelial cells. When cells in suspension were introduced into the device's microfluidic channels, they were forced to flow along different streamlines and into different outlets due to their different diameters. With the proposed microdevice, sperm can be separated within a short period of time (0.5 h for a 50-μl mock sample). The STR profiles of the products in the sperm outlet reservoir demonstrated that a highly purified male DNA fraction could be obtained (94.0% male fraction). This microdevice is of low-cost and can be easily integrated with other subsequent analysis units, providing great potential in the process of analyzing sexual assault evidence as well as in other areas requiring cell sorting. PMID:26392829

  7. Computer analysis of ATR-FTIR spectra of paint samples for forensic purposes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Szafarska, Małgorzata; Woźniakiewicz, Michał; Pilch, Mariusz; Zięba-Palus, Janina; Kościelniak, Paweł

    2009-04-01

    A method of subtraction and normalization of IR spectra (MSN-IR) was developed and successfully applied to extract mathematically the pure paint spectrum from the spectrum of paint coat on different bases, both acquired by the Attenuated Total Reflectance Fourier Transform Infrared (ATR-FTIR) technique. The method consists of several stages encompassing several normalization and subtraction processes. The similarity of the spectrum obtained with the reference spectrum was estimated by means of the normalized Manhattan distance. The utility and performance of the method proposed were tested by examination of five different paints sprayed on plastic (polyester) foil and on fabric materials (cotton). It was found that the numerical algorithm applied is able - in contrast to other mathematical approaches conventionally used for the same aim - to reconstruct a pure paint IR spectrum effectively without a loss of chemical information provided. The approach allows the physical separation of a paint from a base to be avoided, hence a time and work-load of analysis to be considerably reduced. The results obtained prove that the method can be considered as a useful tool which can be applied to forensic purposes.

  8. Raman spectroscopy and capillary electrophoresis applied to forensic colour inkjet printer inks analysis.

    PubMed

    Król, Małgorzata; Karoly, Agnes; Kościelniak, Paweł

    2014-09-01

    Forensic laboratories are increasingly engaged in the examination of fraudulent documents, and what is important, in many cases these are inkjet-printed documents. That is why systematic approaches to inkjet printer inks comparison and identification have been carried out by both non-destructive and destructive methods. In this study, micro-Raman spectroscopy and capillary electrophoresis (CE) were applied to the analysis of colour inkjet printer inks. Micro-Raman spectroscopy was used to study the chemical composition of colour inks in situ on a paper surface. It helps to characterize and differentiate inkjet inks, and can be used to create a spectra database of inks taken from different cartridge brands and cartridge numbers. Capillary electrophoresis in micellar electrophoretic capillary chromatography mode was applied to separate colour and colourless components of inks, enabling group identification of those components which occur in a sufficient concentration (giving intensive peaks). Finally, on the basis of the obtained results, differentiation of the analysed inks was performed. Twenty-three samples of inkjet printer inks were examined and the discriminating power (DP) values for both presented methods were established in the routine work of experts during the result interpretation step. DP was found to be 94.0% (Raman) and 95.6% (CE) when all the analysed ink samples were taken into account, and it was 96.7% (Raman) and 98.4% (CE), when only cartridges with different index numbers were considered.

  9. Elemental analysis of forensic glasses by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Almirall, Jose R.; Duckworth, Douglas C.; Bayne, Charles K.; Morton, Sherman A.; Smith, David H.; Koons, Robert D.; Furton, Kenneth G.

    1999-02-01

    Flat glass is a common type of evidence collected from the scenes of crimes such as burglaries, vandalism, and hit-and- run accidents. The usefulness of such evidence lies in the ability to associate the glass from the scene (or a suspect) to the original source. Physical and chemical analysis of the glass can be used for discrimination between the possible sources of glass. If the sample is large enough, physical attributes such as fracture matches, density, color, and thickness can be employed for comparison between a recovered fragment(s) to the suspect source. More commonly, refractive index (RI) comparisons are employed. Due to the improved control over glass manufacturing processes, RI values often cannot differentiate glasses where approximately 6 - 9% of casework samples are not expected to be distinguished by RI alone even if they originated from different sources. Employing methods such as NAA, XRF, ICP-AES, and ICP-MS for the comparison of trace elemental compositions has been shown to be more discriminating than RI comparisons. The multielement capability and the sensitivity of ICP-AES and ICP-MS provide for excellent discrimination power. In this work, the sources of variability in ICP-MS of glass analysis are investigated to determine possible sources of variation. The sources of variation examined include errors due to sample preparation, instrument accuracy and precision, and interlaboratory reproducibility. Other sources of variation include inhomogeneity across a sheet of glass from the same source. Analysis of variance has been applied to our ICP-MS analysis of NIST standards and to the interlaboratory comparisons of float glass samples collected across a sheet in a production facility. The results of these experiments allows for a more accurate interpretation of forensic glass data and a better understanding of the discriminating power (absolute and practical) of ICP-MS.

  10. 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.

  11. Discourses of aggression in forensic mental health: a critical discourse analysis of mental health nursing staff records.

    PubMed

    Berring, Lene L; Pedersen, Liselotte; Buus, Niels

    2015-12-01

    Managing aggression in mental health hospitals is an important and challenging task for clinical nursing staff. A majority of studies focus on the perspective of clinicians, and research mainly depicts aggression by referring to patient-related factors. This qualitative study investigates how aggression is communicated in forensic mental health nursing records. The aim of the study was to gain insight into the discursive practices used by forensic mental health nursing staff when they record observed aggressive incidents. Textual accounts were extracted from the Staff Observation Aggression Scale-Revised (SOAS-R), and Fairclough's critical discourse analysis was used to identify short narrative entries depicting patients and staffs in typical ways. The narratives contained descriptions of complex interactions between patient and staff that were linked to specific circumstances surrounding the patient. These antecedents, combined with the aggression incident itself, created stereotyping representations of forensic psychiatric patients as deviant, unpredictable and dangerous. Patient and staff identities were continually (re)produced by an automatic response from the staff that was solely focused on the patient's behavior. Such response might impede implementation of new strategies for managing aggression.

  12. Disaster victim identification.

    PubMed

    Graham, Eleanor A M

    2006-09-01

    In the event of any mass fatality incident, despite the cause, disaster victim identification must be undertaken; the humanitarian and legal responsibility for this falls on the forensic community. Mass fatality incidents can be natural (e.g., tsunamis, earthquakes, hurricanes), accidental (e.g., building collapse, ship sinking) or can occur as a result of a terrorist attack. Terrorism alone has been responsible for thousands of deaths in recent years and can be encountered in many forms (e.g., suicide bombings, airplane hijackings). In mass fatality situations, the experitise of many specialities are called on to assist in the identification efforts and to allow for the speedy return of recovered human remains to the relatives of the deceased. Today, DNA plays a vital but never solitary role in disaster victim identification.

  13. Forensic mental health clinical evaluation: an analysis of interstate and intersystemic differences.

    PubMed

    Warren, J I; Rosenfeld, B; Fitch, W L; Hawk, G

    1997-08-01

    Forensic mental health evaluation systems have undergone major changes during the past two decades, and the variability of service delivery systems across states is significant. We compared assessments of competence to stand trial and criminal responsibility in three states with different systems for forensic mental health evaluations: Michigan, Ohio, and Virginia. Although all three states use comparable legal criteria to judge competence and criminal responsibility, we found large, statistically significant differences among the states in the proportion of defendants referred for evaluation who were assessed as incompetent or not criminally responsible. In addition, significant differences were found in the diagnostic and offense categories of defendants referred for evaluation. Our findings suggest that the structure of a system for providing forensic evaluation services may significantly affect both the group of individuals referred for evaluation as well as evaluation outcome.

  14. Speech watermarking: an approach for the forensic analysis of digital telephonic recordings.

    PubMed

    Faundez-Zanuy, Marcos; Lucena-Molina, Jose J; Hagmüller, Martin

    2010-07-01

    In this article, the authors discuss the problem of forensic authentication of digital audio recordings. Although forensic audio has been addressed in several articles, the existing approaches are focused on analog magnetic recordings, which are less prevalent because of the large amount of digital recorders available on the market (optical, solid state, hard disks, etc.). An approach based on digital signal processing that consists of spread spectrum techniques for speech watermarking is presented. This approach presents the advantage that the authentication is based on the signal itself rather than the recording format. Thus, it is valid for usual recording devices in police-controlled telephone intercepts. In addition, our proposal allows for the introduction of relevant information such as the recording date and time and all the relevant data (this is not always possible with classical systems). Our experimental results reveal that the speech watermarking procedure does not interfere in a significant way with the posterior forensic speaker identification. PMID:20412360

  15. 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

  16. The Development of a Generic Framework for the Forensic Analysis of SCADA and Process Control Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Slay, Jill; Sitnikova, Elena

    There is continuing interest in researching generic security architectures and strategies for managing SCADA and process control systems. Documentation from various countries on IT security does now begin to recommendations for security controls for (federal) information systems which include connected process control systems. Little or no work exists in the public domain which takes a big picture approach to the issue of developing a generic or generalisable approach to SCADA and process control system forensics. The discussion raised in this paper is that before one can develop solutions to the problem of SCADA forensics, a good understanding of the forensic computing process, and the range of technical and procedural issues subsumed with in this process, need to be understood, and also agreed, by governments, industry and academia.

  17. Decision-theoretic analysis of forensic sampling criteria using bayesian decision networks.

    PubMed

    Biedermann, A; Bozza, S; Garbolino, P; Taroni, F

    2012-11-30

    Sampling issues represent a topic of ongoing interest to the forensic science community essentially because of their crucial role in laboratory planning and working protocols. For this purpose, forensic literature described thorough (bayesian) probabilistic sampling approaches. These are now widely implemented in practice. They allow, for instance, to obtain probability statements that parameters of interest (e.g., the proportion of a seizure of items that present particular features, such as an illegal substance) satisfy particular criteria (e.g., a threshold or an otherwise limiting value). Currently, there are many approaches that allow one to derive probability statements relating to a population proportion, but questions on how a forensic decision maker--typically a client of a forensic examination or a scientist acting on behalf of a client--ought actually to decide about a proportion or a sample size, remained largely unexplored to date. The research presented here intends to address methodology from decision theory that may help to cope usefully with the wide range of sampling issues typically encountered in forensic science applications. The procedures explored in this paper enable scientists to address a variety of concepts such as the (net) value of sample information, the (expected) value of sample information or the (expected) decision loss. All of these aspects directly relate to questions that are regularly encountered in casework. Besides probability theory and bayesian inference, the proposed approach requires some additional elements from decision theory that may increase the efforts needed for practical implementation. In view of this challenge, the present paper will emphasise the merits of graphical modelling concepts, such as decision trees and bayesian decision networks. These can support forensic scientists in applying the methodology in practice. How this may be achieved is illustrated with several examples. The graphical devices invoked

  18. Prioritizing health: a human rights analysis of disaster, vulnerability, and urbanization in New Orleans and Port-au-Prince.

    PubMed

    Carmalt, Jean

    2014-06-14

    Climate change prompts increased urbanization and vulnerability to natural hazards. Urbanization processes are relevant to a right to health analysis of natural hazards because they can exacerbate pre-disaster inequalities that create vulnerability. The 2010 earthquake in Port-au-Prince and the 2005 hurricane in New Orleans provide vivid illustrations of the relationship between spatial inequality and the threats associated with natural hazards. The link between urbanization processes, spatial inequality, and vulnerability to natural hazards is important in terms of an analysis of the right to health; in particular, it provides a basis for arguing that states should prioritize equitable land use and development as a matter of human rights. This article draws on work by geographers, disaster specialists, and international legal scholars to argue that inequitable urbanization processes violate the obligations to respect, protect, and fulfill the human right to health in disaster-prone regions.

  19. [Gunshot wounds: forensic pathology].

    PubMed

    Lorin de la Grandmaison, Geoffroy

    2012-02-01

    Gunshot wounds are among the most complex traumatic lesions encountered in forensic pathology. At the time of autopsy, careful scrutiny of the wounds is essential for correct interpretation of the lesions. Complementary pathological analysis has many interests: differentiation between entrance and exit wounds, estimation of firing distance, differentiation between vital and post mortem wounds and wounds dating. In case of multiple headshots, neuropathological examination can provide arguments for or against suicide. Sampling of gunshot wounds at autopsy must be systematic. Pathological data should be confronted respectively to autopsy and death scene investigation data and also ballistic studies. Forensic pathologist must be aware of the limits of optic microscopy.

  20. [Advances of forensic entomology in China].

    PubMed

    Lan, Ling-mei; Liao, Zhi-gang; Chen, Yao-qing; Yao, Yue; Li, Jian-bo; Li, Mao-yang; Cai, Ji-feng

    2006-12-01

    Forensic entomology is a branch of forensic medicine, which applies studies of insects and arthropods to getting evidence for court and has an analogous advantage in the estimation of the postmortem interval (PMI) and other questions of forensic relevance. The paper expounds its definition and contents and reviews some progress of the studies in some aspects in China such as the constitution and succession of insect community on the different cadavers, the applications of morphological features of insects and the technology of analysis of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) in forensic entomology, and forensic entomological toxicology etc.

  1. Examination of mobile phones in a university forensic lab environment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Luttenberger, Silas; Kröger, Knut; Creutzburg, Reiner

    2011-06-01

    The aim of this article is to show forensic investigation methods for mobile phones to students in a university forensic lab environment. Students have to learn the usefulness of forensic procedures to ensure evidence collection, evidence preservation, forensic analysis, and reporting. Open source tools as well as commercial forensic tools for forensic investigation of modern mobile (smart) phones are used. It is demonstrated how important data stored in the mobile device are investigated. Different scenarios of investigations are presented that are well-suited for forensics lab work in university.

  2. [Identifying victims of a disaster].

    PubMed

    de Boer, Hans H; Kloosterman, Ate D; de Bruijn, Arie G; Maat, George J R

    2014-01-01

    Identifying the victims of a disaster is important for the next of kin, to issue a death certificate and, if necessary, for forensic investigations. In the Netherlands victims are identified by the Dutch disaster victim identification team, which is part of the national forensic investigation team ('Landelijk Team Forensische Opsporing'). Ante-mortem data are collected during the identification process; these include the victim's specific medical characteristics and the DNA profile of the victim and their family members. The victim's own doctor can play an important role in the ante-mortem investigation because of his or her knowledge of their personal medical details, and of the possible availability of samples for establishing a DNA profile. The ante-mortem data are then compared with post-mortem data. For a definitive identification at least 1 primary identification characteristic has to be established from the physical remains - dermatoglyphics, the DNA profile or the dental status.

  3. [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

  4. [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

  5. Enhanced Genetic Analysis of Single Human Bioparticles Recovered by Simplified Micromanipulation from Forensic ‘Touch DNA’ Evidence

    PubMed Central

    Farash, Katherine; Hanson, Erin K.; Ballantyne, Jack

    2015-01-01

    DNA profiles can be obtained from ‘touch DNA’ evidence, which comprises microscopic traces of human biological material. Current methods for the recovery of trace DNA employ cotton swabs or adhesive tape to sample an area of interest. However, such a ‘blind-swabbing’ approach will co-sample cellular material from the different individuals, even if the individuals’ cells are located in geographically distinct locations on the item. Thus, some of the DNA mixtures encountered in touch DNA samples are artificially created by the swabbing itself. In some instances, a victim’s DNA may be found in significant excess thus masking any potential perpetrator’s DNA. In order to circumvent the challenges with standard recovery and analysis methods, we have developed a lower cost, ‘smart analysis’ method that results in enhanced genetic analysis of touch DNA evidence. We describe an optimized and efficient micromanipulation recovery strategy for the collection of bio-particles present in touch DNA samples, as well as an enhanced amplification strategy involving a one-step 5 µl microvolume lysis/STR amplification to permit the recovery of STR profiles from the bio-particle donor(s). The use of individual or few (i.e., “clumps”) bioparticles results in the ability to obtain single source profiles. These procedures represent alternative enhanced techniques for the isolation and analysis of single bioparticles from forensic touch DNA evidence. While not necessary in every forensic investigation, the method could be highly beneficial for the recovery of a single source perpetrator DNA profile in cases involving physical assault (e.g., strangulation) that may not be possible using standard analysis techniques. Additionally, the strategies developed here offer an opportunity to obtain genetic information at the single cell level from a variety of other non-forensic trace biological material. PMID:25867046

  6. Forensic Analysis of the May 2014 West Salt Creek Rock Avalanche in Western Colorado

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Coe, J. A.; Baum, R. L.; Allstadt, K.; Kochevar, B. F.; Schmitt, R. G.; Morgan, M. L.; White, J. L.; Stratton, B. T.; Hayashi, T. A.; Kean, J. W.

    2015-12-01

    The rain-on-snow induced West Salt Creek rock avalanche occurred on May 25, 2014 on the northern flank of Grand Mesa. The avalanche was rare for the contiguous U.S. because of its large size (59 M m3) and high mobility (Length/Height=7.2). To understand the avalanche failure sequence, mechanisms, and mobility, we conducted a forensic analysis using large-scale (1:1000) structural mapping and seismic data. We used high-resolution, Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) imagery as a base for our field mapping and analyzed seismic data from 22 broadband stations (distances <656 km) and one short-period network. We inverted broadband data to derive a time series of forces that the avalanche exerted on the earth and tracked these forces using curves in the avalanche path. Our results revealed that the rock avalanche was a cascade of landslide events, rather than a single massive failure. The sequence began with a landslide/debris flow that started about 10 hours before the main avalanche. The main avalanche lasted just over 3 minutes and traveled at average velocities ranging from 15 to 36 m/s. For at least two hours after the avalanche ceased movement, a central, hummock-rich, strike-slip bound core continued to move slowly. Following movement of the core, numerous shallow landslides, rock slides, and rock falls created new structures and modified topography. Mobility of the main avalanche and central core were likely enhanced by valley floor material that liquefied from undrained loading by the overriding avalanche. Although the base was likely at least partially liquefied, our mapping indicates that the overriding avalanche internally deformed predominantly by sliding along discrete shear surfaces in material that was nearly dry and had substantial frictional strength. These results indicate that the West Salt Creek avalanche, and probably other long-traveled avalanches, could be modeled as two layers: a liquefied basal layer; and a thicker and stronger overriding layer.

  7. 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.

  8. Forensic dentistry joins DNA analysis as important tool for police work.

    PubMed Central

    Tempelman-Kluit, A

    1995-01-01

    A Vancouver dentist who works as a teacher, researcher and administrator at the University of British Columbia has a unique extracurricular interest. Dr. David Sweet, one of four forensic odontologists in Canada, has put names to unidentified bodies and the remains of car-crash victims, helped convict child abusers and provided evidence in robbery cases. Images p662-a PMID:7641165

  9. Examination, Analysis, and Application of Hair in Forensic Science - Animal Hair.

    PubMed

    Tridico, S

    2005-01-01

    This article reviews the examination of animal hairs and their role in the forensic arena. The forensic examination of animal hair is a well-established discipline and has been so for two centuries. Examination is largely based on microscopy, which may enable the hair analyst to identify a hair as animal in origin, to characterize the hair to a particular species, and to conduct comparative examinations. Education and training underpin the ability of the hair analyst with the specialized knowledge and expertise required to proficiently conduct these examinations and give appropriate weight to the findings. This article will also discuss the effect two relative "newcomers" have exerted on the forensic examination of animal hair - (a) the transfer and persistence of animal hairs and (b) DNA profiling. Opinions regarding the transfer and persistence of animal hairs have been based on the data obtained from studies conducted on textile fibers because of the lack of data available for animal hairs. Preliminary studies conducted specifically on the transfer and persistence of animal hairs has shown that the results are comparable to the studies conducted on textile fibers. The progress in DNA profiling has seen this method being used with increasing frequency in the examination of animal hair. The results provide a degree of individualization that has not been possible with comparative microscopy. In conclusion, this review article will clearly demonstrate the role, value, and eclectic application of animal hair examination to forensic science.

  10. Forensic culture as epistemic culture: the sociology of forensic science.

    PubMed

    Cole, Simon A

    2013-03-01

    This paper explores whether we can interpret the notion of 'forensic culture' as something akin to what Knorr-Cetina called an 'epistemic culture'. Can we speak of a 'forensic culture', and, if so, how is it similar to, or different from, other epistemic cultures that exist in what is conventionally called 'science'? This question has important policy implications given the National Academy Science's (NAS) recent identification of 'culture' as one of the problems at the root of what it identified as 'serious deficiencies' in U.S. forensic science and 'scientific culture' as an antidote to those problems. Finding the NAS's characterisation of 'scientific culture' overly general and naïve, this paper offers a preliminary exploration of what might be called a 'forensic culture'. Specifically, the paper explores the way in which few of the empirical findings accumulated by sociologists of science about research science seem to apply to forensic science. Instead, forensic science seems to have developed a distinct culture for which a sociological analysis will require new explanatory tools. Faithful sociological analysis of 'forensic culture' will be a necessary prerequisite for the kind of culture change prescribed by external reformist bodies like the NAS.

  11. Semblance analysis to assess GPR data from a five-year forensic study of simulated clandestine graves

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Booth, Adam D.; Pringle, Jamie K.

    2016-02-01

    Ground penetrating radar (GPR) surveys have proven useful for locating clandestine graves in a number of forensic searches. There has been extensive research into the geophysical monitoring of simulated clandestine graves in different burial scenarios and ground conditions. Whilst these studies have been used to suggest optimum dominant radar frequencies, the data themselves have not been quantitatively analysed to-date. This study uses a common-offset configuration of semblance analysis, both to characterise velocity trends from GPR diffraction hyperbolae and, since the magnitude of a semblance response is proportional to signal-to-noise ratio, to quantify the strength of a forensic GPR response. 2D GPR profiles were acquired over a simulated clandestine burial, with a wrapped-pig cadaver monitored at three-month intervals between 2008 and 2013 with GPR antennas of three different centre-frequencies (110, 225 and 450 MHz). The GPR response to the cadaver was a strong diffraction hyperbola. Results show, in contrast to resistivity surveys, that semblance analysis have little sensitivity to changes attributable to decomposition, and only a subtle influence from seasonality: velocity increases (0.01-0.02 m/ns) were observed in summer, associated with a decrease (5-10%) in peak semblance magnitude, SM, and potentially in the reflectivity of the cadaver. The lowest-frequency antennas consistently gave the highest signal-to-noise ratio although the grave was nonetheless detectable by all frequencies trialled. These observations suggest that forensic GPR surveys could be undertaken with little seasonal hindrance. Whilst GPR analysis cannot currently provide a quantitative diagnostic proxy for time-since-burial, the consistency of responses suggests that graves will remain detectable beyond the five years shown here.

  12. Disaster Preparedness.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brooks, Constance

    Most librarians know the importance of disaster preparedness. Many disasters could have been prevented altogether or have had reduced impact if institutions had been better prepared. This resource guide suggests how disaster preparedness can be achieved at cultural institutions. Twenty-three basic resource articles are presented to introduce…

  13. Forensic anthropology in the 1990s.

    PubMed

    Reichs, K J

    1992-06-01

    Forensic anthropology has undergone considerable change over the past 10 years. Today it is utilized by most law enforcement, coroner, and medical examiner systems. The techniques for determination of age at death, sex, race, and stature from skeletal remains have been modified and greatly expanded. The role of the forensic anthropologist within a medicolegal context is much broader than in previous years. In addition to establishing individual identity, forensic anthropologists are now consulted for trauma analysis, facial reconstruction, photographic superimposition, determination of time interval since death, and crime-scene recovery. Not all physical anthropologists are forensic anthropologists. Qualified individuals are certified, through rigorous examination, by the American Board of Forensic Anthropology. A list of board-certified forensic anthropologists may be obtained through the American Academy of Forensic Sciences. PMID:1510066

  14. Forensic anthropology casework-essential methodological considerations in stature estimation.

    PubMed

    Krishan, Kewal; Kanchan, Tanuj; Menezes, Ritesh G; Ghosh, Abhik

    2012-03-01

    The examination of skeletal remains is a challenge to the medical examiner's/coroner's office and the forensic anthropologist conducting the investigation. One of the objectives of the medico-legal investigation is to estimate stature or height from various skeletal remains and body parts brought for examination. Various skeletal remains and body parts bear a positive and linear correlation with stature and have been successfully used for stature estimation. This concept is utilized in estimation of stature in forensic anthropology casework in mass disasters and other forensic examinations. Scientists have long been involved in standardizing the anthropological data with respect to various populations of the world. This review deals with some essential methodological issues that need to be addressed in research related to estimation of stature in forensic examinations. These issues have direct relevance in the identification of commingled or unknown remains and therefore it is essential that forensic nurses are familiar with the theories and techniques used in forensic anthropology.

  15. 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.

  16. A qualitative analysis of posttraumatic stress among Mexican victims of disaster.

    PubMed

    Norris, F H; Weisshaar, D L; Conrad, M L; Diaz, E M; Murphy, A D; Lbañez, G E

    2001-10-01

    In unstructured interviews, 24 Mexicans described survivors' responses to disasters in Guadalajara, Jalisco (n = 9), Homestead, Florida (n = 6), and Puerto Angel, Oaxaca (n = 9). This analysis assessed the extent to which symptom descriptions corresponded to the 17 criterion symptoms of PTSD. Nineteen participants (79%) mentioned from 1 to 9 criterion symptoms. Event-related distress, hypervigilance, recurrent recollections, and avoiding reminders were described most often. Only 3 criterion symptoms were never described. Twenty participants (83%) provided 109 separate expressions that could not be classified specifically as criterion symptoms. These phrases were sorted by 9 independent Mexican volunteers and cluster analyzed. Clusters composed of ataques de nervios, depression, lasting trauma, and somatic complaints provided the best description of the data. PMID:11776421

  17. Probabilistic cost-benefit analysis of disaster risk management in a development context.

    PubMed

    Kull, Daniel; Mechler, Reinhard; Hochrainer-Stigler, Stefan

    2013-07-01

    Limited studies have shown that disaster risk management (DRM) can be cost-efficient in a development context. Cost-benefit analysis (CBA) is an evaluation tool to analyse economic efficiency. This research introduces quantitative, stochastic CBA frameworks and applies them in case studies of flood and drought risk reduction in India and Pakistan, while also incorporating projected climate change impacts. DRM interventions are shown to be economically efficient, with integrated approaches more cost-effective and robust than singular interventions. The paper highlights that CBA can be a useful tool if certain issues are considered properly, including: complexities in estimating risk; data dependency of results; negative effects of interventions; and distributional aspects. The design and process of CBA must take into account specific objectives, available information, resources, and the perceptions and needs of stakeholders as transparently as possible. Intervention design and uncertainties should be qualified through dialogue, indicating that process is as important as numerical results.

  18. [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.

  19. Error rates in forensic DNA analysis: definition, numbers, impact and communication.

    PubMed

    Kloosterman, Ate; Sjerps, Marjan; Quak, Astrid

    2014-09-01

    Forensic DNA casework is currently regarded as one of the most important types of forensic evidence, and important decisions in intelligence and justice are based on it. However, errors occasionally occur and may have very serious consequences. In other domains, error rates have been defined and published. The forensic domain is lagging behind concerning this transparency for various reasons. In this paper we provide definitions and observed frequencies for different types of errors at the Human Biological Traces Department of the Netherlands Forensic Institute (NFI) over the years 2008-2012. Furthermore, we assess their actual and potential impact and describe how the NFI deals with the communication of these numbers to the legal justice system. We conclude that the observed relative frequency of quality failures is comparable to studies from clinical laboratories and genetic testing centres. Furthermore, this frequency is constant over the five-year study period. The most common causes of failures related to the laboratory process were contamination and human error. Most human errors could be corrected, whereas gross contamination in crime samples often resulted in irreversible consequences. Hence this type of contamination is identified as the most significant source of error. Of the known contamination incidents, most were detected by the NFI quality control system before the report was issued to the authorities, and thus did not lead to flawed decisions like false convictions. However in a very limited number of cases crucial errors were detected after the report was issued, sometimes with severe consequences. Many of these errors were made in the post-analytical phase. The error rates reported in this paper are useful for quality improvement and benchmarking, and contribute to an open research culture that promotes public trust. However, they are irrelevant in the context of a particular case. Here case-specific probabilities of undetected errors are needed

  20. The value of radiocarbon analysis in determining the forensic interest of human skeletal remains found in unusual circumstances.

    PubMed

    Cardoso, Hugo F V; Puentes, Katerina; Soares, António Monge; Santos, Agostinho; Magalhães, Teresa

    2012-02-01

    The case under analysis refers to the remains of a young adult female found in a shallow grave during the construction work of a hospital in Northern Portugal. The forensic interest of the finding could not be ruled out since distinguishing features pointing to an archaeological grave were lacking. For example, absence of archaeological artefacts could not establish its forensic significance with certainty, together with the absence of modern objects, such as remnants of clothing or personal objects. In addition, although the remains were badly preserved, the condition may not have resulted from a long post-depositional period, but instead could be explained by the geology of the site and the presence of plant roots. The radiocarbon analysis of the remains was meant to establish the death of the individual to before or after the mid-1950s, from comparison with bomb-curve content values. A value of 0.9789 ± 0.0044 for F(14)C (pmC = 97.19 ± 0.44% Modern or Δ(14)C = -28.1 ± 4.4‰) was obtained, which placed the death of the individual in the pre-mod-1950s period. This report illustrates the use of radiocarbon analysis in establishing whether the human remains are contemporary or not and describes evidence for what appears to be an historic clandestine grave.

