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Sample records for postmortem forensic toxicology

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-08-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Daldrup, Th

    2004-06-10

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

  3. The FAA's postmortem forensic toxicology self-evaluated proficiency test program: the second seven years.

    PubMed

    Chaturvedi, Arvind K; Craft, Kristi J; Cardona, Patrick S; Rogers, Paul B; Canfield, Dennis V

    2009-05-01

    During toxicological evaluations of samples from fatally injured pilots involved in civil aviation accidents, a high degree of quality control/quality assurance (QC/QA) is maintained. Under this philosophy, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) started a forensic toxicology proficiency-testing (PT) program in July 1991. In continuation of the first seven years of the PT findings reported earlier, PT findings of the next seven years are summarized herein. Twenty-eight survey samples (12 urine, 9 blood, and 7 tissue homogenate) with/without alcohols/volatiles, drugs, and/or putrefactive amine(s) were submitted to an average of 31 laboratories, of which an average of 25 participants returned their results. Analytes in survey samples were correctly identified and quantitated by a large number of participants, but some false positives of concern were reported. It is anticipated that the FAA's PT program will continue to serve the forensic toxicology community through this important part of the QC/QA for laboratory accreditations.

  4. Principles and procedures in forensic toxicology.

    PubMed

    Wyman, John F

    2012-09-01

    The principles and procedures employed in a modern forensic toxicology lab are detailed in this review. Aspects of Behavioral and Postmortem toxicology, including certification of analysts and accreditation of labs, chain of custody requirements, typical testing services provided, rationale for specimen selection, and principles of quality assurance are discussed. Interpretation of toxicology results in postmortem specimens requires the toxicologist and pathologist to be cognizant of drug-drug interactions, drug polymorphisms and pharmacogenomics, the gross signs of toxic pathology, postmortem redistribution, confirmation of systemic toxicity in suspected overdoses, the possibility of developed tolerance, and the effects of decomposition on drug concentration.

  5. 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

  6. Diagnostic and forensic toxicology.

    PubMed

    Galey, F D

    1995-12-01

    In most competent veterinary diagnostic laboratories, analytical findings are interpreted by the veterinary toxicologist to determine the significance of the finding in view of historic, clinical, and pathologic findings. A veterinary toxicologist also will provide consultation about possible toxic rule-outs for a case, treatment of affected animals, and prevention of additional cases. Once all of the information is available, a complete summary of the findings can be provided to the client. When the procedures outlined are followed, including a systematic approach to collecting all the evidence (historic, clinical, pathologic, and analytic), proper sampling techniques, and good communication between the clinician and the client and laboratory, the usefulness of the toxicology investigation will be maximized.

  7. Toxicological evidence in forensic pharmacology.

    PubMed

    Ferner, R E

    2012-01-01

    Laboratory evidence of the presence and concentration of a drug in a person who has come to harm is often helpful in forensic pharmacology, and may be crucial. However, its value depends on two critical interpretations by the expert. First, the expert must make a careful analysis of the relationship between the results as measured in the sample and the drug in the patient at the time that harm occurred. That is especially difficult with post-mortem samples. Secondly, the expert must syntheses the laboratory information with the available clinical history and clinical or pathological findings. Even in the most favourable circumstances, when the sample is correctly obtained, identified, and analyzed, it can be hard to say that beyond reasonable doubt a given concentration had a given effect.

  8. Modern Instrumental Methods in Forensic Toxicology*

    PubMed Central

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

    2009-01-01

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

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. Postmortem diagnosis and toxicological validation of illicit substance use

    PubMed Central

    Lehrmann, E; Afanador, ZR; Deep-Soboslay, A; Gallegos, G; Darwin, WD; Lowe, RH; Barnes, AJ; Huestis, MA; Cadet, JL; Herman, MM; Hyde, TM; Kleinman, JE; Freed, WJ

    2008-01-01

    The present study examines the diagnostic challenges of identifying ante-mortem illicit substance use in human postmortem cases. Substance use, assessed by clinical case history reviews, structured next-of-kin interviews, by general toxicology of blood, urine, and/or brain, and by scalp hair testing, identified 33 cocaine, 29 cannabis, 10 phencyclidine and 9 opioid cases. Case history identified 42% cocaine, 76% cannabis, 10% phencyclidine, and 33% opioid cases. Next-of-kin interviews identified almost twice as many cocaine and cannabis cases as Medical Examiner (ME) case histories, and were crucial in establishing a detailed lifetime substance use history. Toxicology identified 91% cocaine, 68% cannabis, 80% phencyclidine, and 100% opioid cases, with hair testing increasing detection for all drug classes. A cocaine or cannabis use history was corroborated by general toxicology with 50% and 32% sensitivity, respectively, and with 82% and 64% sensitivity by hair testing. Hair testing corroborated a positive general toxicology for cocaine and cannabis with 91% and 100% sensitivity, respectively. Case history corroborated hair toxicology with 38% sensitivity for cocaine and 79% sensitivity for cannabis, suggesting that both case history and general toxicology underestimated cocaine use. Identifying ante-mortem substance use in human postmortem cases are key considerations in case diagnosis and for characterization of disorder-specific changes in neurobiology. The sensitivity and specificity of substance use assessments increased when ME case history was supplemented with structured next-of-kin interviews to establish a detailed lifetime substance use history, while comprehensive toxicology, and hair testing in particular, increased detection of recent illicit substance use. PMID:18201295

  12. [Reflection of estimating postmortem interval in forensic entomology and the Daubert standard].

    PubMed

    Xie, Dan; Peng, Yu-Long; Guo, Ya-Dong; Cai, Ji-Feng

    2013-08-01

    Estimating postmortem interval (PMI) is always the emphasis and difficulty in forensic practice. Forensic entomology plays a significant indispensable role. Recently, the theories and technologies of forensic entomology are increasingly rich. But many problems remain in the research and practice. With proposing the Daubert standard, the reliability and accuracy of estimation PMI by forensic entomology need more demands. This review summarizes the application of the Daubert standard in several aspects of ecology, quantitative genetics, population genetics, molecular biology, and microbiology in the practice of forensic entomology. It builds a bridge for basic research and forensic practice to provide higher accuracy for estimating postmortem interval by forensic entomology.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-01

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

  15. Evidential value of postmortem MRI in forensic pathology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2001-05-01

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

  16. [Forensic medicine as the cradle of toxicology in Russia].

    PubMed

    Popov, V L; Grebeniuk, A N; Pigolkin, Iu I; Tolmachev, I A; Bozhchenko, A P; Timoshevskiĭ, A A

    2013-01-01

    Modern toxicology as a science and educational subject originated from forensic medicine in the middle of the XIXth century. In the beginning, selected toxicological problems were taught in the Emperor's Medical Surgical Academy (presently S.M. Kirov Military Medical Academy, Sankt-Peterburg) and at the Medical Faculty of the Moscow University (presently I.M. Sechenov First Moscow State Medical University, Moscow). The greatest contribution to the development of toxicology was made by such outstanding scientists as professors S.A. Gromov, P.P. Pelekhin, P.P. Zablotsky-Desyatovsky, E.V. Pelikan, Ya.A. Chistovich, G.I. Blosfel'd, I.M. Sorokin, D.P. Kosorotov, A.V. Grigoriev, V.V. Andreev, A.A. Glebovich, A.N. Grigoriev, B.I. Predtechensky, V.M. Rozhkov, S.S. Vail, M.N. Lubotsky, etc. The works of these researchers predetermined the further development of toxicology in this country, its main purpose being provision of medical aid in case of poisoning and diseases of chemical etiology. Another line of toxicological research became industrial and environmental toxicology having the purpose of hygienic rating and prevention of poisoning. Nevertheless, all aspects of the multifaceted science of toxicology are related to forensic medicine as the cradle in which it originated, evolved, and turned into a self-consistent science.

  17. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-02-01

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

  19. Identification, Collection, and Preservation of Veterinary Forensic Evidence: On Scene and During the Postmortem Examination.

    PubMed

    Touroo, R; Fitch, A

    2016-09-01

    Although it is the obligation of the veterinary forensic pathologist to be competent in identifying, collecting, and preserving evidence from the body, it is also necessary for them to understand the relevance of conditions on the crime scene. The body is just one piece of the puzzle that needs to be considered when determining the cause of death. The information required for a complete postmortem analysis should also include details of the animal's environment and items of evidence present on the crime scene. These factors will assist the veterinary forensic pathologist in the interpretation of necropsy findings. Therefore, the veterinary forensic pathologist needs to have a basic understanding of how the crime scene is processed, as well as the role of the forensic veterinarian on scene. In addition, the veterinary forensic pathologist must remain unbiased, necessitating an understanding of evidence maintenance and authentication.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  1. Current role of ICP-MS in clinical toxicology and forensic toxicology: a metallic profile.

    PubMed

    Goullé, Jean-Pierre; Saussereau, Elodie; Mahieu, Loïc; Guerbet, Michel

    2014-08-01

    As metal/metalloid exposure is inevitable owing to its omnipresence, it may exert toxicity in humans. Recent advances in metal/metalloid analysis have been made moving from flame atomic absorption spectrometry and electrothermal atomic absorption spectrometry to the multi-elemental inductively coupled plasma (ICP) techniques as ICP atomic emission spectrometry and ICP-MS. ICP-MS has now emerged as a major technique in inorganic analytical chemistry owing to its flexibility, high sensitivity and good reproducibility. This in depth review explores the ICP-MS metallic profile in human toxicology. It is now routinely used and of great importance, in clinical toxicology and forensic toxicology to explore biological matrices, specifically whole blood, plasma, urine, hair, nail, biopsy samples and tissues.