  1. The value of radiocarbon analysis in determining the forensic interest of human skeletal remains found in unusual circumstances.

    PubMed

    Cardoso, Hugo F V; Puentes, Katerina; Soares, António Monge; Santos, Agostinho; Magalhães, Teresa

    2012-02-01

    The case under analysis refers to the remains of a young adult female found in a shallow grave during the construction work of a hospital in Northern Portugal. The forensic interest of the finding could not be ruled out since distinguishing features pointing to an archaeological grave were lacking. For example, absence of archaeological artefacts could not establish its forensic significance with certainty, together with the absence of modern objects, such as remnants of clothing or personal objects. In addition, although the remains were badly preserved, the condition may not have resulted from a long post-depositional period, but instead could be explained by the geology of the site and the presence of plant roots. The radiocarbon analysis of the remains was meant to establish the death of the individual to before or after the mid-1950s, from comparison with bomb-curve content values. A value of 0.9789 ± 0.0044 for F(14)C (pmC = 97.19 ± 0.44% Modern or Δ(14)C = -28.1 ± 4.4‰) was obtained, which placed the death of the individual in the pre-mod-1950s period. This report illustrates the use of radiocarbon analysis in establishing whether the human remains are contemporary or not and describes evidence for what appears to be an historic clandestine grave. PMID:22281219

  2. Application of the ORIGEN Fallout Analysis Tool and the DELFIC Fallout Planning Tool to National Technical Nuclear Forensics

    SciTech Connect

    Jodoin, Vincent J; Lee, Ronald W; Peplow, Douglas E.; Lefebvre, Jordan P

    2011-01-01

    The objective of this project was to provide a robust fallout analysis and planning tool for the National Technical Nuclear Forensics interagency ground sample collection team. Their application called for a fast-running, portable mission-planning tool for use in response to emerging improvised nuclear device (IND) post-detonation situations. The project met those goals by research and development of models to predict the physical, chemical, and radiological properties of fallout debris. ORNL has developed new graphical user interfaces for two existing codes, the Oak Ridge Isotope Generation (ORIGEN) code and the Defense Land Fallout Interpretive Code (DELFIC). ORIGEN is a validated, radionuclide production and decay code that has been implemented into the Fallout Analysis Tool to predict the fallout source term nuclide inventory after the detonation of an IND. DELFIC is a validated, physics-based, research reference fallout prediction software package. It has been implemented into the Fallout Planning Tool and is used to predict the fractionated isotope concentrations in fallout, particle sizes, fractionation ratios, dose rate, and integrated dose over the planned collection routes - information vital to ensure quality samples for nuclear forensic analysis while predicting dose to the sample collectors. DELFIC contains a particle activity module, which models the radiochemical fractionation of the elements in a cooling fireball as they condense into and onto particles to predict the fractionated activity size distribution for a given scenario. This provides the most detailed physics-based characterization of the fallout source term phenomenology available in an operational fallout model.

  3. [Research Progress on Forensic Entomotoxicology].

    PubMed

    Liu, Zhi-jiang; Zhai, Xian-dun; Guan, Ling; Mo, Yao-nan

    2015-06-01

    Forensic entomotoxicology is a branch of forensic medicine, which applies entomology, toxicology and other related studies to solve the poisoning cases. It has an obvious advantage in the investigation on poisoning death. Based on the expounding definition and research of entomotoxicology, this paper reviews research progress and application value in some aspects of forensic medicine, such as the effects of drugs/toxins on the growth and development of sarcosaphagous insects and the qualitative and quantitative analysis of the drugs/toxins in the poisoned body tissue.

  4. Dentistry and Mass Disaster – A Review

    PubMed Central

    Sakthi, D Sri

    2014-01-01

    Mass disaster situations may arise from natural or manmade circumstances like bioterrorism and dentists or dental responders have significant roles in human identification, following such occurrences. The various roles of dentists in mass disaster management, that include bio surveillance and notification, diagnosis and monitoring, triage, referrals of patients, immunizations, decontamination and infection control would be considered. The varying extents of use of forensic dental techniques and the resulting positive impacts made on human identification will also be included. The importance of preparation by way of special training for the dental personnel, mass disaster rehearsal, and use of modern day technology will be stressed on. PMID:25177658

  5. Disaster Preparedness

    PubMed Central

    Achora, Susan; Kamanyire, Joy K.

    2016-01-01

    With the increasing global frequency of disasters, the call for disaster preparedness training needs to be reinforced. Nurses form the largest group of the healthcare workforce and are often on the frontline in disaster management. Therefore, nurses should be adequately equipped with the knowledge and skills to respond to disasters, starting from their pre-service training to their in-service professional training. However, the inclusion of disaster preparedness education in undergraduate nursing curricula is minimal in most countries. The purpose of this article is to highlight the current state of nursing education and training in disaster management, both generally and in Oman. The significance of disaster preparedness training and recommendations for its inclusion in nursing practice and education are also discussed. PMID:26909207

  6. [Fixation of cells for analysis by laser microdissection--comparative studies in forensic trace material].

    PubMed

    Fischer, Elisabeth J; Laberke, Patrick J; Kübler, Eric; Balitzki, Beate

    2012-01-01

    This paper is focused on the preparation of samples for laser microdissection (LM) in forensic casework. In forensic genetics, it is essential to preserve and separate cellular traces during sample preparation, as they are usually gathered in very small amounts and are often contaminated with undesired cells. This is made possible by laser microdissection, a technique developed to cut cells or tissue of a certain type from a microscopical specimen by UV laser and catapult them directly into a PCR reactor. This method minimizes the risk of getting inconclusive, mixed DNA profiles due to contamination by foreign DNA and also supplies information about the cellular origin of a DNA profile. A method for optimized fixation and staining of spermatozoa for laser microdissection was established. Four different fixation methods combined with two staining methods were tested on two different microscope slides. Moreover, the effect of a blocker pen to contain the specimen on the slide was investigated.

  7. Analysis of Forensic Autopsy in 120 Cases of Medical Disputes Among Different Levels of Institutional Settings.

    PubMed

    Yu, Lin-Sheng; Ye, Guang-Hua; Fan, Yan-Yan; Li, Xing-Biao; Feng, Xiang-Ping; Han, Jun-Ge; Lin, Ke-Zhi; Deng, Miao-Wu; Li, Feng

    2015-09-01

    Despite advances in medical science, the causes of death can sometimes only be determined by pathologists after a complete autopsy. Few studies have investigated the importance of forensic autopsy in medically disputed cases among different levels of institutional settings. Our study aimed to analyze forensic autopsy in 120 cases of medical disputes among five levels of institutional settings between 2001 and 2012 in Wenzhou, China. The results showed an overall concordance rate of 55%. Of the 39% of clinically missed diagnosis, cardiovascular pathology comprises 55.32%, while respiratory pathology accounts for the remaining 44. 68%. Factors that increase the likelihood of missed diagnoses were private clinics, community settings, and county hospitals. These results support that autopsy remains an important tool in establishing causes of death in medically disputed case, which may directly determine or exclude the fault of medical care and therefore in helping in resolving these cases.

  8. 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.

  9. Complex DNA mixture analysis in a forensic context: evaluating the probative value using a likelihood ratio model.

    PubMed

    Haned, Hinda; Benschop, Corina C G; Gill, Peter D; Sijen, Titia

    2015-05-01

    The interpretation of mixed DNA profiles obtained from low template DNA samples has proven to be a particularly difficult task in forensic casework. Newly developed likelihood ratio (LR) models that account for PCR-related stochastic effects, such as allelic drop-out, drop-in and stutters, have enabled the analysis of complex cases that would otherwise have been reported as inconclusive. In such samples, there are uncertainties about the number of contributors, and the correct sets of propositions to consider. Using experimental samples, where the genotypes of the donors are known, we evaluated the feasibility and the relevance of the interpretation of high order mixtures, of three, four and five donors. The relative risks of analyzing high order mixtures of three, four, and five donors, were established by comparison of a 'gold standard' LR, to the LR that would be obtained in casework. The 'gold standard' LR is the ideal LR: since the genotypes and number of contributors are known, it follows that the parameters needed to compute the LR can be determined per contributor. The 'casework LR' was calculated as used in standard practice, where unknown donors are assumed; the parameters were estimated from the available data. Both LRs were calculated using the basic standard model, also termed the drop-out/drop-in model, implemented in the LRmix module of the R package Forensim. We show how our results furthered the understanding of the relevance of analyzing high order mixtures in a forensic context. Limitations are highlighted, and it is illustrated how our study serves as a guide to implement likelihood ratio interpretation of complex DNA profiles in forensic casework.

  10. Effect of electron beam irradiation on forensic evidence. 2. Analysis of writing inks on porous surfaces.

    PubMed

    Ramotowski, Robert S; Regen, Erin M

    2007-05-01

    The effect of electron beam irradiation on a series of different writing inks is described. As the anthrax-tainted letters were discovered in October 2001, the U.S. government began to experiment with the use of the electron beam irradiation process for destroying such biological agents. Plans initially considered a large-scale countrywide use of this technology. However, over time the scope of this plan as well as the radiation dosage were reduced, especially when some adverse consequences to mailed items subjected to this process were observed. Little data existed at the time to characterize what level of damage might be expected to occur with common items sent through the mail. This was especially important to museums and other institutions that routinely ship valuable and historic items through the mail. Although the Smithsonian Institution initiated some studies of the effect of electron beam irradiation on archived materials, little data existed on the effect that this process would have on forensic evidence. Approximately 97 different black, blue, red, green, and yellow writing inks were selected. Writing ink types included ballpoint, gel, plastic/felt tip, and rollerball. All noncontrol samples were subjected to standard mail irradiation conditions used by the U.S. Postal Service at the time this experiment was performed. A video spectral comparator and thin-layer chromatography (TLC) analysis were used to evaluate both the control and the irradiated samples. Some published studies reported changes in the presence/absence of dye bands in the chromatograms of irradiated writing inks. Some of these studies report the formation of additional dye bands on the chromatogram while others report missing dye bands. However, using standard testing guidelines and procedures, none of the 97 irradiated inks tested were found to show any significant optical or chemical differences from the control samples. In addition, random testing of some of the ink samples using a

  11. Facial burns in children: a series analysis with implications for resuscitation and forensic odontology.

    PubMed

    Acton, C; Nixon, J; Pearn, J; Williams, D; Leditschke, F

    1999-03-01

    This study comprises a continuous (1981-1995) unselected series of all children who died from thermal injuries in the State of Queensland, Australia. One hundred and six children, so identified, died from incineration (35 per cent), respiratory burns with smoke or carbon monoxide inhalation (33 per cent), body surface area burns comprising greater than 60 per cent (9 per cent) and electrocution (20 per cent). The burn fatality rate was 0.98 per hundred thousand children (0-14 years) per year, with no secular trend and, specifically, no reduction in the annual rate of such fatalities. Eighty-two children (49 males) had concomitant facial injuries, both thermal and nonthermal; of whom 55 per cent were under the age of five years. Sixty (73 per cent) child burn victims died in house fires. Forensic odontology is important in confirming the age of such victims in single incinerations but is of limited value when larger numbers of children are incinerated, because of the relative lack of dental restorations in the infant and pre-school age group. Of the 82 children with facial and airway injuries, 12 per cent had only mild or superficial facial damage and only seven (8 per cent) were alive or resuscitable at the time of rescue from the conflagration or burning injury. child deaths from burns contributed an annual loss rate of 506 years of potential life lost (YPLL) in a population of 3 million of whom 21.5 per cent were children under the age of 15 years. Airway management and resuscitation, in the context of managing surviving burn victims of any age with facial injuries, pose special difficulties. Inhalational burns (smoke and the gases of conflagration) result in a mortality greater than 60 per cent. Although 81 per cent of children showed evidence of airway obstruction, analysis of current data indicates that a maximum of 8 per cent could have survived with airway maintenance and protection. Inhalational burns (to both upper and lower airways) grossly reduce

  12. Effect of electron beam irradiation on forensic evidence. 2. Analysis of writing inks on porous surfaces.

    PubMed

    Ramotowski, Robert S; Regen, Erin M

    2007-05-01

    The effect of electron beam irradiation on a series of different writing inks is described. As the anthrax-tainted letters were discovered in October 2001, the U.S. government began to experiment with the use of the electron beam irradiation process for destroying such biological agents. Plans initially considered a large-scale countrywide use of this technology. However, over time the scope of this plan as well as the radiation dosage were reduced, especially when some adverse consequences to mailed items subjected to this process were observed. Little data existed at the time to characterize what level of damage might be expected to occur with common items sent through the mail. This was especially important to museums and other institutions that routinely ship valuable and historic items through the mail. Although the Smithsonian Institution initiated some studies of the effect of electron beam irradiation on archived materials, little data existed on the effect that this process would have on forensic evidence. Approximately 97 different black, blue, red, green, and yellow writing inks were selected. Writing ink types included ballpoint, gel, plastic/felt tip, and rollerball. All noncontrol samples were subjected to standard mail irradiation conditions used by the U.S. Postal Service at the time this experiment was performed. A video spectral comparator and thin-layer chromatography (TLC) analysis were used to evaluate both the control and the irradiated samples. Some published studies reported changes in the presence/absence of dye bands in the chromatograms of irradiated writing inks. Some of these studies report the formation of additional dye bands on the chromatogram while others report missing dye bands. However, using standard testing guidelines and procedures, none of the 97 irradiated inks tested were found to show any significant optical or chemical differences from the control samples. In addition, random testing of some of the ink samples using a

  13. Amelogenin test abnormalities revealed in Belarusian population during forensic DNA analysis.

    PubMed

    Borovko, Sergey; Shyla, Alena; Korban, Victorya; Borovko, Alexandra

    2015-03-01

    Study of gender markers is a part of routine forensic genetic examination of crime scene and reference samples, paternity testing and personal identification. Amelogenin locus as a gender marker is included in majority of forensic STR kits of different manufacturers. In current study we report 11 cases of amelogenin abnormalities identified in males of Belarusian origin: 9 cases of AMELY dropout and 2 cases of AMELX dropout. Cases were obtained from forensic casework (n=9) and paternity testing (n=2) groups. In 4 out of 9 AMELY-negative cases deletion of AMELY was associated with the loss of DYS458 marker. In addition, we identified 3 males with SRY-positive XX male syndrome. Deletion of the long arm of the Y-chromosome was detected in two XX males. Loss of the major part of the Y-chromosome was identified in the third XX male. The presence of two X-chromosomes in XX males was confirmed with the use of Mentype(®) Argus X-8 PCR Amplification Kit. AMELY null allele observed in 2 out of 9 cases with AMELY dropout can be caused by mutation in the primer-binding site of AMELY allele. Primer-binding site mutations of AMELX can result in AMELX dropout identified in 2 cases with amplification failure of AMELX. Our study represents the first report and molecular genetic investigation of amelogenin abnormalities in the Belarusian population.

  14. Effects of printing and ninhydrin treatment on forensic analysis of paper.

    PubMed

    Itamiya, Hiromi; Sugita, Ritsuko

    2015-10-01

    Paper is ubiquitous in human activities and can be found as evidence in the commission of many crimes such as threatening letters, deceptive advertisements and counterfeiting banknotes. To link the paper evidence to a source is a comparative process that is hampered when a blank paper is compared to a paper that has been submitted to printing or other treatments such as ninhydrin for the detection of fingermarks. During a forensic investigation, printed paper is analyzed with various instruments after fingerprint examination. In this study, the effects of printing and ninhydrin treatment on forensic paper examination of grammage, thickness, fillers, and pulp composition were studied. Grammage and thickness were increased by full-page double-sided printing, and grammage depended on the type of printer. The effects of printing on the analytical data about fillers and pulp composition were negligible, and ninhydrin treatment affected only paper thickness. These minor effects notwithstanding, the results indicate that conventional analytical methods used in forensic science for examining papers can be applied. PMID:26074166

  15. Nuclear forensic analysis of an unknown uranium ore concentrate sample seized in a criminal investigation in Australia

    DOE PAGES

    Keegan, Elizabeth; Kristo, Michael J.; Colella, Michael; Robel, Martin; Williams, Ross; Lindvall, Rachel; Eppich, Gary; Roberts, Sarah; Borg, Lars; Gaffney, Amy; et al

    2014-04-13

    In early 2009, a state policing agency raided a clandestine drug laboratory in a suburb of a major city in Australia. While searching the laboratory, they discovered a small glass jar labelled “Gamma Source” and containing a green powder. The powder was radioactive. This paper documents the detailed nuclear forensic analysis undertaken to characterize and identify the material and determine its provenance. Isotopic and impurity content, phase composition, microstructure and other characteristics were measured on the seized sample, and the results were compared with similar material obtained from the suspected source (ore and ore concentrate material). While an extensive rangemore » of parameters were measured, the key ‘nuclear forensic signatures’ used to identify the material were the U isotopic composition, Pb and Sr isotope ratios, and the rare earth element pattern. These measurements, in combination with statistical analysis of the elemental and isotopic content of the material against a database of uranium ore concentrates sourced from mines located worldwide, led to the conclusion that the seized material (a uranium ore concentrate of natural isotopic abundance) most likely originated from Mary Kathleen, a former Australian uranium mine.« less

  16. Nuclear forensic analysis of an unknown uranium ore concentrate sample seized in a criminal investigation in Australia.

    PubMed

    Keegan, Elizabeth; Kristo, Michael J; Colella, Michael; Robel, Martin; Williams, Ross; Lindvall, Rachel; Eppich, Gary; Roberts, Sarah; Borg, Lars; Gaffney, Amy; Plaue, Jonathan; Wong, Henri; Davis, Joel; Loi, Elaine; Reinhard, Mark; Hutcheon, Ian

    2014-07-01

    Early in 2009, a state policing agency raided a clandestine drug laboratory in a suburb of a major city in Australia. During the search of the laboratory, a small glass jar labelled "Gamma Source" and containing a green powder was discovered. The powder was radioactive. This paper documents the detailed nuclear forensic analysis undertaken to characterise and identify the material and determine its provenance. Isotopic and impurity content, phase composition, microstructure and other characteristics were measured on the seized sample, and the results were compared with similar material obtained from the suspected source (ore and ore concentrate material). While an extensive range of parameters were measured, the key 'nuclear forensic signatures' used to identify the material were the U isotopic composition, Pb and Sr isotope ratios, and the rare earth element pattern. These measurements, in combination with statistical analysis of the elemental and isotopic content of the material against a database of uranium ore concentrates sourced from mines located worldwide, led to the conclusion that the seized material (a uranium ore concentrate of natural isotopic abundance) most likely originated from Mary Kathleen, a former Australian uranium mine.

  17. Nuclear forensic analysis of an unknown uranium ore concentrate sample seized in a criminal investigation in Australia

    SciTech Connect

    Keegan, Elizabeth; Kristo, Michael J.; Colella, Michael; Robel, Martin; Williams, Ross; Lindvall, Rachel; Eppich, Gary; Roberts, Sarah; Borg, Lars; Gaffney, Amy; Plaue, Jonathan; Wong, Henri; Davis, Joel; Loi, Elaine; Reinhard, Mark; Hutcheon, Ian

    2014-04-13

    In early 2009, a state policing agency raided a clandestine drug laboratory in a suburb of a major city in Australia. While searching the laboratory, they discovered a small glass jar labelled “Gamma Source” and containing a green powder. The powder was radioactive. This paper documents the detailed nuclear forensic analysis undertaken to characterize and identify the material and determine its provenance. Isotopic and impurity content, phase composition, microstructure and other characteristics were measured on the seized sample, and the results were compared with similar material obtained from the suspected source (ore and ore concentrate material). While an extensive range of parameters were measured, the key ‘nuclear forensic signatures’ used to identify the material were the U isotopic composition, Pb and Sr isotope ratios, and the rare earth element pattern. These measurements, in combination with statistical analysis of the elemental and isotopic content of the material against a database of uranium ore concentrates sourced from mines located worldwide, led to the conclusion that the seized material (a uranium ore concentrate of natural isotopic abundance) most likely originated from Mary Kathleen, a former Australian uranium mine.

  18. Wavelength dependence on the forensic analysis of glass by nanosecond 266 nm and 1064 nm laser induced breakdown spectroscopy

    SciTech Connect

    Cahoon, Erica M.; Almirall, Jose R.

    2010-05-01

    Laser induced breakdown spectroscopy can be used for the chemical characterization of glass to provide evidence of an association between a fragment found at a crime scene to a source of glass of known origin. Two different laser irradiances, 266 nm and 1064 nm, were used to conduct qualitative and quantitative analysis of glass standards. Single-pulse and double-pulse configurations and lens-to-sample-distance settings were optimized to yield the best laser-glass coupling. Laser energy and acquisition timing delays were also optimized to result in the highest signal-to-noise ratio corresponding to the highest precision and accuracy. The crater morphology was examined and the mass removed was calculated for both the 266 nm and 1064 nm irradiations. The analytical figures of merit suggest that the 266 nm and 1064 nm wavelengths are capable of good performance for the forensic chemical characterization of glass. The results presented here suggest that the 266 nm laser produces a better laser-glass matrix coupling, resulting in a better stoichiometric representation of the glass sample. The 266 nm irradiance is therefore recommended for the forensic analysis and comparison of glass samples.

  19. Virtual tool mark generation for efficient striation analysis in forensic science

    SciTech Connect

    Ekstrand, Laura

    2012-01-01

    In 2009, a National Academy of Sciences report called for investigation into the scienti c basis behind tool mark comparisons (National Academy of Sciences, 2009). Answering this call, Chumbley et al. (2010) attempted to prove or disprove the hypothesis that tool marks are unique to a single tool. They developed a statistical algorithm that could, in most cases, discern matching and non-matching tool marks made at di erent angles by sequentially numbered screwdriver tips. Moreover, in the cases where the algorithm misinterpreted a pair of marks, an experienced forensics examiner could discern the correct outcome. While this research served to con rm the basic assumptions behind tool mark analysis, it also suggested that statistical analysis software could help to reduce the examiner's workload. This led to a new tool mark analysis approach, introduced in this thesis, that relies on 3D scans of screwdriver tip and marked plate surfaces at the micrometer scale from an optical microscope. These scans are carefully cleaned to remove noise from the data acquisition process and assigned a coordinate system that mathematically de nes angles and twists in a natural way. The marking process is then simulated by using a 3D graphics software package to impart rotations to the tip and take the projection of the tip's geometry in the direction of tool travel. The edge of this projection, retrieved from the 3D graphics software, becomes a virtual tool mark. Using this method, virtual marks are made at increments of 5 and compared to a scan of the evidence mark. The previously developed statistical package from Chumbley et al. (2010) performs the comparison, comparing the similarity of the geometry of both marks to the similarity that would occur due to random chance. The resulting statistical measure of the likelihood of the match informs the examiner of the angle of the best matching virtual mark, allowing the examiner to focus his/her mark analysis on a smaller range of angles

  20. An evidence based strategy for normalization of quantitative PCR data from miRNA expression analysis in forensic organ tissue identification.

    PubMed

    Sauer, Eva; Babion, Iris; Madea, Burkhard; Courts, Cornelius

    2014-11-01

    Messenger-RNA (mRNA)-based analysis of organ tissues and their differentiation in complex crime stains has recently been introduced as a potential and powerful tool to forensic genetics. Given the notoriously low quality of many forensic samples it seems advisable, though, to substitute mRNA with micro-RNA (miRNA) which is much less susceptible to degradation. However, reliable miRNA detection and quantification using quantitative PCR requires a solid and forensically relevant normalization strategy. In our study we evaluated a panel of 15 carefully selected reference genes for their suitability as endogenous controls in miRNA qPCR normalization in forensically relevant settings. We analyzed assay performances and expression variances in 35 individual samples and mixtures thereof integrating highly standardized protocols with contemporary methodologies and included several well-established computational algorithms. Based on these empirical results, we recommend SNORD48, SNORD24, and RNU6-2 as endogenous references since these exhibit the most stable expression levels and the least expected variation among the evaluated candidate reference genes in the given set of forensically relevant organ tissues including skin. To account for the lack of consensus on how best to perform and interpret quantitative PCR experiments, our study's documentation is according to MIQE guidelines, defining the "minimum information for publication of quantitative real-time PCR experiments".

  1. 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.

  2. Monitoring As A Helpful Means In Forensic Analysis Of Dams Static Instability Events

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Solimene, Pellegrino

    2013-04-01

    Monitoring is a means of controlling the behavior of a structure, which during its operational life is subject to external actions as ordinary loading conditions and disturbing ones; these factors overlap with the random manner defined by the statistical parameter of the return period. The analysis of the monitoring data is crucial to gain a reasoned opinion on the reliability of the structure and its components, and also allows to identify, in the overall operational scenario, the time when preparing interventions aimed at maintaining the optimum levels of functionality and safety. The concept of monitoring in terms of prevention is coupled with the activity of Forensic Engineer who, by Judiciary appointment for the occurrence of an accident, turns its experience -the "Scientific knowledge"- in an "inverse analysis" in which he summed up the results of a survey, which also draws on data sets arising in the course of the constant control of the causes and effects, so to determine the correlations between these factors. His activity aims at giving a contribution to the identification of the typicality of an event, which represents, together with "causal link" between the conduct and events and contra-juridical, the factors judging if there an hypothesis of crime, and therefore liable according to law. In Italy there are about 10,000 dams of varying sizes, but only a small portion of them are considered "large dams" and subjected to a rigorous program of regular inspections and monitoring, in application of specific rules. The rest -"small" dams, conventionally defined as such by the standard, but not for the impact on the area- is affected by a heterogeneous response from the local authorities entrusted with this task: there is therefore a high potential risk scenario, as determined by the presence of not completely controlled structures that insist even on areas heavily populated. Risk can be traced back to acceptable levels if they were implemented with the

  3. Forensic DNA-typing technologies: a review.

    PubMed

    Carracedo, Angel; Sánchez-Diz, Paula

    2005-01-01

    Since the discovery of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) profiling in 1985, forensic genetics has experienced a continuous technical revolution, both in the type of DNA markers used and in the methodologies or its detection. Highly informative and robust DNA-typing systems have been developed that have proven to be very effective in the individualization of biological material of human origin. DNA analysis has become the standard method in forensic genetics used by laboratories for the majority of forensic genetic expertise and especially in criminal forensic casework (stain analysis and hairs) and identification.

  4. 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.

  5. Spatial and Temporal Analysis of Human Movements and Applications for Disaster Response Management Utilizing Cell Phone Usage Data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yasumiishi, M.; Renschler, C. S.; Bittner, T. E.

    2015-07-01

    As cell phone usage becomes a norm in our daily lives, analysis and application of the data has become part of various research fields. This study focuses on the application of cell phone usage data to disaster response management. Cell phones work as a communication link between emergency responders and victims during and after a major disaster. This study recognizes that there are two kinds of disasters, one with an advance warning, and one without an advance warning. Different movement distance between a day with a blizzard (advanced warning) and a normal weather day was identified. In the scenario of a day with an extreme event without advanced warning (earthquake), factors that alter the phone users' movements were analyzed. Lastly, combining both cases, a conceptual model of human movement factors is proposed. Human movements consist of four factors that are push factors, movement-altering factors, derived attributes and constraint factors. Considering each category of factors in case of emergency, it should be necessary that we prepare different kinds of emergency response plans depending on the characteristics of a disaster.

  6. [Natural disasters and health: an analysis of the situation in Brazil].

    PubMed

    Freitas, Carlos Machado de; Silva, Diego Ricardo Xavier; Sena, Aderita Ricarda Martins de; Silva, Eliane Lima; Sales, Luiz Belino Ferreira; Carvalho, Mauren Lopes de; Mazoto, Maíra Lopes; Barcellos, Christovam; Costa, André Monteiro; Oliveira, Mara Lúcia Carneiro; Corvalán, Carlos

    2014-09-01

    Natural disasters are still insufficiently studied and understood within the scope of public health in this country, with impacts in the short and long term. The scope of this article is to analyze the relationship between disasters and their impact on health based on disaster data recorded in the country. The methodology involved the systematization of data and information contained in the Brazilian Atlas of Natural Disasters 1991-2010 and directly from the National Department of Civil Defense (NSCD). Disasters were organized into four categories of events (meteorological; hydrological; climatological; geophysical/geological) and for each of the latter, the data for morbidity, mortality and exposure of those affected were examined, revealing different types of impacts. Three categories of disasters stood out: the hydrological events showed higher percentages of mortality, morbidity and exposure; climatological events had higher percentages of incidents and people affected; the geophysical/geological events had a higher average of exposure and deaths per event. Lastly, a more active participation of the health sector in the post-2015 global political agenda is proposed, particularly events related to sustainable development, climate change and disaster risk reduction.

  7. Forensic odontology: A prosthodontic view

    PubMed Central

    Gosavi, Sulekha; Gosavi, Siddharth

    2012-01-01

    The most common role of the forensic dentist is the identification of deceased individuals. Dental identifications have always played a key role in natural and manmade disaster situations, and in particular, the mass casualties normally associated with aviation disasters. Because of the lack of a comprehensive fingerprint database, dental identification continues to be crucial in the world. An all-acrylic resin appliance such as a full denture or an all-acrylic partial denture (or orthodontic appliance), prior to delivery, could be inscribed with the patient's full name on a substrate (paper, metal) and sealed inconspicuously into the surface of a denture by various processes. It has been noted by several authors that in many cases of air disaster where the limbs are completely burnt off, some denture materials survive, especially the posterior part of acrylic dentures and metal-based dentures. Thus, marked dental prostheses (full and partial dentures, mouthguards and removal orthodontic appliances) would lead to rapid identification in the event of accidents and disaster. PMID:23087581

  8. The quantitative analysis of inhalational anaesthetics in forensic samples by gas chromatography/mass spectrometry/selected ion monitoring.

    PubMed

    Maruyama, K; Takatsu, A; Obata, T

    1995-01-01

    The quantitative analysis of volatile anaesthetics for biomedical applications by means of gas chromatograph/mass spectrometry/selected ion monitoring (GC/MS/SIM) was studied. Xenon gas was selected as an internal standard for the assay by adding to a closed system, because of its stability and inactivity. In the assay of inhalational anaesthetics, isoflurane and nitrous oxide (laughing gas), in forensic samples (serum and cerebrospinal fluid), the calibration of the anaesthetic was linear from 0.12 to 12 nmol/mL in isoflurane and from 30 to 300 nmol/mL in nitrous oxide. Our results suggest that this new method is suitable for the quantitative analysis of inhalational anaesthetics in the biomedical field. PMID:8520207

  9. [Mitochondrial DNA typing--a new level for solving identification problems in forensic medical expert identification of unidentified remains of victims of terrorist acts in Moscow and the armed conflict in the Chechen Republic].

    PubMed

    Ivanov, P L; Frolova, S A; Orekhov, V A; Iankovskiĭ, N K; Zemskova, E Iu

    2001-01-01

    Two large-scale episodes described in this paper reflect the first in Russia use of molecular genetic matrilinear markers (analysis of polymorphism of sequences of amplified fragments of mitochondrial DNA hypervariable locuses) in solution of a complex identification problem: forensic medical identification of unidentified fragments of victims of explosions of houses in Moscow in September, 1999, and of soldiers dead in the war conflict in the Chechen Republic in 1994-1996. The results of this work and methodological experience gained in it essentially extend the potentialities of expert studies as regards forensic medical identification of victims of large scale disasters, terroristic acts, and war conflicts.

  10. [Analysis with the Combur-Test--special aspects in forensic trace examination].

    PubMed

    Laberke, Patrick J; Hausmann, Roland; Wiprächtiger, Nadine; Briellmann, Thomas; Balitzki, Beate

    2012-01-01

    The Combur Test is a ready-made and easy-to-use pretest for blood. It is based on the oxidation of tetramethylbenzidine (TMB), which is catalysed by haemoglobin and its derivatives. Despite its high sensitivity, there are many known substances which are responsible for false positive and false negative test results. On the basis of experiments of our own, case reports and the pertinent literature special aspects of the application of the Combur Test in the forensic routine case work are discussed.

  11. 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

  12. Forensic entomology: a template for forensic acarology?

    PubMed

    Turner, Bryan

    2009-10-01

    Insects are used in a variety of ways in forensic science and the developing area of forensic acarology may have a similar range of potential. This short account summarises the main ways in which entomology currently contributes to forensic science and discusses to what extent acarology might also contribute in these areas.

  13. Tasks of research in forensic medicine - different study types in clinical research and forensic medicine.

    PubMed

    Madea, Burkhard; Saukko, Pekka; Musshoff, Frank

    2007-01-17

    In the last years the research output of forensic medicine has sometimes been regarded as insufficient and as of poor quality, especially when parameters as impact factors and external funding were taken into account. However, forensic medicine has different tasks compared to clinical medicine. The main difference between basic subjects, clinical and forensic medicine is not a lack of scientific efficiency in forensic medicine but is a result of the questions asked, the available methods and specific aims. In contrast to natural-scientific research, forensic science has furthermore important intersections with arts and socio-scientific disciplines. Etiologic and pathogenetic research is of only limited relevance in forensic medicine. Thus, forensic medicine is excluded from these research fields, which are mainly supported by external funding. In forensic medicine research mainly means applied research regarding findings, the probative value and reconstruction as well as examination at different points of intersection between medicine and law. Clinical types of research such as controlled randomised, prospective cross-sectional, cohort or case-control studies can only rarely be applied in forensic medicine due to the area specific research fields (e.g. thantatology, violent death, vitality, traffic medicine, analytical toxicology, hemogenetics and stain analysis). The types of studies which are successfully established in forensic medicine are comparison of methods, sensitivity studies, validation of methods, kinetic examinations etc. Tasks of research in forensic medicine and study types, which may be applied will be addressed.

  14. Molecular identification and phylogenetic analysis of the forensically important family Piophilidae (Diptera) from different European locations.

    PubMed

    Zajac, Barbara Karolina; Martin-Vega, Daniel; Feddern, Nina; Fremdt, Heike; e Castro, Catharina Prado; Szpila, Krzysztof; Reckel, Frank; Schütt, Svenja; Verhoff, Marcel A; Amendt, Jens; Zehner, Richard

    2016-02-01

    Species identification plays an important role in forensic entomology and is mandatory for an accurate calculation of the minimum post-mortem interval. Many important Diptera and Coleoptera taxa of the cadaver community can already be identified by common barcoding approaches, i.e., by sequencing a 658bp region in the mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (coI) gene. Nevertheless, there is still a lack of reference barcodes for species, in particular, that can be found on cadavers at later decomposition stages. Flies of the family Piophilidae illustrate this gap of knowledge perfectly. Due to the fact that a reliable morphological identification key for the immature stages of this flies is still missing and the immature stages of many piophilids cannot be assigned to a certain species, there is need for additional tools to identify forensically relevant taxa. We collected adult piophilid specimens at 10 locations in five European countries: Spain (n=3 locations), Germany (n=3), Portugal (n=2), Poland (n=1) and Switzerland (n=1). Apart from the coI barcoding region, we additionally analyzed a 398bp long region of the nuclear elongation factor 1 alpha (ef1a) and subsequently established the molecular identifier for nine piophilid species. In addition, we present the molecular phylogeny of the examined taxa. PMID:26760908

  15. Disaster Response on September 11, 2001 Through the Lens of Statistical Network Analysis

    PubMed Central

    Schweinberger, Michael; Petrescu-Prahova, Miruna; Vu, Duy Quang

    2014-01-01

    The rescue and relief operations triggered by the September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City demanded collaboration among hundreds of organisations. To shed light on the response to the September 11, 2001 attacks and help to plan and prepare the response to future disasters, we study the inter-organisational network that emerged in response to the attacks. Studying the inter-organisational network can help to shed light on (1) whether some organisations dominated the inter-organisational network and facilitated communication and coordination of the disaster response; (2) whether the dominating organisations were supposed to coordinate disaster response or emerged as coordinators in the wake of the disaster; and (3) the degree of network redundancy and sensitivity of the inter-organisational network to disturbances following the initial disaster. We introduce a Bayesian framework which can answer the substantive questions of interest while being as simple and parsimonious as possible. The framework allows organisations to have varying propensities to collaborate, while taking covariates into account, and allows to assess whether the inter-organisational network had network redundancy—in the form of transitivity—by using a test which may be regarded as a Bayesian score test. We discuss implications in terms of disaster management. PMID:24707073

  16. Dental diagnostic radiology in the forensic sciences: two case presentations.

    PubMed

    Nicopoulou-Karayianni, K; Mitsea, A G; Horner, K

    2007-06-01

    Dentomaxillofacial radiology is a useful tool in forensic science to reveal characteristics of the structures of the dentomaxillofacial region. Postmortem radiographs are valuable to the forensic odontologist for comparison with antemortem radiographs, which are the most consistent part of the antemortem records that can be transmitted during forensic examination procedures. By using dentomaxillofacial radiology we can, therefore, give answers to problems dealing with identification cases, mass disasters and dental age estimation. We present the contribution of dentomaxillofacial radiology to the forensic sciences through two cases of deceased persons, where identification was based on information provided by radiographs. The right performance, interpretation and reportage of dentomaxillofacial radiological examination and procedures can be extremely valuable in solving forensic problems. PMID:17577973

  17. 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.

  18. Forensic Analysis Reveals Acute Decompensation of Chronic Heart Failure in a 3500-Year-Old Egyptian Dignitary.

    PubMed

    Bianucci, Raffaella; Loynes, Robert D; Sutherland, M Linda; Lallo, Rudy; Kay, Gemma L; Froesch, Philippe; Pallen, Mark J; Charlier, Philippe; Nerlich, Andreas G

    2016-09-01

    Naturally preserved and embalmed bodies from archeological contexts represent a powerful source of information for forensic investigators. They allow one to ascertain pathology, cause of death, to enhance diagnostic methodology, and to improve the analysis of altered remains. We investigated the complete head and lung remnants of a 3,500-year-old Egyptian dignitary by radiological, microscopic, and genetic approaches. The individual, a middle-aged male, suffered from severe periodontitis, mild atherosclerosis, and experienced cardiogenic pulmonary insufficiency with recurrent mini-bleeds and pulmonary edema. Histology and ancient DNA analyses excluded the presence of Mycobacterium tuberculosis or of any other pathogenic species. Based on our collection of evidence, we propose that acute decompensation complicating chronic cardiac insufficiency was the likely cause of death. The underlying causes for this failure remain unknown although chronic hypertension appears to be the most likely candidate. Our finding represents the earliest reported case of chronic heart failure in ancient mummies. PMID:27362779

  19. Forensic Analysis Reveals Acute Decompensation of Chronic Heart Failure in a 3500-Year-Old Egyptian Dignitary.

    PubMed

    Bianucci, Raffaella; Loynes, Robert D; Sutherland, M Linda; Lallo, Rudy; Kay, Gemma L; Froesch, Philippe; Pallen, Mark J; Charlier, Philippe; Nerlich, Andreas G

    2016-09-01

    Naturally preserved and embalmed bodies from archeological contexts represent a powerful source of information for forensic investigators. They allow one to ascertain pathology, cause of death, to enhance diagnostic methodology, and to improve the analysis of altered remains. We investigated the complete head and lung remnants of a 3,500-year-old Egyptian dignitary by radiological, microscopic, and genetic approaches. The individual, a middle-aged male, suffered from severe periodontitis, mild atherosclerosis, and experienced cardiogenic pulmonary insufficiency with recurrent mini-bleeds and pulmonary edema. Histology and ancient DNA analyses excluded the presence of Mycobacterium tuberculosis or of any other pathogenic species. Based on our collection of evidence, we propose that acute decompensation complicating chronic cardiac insufficiency was the likely cause of death. The underlying causes for this failure remain unknown although chronic hypertension appears to be the most likely candidate. Our finding represents the earliest reported case of chronic heart failure in ancient mummies.

  20. An evidence based strategy for normalization of quantitative PCR data from miRNA expression analysis in forensically relevant body fluids.

    PubMed

    Sauer, Eva; Madea, Burkhard; Courts, Cornelius

    2014-07-01

    Micro-RNA (miRNA) based analysis of body fluids and composition of complex crime stains has recently been introduced as a potential and powerful tool to forensic genetics. Analysis of miRNA has several advantages over mRNA but reliable miRNA detection and quantification using quantitative PCR requires a solid and forensically relevant normalization strategy. In our study we evaluated a panel of 13 carefully selected reference genes for their suitability as endogenous controls in miRNA qPCR normalization in forensically relevant settings. We analyzed assay performances and variances in venous blood, saliva, semen, menstrual blood, and vaginal secretion and mixtures thereof integrating highly standardized protocols with contemporary methodologies and included several well established computational algorithms. Based on these empirical results, we recommend normalization to the group of SNORD24, SNORD38B, and SNORD43 as this signature exhibits the most stable expression levels and the least expected variation among the evaluated candidate reference genes in the given set of forensically relevant body fluids. To account for the lack of consensus on how best to perform and interpret quantitative PCR experiments, our study's documentation is compliant to MIQE guidelines, defining the "minimum information for publication of quantitative real-time PCR experiments".

  1. Toxicogenetics--cytochrome P450 microarray analysis in forensic cases focusing on morphine/codeine and diazepam.

    PubMed

    Andresen, H; Augustin, C; Streichert, T

    2013-03-01

    Genetic polymorphisms in cytochrome P 450 (CYP) enzymes could lead to a phenotype with altered enzyme activity. In pharmacotherapy, genotype-based dose recommendations achieved great importance for several drugs. In our pilot study, we ask if these genetic tests should be applied to forensic problems as a matter of routine. Starting from 2004 through 2008, we screened routine cases for samples where the relation of parent compound to metabolite(s) (P/M ratio), particularly morphine to codeine ratios and diazepam to its metabolites, was noticeable or not consistent with the information provided by the defendants. We found 11 samples with conspicuous results. These were analyzed for polymorphisms of the CYP 2D6 and 2C19 genes using the Roche AmpliChip Cytochrome P450 Genotyping test. If not previously conducted, a general unknown analysis by gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS) was additionally carried out. For CYP 2D6, we found two cases with the genotype poor metabolizer (PM), three cases with heterozygote extensive metabolizer genotype classified as an intermediate metabolizer (IM) with probably reduced enzyme activities, but no ultrarapid metabolizer genotype. For CYP 2C19, two cases were characterized as IM phenotypes, with no PM found. Once we achieved no appropriate amounts of DNA, one case was excluded after GC/MS analysis. Only in one case could the polymorphism clearly explain the changes in drug metabolism. More frequently, a drug-drug interaction was thought to have a stronger impact. Additionally, our results suggest that IM genotypes may be more relevant than previously suspected. With respect to the small number of cases in which we thought a genotyping would be helpful, we conclude that the overall relevance of toxicogenetics in forensic problems is moderate. However, in some individual cases, a genotyping may provide new insight.

  2. Toxicogenetics--cytochrome P450 microarray analysis in forensic cases focusing on morphine/codeine and diazepam.

    PubMed

    Andresen, H; Augustin, C; Streichert, T

    2013-03-01

    Genetic polymorphisms in cytochrome P 450 (CYP) enzymes could lead to a phenotype with altered enzyme activity. In pharmacotherapy, genotype-based dose recommendations achieved great importance for several drugs. In our pilot study, we ask if these genetic tests should be applied to forensic problems as a matter of routine. Starting from 2004 through 2008, we screened routine cases for samples where the relation of parent compound to metabolite(s) (P/M ratio), particularly morphine to codeine ratios and diazepam to its metabolites, was noticeable or not consistent with the information provided by the defendants. We found 11 samples with conspicuous results. These were analyzed for polymorphisms of the CYP 2D6 and 2C19 genes using the Roche AmpliChip Cytochrome P450 Genotyping test. If not previously conducted, a general unknown analysis by gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS) was additionally carried out. For CYP 2D6, we found two cases with the genotype poor metabolizer (PM), three cases with heterozygote extensive metabolizer genotype classified as an intermediate metabolizer (IM) with probably reduced enzyme activities, but no ultrarapid metabolizer genotype. For CYP 2C19, two cases were characterized as IM phenotypes, with no PM found. Once we achieved no appropriate amounts of DNA, one case was excluded after GC/MS analysis. Only in one case could the polymorphism clearly explain the changes in drug metabolism. More frequently, a drug-drug interaction was thought to have a stronger impact. Additionally, our results suggest that IM genotypes may be more relevant than previously suspected. With respect to the small number of cases in which we thought a genotyping would be helpful, we conclude that the overall relevance of toxicogenetics in forensic problems is moderate. However, in some individual cases, a genotyping may provide new insight. PMID:22899355

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. Detection Strategies for Malingering with the Miller Forensic Assessment of Symptoms Test: A Confirmatory Factor Analysis of Its Underlying Dimensions

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Vitacco, Michael J.; Jackson, Rebecca L.; Rogers, Richard; Neumann, Craig S.; Miller, Holly A.; Gabel, Jason

    2008-01-01

    Two of the most widely used measures for the assessment of malingering in forensic populations are the Miller Forensic Assessment of Symptoms Test (M-FAST) and the Structured Interview of Reported Symptoms (SIRS). The underlying dimensions of the SIRS have been well established in the literature, but the structure of the M-FAST remains relatively…

  6. 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.

  7. Voltammetric analysis of Pinus needles with physiological, phylogenetic, and forensic applications.

    PubMed

    Ortiz-Miranda, Annette S; König, Peter; Kahlert, Heike; Scholz, Fritz; Osete-Cortina, Laura; Doménech-Carbó, María Teresa; Doménech-Carbó, Antonio

    2016-07-01

    Polyphenolic compounds are electrochemically active components of vegetal matter which were targeted under simple experimental conditions to produce voltammetric profiles characterizing the metabolite composition. Application to bivariate and multivariate chemometric techniques permits to discriminate the species and age of plant leaves, illustrated here for the case of six Pinus species from two different subgenera. Such responses, associated with the electrochemical oxidation of polyphenolic compounds (quercetin, gallic acid, ellagic acid, among others), define a voltammetric profile which varies systematically with the age of the leaves for the different species. The application of this methodology for phylogenetic studies, plant physiology, forensic science, and chemoecology is discussed. Graphical Abstract Image of Pinus in a typical Mediterranean forest; Courtesy of the Botanic Garden of the University of Valencia. PMID:27173392

  8. In-Depth Analysis of Computer Memory Acquisition Software for Forensic Purposes.

    PubMed

    McDown, Robert J; Varol, Cihan; Carvajal, Leonardo; Chen, Lei

    2016-01-01

    The comparison studies on random access memory (RAM) acquisition tools are either limited in metrics or the selected tools were designed to be executed in older operating systems. Therefore, this study evaluates widely used seven shareware or freeware/open source RAM acquisition forensic tools that are compatible to work with the latest 64-bit Windows operating systems. These tools' user interface capabilities, platform limitations, reporting capabilities, total execution time, shared and proprietary DLLs, modified registry keys, and invoked files during processing were compared. We observed that Windows Memory Reader and Belkasoft's Live Ram Capturer leaves the least fingerprints in memory when loaded. On the other hand, ProDiscover and FTK Imager perform poor in memory usage, processing time, DLL usage, and not-wanted artifacts introduced to the system. While Belkasoft's Live Ram Capturer is the fastest to obtain an image of the memory, Pro Discover takes the longest time to do the same job.

  9. Biology and Genetics of New Autosomal STR Loci Useful for Forensic DNA Analysis.

    PubMed

    Butler, J M; Hill, C R

    2012-01-01

    Short tandem repeats (STRs) are regions of tandemly repeated DNA segments found throughout the human genome that vary in length (through insertion, deletion, or mutation) with a core repeated DNA sequence. Forensic laboratories commonly use tetranucleotide repeats, containing a four base pair (4-bp) repeat structure such as GATA. In 1997, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Laboratory selected 13 STR loci that form the backbone of the U.S. national DNA database. Building on the European expansion in 2009, the FBI announced plans in April 2011 to expand the U.S. core loci to as many as 20 STRs to enable more global DNA data sharing. Commercial STR kits enable consistency in marker use and allele nomenclature between laboratories and help improve quality control. The STRBase website, maintained by the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), contains helpful information on STR markers used in human identity testing.

  10. In-Depth Analysis of Computer Memory Acquisition Software for Forensic Purposes.

    PubMed

    McDown, Robert J; Varol, Cihan; Carvajal, Leonardo; Chen, Lei

    2016-01-01

    The comparison studies on random access memory (RAM) acquisition tools are either limited in metrics or the selected tools were designed to be executed in older operating systems. Therefore, this study evaluates widely used seven shareware or freeware/open source RAM acquisition forensic tools that are compatible to work with the latest 64-bit Windows operating systems. These tools' user interface capabilities, platform limitations, reporting capabilities, total execution time, shared and proprietary DLLs, modified registry keys, and invoked files during processing were compared. We observed that Windows Memory Reader and Belkasoft's Live Ram Capturer leaves the least fingerprints in memory when loaded. On the other hand, ProDiscover and FTK Imager perform poor in memory usage, processing time, DLL usage, and not-wanted artifacts introduced to the system. While Belkasoft's Live Ram Capturer is the fastest to obtain an image of the memory, Pro Discover takes the longest time to do the same job. PMID:27405017

  11. Biomedical and Forensic Applications of Combined Catalytic Hydrogenation-Stable Isotope Ratio Analysis

    PubMed Central

    Sephton, Mark A.; Meredith, Will; Sun, Cheng-Gong; Snape, Colin E.

    2007-01-01

    Studies of biological molecules such as fatty acids and the steroid hormones have the potential to benefit enormously from stable carbon isotope ratio measurements of individual molecules. In their natural form, however, the body’s molecules interact too readily with laboratory equipment designed to separate them for accurate measurements to be made. Some methods overcome this problem by adding carbon to the target molecule, but this can irreversibly overprint the carbon source ‘signal’. Hydropyrolysis is a newly-applied catalytic technique that delicately strips molecules of their functional groups but retains their carbon skeletons and stereochemistries intact, allowing precise determination of the carbon source. By solving analytical problems, the new technique is increasing the ability of scientists to pinpoint molecular indicators of disease, elucidate metabolic pathways and recognise administered substances in forensic investigations. PMID:19662175

  12. X-ray computed tomography datasets for forensic analysis of vertebrate fossils

    PubMed Central

    Rowe, Timothy B.; Luo, Zhe-Xi; Ketcham, Richard A.; Maisano, Jessica A.; Colbert, Matthew W.

    2016-01-01

    We describe X-ray computed tomography (CT) datasets from three specimens recovered from Early Cretaceous lakebeds of China that illustrate the forensic interpretation of CT imagery for paleontology. Fossil vertebrates from thinly bedded sediments often shatter upon discovery and are commonly repaired as amalgamated mosaics grouted to a solid backing slab of rock or plaster. Such methods are prone to inadvertent error and willful forgery, and once required potentially destructive methods to identify mistakes in reconstruction. CT is an efficient, nondestructive alternative that can disclose many clues about how a specimen was handled and repaired. These annotated datasets illustrate the power of CT in documenting specimen integrity and are intended as a reference in applying CT more broadly to evaluating the authenticity of comparable fossils. PMID:27272251

  13. Biology and Genetics of New Autosomal STR Loci Useful for Forensic DNA Analysis.

    PubMed

    Butler, J M; Hill, C R

    2012-01-01

    Short tandem repeats (STRs) are regions of tandemly repeated DNA segments found throughout the human genome that vary in length (through insertion, deletion, or mutation) with a core repeated DNA sequence. Forensic laboratories commonly use tetranucleotide repeats, containing a four base pair (4-bp) repeat structure such as GATA. In 1997, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Laboratory selected 13 STR loci that form the backbone of the U.S. national DNA database. Building on the European expansion in 2009, the FBI announced plans in April 2011 to expand the U.S. core loci to as many as 20 STRs to enable more global DNA data sharing. Commercial STR kits enable consistency in marker use and allele nomenclature between laboratories and help improve quality control. The STRBase website, maintained by the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), contains helpful information on STR markers used in human identity testing. PMID:26231356

  14. X-ray computed tomography datasets for forensic analysis of vertebrate fossils.

    PubMed

    Rowe, Timothy B; Luo, Zhe-Xi; Ketcham, Richard A; Maisano, Jessica A; Colbert, Matthew W

    2016-01-01

    We describe X-ray computed tomography (CT) datasets from three specimens recovered from Early Cretaceous lakebeds of China that illustrate the forensic interpretation of CT imagery for paleontology. Fossil vertebrates from thinly bedded sediments often shatter upon discovery and are commonly repaired as amalgamated mosaics grouted to a solid backing slab of rock or plaster. Such methods are prone to inadvertent error and willful forgery, and once required potentially destructive methods to identify mistakes in reconstruction. CT is an efficient, nondestructive alternative that can disclose many clues about how a specimen was handled and repaired. These annotated datasets illustrate the power of CT in documenting specimen integrity and are intended as a reference in applying CT more broadly to evaluating the authenticity of comparable fossils. PMID:27272251

  15. X-ray computed tomography datasets for forensic analysis of vertebrate fossils.

    PubMed

    Rowe, Timothy B; Luo, Zhe-Xi; Ketcham, Richard A; Maisano, Jessica A; Colbert, Matthew W

    2016-06-07

    We describe X-ray computed tomography (CT) datasets from three specimens recovered from Early Cretaceous lakebeds of China that illustrate the forensic interpretation of CT imagery for paleontology. Fossil vertebrates from thinly bedded sediments often shatter upon discovery and are commonly repaired as amalgamated mosaics grouted to a solid backing slab of rock or plaster. Such methods are prone to inadvertent error and willful forgery, and once required potentially destructive methods to identify mistakes in reconstruction. CT is an efficient, nondestructive alternative that can disclose many clues about how a specimen was handled and repaired. These annotated datasets illustrate the power of CT in documenting specimen integrity and are intended as a reference in applying CT more broadly to evaluating the authenticity of comparable fossils.

  16. In vitro metabolism studies on mephedrone and analysis of forensic cases.

    PubMed

    Pedersen, Anders Just; Reitzel, Lotte Ask; Johansen, Sys Stybe; Linnet, Kristian

    2013-06-01

    The stimulant designer drug mephedrone is a derivative of cathinone - a monoamine alkaloid found in khat - and its effect resembles that of 3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA). Abuse of mephedrone has been documented since 2007; it was originally a 'legal high' drug, but it has now been banned in most Western countries. Using cDNA-expressed CYP enzymes and human liver microsomal preparations, we found that cytochrome P450 2D6 (CYP2D6) was the main responsible enzyme for the in vitro Phase I metabolism of mephedrone, with some minor contribution from other NAPDH-dependent enzymes. Hydroxytolyl-mephedrone and nor-mephedrone were formed in vitro, and the former was purified and identified by nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR). In four forensic traffic cases where mephedrone was detected, we identified hydroxytolyl-mephedrone and nor-mephedrone again; as well as 4-carboxy-dihydro-mephedrone, which has been previously described; and two new metabolites: dihydro-mephedrone and 4-carboxy-mephedrone. Fragmentation patterns for all detected compounds were determined by a UPLC-QTOF/MS(E) system, and a fragmentation pathway via a conjugated indole structure was proposed for most of the metabolites. Blood concentrations in the forensic traffic cases ranged from 1 to 51 µg/kg for mephedrone, and from not detected to 9 µg/kg for hydroxytolyl-mephedrone. In one case, urine concentrations were also determined to be 700 µg/kg for mephedrone and 190 µg/kg for hydroxytolyl-mephedrone. All compounds were detected or quantified with an ultra performance liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (UPLC-MS/MS) system and an ultra performance liquid chromatography-time of flight/mass spectrometry (UPLC-TOF/MS) system.

  17. Objective forensic analysis of striated, quasi-striated and impressed toolmarks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Spotts, Ryan E.

    Following the 1993 Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, Inc. court case and continuing to the 2010 National Academy of Sciences report, comparative forensic toolmark examination has received many challenges to its admissibility in court cases and its scientific foundations. Many of these challenges deal with the subjective nature in determining whether toolmarks are identifiable. This questioning of current identification methods has created a demand for objective methods of identification - "objective" implying known error rates and statistically reliability. The demand for objective methods has resulted in research that created a statistical algorithm capable of comparing toolmarks to determine their statistical similarity, and thus the ability to separate matching and nonmatching toolmarks. This was expanded to the creation of virtual toolmarking (characterization of a tool to predict the toolmark it will create). The statistical algorithm, originally designed for two-dimensional striated toolmarks, had been successfully applied to striated screwdriver and quasi-striated plier toolmarks. Following this success, a blind study was conducted to validate the virtual toolmarking capability using striated screwdriver marks created at various angles of incidence. Work was also performed to optimize the statistical algorithm by implementing means to ensure the algorithm operations were constrained to logical comparison regions (e.g. the opposite ends of two toolmarks do not need to be compared because they do not coincide with each other). This work was performed on quasi-striated shear cut marks made with pliers - a previously tested, more difficult application of the statistical algorithm that could demonstrate the difference in results due to optimization. The final research conducted was performed with pseudostriated impression toolmarks made with chisels. Impression marks, which are more complex than striated marks, were analyzed using the algorithm to separate

  18. Factors Predicting Organizational Identification with Intercollegiate Forensics Teams

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Croucher, Stephen M.; Long, Bridget L.; Meredith, Michael J.; Oommen, Deepa; Steele, Emily L.

    2009-01-01

    This study examines the relationship between intercollegiate forensics competitors' organizational identification and organizational culture. Through a survey analysis of 314 intercollegiate forensics students, this study reports three major findings. First, this study found male competitors identify with forensics programs more than female…

  19. Perievent Panic Attack and Depression after the World Trade Center Disaster: A Structural Equation Model Analysis

    PubMed Central

    Adams, Richard E.; Boscarino, Joseph A.

    2011-01-01

    Research suggests that perievent panic attacks – panic attacks in temporal proximity to traumatic events – are predictive of later mental health status, including the onset of depression. Using a community sample of New York City residents interviewed 1 year and 2 years after the World Trade Center Disaster, we estimated a structural equation model (SEM) using pre-disaster psychological status and post-disaster life events, together with psychosocial resources, to assess the relationship between perievent panic and later onset depression. Bivariate results revealed a significant association between perievent panic and both year-1 and year-2 depression. Results for the SEM, however, showed that perievent panic was predictive of year-1 depression, but not year-2 depression, once potential confounders were controlled. Year-2 stressors and year-2 psychosocial resources were the best predictors of year-2 depression onset. Pre-disaster psychological problems were directly implicated in year-1 depression, but not year-2 depression. We conclude that a conceptual model that includes pre- and post-disaster variables best explains the complex causal pathways between psychological status, stressor exposure, perievent panic attacks, and depression onset two years after the World Trade Center attacks. PMID:21957721

  20. An analysis of Japan Disaster Medical Assistance Team (J-DMAT) deployments in comparison with those of J-DMAT's counterpart in the United States (US-DMAT).