  2. Current role of ICP-MS in clinical toxicology and forensic toxicology: a metallic profile.

    PubMed

    Goullé, Jean-Pierre; Saussereau, Elodie; Mahieu, Loïc; Guerbet, Michel

    2014-08-01

    As metal/metalloid exposure is inevitable owing to its omnipresence, it may exert toxicity in humans. Recent advances in metal/metalloid analysis have been made moving from flame atomic absorption spectrometry and electrothermal atomic absorption spectrometry to the multi-elemental inductively coupled plasma (ICP) techniques as ICP atomic emission spectrometry and ICP-MS. ICP-MS has now emerged as a major technique in inorganic analytical chemistry owing to its flexibility, high sensitivity and good reproducibility. This in depth review explores the ICP-MS metallic profile in human toxicology. It is now routinely used and of great importance, in clinical toxicology and forensic toxicology to explore biological matrices, specifically whole blood, plasma, urine, hair, nail, biopsy samples and tissues. PMID:25383735

  3. Investigating the Postmortem Molecular Biology of Cartilage and its Potential Forensic Applications.

    PubMed

    Bolton, Shawna N; Whitehead, Michael P; Dudhia, Jayesh; Baldwin, Timothy C; Sutton, Raul

    2015-07-01

    This study investigated the postmortem molecular changes that articular cartilage undergoes following burial. Fresh pig trotters were interred in 30-cm-deep graves at two distinct locations exhibiting dissimilar soil environments for up to 42 days. Extracts of the metacarpophalangeal (MCP) and metatarsophalangeal (MTP) joint cartilage from trotters disinterred weekly over 6 weeks were analyzed by Western blot against the monoclonal antibody 2-B-6 to assess aggrecan degradation. In both soil conditions, aggrecan degradation by-products of decreasing molecular size and complexity were observed up to 21 days postmortem. Degradation products were undetected after this time and coincided with MCP/MTP joint exposure to the soil environment. These results show that cartilage proteoglycans undergo an ordered molecular breakdown, the analysis of which may have forensic applications. This model may prove useful for use as a human model and for forensic investigations concerning crimes against animals and the mortality of endangered species.

  4. Evaluation of postmortem urea nitrogen, creatinine and uric acid levels in pericardial fluid in forensic autopsy.

    PubMed

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

    2005-10-01

    In postmortem biochemistry, there is insufficient data available for the practical analysis of factors in the pericardial fluid. The aim of the present study was to examine postmortem pericardial fluid for urea nitrogen (UN), creatinine (Cr) and uric acid (UA) levels to investigate the pathophysiology of death in forensic autopsy cases (total, n = 409; within 48 h postmortem), which included blunt, sharp instrument injury, asphyxiation, drowning, fire fatalities, hyperthermia, hypothermia, methamphetamine-related fatalities, other poisoning, delayed death from trauma and natural diseases. There was a significant elevation in the three markers for chronic renal failure, gastrointestinal bleeding, hyperthermia, hypothermia, methamphetamine fatalities and delayed traumatic death, which was comparable with the clinical criteria for their serum levels. These postmortem findings showed azotemia due to renal failure, elevated protein catabolism and rhabdomyolysis. Although the pericardial levels were otherwise similar to the clinical serum reference ranges, only the drowning fatalities showed significantly lower levels for each marker. These observations suggested the stability of UN, Cr and UA in the pericardial fluid within 48 h postmortem and their usefulness for the pathophysiological investigation of death involving azotemia.

  5. Post-mortem forensic neuroimaging: correlation of MSCT and MRI findings with autopsy results.

    PubMed

    Yen, Kathrin; Lövblad, Karl-Olof; Scheurer, Eva; Ozdoba, Christoph; Thali, Michael J; Aghayev, Emin; Jackowski, Christian; Anon, Javier; Frickey, Nathalie; Zwygart, Karin; Weis, Joachim; Dirnhofer, Richard

    2007-11-15

    Multislice-computed tomography (MSCT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) are increasingly used for forensic purposes. Based on broad experience in clinical neuroimaging, post-mortem MSCT and MRI were performed in 57 forensic cases with the goal to evaluate the radiological methods concerning their usability for forensic head and brain examination. An experienced clinical radiologist evaluated the imaging data. The results were compared to the autopsy findings that served as the gold standard with regard to common forensic neurotrauma findings such as skull fractures, soft tissue lesions of the scalp, various forms of intracranial hemorrhage or signs of increased brain pressure. The sensitivity of the imaging methods ranged from 100% (e.g., heat-induced alterations, intracranial gas) to zero (e.g., mediobasal impression marks as a sign of increased brain pressure, plaques jaunes). The agreement between MRI and CT was 69%. The radiological methods prevalently failed in the detection of lesions smaller than 3mm of size, whereas they were generally satisfactory concerning the evaluation of intracranial hemorrhage. Due to its advanced 2D and 3D post-processing possibilities, CT in particular possessed certain advantages in comparison with autopsy with regard to forensic reconstruction. MRI showed forensically relevant findings not seen during autopsy in several cases. The partly limited sensitivity of imaging that was observed in this retrospective study was based on several factors: besides general technical limitations it became apparent that clinical radiologists require a sound basic forensic background in order to detect specific signs. Focused teaching sessions will be essential to improve the outcome in future examinations. On the other hand, the autopsy protocols should be further standardized to allow an exact comparison of imaging and autopsy data. In consideration of these facts, MRI and CT have the power to play an important role in future forensic

  6. Synthetic cathinone pharmacokinetics, analytical methods, and toxicological findings from human performance and postmortem cases.

    PubMed

    Ellefsen, Kayla N; Concheiro, Marta; Huestis, Marilyn A

    2016-05-01

    Synthetic cathinones are commonly abused novel psychoactive substances (NPS). We present a comprehensive systematic review addressing in vitro and in vivo synthetic cathinone pharmacokinetics, analytical methods for detection and quantification in biological matrices, and toxicological findings from human performance and postmortem toxicology cases. Few preclinical administration studies examined synthetic cathinone pharmacokinetic profiles (absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion), and only one investigated metabolite pharmacokinetics. Synthetic cathinone metabolic profiling studies, primarily with human liver microsomes, elucidated metabolite structures and identified suitable biomarkers to extend detection windows beyond those provided by parent compounds. Generally, cathinone derivatives underwent ketone reduction, carbonylation of the pyrrolidine ring, and oxidative reactions, with phase II metabolites also detected. Reliable analytical methods are necessary for cathinone identification in biological matrices to document intake and link adverse events to specific compounds and concentrations. NPS analytical methods are constrained in their ability to detect new emerging synthetic cathinones due to limited commercially available reference standards and continuous development of new analogs. Immunoassay screening methods are especially affected, but also gas-chromatography and liquid-chromatography mass spectrometry confirmation methods. Non-targeted high-resolution-mass spectrometry screening methods are advantageous, as they allow for retrospective data analysis and easier addition of new synthetic cathinones to existing methods. Lack of controlled administration studies in humans complicate interpretation of synthetic cathinones in biological matrices, as dosing information is typically unknown. Furthermore, antemortem and postmortem concentrations often overlap and the presence of other psychoactive substances are typically found in combination

  7. Detection of drugs of forensic importance in postmortem bone.

    PubMed

    McGrath, Kelly K; Jenkins, Amanda J

    2009-03-01

    There is a paucity of literature detailing the disposition of drugs in bone and bone marrow. Infrequently, in deaths involving skeletonized remains, fragmentation, decomposition, and exsanguination, traditional specimens may be unavailable for toxicological testing. This study examined the utility of bone for the detection of benzodiazepines, opiates, cocaine and metabolites, and basic drugs in 39 cases. Cases were identified on the basis of a positive blood result. After specimen preparation, samples were assayed by liquid-liquid or solid phase extraction with gas chromatographic and gas chromatographic mass spectrometric detection. The majority of decedents were white males with 28% of individuals between the ages of 41 to 50 years. The cause of death was drug intoxication in 22 cases. The most prevalent drugs detected in the blood males and females were opiates and bases. Morphine, codeine, and oxycodone were detected in bone, whereas 6-acetylmorphine and hydrocodone were absent. For alkaline extractable drugs, in only 57% of blood positive specimens, the corresponding bone was also positive. These included antidepressants and antihistamines. Diazepam and nordiazepam were detected in the bone of all blood positive cases. Bone concentrations were higher than blood levels. Benzoylecgonine was the most common cocaine analyte detected in bone. These data demonstrated that drugs may be detected in bone using current technologies and that in general concentrations were higher than those observed in corresponding blood specimens. A negative result in bone, however, should be interpreted with caution because multiple factors determine the deposition of a drug in this matrix. PMID:19237852

  8. Forensic diagnosis of ante- and postmortem burn based on aquaporin-3 gene expression in the skin.

    PubMed

    Kubo, Hidemichi; Hayashi, Takahito; Ago, Kazutoshi; Ago, Mihoko; Kanekura, Takuro; Ogata, Mamoru

    2014-05-01

    In order to diagnose death associated with fire, it is essential to show that the person was exposed to heat while still alive. We investigated both AQP1 and AQP3 expression in the skin of an experimental burn model, as well as in forensic autopsy cases, and discuss its role in the differential diagnosis of ante- and postmortem burns. In animal experiments, there was no difference in AQP1 gene expression among four groups (n=4): antemortem burn, postmortem burn, mechanical wound, and control. However, AQP3 expression in the antemortem burn was increased significantly compared with that of the other groups even at 5min after burn. Water content of the skin was decreased significantly by the burn procedure. Consistent with animal experiments, AQP3 gene expression in the skin of antemortem burn cases was increased significantly compared with postmortem burns, mechanical wounds, and controls (n=12 in each group). These observations suggest that dermal AQP3 gene expression was increased to maintain water homeostasis in response to dehydration from burn. Finally, our results suggest that AQP3 gene expression may be useful for forensic molecular diagnosis of antemortem burn.