    PubMed

    Fuse, Akira; Yokota, Hiroyuki

    2010-12-01

    Lessons learned from the Great Hanshin-Awaji earthquake of 1995 underscored the necessity of establishing Disaster Medical Assistance Teams (DMATs) in Japan, and in 2005, the Japanese government's Central Disaster Prevention Council revised its Basic Disaster Management Plan to include full deployment of DMATs in disaster areas. Defining a DMAT as a trained, mobile, self-contained medical team that can act in the acute phase of a disaster (48 to 72 hours after its occurrence) to provide medical treatment in the devastated area, the revised plan called for the training of DMAT personnel for rapid deployment to any area of the country hit by a disaster. This paper presents descriptive data on the number and types of missions carried out by Japan DMAT (J-DMAT) in its first 5 years, and clarifies how J-DMAT differs from its counterpart in the United States (US-DMAT). The DMAT that the present authors belong to has been deployed for 2 natural disasters and 1 man-made disaster, and the operations carried out during these deployments are analyzed. Reports on J-DMAT activities published from 2004 through 2009 by the Japanese Association for Disaster Medicine are also included in the analysis. After training courses for J-DMAT personnel started in fiscal 2004, J-DMATs were deployed for 8 disasters in a period of 4 years. Five of these were natural disasters, and 3 man-made. Of the 5 natural disasters, 3 were earthquakes, and of the 3 man-made disasters, 2 were derailment accidents. Unlike in the United States, where hurricanes and floods account for the greatest number of DMAT deployments, earthquakes cause the largest number of disasters in Japan. Because Japan is small in comparison with the US (Japan has about 1/25 the land area of the US), most J-DMATs head for devastated areas by car from their respective hospitals. This is one reason why J-DMATs are smaller and more agile than US-DMATs. Another difference is that J-DMATs' activities following earthquakes involve

  1. 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.

  2. Adult carrion arthropod community in a tropical rainforest of Malaysia: analysis on three common forensic entomology animal models.

    PubMed

    Azwandi, A; Nina Keterina, H; Owen, L C; Nurizzati, M D; Omar, B

    2013-09-01

    Decomposing carrion provides a temporary microhabitat and food source for a distinct community of organisms. Arthropods constitute a major part of this community and can be utilized to estimate the postmortem interval (PMI) of cadavers during criminal investigations. However, in Malaysia, knowledge of carrion arthropod assemblages and their succession is superficial. Therefore, a study on three types of forensic entomology animal model was conducted from 27 September 2010 to 28 October 2010 in a tropical rainforest at National University of Malaysia, Bangi, Selangor, Malaysia. Over one month collections of arthropods were made on nine animal carcasses: three laboratory rats (Rattus norvegicus, mean weight: 0.508 ± 0.027 kg), three rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus, mean weight: 2.538 ± 0.109 kg) and three long tailed macaque (Macaca fascicularis, mean weight: 5.750 ± 0.551 kg). A total of 31,433 arthropods belonging to eight orders and twenty-eight families were collected from all carcasses. Among 2924 of adults flies collected, approximately 19% were calliphorids with Chrysomya megacephala (Fabricius, 1794) being the most abundant. Arthropod taxon richness was lower on rat carcasses compared to that of rabbit and monkey carcasses, and this was more apparent during the first week of decomposition. However, there were no significant differences in Shannon-Weiner index (H'), Simpson dominance index (C) and Pielou's Evenness index (J) between different animal model. The arthropod assemblages associated to animal model were different significantly (p<0.05) while decomposition stage was a significant factor influencing insect assemblages (p<0.05). Analysis on the arthropods succession indicated that some taxa have a clear visitation period while the others, particularly Coleoptera, did not show a clear successional pattern thus require futher insect succession study. Although human bodies were not possible for the succession study, most of the arthropods collected are

  3. Modeling senescence changes of the pubic symphysis in historic Italian populations: a comparison of the Rostock and forensic approaches to aging using transition analysis.

    PubMed

    Godde, Kanya; Hens, Samantha M

    2015-03-01

    Age-related anatomical changes to the surface of the pubic symphysis are well-documented in the literature. However, aligning these morphological changes with chronological age has proven problematic, often resulting in biased age estimates. Statistical modeling provides an avenue for forensic anthropologists and bioarchaeologists to increase the accuracy of traditional aging methods. Locating appropriate samples to use as a basis for modeling age estimations can be challenging due to differing sample age distributions and potentially varying patterns of senescence. We compared two approaches, Rostock and Forensic, coupled with a Bayesian methodology, to address these issues. Transition analysis was run specific to each method (which differ by sample selection). A Gompertz model was derived from an informative prior that yielded the mortality and senescence parameters for constructing highest posterior density ranges, i.e., coverages, which are analogous to age ranges. These age ranges were generated from both approaches and are presented as reference tables useful for historic male and female Italian samples. The age ranges produced from each approach were tested on an historic Italian sample, using cumulative binomial tests. These two approaches performed similarly, with the Forensic approach showing a slight advantage. However, the Forensic approach is unable to identify varying senescence patterns between populations, thus preference for one approach over the other will depend on research design. Finally, we demonstrate that while populations exhibit similar morphological changes with advancing age, there are no significant sex differences in these samples, and the timing of these changes varies from population to population. PMID:25407762

  4. Modeling senescence changes of the pubic symphysis in historic Italian populations: a comparison of the Rostock and forensic approaches to aging using transition analysis.

    PubMed

    Godde, Kanya; Hens, Samantha M

    2015-03-01

    Age-related anatomical changes to the surface of the pubic symphysis are well-documented in the literature. However, aligning these morphological changes with chronological age has proven problematic, often resulting in biased age estimates. Statistical modeling provides an avenue for forensic anthropologists and bioarchaeologists to increase the accuracy of traditional aging methods. Locating appropriate samples to use as a basis for modeling age estimations can be challenging due to differing sample age distributions and potentially varying patterns of senescence. We compared two approaches, Rostock and Forensic, coupled with a Bayesian methodology, to address these issues. Transition analysis was run specific to each method (which differ by sample selection). A Gompertz model was derived from an informative prior that yielded the mortality and senescence parameters for constructing highest posterior density ranges, i.e., coverages, which are analogous to age ranges. These age ranges were generated from both approaches and are presented as reference tables useful for historic male and female Italian samples. The age ranges produced from each approach were tested on an historic Italian sample, using cumulative binomial tests. These two approaches performed similarly, with the Forensic approach showing a slight advantage. However, the Forensic approach is unable to identify varying senescence patterns between populations, thus preference for one approach over the other will depend on research design. Finally, we demonstrate that while populations exhibit similar morphological changes with advancing age, there are no significant sex differences in these samples, and the timing of these changes varies from population to population.

  5. Vulnerability of community businesses to environmental disasters.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Yang; Lindell, Michael K; Prater, Carla S

    2009-03-01

    Business plays important roles in community functioning. However, disaster research has been disproportionately focused on units of analysis such as families, households and government agencies. This paper synthesises the major findings within the business development research field and the disaster research field. It constructs a framework for evaluating business vulnerability to natural disasters. Our theoretical integration of the research conducted to date addresses five major issues. First, it defines the ways in which businesses are subject to the impacts of natural disasters. Second, it identifies the factors that determine the magnitude of business impacts after a disaster. Third, it identifies how and when businesses return to their pre-disaster level in the disaster stricken community. Fourth, it describes measures that can be taken by individual firms and community planners to reduce the impacts of environmental disasters. Fifth, it identifies needs for public policy and future research to reduce business vulnerability to environmental disasters.

  6. Analysis of body fluids for forensic purposes: from laboratory testing to non-destructive rapid confirmatory identification at a crime scene.

    PubMed

    Virkler, Kelly; Lednev, Igor K

    2009-07-01

    Body fluid traces recovered at crime scenes are among the most important types of evidence to forensic investigators. They contain valuable DNA evidence which can identify a suspect or victim as well as exonerate an innocent individual. The first step of identifying a particular body fluid is highly important since the nature of the fluid is itself very informative to the investigation, and the destructive nature of a screening test must be considered when only a small amount of material is available. The ability to characterize an unknown stain at the scene of the crime without having to wait for results from a laboratory is another very critical step in the development of forensic body fluid analysis. Driven by the importance for forensic applications, body fluid identification methods have been extensively developed in recent years. The systematic analysis of these new developments is vital for forensic investigators to be continuously educated on possible superior techniques. Significant advances in laser technology and the development of novel light detectors have dramatically improved spectroscopic methods for molecular characterization over the last decade. The application of this novel biospectroscopy for forensic purposes opens new and exciting opportunities for the development of on-field, non-destructive, confirmatory methods for body fluid identification at a crime scene. In addition, the biospectroscopy methods are universally applicable to all body fluids unlike the majority of current techniques which are valid for individual fluids only. This article analyzes the current methods being used to identify body fluid stains including blood, semen, saliva, vaginal fluid, urine, and sweat, and also focuses on new techniques that have been developed in the last 5-6 years. In addition, the potential of new biospectroscopic techniques based on Raman and fluorescence spectroscopy is evaluated for rapid, confirmatory, non-destructive identification of a body

  7. [Estimation of incapacity to work in medico-legal opinions given by clinicians and forensic medicine specialists from the Department of Forensic Medicine, Medical University of Silesia, Katowice--comparative analysis].

    PubMed

    Chowaniec, Czesław; Jabłoński, Christian; Kobek, Mariusz; Chowaniec, Małgorzata

    2005-01-01

    After amending the rules obligatory for decision making about the incapacity to work and social insurance in district courts observed in the practice of the Department of Forensic Medicine Medical University of Silesia, Katowice. Our Department is usually appointed for a second opinion in legal pension proceedings. In the first place courts appoint physicians being experts in particular fields of clinical medicine. Irrespective of all differences in the accepted conclusion a comparative analysis of medico-legal opinions given by forensic medicine specialists or groups of experts from the Department of Forensic Medicine, Medical University of Silesia, Katowice, showed flaws in the way opinions were handed down by individual experts relating to the lack of the state of general health estimation in people contesting for pensions as well as ignorance of the obligatory rules and procedures when deciding about incapacity to work in pension proceedings. It is known that physicians appointed by the court establish only whether the examined person can work or not, but do not give any information about the character of incapacity and do not consider the possibility of therapeutic rehabilitation within the extent of the pension prevention by the Social Insurance Department nor a chance to change ones profession due to the incapacity to work in the present occupation. While presenting their opinions, physicians very often suggest the need of additional opinions given by other physicians being experts in particular fields of clinical medicine. On the basis of the above mentioned remarks the authors show the necessity for greater control over all medico legal opinions and by the court decision making process as well as the verification of experts qualifications taking into consideration of economy and the need to make the proceedings shorter.

  8. High-resolution melt analysis of the minisatellite D1S80: a potential forensic screening tool.

    PubMed

    Pomeroy, Robert S; Balamurugan, Kuppareddi; Wong, Helena; Duncan, George

    2014-11-01

    High-resolution melt (HRM) analysis of the VNTR region of the human D1S80 locus, a 16-bp repeat minisatellite from approximately 400 to over 700 bp in length, was investigated. A Qiagen Rotor-Gene Q using the Type-it PCR HRM kit was used to acquire HRM curves for 14 single, and 16 biallelic, dsDNA samples. The HRM analysis was applicable over a range of DNA concentrations; however the characteristics of the melt curve did depend on the forward and reverse primer ratio. Despite the large amplicon size and the similarities of the repeat sequences, it was possible to discriminate different genotypes. Heterozygotes were clearly different from the homozygous variants and even small differences in the repeat sequence could be differentiated. However, the melt analysis requires a high-resolution system with temperature resolution of 0.02°C or better in order to sort out differences in these large amplicons of near identical GC content (in this case 56%). HRM analysis of amplicons with large repeat sequences can be used as a means of comparing DNA fragments. Examination of multiple sequences can be used to differentiate DNA samples and demonstrate the potential of HRM analysis as a rapid and inexpensive prescreening technique in forensic applications.

  9. Information dissemination analysis of different media towards the application for disaster pre-warning.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Nan; Huang, Hong; Su, Boni; Zhao, Jinlong; Zhang, Bo

    2014-01-01

    Knowing the information dissemination mechanisms of different media and having an efficient information dissemination plan for disaster pre-warning plays a very important role in reducing losses and ensuring the safety of human beings. In this paper we established models of information dissemination for six typical information media, including short message service (SMS), microblogs, news portals, cell phones, television, and oral communication. Then, the information dissemination capability of each medium concerning individuals of different ages, genders, and residential areas was simulated, and the dissemination characteristics were studied. Finally, radar graphs were used to illustrate comprehensive assessments of the six media; these graphs show directly the information dissemination characteristics of all media. The models and the results are essential for improving the efficiency of information dissemination for the purpose of disaster pre-warning and for formulating emergency plans which help to reduce the possibility of injuries, deaths and other losses in a disaster.

  10. Information Dissemination Analysis of Different Media towards the Application for Disaster Pre-Warning

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Nan; Huang, Hong; Su, Boni; Zhao, Jinlong; Zhang, Bo

    2014-01-01

    Knowing the information dissemination mechanisms of different media and having an efficient information dissemination plan for disaster pre-warning plays a very important role in reducing losses and ensuring the safety of human beings. In this paper we established models of information dissemination for six typical information media, including short message service (SMS), microblogs, news portals, cell phones, television, and oral communication. Then, the information dissemination capability of each medium concerning individuals of different ages, genders, and residential areas was simulated, and the dissemination characteristics were studied. Finally, radar graphs were used to illustrate comprehensive assessments of the six media; these graphs show directly the information dissemination characteristics of all media. The models and the results are essential for improving the efficiency of information dissemination for the purpose of disaster pre-warning and for formulating emergency plans which help to reduce the possibility of injuries, deaths and other losses in a disaster. PMID:24878739

  11. Geospatial analysis of spaceborne remote sensing data for assessing disaster impacts and modeling surface runoff in the built-environment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wodajo, Bikila Teklu

    Every year, coastal disasters such as hurricanes and floods claim hundreds of lives and severely damage homes, businesses, and lifeline infrastructure. This research was motivated by the 2005 Hurricane Katrina disaster, which devastated the Mississippi and Louisiana Gulf Coast. The primary objective was to develop a geospatial decision-support system for extracting built-up surfaces and estimating disaster impacts using spaceborne remote sensing satellite imagery. Pre-Katrina 1-m Ikonos imagery of a 5km x 10km area of Gulfport, Mississippi, was used as source data to develop the built-up area and natural surfaces or BANS classification methodology. Autocorrelation of 0.6 or higher values related to spectral reflectance values of groundtruth pixels were used to select spectral bands and establish the BANS decision criteria of unique ranges of reflectance values. Surface classification results using GeoMedia Pro geospatial analysis for Gulfport sample areas, based on BANS criteria and manually drawn polygons, were within +/-7% of the groundtruth. The difference between the BANS results and the groundtruth was statistically not significant. BANS is a significant improvement over other supervised classification methods, which showed only 50% correctly classified pixels. The storm debris and erosion estimation or SDE methodology was developed from analysis of pre- and post-Katrina surface classification results of Gulfport samples. The SDE severity level criteria considered hurricane and flood damages and vulnerability of inhabited built-environment. A linear regression model, with +0.93 Pearson R-value, was developed for predicting SDE as a function of pre-disaster percent built-up area. SDE predictions for Gulfport sample areas, used for validation, were within +/-4% of calculated values. The damage cost model considered maintenance, rehabilitation and reconstruction costs related to infrastructure damage and community impacts of Hurricane Katrina. The developed

  12. A person-centered analysis of posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms following a natural disaster: predictors of latent class membership.

    PubMed

    Rosellini, Anthony J; Coffey, Scott F; Tracy, Melissa; Galea, Sandro

    2014-01-01

    The present study applied latent class analysis to a sample of 810 participants residing in southern Mississippi at the time of Hurricane Katrina to determine if people would report distinct, meaningful PTSD symptom classes following a natural disaster. We found a four-class solution that distinguished persons on the basis of PTSD symptom severity/pervasiveness (Severe, Moderate, Mild, and Negligible Classes). Multinomial logistic regression models demonstrated that membership in the Severe and Moderate Classes was associated with potentially traumatic hurricane-specific experiences (e.g., being physically injured, seeing dead bodies), pre-hurricane traumatic events, co-occurring depression symptom severity and suicidal ideation, certain religious beliefs, and post-hurricane stressors (e.g., social support). Collectively, the findings suggest that more severe/pervasive typologies of natural disaster PTSD may be predicted by the frequency and severity of exposure to stressful/traumatic experiences (before, during, and after the disaster), co-occurring psychopathology, and specific internal beliefs. PMID:24334161

  13. A person-centered analysis of posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms following a natural disaster: predictors of latent class membership.

    PubMed

    Rosellini, Anthony J; Coffey, Scott F; Tracy, Melissa; Galea, Sandro

    2014-01-01

    The present study applied latent class analysis to a sample of 810 participants residing in southern Mississippi at the time of Hurricane Katrina to determine if people would report distinct, meaningful PTSD symptom classes following a natural disaster. We found a four-class solution that distinguished persons on the basis of PTSD symptom severity/pervasiveness (Severe, Moderate, Mild, and Negligible Classes). Multinomial logistic regression models demonstrated that membership in the Severe and Moderate Classes was associated with potentially traumatic hurricane-specific experiences (e.g., being physically injured, seeing dead bodies), pre-hurricane traumatic events, co-occurring depression symptom severity and suicidal ideation, certain religious beliefs, and post-hurricane stressors (e.g., social support). Collectively, the findings suggest that more severe/pervasive typologies of natural disaster PTSD may be predicted by the frequency and severity of exposure to stressful/traumatic experiences (before, during, and after the disaster), co-occurring psychopathology, and specific internal beliefs.

  14. Disaster Master

    MedlinePlus

    ... levels. But watch out! The wrong choice could end the game. Survive all 7 levels plus a turn in the hot seat and become a Disaster Master! Print ... 6 - Tsunami/Earthquake Level 7: Thunderstorm/Lightning ...

  15. Land use change and landslide characteristics analysis for community-based disaster mitigation.

    PubMed

    Chen, Chien-Yuan; Huang, Wen-Lin

    2013-05-01

    On August 8, 2009, Typhoon Morakot brought heavy rain to Taiwan, causing numerous landslides and debris flows in the Taihe village area of Meishan Township, Chiayi County, in south-central Taiwan. In the Taihe land is primary used for agriculture and land use management may be a factor in the area's landslides. This study explores Typhoon Morakot-induced landslides and land use changes between 1999 and 2009 using GIS with the aid of field investigation. Spot 5 satellite images with a resolution of 2.5 m are used for landslide interpretation and manually digitalized in GIS. A statistical analysis for landslide frequency-area distribution was used to identify the landslide characteristics associated with different types of land use. There were 243 landslides with a total area of 2.75 km(2) in the study area. The area is located in intrinsically fragile combinations of sandstone and shale. Typhoon Morakot-induced landslides show a power-law distribution in the study area. Landslides were mainly located in steep slope areas containing natural forest and in areas planted with bamboo, tea, and betel nut. Land covered with natural forest shows the highest landslide ratio, followed by bamboo, betel nut, and tea. Landslides thus show a higher ratio in areas planted with shallow root vegetation such as bamboo, betel nut, and tea. Furthermore, the degree of basin development is proportional to the landslide ratio. The results show that a change in vegetation cover results in a modified landslide area and frequency and changed land use areas have higher landslide ratios than non-changed. Land use management and community-based disaster prevention are needed in mountainous areas of Taiwan for hazard mitigation.

  16. Linear Odontometric Analysis of Permanent Dentition as A Forensic Aid: A Retrospective Study

    PubMed Central

    Nair, Sunil Sukumaran; Gopakumar, Devi; Kurian, Nisha; Parameswar, Arjun; Baby, Tibin Kaithappillil

    2016-01-01

    Introduction Sex determination in forensic anthropology is an essential step for medico-legal purposes and crucial for identification as the number of possible matches is reduced to 50%. Teeth are an excellent material for anthropological, genetic, odontological and forensic investigations as they are known to resist a variety of ante-mortem and post-mortem insults. Sexual dimorphism in tooth size and the accuracy of odontometric sex prediction is found to vary in different population and therefore it is necessary to determine specific population values in order to make identification possible. Hence, the present study was undertaken to evaluate the existence of sexual dimorphism in South Kerala population. Aim To evaluate and estimate the degree of odontometric sexual dimorphism in all permanent teeth except third molars and the variations in odontometric dimensions between the left and right side teeth of the maxillary and mandibular arches in male and female groups. Materials and Methods The MesioDistal (MD) and BuccoLingual (BL) measurements of 28 teeth were estimated from the preorthodontic casts of 132 subjects; male group (66 males) and female group (66 females) of age range 15-25 years using digital Verniers’ Caliper. The data obtained were analysed using SPSS version 17 and the Students’ t-test for two independent samples. Results The MesioDistal (MD) and BuccoLingual (BL) parameters of all permanent teeth in the study group showed sexual dimorphism. Over 39% of the tooth variables showed reverse dimorphism. The comparison of mean values of MD and BL diameters of the maxillary and mandibular, right and left side teeth in male and female groups showed statistical significance in males whereas females show non-significant values in both MD and BL diameters. Conclusion The study showed a varied percentage of sexual dimorphism and variation in the mean values of MD and BL dimensions in males, but not in females between right and left side teeth of the

  17. Rainfall and snow-melt triggered glacial lake outbursts: a systematic analysis of the Kedarnath (Uttarakhand, India), June 2013 disaster

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Allen, Simon; Rastner, Philipp; Arora, Manohar; Huggel, Christian; Stoffel, Markus

    2015-04-01

    Heavy rainfall in early June 2013 triggered flash flooding and landslides throughout the Indian Himalayan state of Uttarakhand, killing more than 6000 people. The destruction of roads and trekking routes left around 100,000 pilgrims and tourists stranded. Most fatalities and damages resulted directly from a lake outburst and debris flow disaster originating from above the village of Kedarnath on June 16 and 17. Here we provide a first systematic analysis of the contributing factors leading to the Kedarnath disaster, both in terms of hydro-meteorological triggering (rainfall, snowmelt, and temperature) and topographic predisposition. Specifically, the topographic characteristics of the Charobari lake watershed above Kedarnath are compared with other glacial lakes across the northwestern Indian Himalayan states of Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh, and implications for glacier lake outburst hazard assessment in a changing climate are discussed. Our analysis suggests that the early onset of heavy monsoon rainfall (390 mm, June 10 - 17) immediately following a prolonged four week period of unusually rapid snow cover depletion and elevated streamflow is the crucial hydro-meteorological factor, resulting in slope saturation and significant runoff into the small seasonal glacial lake. Over a four week period the MODIS-derived snow covered area above Kedarnath decreased nearly 50%, from above average coverage in mid-May to well below average coverage by the second week of June. Such a rapid decrease has not been observed in the previous 13-year record, where the average decrease in snow covered area over the same four week window is only 15%. The unusual situation of the lake being dammed in a steep, unstable paraglacial environment, but fed entirely from snow-melt and rainfall within a fluvial dominated watershed is important in the context of this disaster. A simple scheme enabling large-scale recognition of such an unfavorable topographic setting is presented, and on the

  18. History, research and practice of forensic anthropology in Thailand.

    PubMed

    Traithepchanapai, Pongpon; Mahakkanukrauh, Pasuk; Kranioti, Elena F

    2016-04-01

    Forensic anthropology is an increasingly developing discipline born about a century ago in the United States with the objective to contribute the knowledge of bone biology and physical anthropology to the emerging needs of the court of law. The development of research in biological and forensic anthropology has made rapid progress worldwide in the past few years, however, in most countries--with the exception of the United States--forensic anthropology work is still considered within the duties of the forensic pathologist. This paper attempts to summarise the history and development of forensic anthropology in Thailand by providing information on past and current research and practice that can help forensic practitioners to apply existing methods in forensic cases and mass disasters. It is hoped that the lessons learned from the tsunami catastrophe and the emerging need for positive identification in medicolegal settings will lead to rapid advances in education, training and professional engagement of anthropologists from the forensic departments and the law enforcement agencies in Thailand.

  19. History, research and practice of forensic anthropology in Thailand.

    PubMed

    Traithepchanapai, Pongpon; Mahakkanukrauh, Pasuk; Kranioti, Elena F

    2016-04-01

    Forensic anthropology is an increasingly developing discipline born about a century ago in the United States with the objective to contribute the knowledge of bone biology and physical anthropology to the emerging needs of the court of law. The development of research in biological and forensic anthropology has made rapid progress worldwide in the past few years, however, in most countries--with the exception of the United States--forensic anthropology work is still considered within the duties of the forensic pathologist. This paper attempts to summarise the history and development of forensic anthropology in Thailand by providing information on past and current research and practice that can help forensic practitioners to apply existing methods in forensic cases and mass disasters. It is hoped that the lessons learned from the tsunami catastrophe and the emerging need for positive identification in medicolegal settings will lead to rapid advances in education, training and professional engagement of anthropologists from the forensic departments and the law enforcement agencies in Thailand. PMID:26949023

  20. Ideas about Earthquakes after Experiencing a Natural Disaster in Taiwan: An Analysis of Students' Worldviews.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tsai, Chin-Chung

    2001-01-01

    Explores students' worldviews as revealed by their ideas about the causality of earthquakes after experiencing the natural disaster. Finds that students accept scientific ideas and abandon their original worldviews, accept scientific ideas and retain their original worldviews, or retain their original worldviews and ignore the scientific…

  1. Analysis of Debris Flow Disaster due to Heavy Rain by X-Band MP Radar Data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nishio, M.; Mori, M.

    2016-06-01

    On August 20 of 2014, Hiroshima City (Japan) was struck by local heavy rain from an autumnal rain front. The resultant debris flow disaster claimed 75 victims and destroyed many buildings. From 1:30 am to 4:30 am on August 20, the accumulated rainfall in Hiroshima City exceeded 200 mm. Serious damage occurred in the Asakita and Asaminami wards of Hiroshima City. As a disaster prevention measure, local heavy rain (localized torrential rains) is usually observed by the Automated Meteorological Data Acquisition System (AMeDAS) operated by the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) and by the C-band radar operated by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) of Japan, with spatial resolutions of 2.5 km and 1 km, respectively. The new X-band MP radar system enables more detailed rainfall observations than the C-band radar. In fact, this radar can observe local rainfall throughout Japan in near-real time over a minimum mesh size of 250 m. A fine-scale accumulated rainfall monitoring system is crucial for disaster prevention, and potential disasters can be alerted by the hazard levels of the accumulated rainfall.

  2. Regional disaster impact analysis: comparing input-output and computable general equilibrium models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Koks, Elco E.; Carrera, Lorenzo; Jonkeren, Olaf; Aerts, Jeroen C. J. H.; Husby, Trond G.; Thissen, Mark; Standardi, Gabriele; Mysiak, Jaroslav

    2016-08-01

    A variety of models have been applied to assess the economic losses of disasters, of which the most common ones are input-output (IO) and computable general equilibrium (CGE) models. In addition, an increasing number of scholars have developed hybrid approaches: one that combines both or either of them in combination with noneconomic methods. While both IO and CGE models are widely used, they are mainly compared on theoretical grounds. Few studies have compared disaster impacts of different model types in a systematic way and for the same geographical area, using similar input data. Such a comparison is valuable from both a scientific and policy perspective as the magnitude and the spatial distribution of the estimated losses are born likely to vary with the chosen modelling approach (IO, CGE, or hybrid). Hence, regional disaster impact loss estimates resulting from a range of models facilitate better decisions and policy making. Therefore, this study analyses the economic consequences for a specific case study, using three regional disaster impact models: two hybrid IO models and a CGE model. The case study concerns two flood scenarios in the Po River basin in Italy. Modelling results indicate that the difference in estimated total (national) economic losses and the regional distribution of those losses may vary by up to a factor of 7 between the three models, depending on the type of recovery path. Total economic impact, comprising all Italian regions, is negative in all models though.

  3. A Cross-Cultural Analysis of Stance in Disaster News Reports

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Liu, Lian; Stevenson, Marie

    2013-01-01

    This study examines stance in cross-cultural media discourse by comparing disaster news reports on the Sichuan earthquake of May 2008 in a Chinese, an Australian Chinese, and an Australian newspaper. The stance taken in the news reports is examined using the Attitude sub-system of Martin and White's (2005) Appraisal framework. The analysis…

  4. Feline mitochondrial DNA sampling for forensic analysis: when enough is enough!

    PubMed

    Grahn, Robert A; Alhaddad, Hasan; Alves, Paulo C; Randi, Ettore; Waly, Nashwa E; Lyons, Leslie A

    2015-05-01

    Pet hair has a demonstrated value in resolving legal issues. Cat hair is chronically shed and it is difficult to leave a home with cats without some level of secondary transfer. The power of cat hair as an evidentiary resource may be underused because representative genetic databases are not available for exclusionary purposes. Mitochondrial control region databases are highly valuable for hair analyses and have been developed for the cat. In a representative worldwide data set, 83% of domestic cat mitotypes belong to one of twelve major types. Of the remaining 17%, 7.5% are unique within the published 1394 sample database. The current research evaluates the sample size necessary to establish a representative population for forensic comparison of the mitochondrial control region for the domestic cat. For most worldwide populations, randomly sampling 50 unrelated local individuals will achieve saturation at 95%. The 99% saturation is achieved by randomly sampling 60-170 cats, depending on the numbers of mitotypes available in the population at large. Likely due to the recent domestication of the cat and minimal localized population substructure, fewer cats are needed to meet mitochondria DNA control region database practical saturation than for humans or dogs. Coupled with the available worldwide feline control region database of nearly 1400 cats, minimal local sampling will be required to establish an appropriate comparative representative database and achieve significant exclusionary power.