  9. One small scan for radiology, one giant leap for forensic medicine - Post-mortem imaging replaces forensic autopsy in a case of traumatic aortic laceration.

    PubMed

    Ruder, Thomas D; Hatch, Gary M; Thali, Michael J; Fischer, Nadja

    2011-01-01

    The questions of cause and manner of death are the most pressing ones in any forensic investigation. Traditionally, autopsy is the means to provide answers to these questions and despite the increasing use of CT and MR in the post-mortem setting, imaging has usually been an adjunct to forensic autopsy. Here we describe a case where post-mortem CT and MR were performed instead of autopsy, at the request of the responsible public prosecutor. The forensic conclusions derived from imaging, including cause and manner of death were accepted by the legal authorities, thereby setting precedence for future cases. This case represents a landmark in forensic medicine and is another step toward the full realization of minimally invasive forensic autopsy.

  10. 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.

  11. Acute arsenic poisoning: clinical, toxicological, histopathological, and forensic features.

    PubMed

    Tournel, Gilles; Houssaye, Cédric; Humbert, Luc; Dhorne, Christine; Gnemmi, Viviane; Bécart-Robert, Anne; Nisse, Patrick; Hédouin, Valéry; Gosset, Didier; Lhermitte, Michel

    2011-01-01

    This report describes a suicide case by acute arsenic intoxication via intravenous injection. A 30-year-old woman injected arsenic As (V) (sodium arseniate disodique: Disodium Hydrogena Arsenik RP) in a successful suicide attempt. Three hours following administration, the woman developed severe digestive symptoms. She was admitted to a hospital and transferred to the intensive care unit within 12 h of the massive administration of arsenic. Despite therapeutic efforts, over the next 2 h she developed multiorgan failure and died. A postmortem examination was performed. Pulmonary edema and congestion of liver were apparent. As (V) and As (III) were determined by high performance liquid chromatography and inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry after mineralization of samples by concentrated nitric acid. Toxicological analysis revealed high concentrations of arsenic in biological fluids as well as in organs. Histopathological examination showed a typical indication of myocarditis. These findings were in agreement with acute arsenic poisoning. The symptoms developed by this young woman (intoxication by intravenous administration) were comparable to oral intoxication. The clinical signs, survival time, and administration type are discussed in light of the literature on acute and chronic arsenic poisoning.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-09-01

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

  13. Occurrence of Poecilochirus austroasiaticus (Acari: Parasitidae) in forensic autopsies and its application on postmortem interval estimation.

    PubMed

    González Medina, Alejandro; González Herrera, Lucas; Perotti, M Alejandra; Jiménez Ríos, Gilberto

    2013-03-01

    Despite the fact that mites were used at the dawn of forensic entomology to elucidate the postmortem interval, their use in current cases remains quite low for procedural reasons such as inadequate taxonomic knowledge. A special interest is focused on the phoretic stages of some mite species, because the phoront-host specificity allows us to deduce in many occasions the presence of the carrier (usually Diptera or Coleoptera) although it has not been seen in the sampling performed in situ or in the autopsy room. In this article, we describe two cases where Poecilochirus austroasiaticus Vitzthum (Acari: Parasitidae) was sampled in the autopsy room. In the first case, we could sample the host, Thanatophilus ruficornis (Küster) (Coleoptera: Silphidae), which was still carrying phoretic stages of the mite on the body. That attachment allowed, by observing starvation/feeding periods as a function of the digestive tract filling, the establishment of chronological cycles of phoretic behavior, showing maximum peaks of phoronts during arrival and departure from the corpse and the lowest values in the phase of host feeding. From the sarcosaprophagous fauna, we were able to determine in this case a minimum postmortem interval of 10 days. In the second case, we found no Silphidae at the place where the corpse was found or at the autopsy, but a postmortem interval of 13 days could be established by the high specificity of this interspecific relationship and the departure from the corpse of this family of Coleoptera.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-08-01

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

  15. Risk Factors for Fatal Hyperglycaemia Confirmed by Forensic Postmortem Examination - A Nationwide Cohort in Sweden

    PubMed Central

    Walz, Lotta; Jönsson, Anna K.; Zilg, Brita; Östgren, Carl Johan; Druid, Henrik

    2016-01-01

    Aims/Hypothesis The aim of this study was to identify risk factors associated with confirmed fatal hyperglycaemia, which could predispose potentially preventable deaths in individuals on glucose lowering drugs. Methods A retrospective register-based case-control study conducted on a nationwide cohort with individuals who died due to hyperglycaemia as determined by forensic postmortem examination, in Sweden August 2006 to December 2012. Vitreous glucose was used to diagnose hyperglycaemia postmortem. The forensic findings stored in the National Forensic Medicine Database were linked to nationwide registers. Cases that died due to confirmed hyperglycemia with dispensed glucose lowering drugs were identified and living controls with dispensed glucose lowering drugs were randomly selected in the Swedish prescribed drug register and matched on age and sex. Information on comorbidities, dispensed pharmaceuticals, clinical data and socioeconomic factors were obtained for cases and controls. Adjusted multiple logistic regression models were used to identify risk factors associated with fatal hyperglycaemia. Results During the study period 322 individuals, mostly males (79%) with the mean age of 53.9 years (SD.± 14) died due to confirmed hyperglycaemia. Risk factors for fatal hyperglycaemia included; insulin treatment (OR = 4.40; 95%CI,1.96, 9.85), poor glycaemic control (OR = 2.00 95%CI,1.23, 3.27), inadequate refill-adherence before death (OR = 3.87; 95%CI,1.99, 7.53), microvascular disease (OR = 3.26; 95% CI, 1.84, 5.79), psychiatric illness (OR = 2.30; 95% CI,1.32, 4.01), substance abuse (OR = 8.85; 95%CI,2.34, 35.0) and/or living alone (OR = 2.25; 95%CI,1.21, 4.18). Conclusions/Interpretation Our results demonstrate the importance of clinical attention to poor glycaemic control in subjects with psychosocial problems since it may indicate serious non-adherence, which consequently could lead to fatal hyperglycaemia. PMID:27768720

  16. Targeted toxicological screening for acidic, neutral and basic substances in postmortem and antemortem whole blood using simple protein precipitation and UPLC-HR-TOF-MS.

    PubMed

    Telving, Rasmus; Hasselstrøm, Jørgen Bo; Andreasen, Mette Findal

    2016-09-01

    A broad targeted screening method based on broadband collision-induced dissociation (bbCID) ultra-performance liquid chromatography high-resolution time-of-flight mass spectrometry (UPLC-HR-TOF-MS) was developed and evaluated for toxicological screening of whole blood samples. The acidic, neutral and basic substances covered by the method were identified in postmortem and antemortem whole blood samples from forensic autopsy cases, clinical forensic cases and driving under the influence of drugs (DUID) cases by a reverse target database search. The screening method covered 467 substances. Validation was performed on spiked whole blood samples and authentic postmortem and antemortem whole blood samples. For most of the basic drugs, the established cut-off limits were very low, ranging from 0.25ng/g to 50ng/g. The established cut-off limits for most neutral and acidic drugs, were in the range from 50ng/g to 500ng/g. Sample preparation was performed using simple protein precipitation of 300μL of whole blood with acetonitrile and methanol. Ten microliters of the reconstituted extract were injected and separated within a 13.5min UPLC gradient reverse-phase run. Positive electrospray ionization (ESI) was used to generate the ions in the m/z range of 50-1000. Fragment ions were generated by bbCID. Identification was based on retention time, accurate mass, fragment ion(s) and isotopic pattern. A very sensitive broad toxicological screening method using positive electrospray ionization UPLC-HR-TOF-MS was achieved in one injection. This method covered basic substances, substances traditionally analyzed in negative ESI (e.g., salicylic acid), small highly polar substances such as beta- and gamma-hydroxybutyric acid (BHB and GHB, respectively) and highly non-polar substances such as amiodarone. The new method was shown to combine high sensitivity with a very broad scope that has not previously been reported in toxicological whole blood screening when using only one injection

  17. Is postmortem biochemistry really useful? Why is it not widely used in forensic pathology?

    PubMed

    Luna, A

    2009-04-01

    Medico legal autopsy has a basic objective to reconstruct as accurately as possible the circumstances of death to solve a judicial problem, is a process of collection of evidences from the cadaver and interpretation of the data to solve a series of questions raised in the judicial process. These questions are not only the cause of death, the survival time, the data of death, the role of previous pathology in the death's process, etc. Considering that there are more difficult problems to be solved and higher requirements for quality it is necessary that new diagnostic tools are introduced into forensic pathology. In Forensic Pathology the scientific and technological evolution has been subsidiary to other disciplines: immunology, inmunopathology, molecular biology, clinical pathology, etc. The little influence that postmortem biochemical methods have had in forensic pathology is a fact not an opinion. The reasons can be very diverse and they go from a lack of trust in the scientific literature on these topics, to an ignorance of the many possibilities which are offered by biochemical complementary tests in the cadaver for the solutions of some questions. One of the problematic issues in postmortem biochemistry is the interpretation of the obtained results; in the absence of databases with sufficient numbers of cases to establish the ranges of normality, therefore it is a real difficulty to use these types of results. On the other hand there are very few works where a correspondence between the histopathologycal findings and the biochemical values has been established; this fact is decisive for understanding the difficulties of introduction of these biochemical techniques. The main problem is forgetting that a complementary test needs a set of basic data for its interpretation and it's integration into the global findings. It is not easy for the pathologist to include in their work routine tests that require not only a change of attitude but a change in the sampling

  18. [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

  19. [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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-10-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bernhard, Werner; Keller, Thomas; Regenscheit, Priska

    1995-01-01

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

  2. Forensic toxicology in drug-facilitated sexual assault.

    PubMed

    Dinis-Oliveira, Ricardo Jorge; Magalhães, Teresa

    2013-09-01

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

  3. Distinction between forensic evidence and dermatological findings.

    PubMed

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

    2015-07-01

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

  4. Distinction between forensic evidence and dermatological findings.

    PubMed

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

    2015-07-01

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

  5. The study of forensic toxicology should not be neglected in Japanese universities.

    PubMed

    Ishihara, Kenji; Yajima, Daisuke; Abe, Hiroko; Nagasawa, Sayaka; Nara, Akina; Iwase, Hirotaro

    2015-04-01

    Forensic toxicology is aimed at identifying the relationship between drugs or poison and the cause of death or crime. In the authors' toxicology laboratory at Chiba University, the authors analyze almost every body for drugs and poisons. A simple inspection kit was used in an attempt to ascertain drug abuse. A mass spectrometer is used to perform highly accurate screening. When a poison is detected, quantitative analyses are required. A recent topic of interest is new psychoactive substances (NPS). Although NPS-related deaths may be decreasing, use of NPS as a cause of death is difficult to ascertain. Forensic institutes have recently begun to perform drug and poison tests on corpses. However, this approach presents several problems, as are discussed here. The hope is that highly accurate analyses of drugs and poisons will be performed throughout the country.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Dabbs, Gretchen R

    2015-05-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-01-01

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

  10. [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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-09-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-09-01

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

  14. Naphazoline intoxication in a child-a clinical and forensic toxicological case.

    PubMed

    Musshoff, F; Gerschlauer, A; Madea, B

    2003-07-01

    The imidazoline derivative naphazoline, an alpha(2)-adrenergic agonist, is used as non-prescription eye and nasal preparation because of its vasoconstrictive and decongestive properties. Especially in children, overdose and/or systemic side effects due to absorption can quickly cause severe central nervous system depression and cardiovascular adverse effects. In a 7-year-old boy was diagnosed a naphazoline intoxication by toxicological analysis. The case was also of forensic interest, because the naphazoline mixture was prepared in a pharmacy in a concentration 80 times above the adequate dosage for children. In general, physicians, pharmacists and the public should be educated about the toxicity of over-the-counter preparations.

  15. Advances in forensic toxicology for establishing causality between Great Lakes epizootics and specific persistent toxic chemicals

    SciTech Connect

    Gilbertson, M.

    1997-09-01

    Populations of fish, wildlife, and humans in the Great Lakes basin have been injured during this century by exposures to organochlorine pollutants such as PCBs and dioxin. The evidence presented by scientists working on these outbreaks of chemically induced disease has been received with skepticism among officials, who have expressed a desire for a proven cause and effect before further costly regulatory and remedial action is taken. Scientists have adapted epidemiological criteria to infer causal relationships between the injury and exposures to specific chemicals. These forensic statements are different from traditional toxicological statements about potential effects. There is a priority need to institutionalize this methodology within governments to complement established risk assessment techniques.

  16. Efficacy of drug screening in forensic autopsy: retrospective investigation of routine toxicological findings.

    PubMed

    Tominaga, Mariko; Michiue, Tomomi; Inamori-Kawamoto, Osamu; Hishmat, Asmaa Mohammed; Oritani, Shigeki; Takama, Masashi; Ishikawa, Takaki; Maeda, Hitoshi

    2015-05-01

    Toxicological analysis is indispensable in forensic autopsy laboratories, but often depends on the limitations of individual institutions. The present study reviewed routine drug screening data of forensic autopsy cases (n=2996) during an 18.5-year period (January 1996-June 2014) at our institute to examine the efficacy of the procedures and findings in autopsy diagnosis and interpretation. Drug screening was performed using on-site immunoassay screening devices and gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS) in all cases, followed by re-examination using GC/MS and liquid chromatography/tandem mass spectrometry (LC/MS/MS) at a cooperating institute in specific cases in the last 4 years. GC/MS detected drugs in 486 cases (16.2%), including amphetamines (n=160), major tranquilizers (n=72), minor tranquilizers (n=294), antidepressants (n=21), cold remedies (n=77), and other drugs (n=19). Among these cases, fatal intoxication (n=123) involved amphetamines (n=73), major tranquilizers (n=37), minor tranquilizers (n=86), antidepressants (n=3), and cold remedies (n=9); most cases involved self-administration, alleged suicide and accidental overdose, while homicide was not included. These drugs were also identified in other manners of death, including homicide (n=40/372), suicide (n=34/226), accidental falls (n=27/129), and natural death (n=72/514). In these cases, on-site immunoassay screening of drugs of abuse showed negative findings in 2440 cases (81.4% in all cases), while GC/MS detected other drugs in 218 cases (7.3% in all cases), including several antipsychotic drugs, acetaminophen and salicylic acid. Further analysis using LC/MS/MS detected low concentrations of benzodiazepines in 32 cases, and also anti-diabetic and hypertensive drugs in a case of fatal abuse. These observations indicate the efficacy of systematic routine toxicological analysis to investigate not only the cause of death but also the background of fatalities in forensic autopsy. The provision of

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-11-01

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

  18. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Jones, A W

    2003-04-23

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

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

    PubMed

    Pépin, G

    2010-03-01

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

  1. Forensic aspects of post-mortem histological detection of amniotic fluid embolism.

    PubMed

    Sinicina, I; Pankratz, H; Bise, K; Matevossian, E

    2010-01-01

    Amniotic fluid embolism (AFE) continues to be one of the most feared and devastating complications of pregnancy. A reliable diagnosis can be made only upon histological examination. A detection of AFE every now and then has a relevant implication on medico-legal aspects of intrapartum or post-partum maternal death. However, there are only isolated reports in the literature concerning the detection interval of amniotic fluid elements after their transfer into the lungs. The objective of this study was to determine how long after the onset of clinical symptoms the elements of amniotic fluid may be detectable in the pulmonary circulation. An autopsy, as well as a histological and toxicological examination of 29 women, who died intrapartum or post-partum were performed. AFE was diagnosed in seven women (25%). The maximum survival time of the women with AFE and also the detection interval of AF in the pulmonary vasculature was 36 h. In the lungs of the women who did not die of AFE, amniotic fluid components were not found. Thus, there is no evidence for a physiologic occurrence of AFE. In women who die some days or even weeks after delivery as a consequence of a haemorrhagic shock following post-partum genital bleeding ensuing from uterine atony, AFE should be considered as a cause of a coagulopathy.

  2. [Biological characteristics of calliphoridae and its application in forensic medicine].

    PubMed

    Zhao, Boa; Wen, Charn; Qi, Li-Li; Wang, He; Wang, Ji

    2013-12-01

    Diptera Calliphoridae is the first major kind of flies that appears on the decomposed corpses. In forensic entomology, according to the living characteristics of Calliphoridae flies, we could accurately estimate postmortem interval (PMI) in a murder or unidentified case and could provide useful clues to solve the case. This paper introduces the characteristics of the biology and morphology of Diptera Calliphoridae, and reviews the combined application of forensic entomology, molecular biology, mathematical morphology and toxicology.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-09-01

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

  4. 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

  5. How to optimise the yield of forensic and clinical post-mortem microbiology with an adequate sampling: a proposal for standardisation.