  5. Comparative analysis of hospital and forensic laboratory ethanol concentrations: A 15 month investigation of antemortem specimens.

    PubMed

    Saitman, Alec; Estrada, Julio; Fitzgerald, Robert L; McIntyre, Iain M

    2015-07-01

    Quantitative serum alcohol concentrations from regional hospitals (from specimens collected at time of hospital admission) were compared to results from whole blood (from specimens collected at the time of hospital admission) concentrations measured at the San Diego County Medical Examiner's Office (SDCMEO). Over a 15 month period (January 2012 to March 2013), the postmortem forensic toxicology laboratory analyzed a total of 2,321 cases. Of these, 280 were hospital cases (antemortem) representing 12% of the overall Medical Examiner toxicology casework. 59 of the 280 hospital cases (or 21%) screened positive for alcohol (ethanol). 39 of these 59 cases were included in the study based on available specimens for quantitative analyses. This investigation indicated that serum hospital ethanol concentrations correlated well (R(2) = 0.942) with ethanol values determined at SDCMEO (generally measured in whole blood). There was an observed negative bias with an average of -14.1%. A paired t-test was applied to the data and it was shown that this observed bias is statistically significant. These differences in ethanol concentrations could result from differences in specimen, analytical techniques, and/or calibration. The potential for specimen contamination is also discussed.

  6. Feline mitochondrial DNA sampling for forensic analysis: When enough is enough!

    PubMed Central

    Grahn, Robert A.; Alhaddad, Hasan; Alves, Paulo C.; Randi, Ettore; Waly, Nashwa E.; Lyons, Leslie A.

    2015-01-01

    Pet hair has a demonstrated value in resolving legal issues. Cat hair is chronically shed and it is difficult to leave a home with cats without some level of secondary transfer. The power of cat hair as an evidentiary resource may be underused because representative genetic databases are not available for exclusionary purposes. Mitochondrial control region databases are highly valuable for hair analyses and have been developed for the cat. In a representative worldwide data set, 83% of domestic cat mitotypes belong to one of twelve major types. Of the remaining 17%, 7.5% are unique within the published 1394 sample database. The current research evaluates the sample size necessary to establish a representative population for forensic comparison of the mitochondrial control region for the domestic cat. For most worldwide populations, randomly sampling 50 unrelated local individuals will achieve saturation at 95%. The 99% saturation is achieved by randomly sampling 60–170 cats, depending on the numbers of mitotypes available in the population at large. Likely due to the recent domestication of the cat and minimal localized population substructure, fewer cats are needed to meet mitochondria DNA control region database practical saturation than for humans or dogs. Coupled with the available worldwide feline control region database of nearly 1400 cats, minimal local sampling will be required to establish an appropriate comparative representative database and achieve significant exclusionary power. PMID:25531059

  7. Feline mitochondrial DNA sampling for forensic analysis: when enough is enough!

    PubMed

    Grahn, Robert A; Alhaddad, Hasan; Alves, Paulo C; Randi, Ettore; Waly, Nashwa E; Lyons, Leslie A

    2015-05-01

    Pet hair has a demonstrated value in resolving legal issues. Cat hair is chronically shed and it is difficult to leave a home with cats without some level of secondary transfer. The power of cat hair as an evidentiary resource may be underused because representative genetic databases are not available for exclusionary purposes. Mitochondrial control region databases are highly valuable for hair analyses and have been developed for the cat. In a representative worldwide data set, 83% of domestic cat mitotypes belong to one of twelve major types. Of the remaining 17%, 7.5% are unique within the published 1394 sample database. The current research evaluates the sample size necessary to establish a representative population for forensic comparison of the mitochondrial control region for the domestic cat. For most worldwide populations, randomly sampling 50 unrelated local individuals will achieve saturation at 95%. The 99% saturation is achieved by randomly sampling 60-170 cats, depending on the numbers of mitotypes available in the population at large. Likely due to the recent domestication of the cat and minimal localized population substructure, fewer cats are needed to meet mitochondria DNA control region database practical saturation than for humans or dogs. Coupled with the available worldwide feline control region database of nearly 1400 cats, minimal local sampling will be required to establish an appropriate comparative representative database and achieve significant exclusionary power. PMID:25531059

  8. Analysis of dental hard tissues exposed to high temperatures for forensic applications: An in vitro study

    PubMed Central

    Shekhawat, Kuldeep Singh; Chauhan, Arunima

    2016-01-01

    Aim: The aim of this study was to observe and record the macroscopic, radiographic, and microscopic findings obtained after subjecting the teeth to high temperatures. Materials and Methods: An in vitro study was conducted to observe macroscopic, radiographic, and microscopic changes in dental hard tissues in 60 unrestored non carious extracted human teeth. The teeth were grouped based on age: Below 30 years, 30–40 years, and above 40 years The teeth from each age group were further divided into five subgroups, and each subgroup was subjected to a particular temperature: 200°C, 400°C, 600°C, 800°C, and 1000°C. [C = Celsius]. Results: Various degrees of changes in relation to temperature were observed macroscopically, radiographically, and microscopically. The histological examination was limited for teeth exposed to 200°C. Conclusion: This investigation was carried out to study the gross changes, radiographic changes and histological changes in dental hard tissues exposed to high temperatures, which is an important part of forensic science. The aforementioned alterations caused by heat may provide useful information about temperature ranges and duration of exposure to high temperatures. PMID:27555725

  9. Modeling the economic costs of disasters and recovery: analysis using a dynamic computable general equilibrium model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xie, W.; Li, N.; Wu, J.-D.; Hao, X.-L.

    2014-04-01

    Disaster damages have negative effects on the economy, whereas reconstruction investment has positive effects. The aim of this study is to model economic causes of disasters and recovery involving the positive effects of reconstruction activities. Computable general equilibrium (CGE) model is a promising approach because it can incorporate these two kinds of shocks into a unified framework and furthermore avoid the double-counting problem. In order to factor both shocks into the CGE model, direct loss is set as the amount of capital stock reduced on the supply side of the economy; a portion of investments restores the capital stock in an existing period; an investment-driven dynamic model is formulated according to available reconstruction data, and the rest of a given country's saving is set as an endogenous variable to balance the fixed investment. The 2008 Wenchuan Earthquake is selected as a case study to illustrate the model, and three scenarios are constructed: S0 (no disaster occurs), S1 (disaster occurs with reconstruction investment) and S2 (disaster occurs without reconstruction investment). S0 is taken as business as usual, and the differences between S1 and S0 and that between S2 and S0 can be interpreted as economic losses including reconstruction and excluding reconstruction, respectively. The study showed that output from S1 is found to be closer to real data than that from S2. Economic loss under S2 is roughly 1.5 times that under S1. The gap in the economic aggregate between S1 and S0 is reduced to 3% at the end of government-led reconstruction activity, a level that should take another four years to achieve under S2.

  10. Study Of The Risks Arising From Natural Disasters And Hazards On Urban And Intercity Motorways By Using Failure Mode Effect Analysis (FMEA) Methods

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    DELİCE, Yavuz

    2015-04-01

    Highways, Located in the city and intercity locations are generally prone to many kind of natural disaster risks. Natural hazards and disasters that may occur firstly from highway project making to construction and operation stages and later during the implementation of highway maintenance and repair stages have to be taken into consideration. And assessment of risks that may occur against adverse situations is very important in terms of project design, construction, operation maintenance and repair costs. Making hazard and natural disaster risk analysis is largely depending on the definition of the likelihood of the probable hazards on the highways. However, assets at risk , and the impacts of the events must be examined and to be rated in their own. With the realization of these activities, intended improvements against natural hazards and disasters will be made with the utilization of Failure Mode Effects Analysis (FMEA) method and their effects will be analyzed with further works. FMEA, is a useful method to identify the failure mode and effects depending on the type of failure rate effects priorities and finding the most optimum economic and effective solution. Although relevant measures being taken for the identified risks by this analysis method , it may also provide some information for some public institutions about the nature of these risks when required. Thus, the necessary measures will have been taken in advance in the city and intercity highways. Many hazards and natural disasters are taken into account in risk assessments. The most important of these dangers can be listed as follows; • Natural disasters 1. Meteorological based natural disasters (floods, severe storms, tropical storms, winter storms, avalanches, etc.). 2. Geological based natural disasters (earthquakes, tsunamis, landslides, subsidence, sinkholes, etc) • Human originated disasters 1. Transport accidents (traffic accidents), originating from the road surface defects (icing

  11. Mold After a Disaster

    MedlinePlus

    ... Health Matters What's New Preparation & Planning Disasters & Severe Weather Earthquakes Extreme Heat Floods Hurricanes Landslides Tornadoes Tsunamis ... Disaster Mold Removal After a Disaster Disasters & Severe Weather Earthquakes Extreme Heat Floods Hurricanes Landslides Tornadoes Tsunamis ...

  12. Understanding Impact and Implications of Data Standards on Post Disaster Risk Analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stevenson, Robert

    2010-05-01

    Although the physical and humanitarian effects of a natural catastrophe are often bound to the locality of the event the financial impacts can have global effects. This is particularly prominent in the re/insurance community, where through a number of market mechanisms and re/insurance structures financial loss is mitigated amongst many companies across the globe. The level of risk a company wishes to retain, given an event, represents the level of risk decision makers deem acceptable. Catastrophe risk modelling tools aid the estimation of risk retention and transfer mechanisms, and increasingly the level of capital required to withstand a catastrophic event. These tools rely on appropriate representations hazard, exposure, vulnerability and insurance conditions that reflect the reality of risk. In addition, accurate estimation of loss potential in the aftermath of a catastrophic event equally relies on the data available to assess the scale of damages experienced and to provide views on the likely scale of loss. A coherent and focussed data and modelling strategy is required to ensure that the risk assessment made is as accurate as possible. A fundamental factor in determining the accuracy of catastrophe output, is the quality of data entered. It is of vital importance, therefore, to have an understanding of both the data used as well as the standard of this data, which will so powerfully impact upon the decision making process. This is perhaps best illustrated through the study of historical events, such as Hurricane Katrina and Ike. The extent of data variance in post disaster analysis clearly demonstrates issues of data discrepancies, vintage, resolution and uncertainty propagation, and reflects on the standard of the original data utilized for modelling purposes and decision making. Using experience gained from recent events, this paper will explore current data variabilities, and the impacts on effective loss estimation, both in relation to reinsurance

  13. Multivariate methods for the analysis of complex and big data in forensic sciences. Application to age estimation in living persons.

    PubMed

    Lefèvre, Thomas; Chariot, Patrick; Chauvin, Pierre

    2016-09-01

    Researchers handle increasingly higher dimensional datasets, with many variables to explore. Such datasets pose several problems, since they are difficult to handle and present unexpected features. As dimensionality increases, classical statistical analysis becomes inoperative. Variables can present redundancy, and the reduction of dataset dimensionality to its lowest possible value is often needed. Principal components analysis (PCA) has proven useful to reduce dimensionality but present several shortcomings. As others, forensic sciences will face the issues specific related to an evergrowing quantity of data to be integrated. Age estimation in living persons, an unsolved problem so far, could benefit from the integration of various sources of data, e.g., clinical, dental and radiological data. We present here novel multivariate techniques (nonlinear dimensionality reduction techniques, NLDR), applied to a theoretical example. Results were compared to those of PCA. NLDR techniques were then applied to clinical, dental and radiological data (13 variables) used for age estimation. The correlation dimension of these data was estimated. NLDR techniques outperformed PCA results. They showed that two living persons sharing similar characteristics may present rather different estimated ages. Moreover, data presented a very high informational redundancy, i.e., a correlation dimension of 2. NLDR techniques should be used with or preferred to PCA techniques to analyze complex and big data. Data routinely used for age estimation may not be considered suitable for this purpose. How integrating other data or approaches could improve age estimation in living persons is still uncertain.

  14. Automating the Coupling of ORIGEN with GADRAS via the Fallout Analysis Tool for National Technical Nuclear Forensics

    SciTech Connect

    Monterial, Mateusz; Jodoin, Vincent J; Lefebvre, Jordan P; Peplow, Douglas E.; Hooper, David A

    2012-01-01

    Nuclear forensic teams will be deployed to collect and evaluate fallout samples on the ground in the scenario of a low-yield nuclear detonation in a heavily populated area. Quick non-destructive methods of predicting the quality of the sample before it is analyzed in detail are essential for efficient post-event collections. In this work, the process of exporting Defense Land Fallout Interpretive Code (DELFIC) results into Gamma Detector Response and Analysis Software (GADRAS) has been automated within the Fallout Analysis Tool. This coupling allows for the simulation of detector responses to fallout samples with varying degrees of fractionation. The degree to which the samples are fractionated depends on the location of the samples in the fallout field. In the following study, this phenomenon is examined, as its understanding is important to the investigation of debris distribution. The simulated detector spectra from GADRAS can be used to compare peak ratios of volatile-refractory isotope pairs in order to determine the degree of fractionation. Simulated fractionated fallout samples from DELFIC for a 10 kt, pure 235U fission surface burst were modeled for distances ranging to 256 km out from ground zero, and for times up to 1 week from detonation. The fractionation ratios, also known as r values, from isotope concentrations, photon lines and peak areas of four volatile-refractory pairs were calculated and compared. Fractionation prediction via the peak areas method was evaluated for each pair by comparing the results with the simulated radionuclide inventory.

  15. 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)

  16. Development of forensic assay signatures for ebolaviruses.

    PubMed

    Song, Jian; Doggett, Norman; Wren, Melinda; Burr, Tom; Fenimore, P W; Hatcher, Eneida L; Bruno, William J; Li, Po-E; Stubben, Chris; Wolinsky, Murray

    2015-03-01

    Ebolaviruses are a diverse group of RNA viruses comprising five different species, four of which cause fatal hemorrhagic fever in humans. Because of their high infectivity and lethality, ebolaviruses are considered major biothreat agents. Although detection assays exist, no forensic assays are currently available. Here, we report the development of forensic assays that differentiate ebolaviruses. We performed phylogenetic analyses and identified canonical SNPs for all species, major clades and isolates. TaqMan-MGB allelic discrimination assays based on these SNPs were designed, screened against synthetic RNA templates, and validated against ebolavirus genomic RNAs. A total of 45 assays were validated to provide 100% coverage of the species and variants with additional resolution at the isolate level. These assays enabled accurate forensic analysis on 4 "unknown" ebolaviruses. Unknowns were correctly classified to species and variant. A goal of providing resolution below the isolate level was not successful. These high-resolution forensic assays allow rapid and accurate genotyping of ebolaviruses for forensic investigations.

  17. Interim Report on SNP analysis and forensic microarray probe design for South American hemorrhagic fever viruses, tick-borne encephalitis virus, henipaviruses, Old World Arenaviruses, filoviruses, Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever viruses, Rift Valley fever

    SciTech Connect

    Jaing, C; Gardner, S

    2012-06-05

    The goal of this project is to develop forensic genotyping assays for select agent viruses, enhancing the current capabilities for the viral bioforensics and law enforcement community. We used a multipronged approach combining bioinformatics analysis, PCR-enriched samples, microarrays and TaqMan assays to develop high resolution and cost effective genotyping methods for strain level forensic discrimination of viruses. We have leveraged substantial experience and efficiency gained through year 1 on software development, SNP discovery, TaqMan signature design and phylogenetic signature mapping to scale up the development of forensics signatures in year 2. In this report, we have summarized the whole genome wide SNP analysis and microarray probe design for forensics characterization of South American hemorrhagic fever viruses, tick-borne encephalitis viruses and henipaviruses, Old World Arenaviruses, filoviruses, Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever virus, Rift Valley fever virus and Japanese encephalitis virus.

  18. Forensic analysis of tertiary-butyl alcohol (TBA) detections in a hydrocarbon-rich groundwater basin.

    PubMed

    Quast, Konrad W; Levine, Audrey D; Kester, Janet E; Fordham, Carolyn L

    2016-04-01

    Tertiary-butyl alcohol (TBA), a high-production volume (HPV) chemical, was sporadically detected in groundwater and coalbed methane (CBM) wells in southeastern Colorado's hydrocarbon-rich Raton Basin. TBA concentrations in shallow water wells averaged 75.1 μg/L, while detections in deeper CBM wells averaged 14.4 μg/L. The detection of TBA prompted a forensic investigation to try to identify potential sources. Historic and recent data were reviewed to determine if there was a discernable pattern of TBA occurrence. Supplemental samples from domestic water wells, monitor wells, CBM wells, surface waters, and hydraulic fracturing (HF) fluids were analyzed for TBA in conjunction with methyl tertiary-butyl ether (MTBE) and ethyl tertiary-butyl ether (ETBE), proxies for evidence of contamination from reformulated gasoline or associated oxygenates. Exploratory microbiological sampling was conducted to determine if methanotrophic organisms co-occurred with TBA in individual wells. Meaningful comparisons of historic TBA data were limited due to widely varying reporting limits. Mapping of TBA occurrence did not reveal any spatial patterns or physical associations with CBM operations or contamination plumes. Additionally, TBA was not detected in HF fluids or surface water samples. Given the widespread use of TBA in industrial and consumer products, including water well completion materials, it is likely that multiple diffuse sources exist. Exploratory data on stable isotopes, dissolved gases, and microbial profiling provide preliminary evidence that methanotrophic activity may be producing TBA from naturally occurring isobutane. Reported TBA concentrations were significantly below a conservative risk-based drinking water screening level of 8000 μg/L derived from animal toxicity data. PMID:26946495

  19. Forensic analysis of tertiary-butyl alcohol (TBA) detections in a hydrocarbon-rich groundwater basin.

    PubMed

    Quast, Konrad W; Levine, Audrey D; Kester, Janet E; Fordham, Carolyn L

    2016-04-01

    Tertiary-butyl alcohol (TBA), a high-production volume (HPV) chemical, was sporadically detected in groundwater and coalbed methane (CBM) wells in southeastern Colorado's hydrocarbon-rich Raton Basin. TBA concentrations in shallow water wells averaged 75.1 μg/L, while detections in deeper CBM wells averaged 14.4 μg/L. The detection of TBA prompted a forensic investigation to try to identify potential sources. Historic and recent data were reviewed to determine if there was a discernable pattern of TBA occurrence. Supplemental samples from domestic water wells, monitor wells, CBM wells, surface waters, and hydraulic fracturing (HF) fluids were analyzed for TBA in conjunction with methyl tertiary-butyl ether (MTBE) and ethyl tertiary-butyl ether (ETBE), proxies for evidence of contamination from reformulated gasoline or associated oxygenates. Exploratory microbiological sampling was conducted to determine if methanotrophic organisms co-occurred with TBA in individual wells. Meaningful comparisons of historic TBA data were limited due to widely varying reporting limits. Mapping of TBA occurrence did not reveal any spatial patterns or physical associations with CBM operations or contamination plumes. Additionally, TBA was not detected in HF fluids or surface water samples. Given the widespread use of TBA in industrial and consumer products, including water well completion materials, it is likely that multiple diffuse sources exist. Exploratory data on stable isotopes, dissolved gases, and microbial profiling provide preliminary evidence that methanotrophic activity may be producing TBA from naturally occurring isobutane. Reported TBA concentrations were significantly below a conservative risk-based drinking water screening level of 8000 μg/L derived from animal toxicity data.

  20. An Android Communication App Forensic Taxonomy.

    PubMed

    Azfar, Abdullah; Choo, Kim-Kwang Raymond; Liu, Lin

    2016-09-01

    Due to the popularity of Android devices and applications (apps), Android forensics is one of the most studied topics within mobile forensics. Communication apps, such as instant messaging and Voice over IP (VoIP), are one popular app category used by mobile device users, including criminals. Therefore, a taxonomy outlining artifacts of forensic interest involving the use of Android communication apps will facilitate the timely collection and analysis of evidentiary materials from such apps. In this paper, 30 popular Android communication apps were examined, where a logical extraction of the Android phone images was collected using XRY, a widely used mobile forensic tool. Various information of forensic interest, such as contact lists and chronology of messages, was recovered. Based on the findings, a two-dimensional taxonomy of the forensic artifacts of the communication apps is proposed, with the app categories in one dimension and the classes of artifacts in the other dimension. Finally, the artifacts identified in the study of the 30 communication apps are summarized using the taxonomy. It is expected that the proposed taxonomy and the forensic findings in this paper will assist forensic investigations involving Android communication apps. PMID:27443418

  1. An Android Communication App Forensic Taxonomy.

    PubMed

    Azfar, Abdullah; Choo, Kim-Kwang Raymond; Liu, Lin

    2016-09-01

    Due to the popularity of Android devices and applications (apps), Android forensics is one of the most studied topics within mobile forensics. Communication apps, such as instant messaging and Voice over IP (VoIP), are one popular app category used by mobile device users, including criminals. Therefore, a taxonomy outlining artifacts of forensic interest involving the use of Android communication apps will facilitate the timely collection and analysis of evidentiary materials from such apps. In this paper, 30 popular Android communication apps were examined, where a logical extraction of the Android phone images was collected using XRY, a widely used mobile forensic tool. Various information of forensic interest, such as contact lists and chronology of messages, was recovered. Based on the findings, a two-dimensional taxonomy of the forensic artifacts of the communication apps is proposed, with the app categories in one dimension and the classes of artifacts in the other dimension. Finally, the artifacts identified in the study of the 30 communication apps are summarized using the taxonomy. It is expected that the proposed taxonomy and the forensic findings in this paper will assist forensic investigations involving Android communication apps.

  2. 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.

  3. Changing disaster relief regimes in China: an analysis using four famines between 1876 and 1962.

    PubMed

    Fuller, Pierre

    2015-10-01

    Once afflicted by frequent episodes of famine, China--particularly the Chinese state--is growing in importance as a player in the overseas aid and development sector. This paper examines four famines in modern China-defined as the period since the First Opium War of 1839-42-to shed light on the changing nature of state involvement in disaster relief in the country, while also demonstrating the breadth and diversity of relief agency in the past. It makes the case that traditional disaster relief principles and methods were active well into the twentieth century, and that the statist model of today's People's Republic is not an essential characteristic of Chinese humanitarian organisation. Rather, the extent to which the Chinese state will continue to assume a dominant role in the country's re-emerging civic and charity sector is, as in earlier times, a function of the political developments and struggles that lie ahead. PMID:26395106

  4. [Medico-legal opinions in penal cases provided by clinicians and forensic medicine specialists--comparative analysis].

    PubMed

    Chowaniec, Czesław; Chowaniec, Małgorzata; Nowak, Agnieszka

    2005-01-01

    From the practice of the Forensic Medicine Department, Medical University of Silesia, Katowice it appears that in criminal cases the level of medico-legal opinions provided by experts appointed by the district court or 'ad hoc' is very low. The analysis of the chosen files shoved a divergence of opinions given to the adopted motions as well as numerous offences to regulations in the nature of a consultative error. In the paper the authors have made an attempt to appraise causes of the above mentioned problems such as: 1. the lack of medico-legal knowledge and experience in court experts. 2. excessive ease of registration to the panel of court experts and the lack of processes which verify the qualifications of experts. 3. the lack of judicial control over expert's opinions and common acceptance of their work. 4. ignorance of the obligatory penal law. 5. ignorance of the basic rules for giving medico-legal opinions (legal consequences, casual nexus). 6. excessive but groundless self-confidence in experts. 7. the lack of a correct way of thinking and conclusion making. The aim of the paper was to pay close attention to the absolute need of verification of court experts' qualifications and work.

  5. Forensic analysis of laser printed ink by X-ray fluorescence and laser-excited plume fluorescence.

    PubMed

    Chu, Po-Chun; Cai, Bruno Yue; Tsoi, Yeuk Ki; Yuen, Ronald; Leung, Kelvin S Y; Cheung, Nai-Ho

    2013-05-01

    We demonstrated a minimally destructive two-tier approach for multielement forensic analysis of laser-printed ink. The printed document was first screened using a portable-X-ray fluorescence (XRF) probe. If the results were not conclusive, a laser microprobe was then deployed. The laser probe was based on a two-pulse scheme: the first laser pulse ablated a thin layer of the printed ink; the second laser pulse at 193 nm induced multianalytes in the desorbed ink to fluoresce. We analyzed four brands of black toners. The toners were printed on paper in the form of patches or letters or overprinted on another ink. The XRF probe could sort the four brands if the printed letters were larger than font 20. It could not tell the printing sequence in the case of overprints. The laser probe was more discriminatory; it could sort the toner brands and reveal the overprint sequence regardless of font size while the sampled area was not visibly different from neighboring areas even under the microscope. In terms of general analytical performance, the laser probe featured tens of micrometer lateral resolution and tens to hundreds of nm depth resolution and atto-mole mass detection limits. It could handle samples of arbitrary size and shape and was air compatible, and no sample pretreatment was necessary. It will prove useful whenever high-resolution and high sensitivity 3D elemental mapping is required.

  6. The Application of Chemical Derivatization in Forensic Drug Chemistry for Gas and High-Performance Liquid Chromatographic Methods of Analysis.

    PubMed

    Moore, J M

    1990-12-01

    The analyses of solid-dosage forensic drug samples can be enhanced by chemical derivatization followed by gas chromatography or high-performance liquid chromatography. Using these techniques permits improved detection and chromatography of some illicit drugs and their manufacturing by-products. This review focuses on the use of chemical derivatization in conjunction with gas chromatography-flame ionization detection, gas chromatography-electron capture detection, gas chromatography-mass spectrometry, high-performance liquid chromatography-ultraviolet detection and high-performance liquid chromatography-fluorescence detection in the analysis of illicit drug samples. These drugs include the amphetamines, barbiturates, cannabis, fentanyls, opium, and hallucinogens. Discussion on sensitivity enhancement and determination of enantiomeric composition using gas chromatography and high-performance liquid chromatography is included. An entire section is devoted to the chemical derivatization and chromatographic analyses of manufacturing by-products found in illicit amphetamine and methamphetamine, heroin, and cocaine samples. This review also includes a section that describes practical elements and experimental design associated with chemical derivatization-chromatographic analyses..

  7. Isolating Sperm from Cell Mixtures Using Magnetic Beads Coupled with an Anti-PH-20 Antibody for Forensic DNA Analysis.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Xing-Chun; Wang, Le; Sun, Jing; Jiang, Bo-Wei; Zhang, Er-Li; Ye, Jian

    2016-01-01

    Vaginal swabs taken in rape cases usually contain epithelial cells from the victim and sperm from the assailant and forensic DNA analysis requires separation of sperm from these cell mixtures. PH-20, which is a glycosylphosphatidylinositol-anchored hyaluronidase located on the head of sperm, has important functions in fertilization. Here we describe a newly developed method for sperm isolation using anti-PH-20 antibody-coupled immunomagnetic beads (anti-PH-20 IMBs). Optical microscopy and scanning electron microscopy showed the IMBs recognized the head of sperm specifically and exhibited a great capacity to capture sperm cells. However, we found it necessary to incubate the IMB-sperm complex with DNase I before sperm lysis in order to remove any female DNA completely. We compared the sensitivity of anti-PH-20 IMBs in sperm and epithelial cell discrimination to those coated with a different anti-sperm antibody (anti-SP-10, anti-ADAM2 or anti-JLP). Only the anti-PH-20 IMBs succeeded in isolating sperm from cell mixtures at a sperm/epithelial cell ratio of 103:105. Further, our method exhibited greater power and better stability for sperm isolation compared to the traditional differential lysis strategy. Taken together, the anti-PH-20 IMB method described here could be effective for the isolation of sperm needed to obtain a single-sourced DNA profile as an aid to identifying the perpetrator in sexual assault cases. PMID:27442128

  8. Isolating Sperm from Cell Mixtures Using Magnetic Beads Coupled with an Anti-PH-20 Antibody for Forensic DNA Analysis

    PubMed Central

    Zhao, Xing-Chun; Wang, Le; Sun, Jing; Jiang, Bo-Wei; Zhang, Er-Li; Ye, Jian

    2016-01-01

    Vaginal swabs taken in rape cases usually contain epithelial cells from the victim and sperm from the assailant and forensic DNA analysis requires separation of sperm from these cell mixtures. PH-20, which is a glycosylphosphatidylinositol-anchored hyaluronidase located on the head of sperm, has important functions in fertilization. Here we describe a newly developed method for sperm isolation using anti-PH-20 antibody-coupled immunomagnetic beads (anti-PH-20 IMBs). Optical microscopy and scanning electron microscopy showed the IMBs recognized the head of sperm specifically and exhibited a great capacity to capture sperm cells. However, we found it necessary to incubate the IMB–sperm complex with DNase I before sperm lysis in order to remove any female DNA completely. We compared the sensitivity of anti-PH-20 IMBs in sperm and epithelial cell discrimination to those coated with a different anti-sperm antibody (anti-SP-10, anti-ADAM2 or anti-JLP). Only the anti-PH-20 IMBs succeeded in isolating sperm from cell mixtures at a sperm/epithelial cell ratio of 103:105. Further, our method exhibited greater power and better stability for sperm isolation compared to the traditional differential lysis strategy. Taken together, the anti-PH-20 IMB method described here could be effective for the isolation of sperm needed to obtain a single-sourced DNA profile as an aid to identifying the perpetrator in sexual assault cases. PMID:27442128

  9. Combining spectroscopic data in the forensic analysis of paint: Application of a multiblock technique as chemometric tool.