    PubMed

    Fernández-Rodríguez, A; Cohen, M C; Lucena, J; Van de Voorde, W; Angelini, A; Ziyade, N; Saegeman, V

    2015-05-01

    Post-mortem microbiology (PMM) is an important tool in forensic pathology, helping to determine the cause and manner of death, especially in difficult scenarios such as sudden unexpected death (SD). Currently, there is a lack of standardization of PMM sampling throughout Europe. We present recommendations elaborated by a panel of European experts aimed to standardize microbiological sampling in the most frequent forensic and clinical post-mortem situations. A network of forensic microbiologists, pathologists and physicians from Spain, England, Belgium, Italy and Turkey shaped a flexible protocol providing minimal requirements for PMM sampling at four practical scenarios: SD, bioterrorism, tissue and cell transplantation (TCT) and paleomicrobiology. Biosafety recommendations were also included. SD was categorized into four subgroups according to the age of the deceased and circumstances at autopsy: (1) included SD in infancy and childhood (0-16 years); (2) corresponded to SD in the young (17-35 years); (3) comprised SD at any age with clinical symptoms; and (4) included traumatic/iatrogenic SD. For each subgroup, a minimum set of samples and general recommendations for microbiological analyses were established. Sampling recommendations for main bioterrorism scenarios were provided. In the TCT setting, the Belgian sampling protocol was presented as an example. Finally, regarding paleomicrobiology, the sampling selection for different types of human remains was reviewed. This proposal for standardization in the sampling constitutes the first step towards a consensus in PMM procedures. In addition, the protocol flexibility to adapt the sampling to the clinical scenario and specific forensic findings adds a cost-benefit value.

  6. Assessment and Comparison of Vitreous Humor as an Alternative Matrix for Forensic Toxicology Screening by GC-MS.

    PubMed

    Metushi, Imir G; Fitzgerald, Robert L; McIntyre, Iain M

    2016-05-01

    Alternative specimens have been occasionally considered as substitutes for whole blood for postmortem toxicology testing. We studied the applicability of vitreous humor, and evaluated whether it would be suitable to replace (or augment) whole blood for routine drug screening. Results showed that from 51 autopsy cases, we were able to identify an aggregate of 209 findings in whole blood compared with 169 in vitreous. The total number of compounds identified was 71 for whole blood and 60 for vitreous humor. Quantitative analysis showed that whole-blood concentrations of trazodone were several fold higher than vitreous humor concentrations (1.42 ± 0.57 vs. 0.15 ± 0.05 mg/L, respectively) and similar results were also obtained for diazepam (0.37 ± 0.06 vs. 0.13 ± 0.01, respectively). For other drugs such as oxycodone, hydrocodone and doxylamine, a trend suggesting higher concentrations in vitreous humor vs. whole blood was observed; however, this was not significant. Our results are consistent with the limited work of other investigators, and suggest that vitreous humor could be an appropriate matrix for drug screening in postmortem toxicology. PMID:26945835

  7. History of scientific cooperation between Department of Clinical Toxicology and the Chair of Forensic Medicine Jagielionian University Medical College in the period of last four decades as a document of clinical and forensic toxicology integration.

    PubMed

    Kłys, Małgorzata

    2005-01-01

    An integration of clinical and forensic toxicologist society enjoys its 40-year tradition. A practice in this field proves that the cooperation can be fruitful in both the scientific and preventative and organizational areas provided the concentration of the participants' efforts is focused. The article shows the examples of such collaboration, the illustration of which are the presented works. The articles constitute the original papers and casuistic works as well concerning problems of contemporary toxicology such as: epidemiology of poisoning, complex evaluation of ethanol, carbon monoxide, pesticides, drugs of abuse, pharmaceuticals and other poisonings.

  8. Proficiency testing as a basis for estimating uncertainty of measurement: application to forensic alcohol and toxicology quantitations.

    PubMed

    Wallace, Jack

    2010-05-01

    While forensic laboratories will soon be required to estimate uncertainties of measurement for those quantitations reported to the end users of the information, the procedures for estimating this have been little discussed in the forensic literature. This article illustrates how proficiency test results provide the basis for estimating uncertainties in three instances: (i) For breath alcohol analyzers the interlaboratory precision is taken as a direct measure of uncertainty. This approach applies when the number of proficiency tests is small. (ii) For blood alcohol, the uncertainty is calculated from the differences between the laboratory's proficiency testing results and the mean quantitations determined by the participants; this approach applies when the laboratory has participated in a large number of tests. (iii) For toxicology, either of these approaches is useful for estimating comparability between laboratories, but not for estimating absolute accuracy. It is seen that data from proficiency tests enable estimates of uncertainty that are empirical, simple, thorough, and applicable to a wide range of concentrations.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Uekusa, Kyoko; Hayashida, Makiko; Ohno, Youkichi

    2015-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Uekusa, Kyoko; Hayashida, Makiko; Ohno, Youkichi

    2015-04-01

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

  13. Postmortem virtual volumetry of the heart and lung in situ using CT data for investigating terminal cardiopulmonary pathophysiology in forensic autopsy.

    PubMed

    Sogawa, Nozomi; Michiue, Tomomi; Kawamoto, Osamu; Oritani, Shigeki; Ishikawa, Takaki; Maeda, Hitoshi

    2014-07-01

    Postmortem CT (PM-CT) is useful to investigate the viscera in situ before opening the body cavity at autopsy. The present study investigated heart and lung volumes in situ with regard to the cause of death as possible indexes of terminal cardiopulmonary dysfunction by means of PM-CT data analysis of forensic autopsy cases within 3 days postmortem (n=70). Estimated heart volume was larger in sudden cardiac death (SCD; n=10) and fatal methamphetamine abuse (n=5) than in other groups, including mechanical asphyxiation (n=12), drowning (n=11), acute alcohol/sedative-hypnotic intoxication (n=8), fire fatality (n=12), hyperthermia (heatstroke; n=6) and fatal hypothermia (cold exposure; n=6). Estimated combined lung volume was larger in drowning, smaller in fire fatality due to carbon monoxide intoxication and SCD, and intermediate in other groups. Volume ratio of the lung to heart was higher in drowning, lower in SCD, and intermediate or varied in other groups; high and low ratios can indicate predominant/antecedent pulmonary and cardiac dysfunctions, respectively. These findings provide quantitative data that are not available at conventional autopsy or by routine two-dimensional CT morphology to assess three-dimensional gross heart and lung morphologies for interpreting terminal cardiopulmonary pathophysiology, detecting significant difference between SCD and other causes of death, especially mechanical asphyxiation and drowning.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  15. American College of Medical Toxicology

    MedlinePlus

    ... NACCT Board Review Course Chemical Agents of Opportunity: TICs and TIMs Seminars in Forensic Toxicology Clandestine Meth ... City Center Reservations 2016 Chemical Agents of Opportunity: TICs and TIMs Syllabus Seminars in Forensic Toxicology 2013 ...

  16. Sequenom MassARRAY approach in the arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy post-mortem setting: clinical and forensic implications.

    PubMed

    Alcalde, M; Campuzano, O; Allegue, C; Torres, M; Arbelo, E; Partemi, S; Iglesias, A; Brugada, J; Oliva, A; Carracedo, A; Brugada, R

    2015-01-01

    Arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy (ARVC) is a rare cardiac disease characterized by myocardial fibrofatty replacement, which can lead to sudden death. Previous studies have described a reduction of plakoglobin (PKG) protein at the level of intercalated disks as the hallmark of ARVC. The main objective of this study was to investigate the involvement of desmosome mutations in the histological phenotype of ARVC. We performed a genetic analysis of ARVC cases, and histological characterization of ARVC heart tissue samples. We genetically analyzed 48 ARVC cases distributed into two groups: 42 human tissue heart samples with conclusive diagnoses of ARVC after post-mortem examination; and six DNA samples from peripheral blood of living patients who were clinically diagnosed. Sequenom MassARRAY analysis revealed three ARVC-associated variants in three patients in 42 tissue samples (7.14 %). Three individuals carried one single pathogenic mutation, p.R811S _PKP2, p.S824L_DSC2, and p.T526M_PKP2 in postmortem samples. In the living patients group, Sequenom MassARRAY revealed no mutation, however, later Sanger sequencing analysis identified three ARVC mutations in 2/6 patients not included in the Sequenom design. In post-mortem tissue samples we performed immunohistochemical labeling for desmosomal proteins and Connexin 43. This study revealed that PKP2 carriers present either absent or clearly reduced PKG immunolabeling, while the DSC2 carrier showed PKG immunolabeling similar to control samples. Immunolabeling for Cx43 did not show any differences compared to controls. The present Sequenom MassARRAY design is a useful tool for post-mortem genetic diagnosis of ARVC. Plakoglobin reduction occurs at intercalated disks, while other desmosome proteins and Cx43 remain unaltered.

  17. Common Postmortem Computed Tomography Findings Following Atraumatic Death: Differentiation between Normal Postmortem Changes and Pathologic Lesions

    PubMed Central

    Gonoi, Wataru; Okuma, Hidemi; Shirota, Go; Shintani, Yukako; Abe, Hiroyuki; Takazawa, Yutaka; Fukayama, Masashi; Ohtomo, Kuni

    2015-01-01

    Computed tomography (CT) is widely used in postmortem investigations as an adjunct to the traditional autopsy in forensic medicine. To date, several studies have described postmortem CT findings as being caused by normal postmortem changes. However, on interpretation, postmortem CT findings that are seemingly due to normal postmortem changes initially, may not have been mere postmortem artifacts. In this pictorial essay, we describe the common postmortem CT findings in cases of atraumatic in-hospital death and describe the diagnostic pitfalls of normal postmortem changes that can mimic real pathologic lesions. PMID:26175579

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

    PubMed

    Marinetti, Laureen J; Antonides, Heather M

    2013-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Bertomeu-Sánchez, José Ramón

    2016-06-01

    This paper reviews the cultural meanings, social uses and circulations of arsenic in different legal, medical and popular settings. The focus is on nineteenth-century France. In the first section, I review the advent of the Marsh test for arsenic, which is commonly regarded as a milestone in the history of toxicology. I claim that the high sensitivity of the Marsh test introduced puzzling problems for forensic doctors, the most disturbing one being the so-called 'normal arsenic.' I reconstruct early research on normal arsenic and the ensuing controversies in courts, academies and salons. A report from the French Academy of Science converted normal arsenic from a big discovery to an experimental mistake. In the next section, I study how these disturbing conclusions were perceived by toxicologists all over Europe and how normal arsenic disappeared from view by the middle of the nineteenth century. Finally, I review the return of normal arsenic thanks to Armand Gautier and Gabriel Bertrand, who introduced an innovative research framework and so prompted the displacement of arsenic from criminal toxicology to pharmacology and nutrition science. The last section will also show that the issue of normal arsenic was recaptured in public debates concerning criminal poisoning at the beginning of the twentieth century. PMID:27143271

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-09-01

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

  2. Postmortem volumetric CT data analysis of pulmonary air/gas content with regard to the cause of death for investigating terminal respiratory function in forensic autopsy.

    PubMed

    Sogawa, Nozomi; Michiue, Tomomi; Ishikawa, Takaki; Kawamoto, Osamu; Oritani, Shigeki; Maeda, Hitoshi

    2014-08-01

    Postmortem CT (PMCT) is useful to investigate air/gas distribution and content in body cavities and viscera. The present study investigated the procedure to estimate total lung air/gas content and aeration ratio as possible indices of terminal respiratory function, using three-dimensional (3-D) PMCT data analysis of forensic autopsy cases without putrefactive gas formation (within 3 days postmortem, n=75), and analyzed the volumetric data with regard to the cause of death. When 3-D bilateral lung images were reconstructed using an image analyzer, combined lung volume was larger in drowning (n=12) than in alcohol/sedative-hypnotic intoxication (n=8) and sudden cardiac death (SCD; n=10), and intermediate in other cases, including mechanical asphyxiation (n=12), fire fatalities due to burns (n=6) and carbon monoxide intoxication (n=7), fatal methamphetamine abuse (n=7), hyperthermia (heatstroke; n=6) and fatal hypothermia (cold exposure; n=7). Air/gas content of the lung as detected using HU interval between -2000 and -400 ('effective' lung aeration areas) and between -2000 and -191 (total lung aeration areas) as well as the ratios to total lung volume ('effective' and total lung aeration ratios, respectively) was higher in mechanical asphyxiation, drowning, fatal burns and hypothermia (cold exposure) than in SCD, and was intermediate in other cases. 'Effective' and total lung aeration ratios may be useful for comparisons between specific causes of death to discriminate between hypothermia (cold exposure) and drug intoxication, and between SCD and other causes of death, respectively. These findings provide interesting insights into potential efficacy of PMCT data analyses of lung volume and CT density as well as lung air/gas content and aeration ratio with regard to the cause of death, as possible indicators of terminal respiratory function, as part of virtual autopsy of the viscera in situ.

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

    PubMed

    Tormey, William P

    2015-05-01

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

  4. [Post-mortem microbiology analysis].

    PubMed

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

    2013-12-01

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

  5. [Post-mortem microbiology analysis].

    PubMed

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

    2013-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-07-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-04-26

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

  8. [Medical insurance and forensic aspects of postmortem examination in cases of extra-clinical and accidental death].

    PubMed

    Ebert, B

    1997-12-01

    In general, death of a person--also in cases of a so called "sudden death"--is followed by a certification of death, normally by the physician who attended the patient in his last illness, but doctors in external e.g. extraclinical emergency care systems as well are liable to fill in death certificates concerning these unknown patients whose sudden and in general unexpected cases of death mostly happened under dubious circumstances. Thus, doctors in extraclinical care are highly susceptible to miss cases of homicide, cases with relevant forensic and statistical aspects or claims of relatives concerning insurance premiums of the underwriter. By demonstrating three different case reports of "sudden-death"-incidents, the circumstances of death are illuminated and consequences are shown.

  9. Virtual forensic entomology: improving estimates of minimum post-mortem interval with 3D micro-computed tomography.

    PubMed

    Richards, Cameron S; Simonsen, Thomas J; Abel, Richard L; Hall, Martin J R; Schwyn, Daniel A; Wicklein, Martina

    2012-07-10

    We demonstrate how micro-computed tomography (micro-CT) can be a powerful tool for describing internal and external morphological changes in Calliphora vicina (Diptera: Calliphoridae) during metamorphosis. Pupae were sampled during the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th quarter of development after the onset of pupariation at 23 °C, and placed directly into 80% ethanol for preservation. In order to find the optimal contrast, four batches of pupae were treated differently: batch one was stained in 0.5M aqueous iodine for 1 day; two for 7 days; three was tagged with a radiopaque dye; four was left unstained (control). Pupae stained for 7d in iodine resulted in the best contrast micro-CT scans. The scans were of sufficiently high spatial resolution (17.2 μm) to visualise the internal morphology of developing pharate adults at all four ages. A combination of external and internal morphological characters was shown to have the potential to estimate the age of blowfly pupae with a higher degree of accuracy and precision than using external morphological characters alone. Age specific developmental characters are described. The technique could be used as a measure to estimate a minimum post-mortem interval in cases of suspicious death where pupae are the oldest stages of insect evidence collected.

  10. 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.

  11. [Plants' materials and synthetic agonists of cannabinoid receptors use as a substitute of Marihuana, appearing in a current forensic toxicology practice of evidence materials].

    PubMed

    Geppert, Bogna; Tezyk, Artur; Florek, Ewa; Zaba, Czesław

    2010-01-01

    Cannabis sativa species Indica (Marihuana) is nowadays one of the most common plant drug, with psychoactive activity, presently appearing on the illegal market in Poland. It is reported that frequency of securing evidential materials so called substitute of Marihuana, is growing rapidly during the last few years. The substitutes of Marihuana occurring on the market are of natural or synthetic origins, for example different species of raw plants' materials having action similar to Cannabis or raw plants' materials with no psychoactive properities but with an addition of components so called synthetic cannabinoids. The review presents recent developments in drug market and current problems of forensic toxicology on the example of Marihuana.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-01

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

  13. Oviposition preferences of two forensically important blow fly species, Chrysomya megacephala and C. rufifacies (Diptera: Calliphoridae), and implications for postmortem interval estimation.

    PubMed

    Yang, Shih-Tsai; Shiao, Shiuh-Feng

    2012-03-01

    Necrophagous blow fly species (Diptera: Calliphoridae) are the most important agents for estimating the postmortem interval (PMI) in forensic entomology. Nevertheless, the oviposition preferences of blow flies may cause a bias of PMI estimations because of a delay or acceleration of egg laying. Chrysomya megacephala (F.) and C. rufifacies (Macquart) are two predominant necrophagous blow fly species in Taiwan. Their larvae undergo rather intense competition, and the latter one can prey on the former under natural conditions. To understand the oviposition preferences of these two species, a dual-choice device was used to test the choice of oviposition sites by females. Results showed when pork liver with and without larvae of C. rufifacies was provided, C. megacephala preferred to lay eggs on the liver without larvae. However, C. megacephala showed no preference when pork liver with and without conspecific larvae or larvae of Hemipyrellia ligurriens (Wiedemann) was provided. These results indicate that females of C. megacephala try to avoid laying eggs around larvae of facultatively predaceous species of C. rufifacies. However, C. rufifacies showed significant oviposition preference for pork liver with larvae of C. megacephala or conspecific ones when compared with pork liver with no larvae. These results probably imply that conspecific larvae or larvae of C. megacephala may potentially be alternative food resources for C. rufifacies, so that its females prefer to lay eggs in their presence. When considering the size of the oviposition media, pork livers of a relatively small size were obviously unfavorable to both species. This may be because females need to find sufficient resources to meet the food demands of their larvae. In another experiment, neither blow fly species showed an oviposition preference for pork livers of different stages of decay. In addition, the oviposition preferences of both species to those media with larvae were greatly disturbed in a dark

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-09-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-07-01

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

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. Green toxicology.

    PubMed

    Maertens, Alexandra; Anastas, Nicholas; Spencer, Pamela J; Stephens, Martin; Goldberg, Alan; Hartung, Thomas

    2014-01-01

    Historically, early identification and characterization of adverse effects of industrial chemicals was difficult because conventional toxicological test methods did not meet R&D needs for rapid, relatively inexpensive methods amenable to small amounts of test material. The pharmaceutical industry now front-loads toxicity testing, using in silico, in vitro, and less demanding animal tests at earlier stages of product development to identify and anticipate undesirable toxicological effects and optimize product development. The Green Chemistry movement embraces similar ideas for development of less toxic products, safer processes, and less waste and exposure. Further, the concept of benign design suggests ways to consider possible toxicities before the actual synthesis and to apply some structure/activity rules (SAR) and in silico methods. This requires not only scientific development but also a change in corporate culture in which synthetic chemists work with toxicologists. An emerging discipline called Green Toxicology (Anastas, 2012) provides a framework for integrating the principles of toxicology into the enterprise of designing safer chemicals, thereby minimizing potential toxicity as early in production as possible. Green Toxicology`s novel utility lies in driving innovation by moving safety considerations to the earliest stage in a chemical`s lifecycle, i.e., to molecular design. In principle, this field is no different than other subdisciplines of toxicology that endeavor to focus on a specific area - for example, clinical, environmental or forensic toxicology. We use the same principles and tools to evaluate an existing substance or to design a new one. The unique emphasis is in using 21st century toxicology tools as a preventative strategy to "design out" undesired human health and environmental effects, thereby increasing the likelihood of launching a successful, sustainable product. Starting with the formation of a steering group and a series of workshops

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-01

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

  20. Postmortem memantine concentration in a non-intoxication case, and the possibility of postmortem redistribution: A case report.