    PubMed

    Lambert, Danny; Muehlethaler, Cyril; Esseiva, Pierre; Massonnet, Geneviève

    2016-06-01

    A study (Muehlethaler et al. [9]) has demonstrated the application of chemometrics for the analysis of domestic red paints. The paints have been analyzed with IR and Raman spectroscopies. As a result of these analyses, exploratory techniques, such as principal component analysis (PCA) and hierarchical clusters analysis (HCA) have been applied to both IR and Raman spectra. This allowed to observe the structure of the data among those red paints, and infer potential groups among them and to propose a classification model based on their chemical composition. IR spectroscopy showed group patterns related mainly to the binder and extender composition of the paints, whereas Raman spectroscopy data were mainly related to the pigment composition. The aim of the present study is to evaluate the potential of a Multiblock algorithm applied to the same data set. The concept of Multiblock, as a chemometric tool, is to combine data from several different analytical techniques in order to visualize most of the information at once. IR and Raman spectroscopy are then considered as "blocks" of data of the same dataset. One algorithm called common component and specific weight analysis (CCSWA) has been used in order to produce independent PCAs for each block, and the combined (common) information in a score plot. The results of this study showed group patterns of the analyzed paints, related to both binder and pigment compositions in one single score plot. Moreover, the number of groups observed with the multiblock representation (20 groups) is higher than independent PCAs projections (12 and 7 groups for IR and Raman respectively). This new application of chemometrics showed a great potential in forensic science, as practitioners often use a combination of several analytical techniques in order to characterize samples. This could be helpful when multiple and complementary analytical techniques are used in order to characterize and compare paint samples.

  10. Forensic analysis of printing inks using tandem Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy and Laser Ablation Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Subedi, Kiran; Trejos, Tatiana; Almirall, José

    2015-01-01

    Elemental analysis, using either LA-ICP-MS or LIBS, can be used for the chemical characterization of materials of forensic interest to discriminate between source materials originating from different sources and also for the association of materials known to originate from the same source. In this study, a tandem LIBS/LA-ICP-MS system that combines the benefits of both LIBS and LA-ICP-MS was evaluated for the characterization of samples of printing inks (toners, inkjets, intaglio and offset.). The performance of both laser sampling methods is presented. A subset of 9 black laser toners, 10 colored (CMYK) inkjet samples, 12 colored (CMYK) offset samples and 12 intaglio inks originating from different manufacturing sources were analyzed to evaluate the discrimination capability of the tandem method. These samples were selected because they presented a very similar elemental profile by LA-ICP-MS. Although typical discrimination between different ink sources is found to be > 99% for a variety of inks when only LA-ICP-MS was used for the analysis, additional discrimination was achieved by combining the elemental results from the LIBS analysis to the LA-ICP-MS analysis in the tandem technique, enhancing the overall discrimination capability of the individual laser ablation methods. The LIBS measurements of the Ca, Fe, K and Si signals, in particular, improved the discrimination for this specific set of different ink samples previously shown to exhibit very similar LA-ICP-MS elemental profiles. The combination of these two techniques in a single setup resulted in better discrimination of the printing inks with two distinct fingerprint spectra, providing information from atomic/ionic emissions and isotopic composition (m/z) for each ink sample.

  11. Expanding forensic science through forensic intelligence.

    PubMed

    Ribaux, Olivier; Talbot Wright, Benjamin

    2014-12-01

    Research and Development ('R&D') in forensic science currently focuses on innovative technologies improving the efficiency of existing forensic processes, from the detection of marks and traces at the scene, to their presentation in Court. R&D approached from this perspective provides no response to doubts raised by recent criminological studies, which question the effective contribution of forensic science to crime reduction, and to policing in general. Traces (i.e. forensic case data), as remnants of criminal activity are collected and used in various forms of crime monitoring and investigation. The aforementioned doubts therefore need to be addressed by expressing how information is conveyed by traces in these processes. Modelling from this standpoint expands the scope of forensic science and provides new R&D opportunities. Twelve propositions for R&D are stated in order to pave the way. PMID:25498939

  12. Expanding forensic science through forensic intelligence.

    PubMed

    Ribaux, Olivier; Talbot Wright, Benjamin

    2014-12-01

    Research and Development ('R&D') in forensic science currently focuses on innovative technologies improving the efficiency of existing forensic processes, from the detection of marks and traces at the scene, to their presentation in Court. R&D approached from this perspective provides no response to doubts raised by recent criminological studies, which question the effective contribution of forensic science to crime reduction, and to policing in general. Traces (i.e. forensic case data), as remnants of criminal activity are collected and used in various forms of crime monitoring and investigation. The aforementioned doubts therefore need to be addressed by expressing how information is conveyed by traces in these processes. Modelling from this standpoint expands the scope of forensic science and provides new R&D opportunities. Twelve propositions for R&D are stated in order to pave the way.

  13. Retrospection-Simulation-Revision: Approach to the Analysis of the Composition and Characteristics of Medical Waste at a Disaster Relief Site.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Li; Wu, Lihua; Tian, Feng; Wang, Zheng

    2016-01-01

    A large amount of medical waste is produced during disaster relief, posing a potential hazard to the habitat and the environment. A comprehensive understanding of the composition and characteristics of medical waste that requires management is one of the most basic steps in the development of a plan for medical waste management. Unfortunately, limited reliable information is available in the open literature on the characteristics of the medical waste that is generated at disaster relief sites. This paper discusses the analysis of the composition and characteristics of medical waste at a disaster relief site using the retrospection-simulation-revision method. For this study, we obtained 35 medical relief records of the Wenchuan Earthquake, Sichuan, May 2008 from a field cabin hospital. We first present a retrospective analysis of the relief medical records, and then, we simulate the medical waste generated in the affected areas. We ultimately determine the composition and characteristics of medical waste in the affected areas using untreated medical waste to revise the composition of the simulated medical waste. The results from 35 cases showed that the medical waste generated from disaster relief consists of the following: plastic (43.2%), biomass (26.3%), synthetic fiber (15.3%), rubber (6.6%), liquid (6.6%), inorganic salts (0.3%) and metals (1.7%). The bulk density of medical relief waste is 249 kg/m3, and the moisture content is 44.75%. The data should be provided to assist the collection, segregation, storage, transportation, disposal and contamination control of medical waste in affected areas. In this paper, we wish to introduce this research method of restoring the medical waste generated in disaster relief to readers and researchers. In addition, we hope more disaster relief agencies will become aware of the significance of medical case recording and storing. This may be very important for the environmental evaluation of medical waste in disaster areas, as

  14. Retrospection-Simulation-Revision: Approach to the Analysis of the Composition and Characteristics of Medical Waste at a Disaster Relief Site

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Li; Wu, Lihua; Tian, Feng; Wang, Zheng

    2016-01-01

    A large amount of medical waste is produced during disaster relief, posing a potential hazard to the habitat and the environment. A comprehensive understanding of the composition and characteristics of medical waste that requires management is one of the most basic steps in the development of a plan for medical waste management. Unfortunately, limited reliable information is available in the open literature on the characteristics of the medical waste that is generated at disaster relief sites. This paper discusses the analysis of the composition and characteristics of medical waste at a disaster relief site using the retrospection-simulation-revision method. For this study, we obtained 35 medical relief records of the Wenchuan Earthquake, Sichuan, May 2008 from a field cabin hospital. We first present a retrospective analysis of the relief medical records, and then, we simulate the medical waste generated in the affected areas. We ultimately determine the composition and characteristics of medical waste in the affected areas using untreated medical waste to revise the composition of the simulated medical waste. The results from 35 cases showed that the medical waste generated from disaster relief consists of the following: plastic (43.2%), biomass (26.3%), synthetic fiber (15.3%), rubber (6.6%), liquid (6.6%), inorganic salts (0.3%) and metals (1.7%). The bulk density of medical relief waste is 249 kg/m3, and the moisture content is 44.75%. The data should be provided to assist the collection, segregation, storage, transportation, disposal and contamination control of medical waste in affected areas. In this paper, we wish to introduce this research method of restoring the medical waste generated in disaster relief to readers and researchers. In addition, we hope more disaster relief agencies will become aware of the significance of medical case recording and storing. This may be very important for the environmental evaluation of medical waste in disaster areas, as

  15. Accreditation standards for undergraduate forensic science programs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Miller, Marilyn Tebbs

    Undergraduate forensic science programs are experiencing unprecedented growth in numbers of programs offered and, as a result, student enrollments are increasing. Currently, however, these programs are not subject to professional specialized accreditation. This study sought to identify desirable student outcome measures for undergraduate forensic science programs that should be incorporated into such an accreditation process. To determine desirable student outcomes, three types of data were collected and analyzed. All the existing undergraduate forensic science programs in the United States were examined with regard to the input measures of degree requirements and curriculum content, and for the output measures of mission statements and student competencies. Accreditation procedures and guidelines for three other science-based disciplines, computer science, dietetics, and nursing, were examined to provide guidance on accreditation processes for forensic science education programs. Expert opinion on outcomes for program graduates was solicited from the major stakeholders of undergraduate forensic science programs-forensic science educators, crime laboratory directors, and recent graduates. Opinions were gathered by using a structured Internet-based survey; the total response rate was 48%. Examination of the existing undergraduate forensic science programs revealed that these programs do not use outcome measures. Of the accreditation processes for other science-based programs, nursing education provided the best model for forensic science education, due primarily to the balance between the generality and the specificity of the outcome measures. From the analysis of the questionnaire data, preliminary student outcomes, both general and discipline-specific, suitable for use in the accreditation of undergraduate forensic science programs were determined. The preliminary results were reviewed by a panel of experts and, based on their recommendations, the outcomes

  16. Disaster risk management in prospect mining area Blitar district, East Java, using microtremor analysis and ANP (analytical network processing) approach

    SciTech Connect

    Parwatiningtyas, Diyan E-mail: erlinunindra@gmail.com; Ambarsari, Erlin Windia E-mail: erlinunindra@gmail.com; Marlina, Dwi E-mail: erlinunindra@gmail.com; Wiratomo, Yogi E-mail: erlinunindra@gmail.com

    2014-03-24

    Indonesia has a wealth of natural assets is so large to be managed and utilized, either from its own local government and local communities, especially in the mining sector. However, mining activities can change the state of the surface layer of the earth that have a high impact disaster risk. This could threaten the safety and disrupt human life, environmental damage, loss of property, and the psychological impact, sulking to the rule of law no 24 of 2007. That's why we strive to manage and minimize the risk of mine disasters in the region, how to use the method of calculation of Amplification Factor (AF) from the analysis based microtremor sulking Kanai and Nakamura, and decision systems were tested by analysis of ANP. Based on the amplification factor and Analytical Network Processing (ANP) obtained, some points showed instability in the surface layer of a mining area include the site of the TP-7, TP-8, TP-9, TP-10, (Birowo2). If in terms of structure, location indicated unstable due to have a sloping surface layer, resulting in the occurrence of landslides and earthquake risk is high. In the meantime, other areas of the mine site can be said to be a stable area.

  17. Determinants of the lethality of climate-related disasters in the Caribbean Community (CARICOM): a cross-country analysis.

    PubMed

    Andrewin, Aisha N; Rodriguez-Llanes, Jose M; Guha-Sapir, Debarati

    2015-07-08

    Floods and storms are climate-related hazards posing high mortality risk to Caribbean Community (CARICOM) nations. However risk factors for their lethality remain untested. We conducted an ecological study investigating risk factors for flood and storm lethality in CARICOM nations for the period 1980-2012. Lethality--deaths versus no deaths per disaster event- was the outcome. We examined biophysical and social vulnerability proxies and a decadal effect as predictors. We developed our regression model via multivariate analysis using a generalized logistic regression model with quasi-binomial distribution; removal of multi-collinear variables and backward elimination. Robustness was checked through subset analysis. We found significant positive associations between lethality, percentage of total land dedicated to agriculture (odds ratio [OR] 1.032; 95% CI: 1.013-1.053) and percentage urban population (OR 1.029, 95% CI 1.003-1.057). Deaths were more likely in the 2000-2012 period versus 1980-1989 (OR 3.708, 95% CI 1.615-8.737). Robustness checks revealed similar coefficients and directions of association. Population health in CARICOM nations is being increasingly impacted by climate-related disasters connected to increasing urbanization and land use patterns. Our findings support the evidence base for setting sustainable development goals (SDG).

  18. Determinants of the lethality of climate-related disasters in the Caribbean Community (CARICOM): a cross-country analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Andrewin, Aisha N.; Rodriguez-Llanes, Jose M.; Guha-Sapir, Debarati

    2015-07-01

    Floods and storms are climate-related hazards posing high mortality risk to Caribbean Community (CARICOM) nations. However risk factors for their lethality remain untested. We conducted an ecological study investigating risk factors for flood and storm lethality in CARICOM nations for the period 1980-2012. Lethality - deaths versus no deaths per disaster event- was the outcome. We examined biophysical and social vulnerability proxies and a decadal effect as predictors. We developed our regression model via multivariate analysis using a generalized logistic regression model with quasi-binomial distribution; removal of multi-collinear variables and backward elimination. Robustness was checked through subset analysis. We found significant positive associations between lethality, percentage of total land dedicated to agriculture (odds ratio [OR] 1.032; 95% CI: 1.013-1.053) and percentage urban population (OR 1.029, 95% CI 1.003-1.057). Deaths were more likely in the 2000-2012 period versus 1980-1989 (OR 3.708, 95% CI 1.615-8.737). Robustness checks revealed similar coefficients and directions of association. Population health in CARICOM nations is being increasingly impacted by climate-related disasters connected to increasing urbanization and land use patterns. Our findings support the evidence base for setting sustainable development goals (SDG).

  19. Determinants of the lethality of climate-related disasters in the Caribbean Community (CARICOM): a cross-country analysis

    PubMed Central

    Andrewin, Aisha N.; Rodriguez-Llanes, Jose M.; Guha-Sapir, Debarati

    2015-01-01

    Floods and storms are climate-related hazards posing high mortality risk to Caribbean Community (CARICOM) nations. However risk factors for their lethality remain untested. We conducted an ecological study investigating risk factors for flood and storm lethality in CARICOM nations for the period 1980–2012. Lethality - deaths versus no deaths per disaster event- was the outcome. We examined biophysical and social vulnerability proxies and a decadal effect as predictors. We developed our regression model via multivariate analysis using a generalized logistic regression model with quasi-binomial distribution; removal of multi-collinear variables and backward elimination. Robustness was checked through subset analysis. We found significant positive associations between lethality, percentage of total land dedicated to agriculture (odds ratio [OR] 1.032; 95% CI: 1.013–1.053) and percentage urban population (OR 1.029, 95% CI 1.003–1.057). Deaths were more likely in the 2000–2012 period versus 1980–1989 (OR 3.708, 95% CI 1.615–8.737). Robustness checks revealed similar coefficients and directions of association. Population health in CARICOM nations is being increasingly impacted by climate-related disasters connected to increasing urbanization and land use patterns. Our findings support the evidence base for setting sustainable development goals (SDG). PMID:26153115

  20. Disaster risk management in prospect mining area Blitar district, East Java, using microtremor analysis and ANP (analytical network processing) approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Parwatiningtyas, Diyan; Ambarsari, Erlin Windia; Marlina, Dwi; Wiratomo, Yogi

    2014-03-01

    Indonesia has a wealth of natural assets is so large to be managed and utilized, either from its own local government and local communities, especially in the mining sector. However, mining activities can change the state of the surface layer of the earth that have a high impact disaster risk. This could threaten the safety and disrupt human life, environmental damage, loss of property, and the psychological impact, sulking to the rule of law no 24 of 2007. That's why we strive to manage and minimize the risk of mine disasters in the region, how to use the method of calculation of Amplification Factor (AF) from the analysis based microtremor sulking Kanai and Nakamura, and decision systems were tested by analysis of ANP. Based on the amplification factor and Analytical Network Processing (ANP) obtained, some points showed instability in the surface layer of a mining area include the site of the TP-7, TP-8, TP-9, TP-10, (Birowo2). If in terms of structure, location indicated unstable due to have a sloping surface layer, resulting in the occurrence of landslides and earthquake risk is high. In the meantime, other areas of the mine site can be said to be a stable area.

  1. Surviving Disasters

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Henke, Karen Greenwood

    2008-01-01

    Schools play a unique role in communities when disaster strikes. They serve as shelter for evacuees and first responders; they are a trusted source of information; and once danger has passed, the district, as employer and community center, often serves as a foundation for recovery. Technology plays a key role in a school district's ability to…

  2. [Disaster medicine].

    PubMed

    Carli, Pierre; Telionri, Caroline

    2015-01-01

    For over 30 years, the French hospital and pre-hospital medical teams are trained in disaster medicine. In fact, they are regularly confronted with the management of multiple casualties in accidents or even terrorist attacks, and more rarely to large-scale disasters. The intervention of physicians of the EMS system (SAMU-SMUR) in the field allows an original healthcare organization: in an advanced medical post, the victims are triaged according to their severity and benefit if needed of initial resuscitation. SAMU medical regulating center then organize their transport and repartition in several hospitals put on alert. To cope with a mass casualty situation, the hospital also has a specific organization, the White Plan. This plan, initiated by the director, assisted by a medico-administrative cell crisis can mobilize all the resources of the institution. Personnel are recalled and the ability of emergency units is increased. Care, less urgent, other patients are postponed. There are many plans for responding to disasters. ORSEC plans of the ministry of Interior articulate with the ORSAN plans of the ministry of Health. This complementarity allows a global mobilization of public services in disasters or exceptional medical situations.

  3. Disaster Drill.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jones, Rebecca

    1998-01-01

    Bus disaster drills have been held all over country for years. A drill in Blairsville, Pennsylvania, taught officials important lessons: (1) keep roster of students and stops in designated area on bus, and ensure emergency workers know where location; (2) send at least three school officials to accident scene; (3) provide school officials with…

  4. Application of DNA-based methods in forensic entomology.

    PubMed

    Wells, Jeffrey D; Stevens, Jamie R

    2008-01-01

    A forensic entomological investigation can benefit from a variety of widely practiced molecular genotyping methods. The most commonly used is DNA-based specimen identification. Other applications include the identification of insect gut contents and the characterization of the population genetic structure of a forensically important insect species. The proper application of these procedures demands that the analyst be technically expert. However, one must also be aware of the extensive list of standards and expectations that many legal systems have developed for forensic DNA analysis. We summarize the DNA techniques that are currently used in, or have been proposed for, forensic entomology and review established genetic analyses from other scientific fields that address questions similar to those in forensic entomology. We describe how accepted standards for forensic DNA practice and method validation are likely to apply to insect evidence used in a death or other forensic entomological investigation.

  5. SNP-microarrays can accurately identify the presence of an individual in complex forensic DNA mixtures.

    PubMed

    Voskoboinik, Lev; Ayers, Sheri B; LeFebvre, Aaron K; Darvasi, Ariel

    2015-05-01

    Common forensic and mass disaster scenarios present DNA evidence that comprises a mixture of several contributors. Identifying the presence of an individual in such mixtures has proven difficult. In the current study, we evaluate the practical usefulness of currently available "off-the-shelf" SNP microarrays for such purposes. We found that a set of 3000 SNPs specifically selected for this purpose can accurately identify the presence of an individual in complex DNA mixtures of various compositions. For example, individuals contributing as little as 5% to a complex DNA mixture can be robustly identified even if the starting DNA amount was as little as 5.0ng and had undergone whole-genome amplification (WGA) prior to SNP analysis. The work presented in this study represents proof-of-principle that our previously proposed approach, can work with real "forensic-type" samples. Furthermore, in the absence of a low-density focused forensic SNP microarray, the use of standard, currently available high-density SNP microarrays can be similarly used and even increase statistical power due to the larger amount of available information.

  6. Forensic revolution need maintenance of dental records of patients by the dentists: A descriptive study

    PubMed Central

    Gupta, Anamika; Mishra, Gaurav; Bhutani, Hemant; Hoshing, Chetan; Bhalla, Ashish

    2016-01-01

    Objectives: With the growth of forensic odontology, dental records have become an essential source of information, especially for medicolegal cases in general practice. It is mandated by the law that every dentist must keep some kind of records for every patient they treat. After the death of an individual, remnants of teeth are usually damaged at the last among all body parts. Dental records assist in personal identification in cases of mass disasters, criminal investigations, and medicolegal issues. However, in India, rules for maintaining dental records are not very strictly followed. Thus, the aim of this study was to evaluate the knowledge regarding the maintenance of dental records among dentists in Punjab and Uttar Pradesh. Materials and Methods: Data collection was performed via a questionnaire. The study population responded to the questions pertaining to knowledge regarding forensic odontology methods and the mode of maintaining dental records in their regular practice through a personal interview. A descriptive analysis was carried out for the data. The data were summarized and analyzed using the statistical software Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) version 18.0. Results: A very low percentage (22%) of the dentists were seen to be maintaining records on a regular basis. Seventy-eight percent of the dentists were not maintaining any records. Conclusion: This study clearly indicates that the dentists in Punjab and Uttar Pradesh need to be properly trained for any kind of forensic and medicolegal needs. PMID:27583219

  7. 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.

  8. Evaluation of methods to improve the extraction and recovery of DNA from cotton swabs for forensic analysis.

    PubMed

    Adamowicz, Michael S; Stasulli, Dominique M; Sobestanovich, Emily M; Bille, Todd W

    2014-01-01

    Samples for forensic DNA analysis are often collected from a wide variety of objects using cotton or nylon tipped swabs. Testing has shown that significant quantities of DNA are retained on the swab, however, and subsequently lost. When processing evidentiary samples, the recovery of the maximum amount of available DNA is critical, potentially dictating whether a usable profile can be derived from a piece of evidence or not. The QIAamp DNA Investigator extraction kit was used with its recommended protocol for swabs (one hour incubation at 56°C) as a baseline. Results indicate that over 50% of the recoverable DNA may be retained on the cotton swab tip, or otherwise lost, for both blood and buccal cell samples when using this protocol. The protocol's incubation time and temperature were altered, as was incubating while shaking or stationary to test for increases in recovery efficiency. An additional step was then tested that included periodic re-suspension of the swab tip in the extraction buffer during incubation. Aliquots of liquid blood or a buccal cell suspension were deposited and dried on cotton swabs and compared with swab-less controls. The concentration of DNA in each extract was quantified and STR analysis was performed to assess the quality of the extracted DNA. Stationary incubations and those performed at 65°C did not result in significant gains in DNA yield. Samples incubated for 24 hours yielded less DNA. Increased yields were observed with three and 18 hour incubation periods. Increases in DNA yields were also observed using a swab re-suspension method for both cell types. The swab re-suspension method yielded an average two-fold increase in recovered DNA yield with buccal cells and an average three-fold increase with blood cells. These findings demonstrate that more of the DNA collected on swabs can be recovered with specific protocol alterations.

  9. Evaluation of Methods to Improve the Extraction and Recovery of DNA from Cotton Swabs for Forensic Analysis

    PubMed Central

    Adamowicz, Michael S.; Stasulli, Dominique M.; Sobestanovich, Emily M.; Bille, Todd W.

    2014-01-01

    Samples for forensic DNA analysis are often collected from a wide variety of objects using cotton or nylon tipped swabs. Testing has shown that significant quantities of DNA are retained on the swab, however, and subsequently lost. When processing evidentiary samples, the recovery of the maximum amount of available DNA is critical, potentially dictating whether a usable profile can be derived from a piece of evidence or not. The QIAamp DNA Investigator extraction kit was used with its recommended protocol for swabs (one hour incubation at 56°C) as a baseline. Results indicate that over 50% of the recoverable DNA may be retained on the cotton swab tip, or otherwise lost, for both blood and buccal cell samples when using this protocol. The protocol’s incubation time and temperature were altered, as was incubating while shaking or stationary to test for increases in recovery efficiency. An additional step was then tested that included periodic re-suspension of the swab tip in the extraction buffer during incubation. Aliquots of liquid blood or a buccal cell suspension were deposited and dried on cotton swabs and compared with swab-less controls. The concentration of DNA in each extract was quantified and STR analysis was performed to assess the quality of the extracted DNA. Stationary incubations and those performed at 65°C did not result in significant gains in DNA yield. Samples incubated for 24 hours yielded less DNA. Increased yields were observed with three and 18 hour incubation periods. Increases in DNA yields were also observed using a swab re-suspension method for both cell types. The swab re-suspension method yielded an average two-fold increase in recovered DNA yield with buccal cells and an average three-fold increase with blood cells. These findings demonstrate that more of the DNA collected on swabs can be recovered with specific protocol alterations. PMID:25549111

  10. Open Source Live Distributions for Computer Forensics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Giustini, Giancarlo; Andreolini, Mauro; Colajanni, Michele

    Current distributions of open source forensic software provide digital investigators with a large set of heterogeneous tools. Their use is not always focused on the target and requires high technical expertise. We present a new GNU/Linux live distribution, named CAINE (Computer Aided INvestigative Environment) that contains a collection of tools wrapped up into a user friendly environment. The CAINE forensic framework introduces novel important features, aimed at filling the interoperability gap across different forensic tools. Moreover, it provides a homogeneous graphical interface that drives digital investigators during the acquisition and analysis of electronic evidence, and it offers a semi-automatic mechanism for the creation of the final report.

  11. What can multiwave studies teach us about disaster research: an analysis of low-income Hurricane Katrina survivors.

    PubMed

    Green, Gillian; Lowe, Sarah R; Rhodes, Jean E

    2012-06-01

    Previous research on natural disasters has been limited by a lack of predisaster data and statistical analyses that do not adequately predict change in psychological symptoms. In the current study, we addressed these limitations through analysis of 3 waves of data from a longitudinal investigation of 313 low-income, African American mothers who were exposed to Hurricane Katrina. Although postdisaster cross-sectional estimates of the impact of traumatic stress exposure and postdisaster social support on postdisaster psychological distress were somewhat inflated, the general trends persisted when controlling for predisaster data (B = 0.88 and -0.33, vs. B = 0.81 and -0.27, respectively). Hierarchical linear modeling of the 3 waves of data revealed that lower predisaster social support was associated with higher psychological distress at the time of the disaster (β = -.16), and that higher traumatic stress exposure was associated with greater increases in psychological distress after the storm (β = .86). Based on the results, we suggest that the impact of traumatic stress on psychological trajectories cannot be accounted for solely by preexisting risk, and recommend more complex research designs to further illuminate the complex, dynamic relationships between psychological distress, traumatic stress exposure, and social support.

  12. What can multiwave studies teach us about disaster research: an analysis of low-income Hurricane Katrina survivors.

    PubMed

    Green, Gillian; Lowe, Sarah R; Rhodes, Jean E

    2012-06-01

    Previous research on natural disasters has been limited by a lack of predisaster data and statistical analyses that do not adequately predict change in psychological symptoms. In the current study, we addressed these limitations through analysis of 3 waves of data from a longitudinal investigation of 313 low-income, African American mothers who were exposed to Hurricane Katrina. Although postdisaster cross-sectional estimates of the impact of traumatic stress exposure and postdisaster social support on postdisaster psychological distress were somewhat inflated, the general trends persisted when controlling for predisaster data (B = 0.88 and -0.33, vs. B = 0.81 and -0.27, respectively). Hierarchical linear modeling of the 3 waves of data revealed that lower predisaster social support was associated with higher psychological distress at the time of the disaster (β = -.16), and that higher traumatic stress exposure was associated with greater increases in psychological distress after the storm (β = .86). Based on the results, we suggest that the impact of traumatic stress on psychological trajectories cannot be accounted for solely by preexisting risk, and recommend more complex research designs to further illuminate the complex, dynamic relationships between psychological distress, traumatic stress exposure, and social support. PMID:22684676

  13. (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

  14. (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.

  15. [Role of forensic medicine and forensic psychiatry in solving the problem of organized crime].

    PubMed

    Kokavec, M; Dobrotka, G

    2001-01-01

    Term--organized crime is not satisfactorily defined todate neither in forensic sciences, nor in lexical formulations. It is necessary to come to grips with the criminalistic and social pathological meaning of three terms--individual crime, grouped and organized crime as well as participation of forensic sciences including forensic medicine on solving problems of organized crime. Forensic medicine and forensic psychology can help to solve this acute problem of present development of social life. It can help in criminalistic expertize and insider activity in profiliation of perpetrators and victims. Mainly it will be about searching and improving of methodical approaches in solving of incriminated cases and its analysis for investigative organs and courts. Important asset in this problem must be also preventive portion in preclusion of criminality.