    PubMed

    Nagasawa, Sayaka; Yajima, Daisuke; Torimitsu, Suguru; Chiba, Fumiko; Iwase, Hirotaro

    2015-12-01

    In this case study, we measured the concentration of memantine in the heart blood, peripheral blood, urine, liver, thigh muscle, and subcutaneous fat of a 64-year-old woman who was prescribed memantine for early-onset Alzheimer's disease. She died in hospital after an altercation with her husband. Cause of death was clearly not drug intoxication or overdose, so we investigated the postmortem redistribution (PMR) of memantine in the various tissues and blood ratios of the postmortem samples. Memantine concentrations detected were 1.31 μg/mL in the peripheral blood, 3.95 μg/mL in central blood, 2.09 μg/mL in the urine, 25.54 μg/g in the liver, 1.16 μg/g in the thigh muscle and 2.13 μg/g in the subcutaneous fat. In all samples, the concentrations were higher than the accepted therapeutic range (which is approximately 0.09-0.15 μg/mL). The central blood to peripheral blood (C/P) memantine ratio was 3.01 while the liver to peripheral blood (L/P) ratio was 19.5. It is documented that a C/P ratio exceeding 2 and L/P ratio exceeding 20 highlight a propensity for significant PMR. Although this is a single case study, our data suggest that memantine exhibits PMR. Additionally, a lowered pH was found in peripheral blood (pH 6.2) and central blood (pH 6.1). This postmortem reduction in blood pH may also promote the PMR of memantine. Because there is very little available postmortem toxicological data on memantine, our case study will serve as a foundation to assist in future forensic investigations.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-07-01

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

  2. Forensic use of a subtropical blowfly: the first case indicating minimum postmortem interval (mPMI) in southern Brazil and first record of Sarconesia chlorogaster from a human corpse.

    PubMed

    Vairo, Karine P; Corrêa, Rodrigo C; Lecheta, Melise C; Caneparo, Maria F; Mise, Kleber M; Preti, Daniel; de Carvalho, Claudio J B; Almeida, Lucia M; Moura, Mauricio O

    2015-01-01

    Southern Brazil is unique due to its subtropical climate. Here, we report on the first forensic entomology case and the first record of Sarconesia chlorogaster (Wiedemann) in a human corpse in this region. Flies' samples were collected from a body indoors at 20°C. Four species were found, but only Chrysomya albiceps (Wiedemann) and S. chlorogaster were used to estimate the minimum postmortem interval (mPMI). The mPMI was calculated using accumulated degree hour (ADH) and developmental time. The S. chlorogaster puparium collected was light in color, so we used an experiment to establish a more accurate estimate for time since initiation of pupation where we found full tanning after 3 h. Development of C. albiceps at 20°C to the end of the third instar is 7.4 days. The mPMI based on S. chlorogaster (developmental time until the third instar with no more than 3 h of pupae development) was 7.6 days.

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

    PubMed

    Orlova, A M

    2016-01-01

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

  4. [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

  5. GHB pharmacology and toxicology: acute intoxication, concentrations in blood and urine in forensic cases and treatment of the withdrawal syndrome.

    PubMed

    Busardò, Francesco P; Jones, Alan W

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Busardò, Francesco P.; Jones, Alan W.

    2015-01-01

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

  7. Oral-toxicology

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  8. Atypical Forensic Dental Identifications.

    PubMed

    Cardoza, Anthony R; Wood, James D

    2015-06-01

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

  9. Atypical Forensic Dental Identifications.

    PubMed

    Cardoza, Anthony R; Wood, James D

    2015-06-01

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

  10. (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

  11. (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.

  12. Design of experiments, a powerful tool for method development in forensic toxicology: application to the optimization of urinary morphine 3-glucuronide acid hydrolysis.

    PubMed

    Costa, S; Barroso, M; Castañera, A; Dias, M

    2010-04-01

    The application of the design of experiments to optimize method development in the field of forensic toxicology using the urinary morphine 3-glucuronide acid hydrolysis as an example is described. Morphine and its trideuterated analogue (used as an internal standard) were extracted from urine samples by liquid-liquid extraction (ToxiTubes A) and derivatized by silylation. Chromatographic analysis was done by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry in the selected ion monitoring mode. Using the peak area ratio (morphine-to-internal standard) as the response, we investigated the independent variables that could influence the acid hydrolysis, including temperature (range 70-130 degrees C), acid volume (range 500-1,000 microL) and time (range 15-90 min). A 2(3) full factorial design for the screening and a response surface methodology, including a central composite design for optimization, were applied. The factors which influenced the response to a greater extent were temperature and its interaction both with time and acid volume. By application of a multiple regression analysis to the experimental data, a second-order polynomial equation was obtained. The optimal predicted conditions for morphine 3-glucuronide acid hydrolysis were 115 degrees C, 38 min and 500 microL for temperature, time and acid volume, respectively. Using design of experiments, instead of the one factor at a time approach, we achieved the optimum combination of all factor values, and this allowed the best results to be obtained, simultaneously optimizing resources. In addition, time and money can be saved, since other approaches are in general more time-consuming and laborious, and do not take into account the interactions between factors.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-01

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

  14. Analytical toxicology.

    PubMed

    Flanagan, R J; Widdop, B; Ramsey, J D; Loveland, M

    1988-09-01

    1. Major advances in analytical toxicology followed the introduction of spectroscopic and chromatographic techniques in the 1940s and early 1950s and thin layer chromatography remains important together with some spectrophotometric and other tests. However, gas- and high performance-liquid chromatography together with a variety of immunoassay techniques are now widely used. 2. The scope and complexity of forensic and clinical toxicology continues to increase, although the compounds for which emergency analyses are needed to guide therapy are few. Exclusion of the presence of hypnotic drugs can be important in suspected 'brain death' cases. 3. Screening for drugs of abuse has assumed greater importance not only for the management of the habituated patient, but also in 'pre-employment' and 'employment' screening. The detection of illicit drug administration in sport is also an area of increasing importance. 4. In industrial toxicology, the range of compounds for which blood or urine measurements (so called 'biological monitoring') can indicate the degree of exposure is increasing. The monitoring of environmental contaminants (lead, chlorinated pesticides) in biological samples has also proved valuable. 5. In the near future a consensus as to the units of measurement to be used is urgently required and more emphasis will be placed on interpretation, especially as regards possible behavioural effects of drugs or other poisons. Despite many advances in analytical techniques there remains a need for reliable, simple tests to detect poisons for use in smaller hospital and other laboratories.

  15. The use of hair as a toxicological tool in DFC casework.

    PubMed

    Scott, Karen S

    2009-12-01

    When drugging related offences are cited, most people think of sexual assault. However, the law covers any crime committed whilst the complainant is under the influence of alcohol or drugs, i.e., the use of a drug to modify a person's behaviour for criminal gain. The case types encountered include robbery, blackmail and of course sexual offences. Hair analysis for drugs is now well established in Forensic Toxicology. Its use as an analytical tool in workplace testing, post-mortem toxicology and criminal cases is expanding both in the U.K. and worldwide, and it is now widely accepted as an alternative or complimentary matrix for these cases. This paper will provide a brief overview of hair testing in cases of Drug Facilitated Crime stressing the importance of timely sample collection. Its usefulness in cases of this type will be highlighted through case examples.

  16. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-02-01

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

  18. The Case for Forensic Toxicology

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2006-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-01

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

  20. [Recent advancement in relationship between DNA degradation and postmortem interval].

    PubMed

    Hao, Lu-gui; Deng, Shi-Xiong; Zhao, Xin-Cai

    2007-04-01

    Determination of postmortem interval (PMI) is one of the most valuable subjects in forensic practice. It, however, is often very difficult to accurately determine the PMI in daily practice. Forensic DNA technology has recently been used to estimate the PMI. It has certain advantage to traditional methods. This article reviews this technology with respect to its invention, development, advantage, disadvantage, and potential future applications with emphasis on correlation of DNA degradation and PMI. PMID:17619465

  1. 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

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

    PubMed

    Marinetti, Laureen J; Ehlers, Brooke J

    2014-10-01

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

  3. Postmortem CT angiography: capabilities and limitations in traumatic and natural causes of death.

    PubMed

    Ross, Steffen G; Bolliger, Stephan A; Ampanozi, Garyfalia; Oesterhelweg, Lars; Thali, Michael J; Flach, Patricia M