  16. Validity of Rorschach Inkblot Scores for Discriminating Psychopaths from Nonpsychopaths in Forensic Populations: A Meta-Analysis

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wood, James M.; Lilienfeld, Scott O.; Nezworski, M. Teresa; Garb, Howard N.; Allen, Keli Holloway; Wildermuth, Jessica L.

    2010-01-01

    Gacono and Meloy (2009) have concluded that the Rorschach Inkblot Test is a sensitive instrument with which to discriminate psychopaths from nonpsychopaths. We examined the association of psychopathy with 37 Rorschach variables in a meta-analytic review of 173 validity coefficients derived from 22 studies comprising 780 forensic participants. All…

  17. THE LOSS OF MALAYSIA AIRLINES FLIGHT MH17: A FORENSIC AND HUMANITARIAN TASK.

    PubMed

    Ranson, David

    2015-06-01

    While forensic medical tasks are usually associated with supporting the criminal justice system, there are a range of forensic medical skills that can be brought to bear on addressing humanitarian activities. Disaster victim identification is a procedure that has achieved international standardisation through the work of a multinational Interpol Standing Committee. While part of a police organisation, it includes forensic pathologists, anthropologists, odontologists and molecular biologists who provide most of the specialist scientific input regarding identification that is integrated with police processes such as document examination and fingerprinting. The loss of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17 represented a major activation of these procedures in an environment that had both humanitarian and forensic criminal investigation components. The information that is derived from the processes involved in disaster victim identification has a value that goes far beyond the determination of identity. It has an important humanitarian role in supporting the family and friends of the victims in their bereavement journey. PMID:26349375

  18. THE LOSS OF MALAYSIA AIRLINES FLIGHT MH17: A FORENSIC AND HUMANITARIAN TASK.

    PubMed

    Ranson, David

    2015-06-01

    While forensic medical tasks are usually associated with supporting the criminal justice system, there are a range of forensic medical skills that can be brought to bear on addressing humanitarian activities. Disaster victim identification is a procedure that has achieved international standardisation through the work of a multinational Interpol Standing Committee. While part of a police organisation, it includes forensic pathologists, anthropologists, odontologists and molecular biologists who provide most of the specialist scientific input regarding identification that is integrated with police processes such as document examination and fingerprinting. The loss of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17 represented a major activation of these procedures in an environment that had both humanitarian and forensic criminal investigation components. The information that is derived from the processes involved in disaster victim identification has a value that goes far beyond the determination of identity. It has an important humanitarian role in supporting the family and friends of the victims in their bereavement journey.

  19. Country logistics performance and disaster impact.

    PubMed

    Vaillancourt, Alain; Haavisto, Ira

    2016-04-01

    The aim of this paper is to deepen the understanding of the relationship between country logistics performance and disaster impact. The relationship is analysed through correlation analysis and regression models for 117 countries for the years 2007 to 2012 with disaster impact variables from the International Disaster Database (EM-DAT) and logistics performance indicators from the World Bank. The results show a significant relationship between country logistics performance and disaster impact overall and for five out of six specific logistic performance indicators. These specific indicators were further used to explore the relationship between country logistic performance and disaster impact for three specific disaster types (epidemic, flood and storm). The findings enhance the understanding of the role of logistics in a humanitarian context with empirical evidence of the importance of country logistics performance in disaster response operations.

  20. Trace elemental analysis of glass and paint samples of forensic interest by ICP-MS using laser ablation solid sample introduction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Almirall, Jose R.; Trejos, Tatiana; Hobbs, Andria; Furton, Kenneth G.

    2003-09-01

    The importance of small amounts of glass and paint evidence as a means to associate a crime event to a suspect or a suspect to another individual has been demonstrated in many cases. Glass is a fragile material that is often found at the scenes of crimes such as burglaries, hit-and-run accidents and violent crime offenses. Previous work has demonstrated the utility of elemental analysis by solution ICP-MS of small amounts of glass for the comparison between a fragment found at a crime scene to a possible source of the glass. The multi-element capability and the sensitivity of ICP-MS combined with the simplified sample introduction of laser ablation prior to ion detection provides for an excellent and relatively non-destructive technique for elemental analysis of glass fragments. The direct solid sample introduction technique of laser ablation (LA) is reported as an alternative to the solution method. Direct solid sampling provides several advantages over solution methods and shows great potential for a number of solid sample analyses in forensic science. The advantages of laser ablation include the simplification of sample preparation, thereby reducing the time and complexity of the analysis, the elimination of handling acid dissolution reagents such as HF and the reduction of sources of interferences in the ionization plasma. Direct sampling also provides for essentially "non-destructive" sampling due to the removal of very small amounts of sample needed for analysis. The discrimination potential of LA-ICP-MS is compared with previously reported solution ICP-MS methods using external calibration with internal standardization and a newly reported solution isotope dilution (ID) method. A total of ninety-one different glass samples were used for the comparison study using the techniques mentioned. One set consisted of forty-five headlamps taken from a variety of automobiles representing a range of twenty years of manufacturing dates. A second set consisted of forty

  1. Pioneer identification of fake tiger claws using morphometric and DNA-based analysis in wildlife forensics in India.

    PubMed

    Vipin; Sharma, Vinita; Sharma, Chandra Prakash; Kumar, Ved Prakash; Goyal, Surendra Prakash

    2016-09-01

    The illegal trade in wildlife is a serious threat to the existence of wild animals throughout the world. The short supply and high demand for wildlife articles have caused an influx of many different forms of fake wildlife articles into this trade. The task of identifying the materials used in making such articles poses challenges in wildlife forensics as different approaches are required for species identification. Claws constitute 3.8% of the illegal animal parts (n=2899) received at the Wildlife Institute of India (WII) for species identification. We describe the identification of seized suspected tiger claws (n=18) using a combined approach of morphometric and DNA-based analysis. The differential keratin density, determined using X-ray radiographs, indicated that none of the 18 claws were of any large cat but were fake. We determined three claw measurements, viz. ac (from the external coronary dermo-epidermal interface to the epidermis of the skin fold connecting the palmar flanges of the coronary horn), bc (from the claw tip to the epidermis of the skin fold connecting the palmar flanges of the coronary horn) and the ratio bc/ac, for all the seized (n=18), tiger (n=23) and leopard (n=49) claws. Univariate and multivariate statistical analyses were performed using SPSS. A scatter plot generated using canonical discriminant function analysis revealed that of the 18 seized claws, 14 claws formed a cluster separate from the clusters of the tiger and leopard claws, whereas the remaining four claws were within the leopard cluster. Because a discrepancy was observed between the X-ray images and the measurements of these four claws, one of the claw that clustered with the leopard claws was chosen randomly and DNA analysis carried out using the cyt b (137bp) and 16S rRNA (410bp) genes. A BLAST search and comparison with the reference database at WII indicated that the keratin material of the claw was derived from Bos taurus (cattle). This is a pioneering discovery, and

  2. Pioneer identification of fake tiger claws using morphometric and DNA-based analysis in wildlife forensics in India.

    PubMed

    Vipin; Sharma, Vinita; Sharma, Chandra Prakash; Kumar, Ved Prakash; Goyal, Surendra Prakash

    2016-09-01

    The illegal trade in wildlife is a serious threat to the existence of wild animals throughout the world. The short supply and high demand for wildlife articles have caused an influx of many different forms of fake wildlife articles into this trade. The task of identifying the materials used in making such articles poses challenges in wildlife forensics as different approaches are required for species identification. Claws constitute 3.8% of the illegal animal parts (n=2899) received at the Wildlife Institute of India (WII) for species identification. We describe the identification of seized suspected tiger claws (n=18) using a combined approach of morphometric and DNA-based analysis. The differential keratin density, determined using X-ray radiographs, indicated that none of the 18 claws were of any large cat but were fake. We determined three claw measurements, viz. ac (from the external coronary dermo-epidermal interface to the epidermis of the skin fold connecting the palmar flanges of the coronary horn), bc (from the claw tip to the epidermis of the skin fold connecting the palmar flanges of the coronary horn) and the ratio bc/ac, for all the seized (n=18), tiger (n=23) and leopard (n=49) claws. Univariate and multivariate statistical analyses were performed using SPSS. A scatter plot generated using canonical discriminant function analysis revealed that of the 18 seized claws, 14 claws formed a cluster separate from the clusters of the tiger and leopard claws, whereas the remaining four claws were within the leopard cluster. Because a discrepancy was observed between the X-ray images and the measurements of these four claws, one of the claw that clustered with the leopard claws was chosen randomly and DNA analysis carried out using the cyt b (137bp) and 16S rRNA (410bp) genes. A BLAST search and comparison with the reference database at WII indicated that the keratin material of the claw was derived from Bos taurus (cattle). This is a pioneering discovery, and

  3. Forensic medicine in China.

    PubMed

    Peng, Z; Pounder, D J

    1998-12-01

    Although China has a long history of forensic medicine, with the first standard text published in 1247, modern practices appeared only in the 1930s under Professor Lin Ji. After the founding of the People's Republic of China in 1949, there was a period of rapid development, which was later interrupted by the Cultural Revolution of 1966-1976. Today, China has about 10,000 experts in forensic medicine organized within the separate agencies of police, prosecutor's offices, courts, universities, and the Justice Ministry. Eight medical colleges, the Institute of Forensic Sciences of the Ministry of Justice in Shanghai which publishes the Journal of Forensic Medicine, and the Forensic Medicine Association of China which publishes the Chinese Journal of Forensic Medicine are key organizations. PMID:9885933

  4. Ethical issues in DNA identification of human biological material from mass disasters.

    PubMed

    Caenazzo, Luciana; Tozzo, Pamela; Rodriguez, Daniele

    2013-08-01

    Each mass disaster has its own characteristics and will involve a different approach, so the safeguarding and collection of forensic evidence have to be considered as part of the field response procedure. DNA typing has played a more prominent role in the identification of human remains, and particularly so for highly decomposed and fragmented remains. Although the ultimate goal is to obtain the identification, the specific context of each application of human identity testing has its specific problems, ranging from technical approach, through statistical interpretation, to ethical issues. The preparedness plan of the forensic genetics laboratory needs to include policies for family notification, long-term sample storage, and data archiving. For this reason, DNA sample collection and a strategy for DNA-based victim identification needs to be part of the preparedness plan. In this paper, the authors seek to define three of these ethical aspects: (1) the humanitarian importance of identification; (2) resource allocation in the victims' DNA identification; and (3) the secondary use for research of the samples initially collected for identification purposes. DNA analysis for the purpose of identifying victims of mass disasters has complex implications that demand much more rigorous examination than they have received until now. PMID:23594584

  5. Ethical issues in DNA identification of human biological material from mass disasters.

    PubMed

    Caenazzo, Luciana; Tozzo, Pamela; Rodriguez, Daniele

    2013-08-01

    Each mass disaster has its own characteristics and will involve a different approach, so the safeguarding and collection of forensic evidence have to be considered as part of the field response procedure. DNA typing has played a more prominent role in the identification of human remains, and particularly so for highly decomposed and fragmented remains. Although the ultimate goal is to obtain the identification, the specific context of each application of human identity testing has its specific problems, ranging from technical approach, through statistical interpretation, to ethical issues. The preparedness plan of the forensic genetics laboratory needs to include policies for family notification, long-term sample storage, and data archiving. For this reason, DNA sample collection and a strategy for DNA-based victim identification needs to be part of the preparedness plan. In this paper, the authors seek to define three of these ethical aspects: (1) the humanitarian importance of identification; (2) resource allocation in the victims' DNA identification; and (3) the secondary use for research of the samples initially collected for identification purposes. DNA analysis for the purpose of identifying victims of mass disasters has complex implications that demand much more rigorous examination than they have received until now.

  6. Molecular pathology in forensic medicine--Introduction.

    PubMed

    Madea, Burkhard; Saukko, Pekka; Oliva, Antonio; Musshoff, Frank

    2010-12-15

    Techniques of molecular biology have improved diagnostic sensitivity, accuracy and validity in forensic medicine very much, especially in the field of identification (paternity testing, stain analysis). Since more than 10 years these techniques - meanwhile well established in clinical disciplines - are used also for other applications in forensic medicine: determination of cause and manner of death, tissue identification by mRNA and microRNA, examination of gene expression levels (survival time, time since death, cause of death), toxicogenetics.

  7. [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.

  8. [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

  9. Evidence Aid approach to gap analysis and priority setting of questions for systematic reviews in disasters.

    PubMed

    Kayabu, Bonnix

    2015-02-01

    This article is based on a presentation at the Evidence Aid Symposium, on 20 September 2014, at Hyderabad, India. Ten years after the Indian Ocean Tsunami, Evidence Aid and it parters and other humanitarian stakeholders met to update about Evidence Aid work and discussed it future. The Evidence Aid approach to fill in the gap on the production and use of evidence in disater sector and other humanitarian health emergencies was widely discussed. Iterative approach to prioritise evidence reinforced Evidence Aid principle of independacy and a coordinated international orgasisation. The generation of 30 research questions during the prioritisation process contitute the first big step for Evidence Aid to become a one stop shop for the seach evidence on the effectiveness of interventions in disasters.

  10. Analysis of medical needs during disasters caused by tropical cyclones: anticipated injury patterns.

    PubMed

    Noji, E K

    1993-12-01

    This paper is a summary of the data for describing the distribution of injuries among people affected by tropical cyclones that have occurred during the past 20 years. The most striking feature of the data gathered from a review of the epidemiologic literature on tropical cyclones is its lack of uniformity. The absence of an international classification and coding scheme for recording injuries sustained in cyclones also makes planning medical assistance difficult following future cyclones and hurricanes. We propose here a simple injury classification scheme comprising three components for categorizing injury data. Such a standardized disaster injury classification scheme, coupled with other types of information about injuries, will greatly aid relief officials in efficiently matching available resources to needs, in effectively managing health relief operations, and in developing strategies to prevent future cyclone-related morbidity and mortality.

  11. Disaster response. Natural disaster: Katrina.

    PubMed

    McSwain, Norman E

    2010-07-01

    The aftermath and response to a disaster can be divided into four phases. The importance of each depends on the length of time without resupply and the resources that are required. This in turn depends on the time span of the disaster; the area involved; the number of the population affected; the resupply available; the extent of the devastation; and the size of the evacuation. The above phases are discussed using hurricane Katrina as an example. The phases are as follows: immediate response, evacuation, backfill and resupply, and restoration. The restoration phase is usually the longest and requires the most resources. This article addresses the situation of Katrina, the mistakes that were made, the lessons that were learned, and the solutions that are needed. Appropriate training and practice are required for all participants using realistic scenarios.

  12. Forensic DNA Analysis of Wheat Flour as Commonly Used in White Powder Cases.

    PubMed

    Kikkawa, Hitomi S; Tahara, Makoto; Sugita, Ritsuko

    2015-09-01

    In the wake of terrorist attacks using anthrax and ricin, white powder is often encountered in cases of malicious mischief and terrorist threats. Wheat flour is a common white powder encountered in such criminal investigations. We used DNA analysis to investigate wheat flour samples for identification and discrimination as trace evidence. Species identification of commercially available wheat flour was carried out by sequencing a partial region of the ribulose bisphosphate carboxylase large subunit gene (rbcL). Samples were discriminated using short tandem repeat (STR) analysis. The rbcL sequences of all wheat flour samples were identical and showed a high level of similarity to known wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) sequences. Furthermore, flours had characteristic patterns in STR analyses, with specific cultivars showing distinctive patterns. These results suggested that the identification of wheat flour species is possible using rbcL sequencing, and that STR analysis is useful for discriminating between samples. PMID:26174661

  13. Development and Analysis of a Hurricane Hazard Model for Disaster Risk Assessment in Central America

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pita, G. L.; Gunasekera, R.; Ishizawa, O. A.

    2014-12-01

    Hurricane and tropical storm activity in Central America has consistently caused over the past decades thousands of casualties, significant population displacement, and substantial property and infrastructure losses. As a component to estimate future potential losses, we present a new regional probabilistic hurricane hazard model for Central America. Currently, there are very few openly available hurricane hazard models for Central America. This resultant hazard model would be used in conjunction with exposure and vulnerability components as part of a World Bank project to create country disaster risk profiles that will assist to improve risk estimation and provide decision makers with better tools to quantify disaster risk. This paper describes the hazard model methodology which involves the development of a wind field model that simulates the gust speeds at terrain height at a fine resolution. The HURDAT dataset has been used in this study to create synthetic events that assess average hurricane landfall angles and their variability at each location. The hazard model also then estimates the average track angle at multiple geographical locations in order to provide a realistic range of possible hurricane paths that will be used for risk analyses in all the Central-American countries. This probabilistic hurricane hazard model is then also useful for relating synthetic wind estimates to loss and damage data to develop and calibrate existing empirical building vulnerability curves. To assess the accuracy and applicability, modeled results are evaluated against historical events, their tracks and wind fields. Deeper analyses of results are also presented with a special reference to Guatemala. The findings, interpretations, and conclusions expressed in this paper are entirely those of the authors. They do not necessarily represent the views of the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development/World Bank and its affiliated organizations, or those of the

  14. Contribution of forensic autopsy to scene reconstruction in mass fire casualties: a case of alleged arson on a floor consisting of small compartments in a building.

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

    A fire is an important cause of mass disasters, involving various forensic issues. Before dawn on an early morning, 16 male visitors in their twenties to sixties were killed in a possibly incendiary fire at a 'private video parlor' consisting of small compartments in a building. The main causes of death as determined by forensic autopsy were acute carbon monoxide (CO) intoxication for all of the 15 found-dead victims, and hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy following acute CO intoxication for a victim who died in hospital. Burns were mild (<20% of body surface) in most victims, except for three victims found between the entrance and the estimated fire-outbreak site; thus, identification was completed without difficulty, supported by DNA analysis. Blood carboxyhemoglobin saturation (COHb) was higher for victims found dead in the inner area. Blood cyanide levels were sublethal, moderately correlated to COHb, but were higher in victims found around the estimated fire-outbreak site. There was no evidence of thinner, alcohol or drug abuse, or an attack of disease as a possible cause of an accidental fire outbreak. These observations contribute to evidence-based reconstruction of the fire disaster, and suggest how deaths could have been prevented by appropriate disaster measures. PMID:25311374

  15. Forensic Analysis of Canine DNA Samples in the Undergraduate Biochemistry Laboratory

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Carson, Tobin M.; Bradley, Sharonda Q.; Fekete, Brenda L.; Millard, Julie T.; LaRiviere, Frederick J.

    2009-01-01

    Recent advances in canine genomics have allowed the development of highly distinguishing methods of analysis for both nuclear and mitochondrial DNA. We describe a laboratory exercise suitable for an undergraduate biochemistry course in which the polymerase chain reaction is used to amplify hypervariable regions of DNA from dog hair and saliva…

  16. Chemical derivatization for forensic drug analysis by GC- and LC-MS.

    PubMed

    Lin, D L; Wang, S M; Wu, C H; Chen, B G; Liu, R H

    2016-01-01

    Utilizing chemical derivatization (CD) to improve gas chromatographic (GC) and GC-mass spectrometric (MS) analysis of drugs has been abundantly studied and widely practiced, while in liquid chromatography (LC) and LC-MS, application of CD approaches is still at an early stage. Silylation, acylation, and alkylation are common CD reactions, long adopted by GC and GC-MS (including GC-MS/MS) methodologies, to improve analytes' stability and/or to optimize their extraction/separation and detection efficiencies. Highly polar and nonvolatile analytes are not amenable to GC-MS analysis without the CD step; however, CD can improve LC-MS analysis of highly polar analytes, especially those with low molecular weights. Many CD reagents developed for GC and GC-MS applications are also effective in LC-MS. Other CD reagents are developed for LC-MS to enhance analytes' performance under electrospray and atmospheric pressure ionization sources. Certain CD reagents are designed to facilitate analytes' fragmentation (upon collision-induced dissociation) in generating intense product ions for sensitive MS/MS detection. In this review, various CD reagents, reaction types, and application examples are presented and discussed, with emphases on GC-MS and LC-MS analysis of drugs of abuse.

  17. Application of photoacoustic infrared spectroscopy in the forensic analysis of artists' inorganic pigments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    von Aderkas, Eleanor L.; Barsan, Mirela M.; Gilson, Denis F. R.; Butler, Ian S.

    2010-12-01

    Fourier-transform photoacoustic infrared (PAIR) spectroscopy has been used in the analysis of 12 inorganic pigments commonly in use by artists today, viz., cobalt blue, ultramarine blue, Prussian blue, azurite, malachite, chromium oxide, viridian, cadmium yellow, chrome yellow, iron oxide, yellow ochre and Mars orange. The authenticity of these 12 commercial pigments was first established by recording their Raman spectra. The subsequent PAIR spectra were highly reproducible and matched well in the mid-IR region with previously published data for these pigments. A number of additional overtone and combination bands were also detected that will prove useful in the identification of the pigments in the future. The PAIR technique is a promising and reliable method for the analysis of inorganic pigments, especially since it involves much simpler preparation than is required for conventional IR measurements.

  18. Application of photoacoustic infrared spectroscopy in the forensic analysis of artists' inorganic pigments.

    PubMed

    von Aderkas, Eleanor L; Barsan, Mirela M; Gilson, Denis F R; Butler, Ian S

    2010-12-01

    Fourier-transform photoacoustic infrared (PAIR) spectroscopy has been used in the analysis of 12 inorganic pigments commonly in use by artists today, viz., cobalt blue, ultramarine blue, Prussian blue, azurite, malachite, chromium oxide, viridian, cadmium yellow, chrome yellow, iron oxide, yellow ochre and Mars orange. The authenticity of these 12 commercial pigments was first established by recording their Raman spectra. The subsequent PAIR spectra were highly reproducible and matched well in the mid-IR region with previously published data for these pigments. A number of additional overtone and combination bands were also detected that will prove useful in the identification of the pigments in the future. The PAIR technique is a promising and reliable method for the analysis of inorganic pigments, especially since it involves much simpler preparation than is required for conventional IR measurements. PMID:20851668

  19. Analysis of nonstandard and home-made explosives and post-blast residues in forensic practice

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kotrlý, Marek; Turková, Ivana

    2014-05-01

    Nonstandard and home-made explosives may constitute a considerable threat and as well as a potential material for terrorist activities. Mobile analytical devices, particularly Raman, or also FTIR spectrometers are used for the initial detection. Various sorts of phlegmatizers (moderants) to decrease sensitivity of explosives were tested, some kinds of low viscosity lubricants yielded very good results. If the character of the substance allows it, phlegmatized samples are taken in the amount of approx.0.3g for a laboratory analysis. Various separation methods and methods of concentrations of samples from post-blast scenes were tested. A wide range of methods is used for the laboratory analysis. XRD techniques capable of a direct phase identification of the crystalline substance, namely in mixtures, have highly proved themselves in practice for inorganic and organic phases. SEM-EDS/WDS methods are standardly employed for the inorganic phase. In analysing post-blast residues, there are very important techniques allowing analysis at the level of separate particles, not the overall composition in a mixed sample.

  20. Forensic ancestry analysis with two capillary electrophoresis ancestry informative marker (AIM) panels: Results of a collaborative EDNAP exercise.

    PubMed

    Santos, C; Fondevila, M; Ballard, D; Banemann, R; Bento, A M; Børsting, C; Branicki, W; Brisighelli, F; Burrington, M; Capal, T; Chaitanya, L; Daniel, R; Decroyer, V; England, R; Gettings, K B; Gross, T E; Haas, C; Harteveld, J; Hoff-Olsen, P; Hoffmann, A; Kayser, M; Kohler, P; Linacre, A; Mayr-Eduardoff, M; McGovern, C; Morling, N; O'Donnell, G; Parson, W; Pascali, V L; Porto, M J; Roseth, A; Schneider, P M; Sijen, T; Stenzl, V; Court, D Syndercombe; Templeton, J E; Turanska, M; Vallone, P M; van Oorschot, R A H; Zatkalikova, L; Carracedo, Á; Phillips, C

    2015-11-01

    There is increasing interest in forensic ancestry tests, which are part of a growing number of DNA analyses that can enhance routine profiling by obtaining additional genetic information about unidentified DNA donors. Nearly all ancestry tests use single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), but these currently rely on SNaPshot single base extension chemistry that can fail to detect mixed DNA. Insertion-deletion polymorphism (Indel) tests have been developed using dye-labeled primers that allow direct capillary electrophoresis detection of PCR products (PCR-to-CE). PCR-to-CE maintains the direct relationship between input DNA and signal strength as each marker is detected with a single dye, so mixed DNA is more reliably detected. We report the results of a collaborative inter-laboratory exercise of 19 participants (15 from the EDNAP European DNA Profiling group) that assessed a 34-plex SNP test using SNaPshot and a 46-plex Indel test using PCR-to-CE. Laboratories were asked to type five samples with different ancestries and detect an additional mixed DNA sample. Statistical inference of ancestry was made by participants using the Snipper online Bayes analysis portal plus an optional PCA module that analyzes the genotype data alongside calculation of Bayes likelihood ratios. Exercise results indicated consistent genotyping performance from both tests, reaching a particularly high level of reliability for the Indel test. SNP genotyping gave 93.5% concordance (compared to the organizing laboratory's data) that rose to 97.3% excluding one laboratory with a large number of miscalled genotypes. Indel genotyping gave a higher concordance rate of 99.8% and a reduced no-call rate compared to SNP analysis. All participants detected the mixture from their Indel peak height data and successfully assigned the correct ancestry to the other samples using Snipper, with the exception of one laboratory with SNP miscalls that incorrectly assigned ancestry of two samples and did not obtain

  1. Forensic dentistry in human identification: A review of the literature

    PubMed Central

    Ata-Ali, Fadi

    2014-01-01

    An update is provided of the literature on the role of odontology in human identification, based on a PubMed-Medline search of the last 5 years and using the terms: “forensic dentistry” (n = 464 articles), “forensic odontology” (n = 141 articles) and “forensic dentistry identification” (n = 169 articles). Apart from these initial 774 articles, others considered to be important and which were generated by a manual search and cited as references in review articles were also included. Forensic dentistry requires interdisciplinary knowledge, since the data obtained from the oral cavity can contribute to identify an individual or provide information needed in a legal process. Furthermore, the data obtained from the oral cavity can narrow the search range of an individual and play a key role in the victim identification process following mass disasters or catastrophes. This literature search covering the last 5 years describes the novelties referred to buccodental studies in comparative identification, buccodental evaluation in reconstructive identification, human bites as a method for identifying the aggressor, and the role of DNA in dental identification. The oral cavity is a rich and noninvasive source of DNA, and can be used to solve problems of a social, economic or legal nature. Key words:Forensic identification, DNA, forensic dentistry, rugoscopy, cheiloscopy, saliva. PMID:24790717

  2. The embalming of John of Lancaster, first Duke of Bedford (1435 AD): A forensic analysis.

    PubMed

    Charlier, P; Poupon, J; Jeannel, G F; Favier, D; Popescu, S M; Augias, A; Huynh-Charlier, I; Laquay, L; Boudouma, O; Dorion-Peyronnet, C

    2016-04-01

    During the Middle Ages and Renaissance, embalming the cadaver of the elite was common practice, being a highly technical treatment mixing vegetal and mineral substances. To assess the exact kind of embalming reserved for the dead body (with the practical necessities of desiccation and good odour), we performed a full biomedical analysis of the mummified remains of John Plantagenet of Lancaster, first Duke of Bedford, regent of France for his nephew, the English King Henri VI (died 1435 AD). Here, we show, among other aspects, that the body was embalmed using substances whose origins were in apothecary and botany: mercury, myrtle, mint, frankincense, lime and, possibly, cinnamon and copper.

  3. The analysis of illicit methaqualone containing preparations by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry for forensic purposes.

    PubMed

    Grové, Alida A; Rohwer, Egmont R; Laurens, Johannes B; Vorster, Barend C

    2006-03-01

    A validated gas chromatographic-mass spectrometric method for quantitative analysis of methaqualone (MTQ) in illicit preparations is reported. The method proved to have a coefficient of variation of below 5%. Four batches of seized tablets, two pairs with similar imprints, were analyzed. It was found that the average MTQ concentration in all four batches of tablets differed significantly (p = 0.01) rendering it impossible to conclude that, on the basis of MTQ concentration alone, the batches with a similar logo originated from the same manufacturer or manufacturing batch. Conversely, it can be said that in this case, the four batches originated from either different clandestine laboratories or manufacturing batches.

  4. The embalming of John of Lancaster, first Duke of Bedford (1435 AD): A forensic analysis.

    PubMed

    Charlier, P; Poupon, J; Jeannel, G F; Favier, D; Popescu, S M; Augias, A; Huynh-Charlier, I; Laquay, L; Boudouma, O; Dorion-Peyronnet, C

    2016-04-01

    During the Middle Ages and Renaissance, embalming the cadaver of the elite was common practice, being a highly technical treatment mixing vegetal and mineral substances. To assess the exact kind of embalming reserved for the dead body (with the practical necessities of desiccation and good odour), we performed a full biomedical analysis of the mummified remains of John Plantagenet of Lancaster, first Duke of Bedford, regent of France for his nephew, the English King Henri VI (died 1435 AD). Here, we show, among other aspects, that the body was embalmed using substances whose origins were in apothecary and botany: mercury, myrtle, mint, frankincense, lime and, possibly, cinnamon and copper. PMID:26130751

  5. Computer–based method of bite mark analysis: A benchmark in forensic dentistry?

    PubMed Central

    Pallam, Nandita Kottieth; Boaz, Karen; Natrajan, Srikant; Raj, Minu; Manaktala, Nidhi; Lewis, Amitha J.

    2016-01-01

    Aim: The study aimed to determine the technique with maximum accuracy in production of bite mark overlay. Materials and Methods: Thirty subjects (10 males and 20 females; all aged 20–30 years) with complete set of natural upper and lower anterior teeth were selected for this study after obtaining approval from the Institutional Ethical Committee. The upper and lower alginate impressions were taken and die stone models were obtained from each impression; overlays were produced from the biting surfaces of six upper and six lower anterior teeth by hand tracing from study casts, hand tracing from wax impressions of the bite surface, radiopaque wax impression method, and xerographic method. These were compared with the original overlay produced digitally. Results: Xerographic method was the most accurate of the four techniques, with the highest reproducibility for bite mark analysis. The methods of wax impression were better for producing overlay of tooth away from the occlusal plane. Conclusions: Various techniques are used in bite mark analysis and the choice of technique depends largely on personal preference. No single technique has been shown to be better than the others and very little research has been carried out to compare different methods. This study evaluated the accuracy of direct comparisons between suspect's models and bite marks with indirect comparisons in the form of conventional traced overlays of suspects and found the xerographic technique to be the best. PMID:27051221

  6. Variability and similarity of gait as evaluated by joint angles: implications for forensic gait analysis.

    PubMed

    Yang, Sylvia X M; Larsen, Peter K; Alkjær, Tine; Simonsen, Erik B; Lynnerup, Niels

    2014-03-01

    Closed-circuit television (CCTV) footage is used in criminal investigations to compare perpetrators with suspects. Usually, incomplete gait cycles are collected, making evidential gait analysis challenging. This study aimed to analyze the discriminatory power of joint angles throughout a gait cycle. Six sets from 12 men were collected. For each man, a variability range VR (mean ± 1SD) of a specific joint angle at a specific time point (a gait cycle was 100 time points) was calculated. In turn, each individual was compared with the 11 others, and whenever 1 of these 11 had a value within this individual’s VR, it counted as positive. By adding the positives throughout the gait cycle, we created simple bar graphs; tall bars indicated a small discriminatory power, short bars indicated a larger one. The highest discriminatory power was at time points 60–80 in the gait cycle. We show how our data can assess gait data from an actual case.

  7. Multiple Forensic Interviews During Investigations of Child Sexual Abuse: A Cost-Effectiveness Analysis

    PubMed Central

    Block, Stephanie D.; Foster, E. Michael; Pierce, Matthew W.; Berkoff, Molly C.; Runyan, Desmond K.

    2013-01-01

    In cases of suspected child sexual abuse (CSA) some professionals routinely recommend multiple interviews by the same interviewer because any additional details provided might improve decision-making and increase perpetrator convictions. We analyzed alternative policies about child interviewing to estimate the probability that a policy of all children receiving multiple interviews will increase criminal convictions and better protect children. Using decision analysis, we prepared a decision tree reflecting the structure through which a case of possible CSA passes through the health care, welfare, and legal systems with an estimated probability of conviction of the offender. We reviewed the CSA disclosure, criminal justice, and child welfare literature to obtain estimates for the median and range of rates for the steps of disclosure, substantiation, criminal charges, and conviction. Using the R statistical package, our decision analysis model was populated using literature-based estimates. Once the model was populated, we simulated the experiences of 1,000 cases at 250 sets of plausible parameter values representing different hypothetical communities. Multiple interviews increase the likelihood that an offender will be convicted by 6.1% in the average community. Simulations indicate that a policy in which all children seen for a CSA medical evaluation receive multiple interviews would cost an additional $100,000 for each additional conviction. We estimate that approximately 17 additional children would need to be interviewed on more than one occasion to yield one additional conviction. A policy of multiple interviews has implications for the children, for the costs of care, for protecting other children, and for the risk of false prosecution. PMID:24244100

  8. [Male and female suicides in the material of Department of Forensic Medicine in Krakow--comparative analysis].

    PubMed

    Bolechała, Filip; Polewka, Andrzej; Trela, Franciszek; Zieba, Andrzej; Kołodziej, Jan

    2003-01-01

    The study presents the results of research into completed suicide obtained by cooperation between the Department of Forensic Medicine and the University Psychiatry Department in Kraków. The aim of the research is to determine similarities and differences among the cases of completed suicide depending on the sex of the subjects. The authors analyzed cases of completed suicide committed in Kraków and its environs in the years 1991-2000. The groups of females and males have been compared from the point of view of medical-forensic and psychosocial aspects. The authors also present a sketch of the bibliography regarding the topic, and the comparison between the results of the present study and the results of earlier studies from Kraków environs on the phenomenon of suicide.

  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. 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. A Forensically Sound Adversary Model for Mobile Devices.

    PubMed

    Do, Quang; Martini, Ben; Choo, Kim-Kwang Raymond

    2015-01-01

    In this paper, we propose an adversary model to facilitate forensic investigations of mobile devices (e.g. Android, iOS and Windows smartphones) that can be readily adapted to the latest mobile device technologies. This is essential given the ongoing and rapidly changing nature of mobile device technologies. An integral principle and significant constraint upon forensic practitioners is that of forensic soundness. Our adversary model specifically considers and integrates the constraints of forensic soundness on the adversary, in our case, a forensic practitioner. One construction of the adversary model is an evidence collection and analysis methodology for Android devices. Using the methodology with six popular cloud apps, we were successful in extracting various information of forensic interest in both the external and internal storage of the mobile device. PMID:26393812

  12. A Forensically Sound Adversary Model for Mobile Devices

    PubMed Central

    Choo, Kim-Kwang Raymond

    2015-01-01

    In this paper, we propose an adversary model to facilitate forensic investigations of mobile devices (e.g. Android, iOS and Windows smartphones) that can be readily adapted to the latest mobile device technologies. This is essential given the ongoing and rapidly changing nature of mobile device technologies. An integral principle and significant constraint upon forensic practitioners is that of forensic soundness. Our adversary model specifically considers and integrates the constraints of forensic soundness on the adversary, in our case, a forensic practitioner. One construction of the adversary model is an evidence collection and analysis methodology for Android devices. Using the methodology with six popular cloud apps, we were successful in extracting various information of forensic interest in both the external and internal storage of the mobile device. PMID:26393812

  13. Qualitative and quantitative assessment of single fingerprints in forensic DNA analysis.

    PubMed

    Ostojic, Lana; Klempner, Stacey A; Patel, Rosni A; Mitchell, Adele A; Axler-DiPerte, Grace L; Wurmbach, Elisa

    2014-11-01

    Fingerprints and touched items are important sources of DNA for STR profiling, since this evidence can be recovered in a wide variety of criminal offenses. However, there are some fundamental difficulties in working with these samples, including variability in quantity and quality of extracted DNA. In this study, we collected and analyzed over 700 fingerprints. We compared a commercially available extraction protocol (Zygem) to two methods developed in our laboratory, a simple one-tube protocol and a high sensitivity protocol (HighSens) that includes additional steps to concentrate and purify the DNA. The amplification protocols tested were AmpFLSTR® Identifiler® using either 28 or 31 amplification cycles, and Identifiler® Plus using 32 amplification cycles. We found that the HighSens and Zygem extraction methods were significantly better in their DNA yields than the one-tube method. Identifiler® Plus increased the quality of the STR profiles for the one-tube extraction significantly. However, this effect could not be verified for the other extraction methods. Furthermore, microscopic analysis of single fingerprints revealed that some individuals tended to shed more material than others onto glass slides. However, a dense deposition of skin flakes did not strongly correlate with a high quality STR profile.

  14. Forensic mental health professionals' perceptions of psychopathy: a prototypicality analysis of the Comprehensive Assessment of Psychopathic Personality in Sweden.

    PubMed

    Sörman, Karolina; Edens, John F; Smith, Shannon Toney; Svensson, Olof; Howner, Katarina; Kristiansson, Marianne; Fischer, Håkan

    2014-10-01

    Assessments of psychopathic traits are used on a routine basis in forensic evaluations across Westernized countries. Despite this, consensus has not yet emerged concerning what exactly are the "core" features of this construct. Moreover, relatively little is known about how practitioners in the field construe this disorder. This study explored perceptions and attitudes regarding psychopathy among individuals working in the forensic mental health system (N = 90) in Sweden. Participants provided prototype ratings of what they considered to be core psychopathy features based on the Comprehensive Assessment of Psychopathic Personality (CAPP), a model that increasingly is the focus of research in North America and Europe. The study protocol also included questions regarding (a) global perceptions and attitudes about a number of aspects of the psychopathy construct (e.g., personal experience, perceived prevalence), and (b) attitudinal scales that assessed perceived correlates of psychopathic traits across a variety of domains (e.g., violence proneness, treatment amenability) and moral judgments and attitudes concerning how psychopathic offenders should be treated within the legal system. The majority of the 33 individual CAPP items and the six CAPP scales were rated as at least moderately prototypical of psychopathy, with Dominance, Self, and Attachment domains obtaining the highest mean ratings. Participants viewed psychopaths as more likely to commit crimes than the average criminal, without being blatantly "evil" people. We believe our results help to advance our understanding of the psychopathy construct by exploring forensic professionals' perceptions of this disorder in general and in relation to the CAPP model specifically.

  15. The potential use of continuous-flow isotope-ratio mass spectrometry as a tool in forensic soil analysis: a preliminary report.

    PubMed

    Croft, Debra J; Pye, Kenneth

    2003-01-01

    The use of continuous-flow isotope-ratio mass spectrometry (CF-IRMS) as a tool in soil analysis has been assessed as part of a larger study using a number of geological techniques applied in a forensic context. Carbon and nitrogen isotopic ratios, delta13C and delta15N, have been analysed to investigate situations which have arisen from crime casework. Three questions have been addressed: the role of spatial variation found over the short-scale (less than 20 m), temporal variation over a period of almost 2 years, and the variation found between source soils and soil transferred to footwear soles during a simple one-stage transfer process. Results are presented for the three experiments. The use of carbon and nitrogen isotopes has been shown to be useful in discriminating between soil types and sample locations, even when sampling occurs at a different time (as might be the case with a crime scene). In cases of primary transfer (from a source soil by a one-stage transfer to another surface, in this case, shoes and boots), the combination of carbon and nitrogen isotope ratios is a valuable tool in discriminating between sites and in showing the relationship of the transferred samples to the relevant source soils. Used in combination with other analytical techniques, isotopic analysis may prove to be a useful tool in a forensic context.

  16. 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.

  17. Accident analysis of large-scale technological disasters applied to an anaesthetic complication.

    PubMed

    Eagle, C J; Davies, J M; Reason, J

    1992-02-01

    The occurrence of serious accidents in complex industrial systems such as at Three Mile Island and Bhopal has prompted development of new models of causation and investigation of disasters. These analytical models have potential relevance in anaesthesia. We therefore applied one of the previously described systems to the investigation of an anaesthetic accident. The model chosen describes two kinds of failures, both of which must be sought. The first group, active failures, consists of mistakes made by practitioners in the provision of care. The second group, latent failures, represents flaws in the administrative and productive system. The model emphasizes the search for latent failures and shows that prevention of active failures alone is insufficient to avoid further accidents if latent failures persist unchanged. These key features and the utility of this model are illustrated by application to a case of aspiration of gastric contents. While four active failures were recognized, an equal number of latent failures also became apparent. The identification of both types of failures permitted the formulation of recommendations to avoid further occurrences. Thus this model of accident causation can provide a useful mechanism to investigate and possibly prevent anaesthetic accidents. PMID:1544192

  18. Analysis of orthopedic injuries in an airplane landing disaster and a suggested mechanism of trauma.

    PubMed

    Mirzatolooei, Fardin; Bazzazi, Amirmohammad

    2013-04-01

    Survival after an airplane disaster is rare. We describe the injuries of survivors of an airplane accident and present a common mechanism of trauma for victims. Descriptive data were gathered by interviews with patients, physical examination. Review of charts and patients X-ray films. Informations regarding the flight characteristics were obtained from Iran air safety board. All dead patients were clinically examined by legal medicine department. The suggested mechanism of trauma was established according to present knowledge of mechanism of fractures. From 105 passengers, 27 survived. There was no mortality during hospital course. Between dead passengers, lower extremity fractures were the most common followed by chest wall fractures. Among the survivors, neurosurgical help was needed only in one case for shunt application. Brain concussions and effusions and one hematoma managed conservatively. Two laparotomies were performed for one splenectomy and two hepatoraphy. One pelvic fracture and two femur fractures were occurred. Tibia fractures were the most common (17) followed by spine (14) fractures. Ten tibial fractures were open, and 15 were in distal third. All tibia fractures were fixed with IM locking nails or locking plates. Eight posterior instrumentations were applied for seven burst and two fracture-dislocations. In this landing accident, a combination of vertical loading along with deceleration force produced burst fractures of spine and distal leg fractures.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. Microchip-based forensic short tandem repeat genotyping.

    PubMed

    Kim, Yong Tae; Heo, Hyun Young; Oh, Shin Hye; Lee, Seung Hwan; Kim, Do Hyun; Seo, Tae Seok

    2015-08-01

    Micro total analysis system (μTAS) or lab-on-a-chip (LOC) technology has advanced over decades, and the high performance for chemical and biological analysis has been well demonstrated with advantages of low sample consumption, rapid analysis time, high-throughput screening, and portability. In particular, μTAS or LOC based genetic applications have been extensively explored, and the short tandem repeat (STR) typing on a chip has garnered attention in the forensic community due to its special use for human identification in the field of mass disaster and missing person investigation, paternity testing, and perpetrator identification. The STR typing process consists of sample collection, DNA extraction, DNA quantitation, STR loci amplification, capillary electrophoretic separation, and STR profiling. Recent progress of microtechnology shows its ability to substitute the conventional analytical tools, and furthermore demonstrates total integration of the whole STR processes on a single wafer for on-site STR typing. In this review article, we highlighted some representative results for fluorescence labeling techniques, microchip-based DNA purification, on-chip polymerase chain reaction (PCR), a capillary electrophoretic microdevice, and a fully integrated microdevice for STR typing. PMID:25963560

  2. Microchip-based forensic short tandem repeat genotyping.

    PubMed

    Kim, Yong Tae; Heo, Hyun Young; Oh, Shin Hye; Lee, Seung Hwan; Kim, Do Hyun; Seo, Tae Seok

    2015-08-01

    Micro total analysis system (μTAS) or lab-on-a-chip (LOC) technology has advanced over decades, and the high performance for chemical and biological analysis has been well demonstrated with advantages of low sample consumption, rapid analysis time, high-throughput screening, and portability. In particular, μTAS or LOC based genetic applications have been extensively explored, and the short tandem repeat (STR) typing on a chip has garnered attention in the forensic community due to its special use for human identification in the field of mass disaster and missing person investigation, paternity testing, and perpetrator identification. The STR typing process consists of sample collection, DNA extraction, DNA quantitation, STR loci amplification, capillary electrophoretic separation, and STR profiling. Recent progress of microtechnology shows its ability to substitute the conventional analytical tools, and furthermore demonstrates total integration of the whole STR processes on a single wafer for on-site STR typing. In this review article, we highlighted some representative results for fluorescence labeling techniques, microchip-based DNA purification, on-chip polymerase chain reaction (PCR), a capillary electrophoretic microdevice, and a fully integrated microdevice for STR typing.

  3. A time-series analysis of flood disaster around Lena river using Landsat TM/ETM+

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sakai, Toru; Hatta, Shigemi; Okumura, Makoto; Takeuchi, Wataru; Hiyama, Tetsuya; Inoue, Gen

    2010-05-01

    Landsat satellite has provided a continuous record of earth observation since 1972, gradually improving sensors (i.e. MSS, TM and ETM+). Already processed archives of Landsat image are now available free of charge from the internet. The Landsat image of 30 m spatial resolution with multiple spectral bands between 450 and 2350 nm is appropriate for detailed mapping of natural resource at wide geographical areas. However, one of the biggest concerns in the use of Landsat image is the uncertainty in the timing of acquisitions. Although detection of land cover change usually requires acquisitions before and after the change, the Landsat image is often unavailable because of the long-term intervals (16 days) and variation in atmosphere. Nearly cloud-free image is acquired at least once per year (total of 22 or 23 scenes per year). Therefore, it may be difficult to acquire appropriate images for monitoring natural disturbances caused at short-term intervals (e.g., flood, forest fire and hurricanes). Our objectives are: (1) to examine whether a time-series of Landsat image is available for monitoring a flood disaster, and (2) to evaluate the impact and timing of the flood disaster around Lena river in Siberia. A set of Landsat TM/ETM+ satellite images was used to enable acquisition of cloud-free image, although Landsat ETM+ images include failure of the Scan Line Corrector (SLC) from May 2003. The overlap area of a time series of 20 Landsat TM/ETM+ images (path 120-122, row 17) from April 2007 to August 2007 was clipped (approximately 33 km × 90 km), and the other area was excluded from the analyses. Image classification was performed on each image separately using an unsupervised ISODATA method, and each Landsat TM/ETM+ image was classified into three land cover types: (1) ice, (2) water, and (3) land. From three land cover types, the area of Lena river was estimated. The area of Lena river dramatically changed after spring breakup. The middle part of Lena river around

  4. Preparing an orthopedic practice to survive a natural disaster: a retrospective analysis of rebuilding after Hurricane Katrina.

    PubMed

    Burger, Evalina; Canton, Carol

    2007-04-01

    In the aftermath of the biggest natural disaster to hit the United States, valuable lessons can be learned to prepare us for future disasters. Physicians and other care givers should become involved in every level of disaster management. Most emergency plans are focused on triaging patients; however, little attention is paid to the logistics in evacuating hospitals or maintaining operations without outside communications. The lack of coordination and the breakdown of traditional communication channels were the biggest hurdles to overcome on the road to recovery.

  5. The use of the Podotrack in forensic podiatry for collection and analysis of bare footprints using the Reel method of measurement.

    PubMed

    Burrow, J Gordon

    2016-05-01

    This small-scale study examined the role that bare footprint collection and measurement processes have on the Reel method of measurement in forensic podiatry and its use in the Criminal Justice System. Previous research indicated that the Reel method was a valid and reliable measurement system for bare footprint analysis but various collection systems have been used to collect footprint data and both manual and digital measurement processes were utilized in forensic podiatry and other disciplines. This study contributes to the debate about collecting bare footprints; the techniques employed to quantify various Reel measurements and considered whether there was asymmetry between feet and footprints of the same person. An inductive, quantitative paradigm used the Podotrack gathering procedure for footprint collection and the subsequent dynamic footprints subjected to Adobe Photoshop techniques of calculating the Reel linear variables. Statistical analyses using paired-sample t tests were conducted to test hypotheses and compare data sets. Standard error of mean (SEM) showed variation between feet and the findings provide support for the Reel study and measurement method.

  6. The use of the Podotrack in forensic podiatry for collection and analysis of bare footprints using the Reel method of measurement.

    PubMed

    Burrow, J Gordon

    2016-05-01

    This small-scale study examined the role that bare footprint collection and measurement processes have on the Reel method of measurement in forensic podiatry and its use in the Criminal Justice System. Previous research indicated that the Reel method was a valid and reliable measurement system for bare footprint analysis but various collection systems have been used to collect footprint data and both manual and digital measurement processes were utilized in forensic podiatry and other disciplines. This study contributes to the debate about collecting bare footprints; the techniques employed to quantify various Reel measurements and considered whether there was asymmetry between feet and footprints of the same person. An inductive, quantitative paradigm used the Podotrack gathering procedure for footprint collection and the subsequent dynamic footprints subjected to Adobe Photoshop techniques of calculating the Reel linear variables. Statistical analyses using paired-sample t tests were conducted to test hypotheses and compare data sets. Standard error of mean (SEM) showed variation between feet and the findings provide support for the Reel study and measurement method. PMID:27162020

  7. 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.

  8. Ethics and forensic psychiatry.

    PubMed

    Wettstein, Robert M

    2002-09-01

    This article has attempted to outline some of the important ethical issues faced by the psychiatrist in the forensic role. Much of forensic psychiatry is practiced by general psychiatrists without specific forensic training who must thereby familiarize themselves with the problem areas likely to be encountered in this work. They should also be knowledgeable about the ethics guidelines prepared by forensic psychology and forensic psychiatry organizations that are subject to frequent modification. Ethical problems often occur when psychiatrists exceed their expertise, their role as contracted, or the actual facts in the case. Psychiatric experts usually represent just a small part of most litigation, and an attitude of humility rather than grandiosity is appropriate. Expert witnesses serve as educators rather than decision makers in the case [21]. Given the complexity and uncertainty of medical decision making generally, whether in clinical or forensic medicine, forensic psychiatric opinions should be appropriately qualified by their limitations, acknowledged affirmatively rather than only on cross-examination. Expert witnesses commonly take an oath to "tell the truth, the whole truth." Forensic psychiatrists are not experts in moral matters and should not be rendering moral judgments or misusing their authority as psychiatrists to advance their own political or social ideology [19]. Testimony should be based on data and theory generally accepted in the profession, recognizing that there will always be minority views. Psychiatrists, however, should not be testifying based upon idiosyncratic views unsupported by at least a respectable minority of the profession. As in clinical psychiatry, complex or challenging forensic cases often require consultation from a knowledgeable colleague.

  9. [The development of the scientific and methodological basis of Russian forensic biology].

    PubMed

    Gusrov, A A

    2010-01-01

    The development of the scientific and methodological basis of Russian forensic biology is retraced since the time of its formation as a self-contained branch of forensic medical examination. Comprehensive analysis of scientific publications and technical documents revealed principal directions along which forensic examination of evidential objects of biological origin developed. The wealth of research data obtained by forensic biologists during a long period (from the 1930s to the 2000s) is for the first time summarized and thoroughly analysed.

  10. The NASA Applied Science Program Disasters Area: Disaster Applications Research and Response

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Murray, J. J.; Lindsay, F. E.; Stough, T.; Jones, C. E.

    2014-12-01

    The goal of the Natural Disaster Application Area is to use NASA's capabilities in spaceborne, airborne, surface observations, higher-level derived data products, and modeling and data analysis to improve natural disaster forecasting, mitigation, and response. The Natural Disaster Application Area applies its remote sensing observations, modeling and analysis capabilities to provide hazard and disaster information where and when it is needed. Our application research activities specifically contribute to 1) Understanding the natural processes that produce hazards, 2)Developing hazard mitigation technologies, and 3)Recognizing vulnerability of interdependent critical infrastructure. The Natural Disasters Application area selects research projects through a rigorous, impartial peer-review process that address a broad spectrum of disasters which afflict populations within the United States, regionally and globally. Currently there are 19 active projects in the research portfolio which address the detection, characterization, forecasting and response to a broad range of natural disasters including earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanic eruptions and ash dispersion, wildfires, hurricanes, floods, tornado damage assessment, oil spills and disaster data mining. The Disasters team works with federal agencies to aid the government in meeting the challenges associated with natural disaster response and to transfer technologies to agencies as they become operational. Internationally, the Disasters Area also supports the Committee on Earth Observations Working Group on Disasters, and the International Charter on Space and Disasters to increase, strengthen, and coordinate contributions of NASA Earth-observing satellites and applications products to disaster risk management. The CEOS group will lead pilot efforts focused on identifying key systems to support flooding, earthquake, and volcanic events.

  11. Fear and Loathing in Forensics: The View from Postmodern Suburbia.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Murphy, B. Keith

    This report attempts to construct a postmodern framework to provide for an analysis of Intercollegiate Forensics. It isolates the major theoretical constructs of postmodernism, applies them to Intercollegiate Forensics, and draws conclusions. The paper maintains that linguistic-based postmodernism consists of four theoretical areas: (1)…

  12. The Case for Open Source Software in Digital Forensics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zanero, Stefano; Huebner, Ewa

    In this introductory chapter we discuss the importance of the use of open source software (OSS), and in particular of free software (FLOSS) in computer forensics investigations including the identification, capture, preservation and analysis of digital evidence; we also discuss the importance of OSS in computer forensics

  13. 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.

  14. A review of the analysis of vegetable oil residues from fire debris samples: spontaneous ignition, vegetable oils, and the forensic approach.

    PubMed

    Stauffer, Eric

    2005-09-01

    This paper reviews the literature on the analysis of vegetable (and animal) oil residues from fire debris samples. The process of self-heating and spontaneous ignition is well-known by fire investigators and causes many fires. Vegetable oils are often the chemicals that originate such phenomenon. Vegetable oils are composed of lipids, which contain fatty acids. The autooxidation of the double bonds present in unsaturated fatty acids is the exothermic reaction at the origin of the self-heating process. The degree of unsaturation of fatty acids directly influences the propensity of an oil to undergo self-heating and, eventually, spontaneous ignition. When fire debris samples are collected, it is possible to examine them at the laboratory to extract and identify vegetable oil residues. This is typically performed by solvent extraction, followed by gas chromatographic(-mass spectrometric) analysis of the extract. Such analyses differ from ignitable liquid residue analyses, so a different forensic approach is necessary.

  15. Multiple stage MS in analysis of plasma, serum, urine and in vitro samples relevant to clinical and forensic toxicology.

    PubMed

    Meyer, Golo M; Maurer, Hans H; Meyer, Markus R

    2016-01-01

    This paper reviews MS approaches applied to metabolism studies, structure elucidation and qualitative or quantitative screening of drugs (of abuse) and/or their metabolites. Applications in clinical and forensic toxicology were included using blood plasma or serum, urine, in vitro samples, liquids, solids or plant material. Techniques covered are liquid chromatography coupled to low-resolution and high-resolution multiple stage mass analyzers. Only PubMed listed studies published in English between January 2008 and January 2015 were considered. Approaches are discussed focusing on sample preparation and mass spectral settings. Comments on advantages and limitations of these techniques complete the review.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. [The main results of expert activities in the forensic biological departments of the bureau of forensic medical expertise of the Russian Federation for 2009].

    PubMed

    Gusarov, A A

    2011-01-01

    This paper reports the main results of expert activities in the forensic biological departments of the Bureau of Forensic Medical Expertise of the Russian Federation for 2009. Analysis of expert data is supplemented by the comparison of the efficacy of the methods applied for the purpose of forensic medical studies. The information about the staff composition, material and technical support of the forensic biological departments is presented. A number of drawbacks have been revealed in the work of the forensic biological departments; recommendations are proposed for the improvement of their activities.

  19. World Trade Center disaster exposure-related probable posttraumatic stress disorder among responders and civilians: a meta-analysis.

    PubMed

    Liu, Bian; Tarigan, Lukman H; Bromet, Evelyn J; Kim, Hyun

    2014-01-01

    The World Trade Center (WTC) disaster on September 11, 2001 was an unprecedented traumatic event with long-lasting health consequences among the affected populations in the New York metropolitan area. This meta-analysis aimed to estimate the risk of probable posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) associated with specific types of WTC exposures. Meta-analytical findings from 10 studies of 3,271 to 20,294 participants yielded 37 relevant associations. The pooled summary odds ratio (OR) was 2.05 (95% confidence interval (CI): 1.82, 2.32), with substantial heterogeneity linked to exposure classification, cohort type, data source, PTSD assessment instrument/criteria, and lapse time since 9/11. In general, responders (e.g. police, firefighters, rescue/recovery workers and volunteers) had a lower probable PTSD risk (OR = 1.61; 95% CI: 1.39, 1.87) compared to civilians (e.g. residents, office workers, and passersby; OR = 2.71, 95% CI: 2.35, 3.12). The differences in ORs between responders and civilians were larger for physical compared to psychosocial exposure types. We also found that injury, lost someone, and witnessed horror were the three (out of six) most pernicious exposures. These findings suggest that these three exposures should be a particular focus in psychological evaluation and treatment programs in WTC intervention and future emergency preparedness efforts.

  20. World Trade Center Disaster Exposure-Related Probable Posttraumatic Stress Disorder among Responders and Civilians: A Meta-Analysis

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Bian; Tarigan, Lukman H.; Bromet, Evelyn J.; Kim, Hyun

    2014-01-01

    The World Trade Center (WTC) disaster on September 11, 2001 was an unprecedented traumatic event with long-lasting health consequences among the affected populations in the New York metropolitan area. This meta-analysis aimed to estimate the risk of probable posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) associated with specific types of WTC exposures. Meta-analytical findings from 10 studies of 3,271 to 20,294 participants yielded 37 relevant associations. The pooled summary odds ratio (OR) was 2.05 (95% confidence interval (CI): 1.82, 2.32), with substantial heterogeneity linked to exposure classification, cohort type, data source, PTSD assessment instrument/criteria, and lapse time since 9/11. In general, responders (e.g. police, firefighters, rescue/recovery workers and volunteers) had a lower probable PTSD risk (OR = 1.61; 95% CI: 1.39, 1.87) compared to civilians (e.g. residents, office workers, and passersby; OR = 2.71, 95% CI: 2.35, 3.12). The differences in ORs between responders and civilians were larger for physical compared to psychosocial exposure types. We also found that injury, lost someone, and witnessed horror were the three (out of six) most pernicious exposures. These findings suggest that these three exposures should be a particular focus in psychological evaluation and treatment programs in WTC intervention and future emergency preparedness efforts. PMID:25047411