    2014-01-01

    Whole-body postmortem computed tomographic (CT) angiography is a promising new development in forensic radiology that has the potential to improve vascular and soft-tissue imaging beyond levels currently achievable with unenhanced postmortem CT. Postmortem access to the vascular system and injection of contrast medium are different from those steps in clinical (antemortem) radiology. Because there is no circulation in a corpse that could transport or dilute a contrast medium, the injection must be performed by using a roller pump to fill the vasculature (arterial and venous) with a mixture of a water-soluble iodized contrast medium and polyethylene glycol. In contrast to a classic autopsy, postmortem CT angiography is a minimally invasive procedure. It allows the diagnosis of vascular lesions without the disruption or destruction of anatomic structures, which could result in a loss of evidence in a criminal investigation. Furthermore, postmortem CT angiography facilitates the display of vascular pathologic conditions in areas that are not typically covered with autopsy alone, such as the craniocervical junction and the small pelvis. Therefore, postmortem CT angiography adds substantial value to the classic forensic autopsy; cross-sectional data can be reevaluated objectively at any time and are fully reproducible as counterexpertise, which is as useful in the fields of forensic medicine and pathology as in clinical research. Familiarity with the capabilities of postmortem CT angiography may help radiologists working with forensic cases improve their diagnostic performance. PMID:24819799

  4. The use of insects in forensic investigations: An overview on the scope of forensic entomology

    PubMed Central

    Joseph, Isaac; Mathew, Deepu G; Sathyan, Pradeesh; Vargheese, Geetha

    2011-01-01

    Forensic entomology is the study of insects/arthropods in criminal investigation. Right from the early stages insects are attracted to the decomposing body and may lay eggs in it. By studying the insect population and the developing larval stages, forensic scientists can estimate the postmortem index, any change in position of the corpse as well as the cause of death. Forensic odontologists are called upon more frequently to collaborate in criminal investigations and hence should be aware of the possibilities that forensic entomology have to offer and use it as an adjunct to the conventional means of forensic investigation. PMID:22408328

  5. Postmortem neurochemistry in schizophrenia.

    PubMed

    Bracha, H S; Kleinman, J E

    1986-03-01

    The renaissance in postmortem studies in schizophrenia is in full bloom. Although there is no shortage of findings, there have been significant problems with replications and interpretations. Regardless, the postmortem approach remains a valid and promising one. Thus far, it has allowed for the testing of a number of hypotheses involving catecholamines, indoleamines, and neuropeptides in schizophrenia. It is hoped that new approaches, such as autoradiography and automated cell counting, will add new dimensions to postmortem studies of schizophrenia. If these studies can be coupled with premortem exams of patients, perhaps new inroads can be made in the understanding and treatment of the schizophrenic syndrome.

  6. Postmortem studies in psychiatry.

    PubMed

    Bracha, H S; Kleinman, J E

    1984-09-01

    Neurochemical postmortem examination of brain tissue may never be completely replaced as a research tool in psychiatry. This method has already provided support for the hypotheses relating norepinephrine, dopamine, serotonin, peptides, and hemisphere asymmetries to psychiatric syndromes.

  7. [Advances of the study of sarcosaphagous insects in forensic medicine].

    PubMed

    Wang, Bang-Qin; Cai, Ji-Feng; Ge, Yang; Li, Fa-Zhao; Man, Yi; Chang, Yun-Feng

    2008-06-01

    The study of sarcosaphagous insects is a subspecialty in forensic medicine based on the knowledge of entomology. It could help to determine the time of death, especially the postmortem interval in decomposed cases. This paper explores its history, species and erosion process of sarcosaphagous insects. It reviews the species identifying methods with molecular biology and entomological morphology. Details of its application in estimating postmortem interval in recent years and study of sarcosaphagous insects in the field of forensic medicine are summarized.

  8. [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.

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

    PubMed

    Brooks, J W

    2016-09-01

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

  10. 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)

  11. 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 ...

  12. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2007-10-01

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

  14. A simple model for teaching postmortem monocular indirect ophthalmoscopy.

    PubMed

    Lantz, Patrick E

    2009-05-01

    Although the ophthalmoscope was invented by Hermann von Helmholtz in 1851, pathologists until recently have relied almost exclusively on ocular enucleation to identify and describe postmortem fundal abnormalities. An inexpensive but valuable tool for forensic pathologists, the postmortem monocular indirect ophthalmoscope consists of a light source attached to a headband along with a hand-held lens. This permits a wide view of the fundus after death but the technique can be challenging to master for pathology residents and forensic pathology fellows. To facilitate skill acquisition in monocular indirect ophthalmoscopy, a simple and inexpensive teaching model can be constructed from hinged, cylindrical plastic containers. An artificial pupil created in the lid and a removable color fundal image placed in the bottom of the opaque container allows the pathologist-in-training to practice the technique of monocular indirect ophthalmoscopy and correctly identify, localize, and describe fundal abnormalities such as retinal hemorrhages.

  15. [Forensic medicine and criminalistics].

    PubMed

    Schwerd, W

    1989-01-01

    The supplementary designation "criminalistics" in the title of certain forensic medical institutes in the first half of this century is to be regarded as a reaction to faulty developments in our specialty, which almost led to the elimination of forensic medicine as an independent scientific discipline in the 1960s. The ability to think in terms of criminalistics and the corresponding working procedures has always been a crucial precondition for the forensic physician, since forensic medicine is the application of medical knowledge for juridical purposes. Forensic medicine originated with the appraisal of cases of violent death by doctors, i.e., reconstruction of the facts in the case. To use the term "criminalistics" in the form of a supplementary designation is thus not required. An attempt is nevertheless made to define "medical criminalistics" as a small but important component of criminalistics. They are subdivided into two phases: the first part begins at the scene of the crime or the place of discovery (local evidence). Here, the trained eye of the forensic physician is indispensable to the criminal investigation department and the prosecutor. Medical criminalistic thinking and working procedures continue at the autopsy. Here, forensic autopsy differs from that practiced by the pathologist. Without knowledge of the situation at the discovery location, the forensic physician runs the risk of not recognizing facts that are important for reconstruction and thus becoming a "destroyer of clues". The second part of medical criminalistics is the actual detection of medical clues, i.e., the investigation of medical clues with special methods, including histological and toxicological investigations.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS) PMID:2669413

  16. [Forensic medicine and criminalistics].

    PubMed

    Schwerd, W

    1989-01-01

    The supplementary designation "criminalistics" in the title of certain forensic medical institutes in the first half of this century is to be regarded as a reaction to faulty developments in our specialty, which almost led to the elimination of forensic medicine as an independent scientific discipline in the 1960s. The ability to think in terms of criminalistics and the corresponding working procedures has always been a crucial precondition for the forensic physician, since forensic medicine is the application of medical knowledge for juridical purposes. Forensic medicine originated with the appraisal of cases of violent death by doctors, i.e., reconstruction of the facts in the case. To use the term "criminalistics" in the form of a supplementary designation is thus not required. An attempt is nevertheless made to define "medical criminalistics" as a small but important component of criminalistics. They are subdivided into two phases: the first part begins at the scene of the crime or the place of discovery (local evidence). Here, the trained eye of the forensic physician is indispensable to the criminal investigation department and the prosecutor. Medical criminalistic thinking and working procedures continue at the autopsy. Here, forensic autopsy differs from that practiced by the pathologist. Without knowledge of the situation at the discovery location, the forensic physician runs the risk of not recognizing facts that are important for reconstruction and thus becoming a "destroyer of clues". The second part of medical criminalistics is the actual detection of medical clues, i.e., the investigation of medical clues with special methods, including histological and toxicological investigations.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

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

    PubMed

    Krabseth, Hege; Mørland, Jørg; Høiseth, Gudrun

    2014-09-01

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

  18. 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.

  19. Estimation of postmortem interval through albumin in CSF by simple dye binding method.

    PubMed

    Parmar, Ankita K; Menon, Shobhana K

    2015-12-01

    Estimation of postmortem interval is a very important question in some medicolegal investigations. For the precise estimation of postmortem interval, there is a need of a method which can give accurate estimation. Bromocresol green (BCG) is a simple dye binding method and widely used in routine practice. Application of this method in forensic practice may bring revolutionary changes. In this study, cerebrospinal fluid was aspirated from cisternal puncture from 100 autopsies. A study was carried out on concentration of albumin with respect to postmortem interval. After death, albumin present in CSF undergoes changes, after 72 h of death, concentration of albumin has become 0.012 mM, and this decrease was linear from 2 h to 72 h. An important relationship was found between albumin concentration and postmortem interval with an error of ± 1-4h. The study concludes that CSF albumin can be a useful and significant parameter in estimation of postmortem interval.

  20. Application of contrast media in post-mortem imaging (CT and MRI).

    PubMed

    Grabherr, Silke; Grimm, Jochen; Baumann, Pia; Mangin, Patrice

    2015-09-01

    The application of contrast media in post-mortem radiology differs from clinical approaches in living patients. Post-mortem changes in the vascular system and the absence of blood flow lead to specific problems that have to be considered for the performance of post-mortem angiography. In addition, interpreting the images is challenging due to technique-related and post-mortem artefacts that have to be known and that are specific for each applied technique. Although the idea of injecting contrast media is old, classic methods are not simply transferable to modern radiological techniques in forensic medicine, as they are mostly dedicated to single-organ studies or applicable only shortly after death. With the introduction of modern imaging techniques, such as post-mortem computed tomography (PMCT) and post-mortem magnetic resonance (PMMR), to forensic death investigations, intensive research started to explore their advantages and limitations compared to conventional autopsy. PMCT has already become a routine investigation in several centres, and different techniques have been developed to better visualise the vascular system and organ parenchyma in PMCT. In contrast, the use of PMMR is still limited due to practical issues, and research is now starting in the field of PMMR angiography. This article gives an overview of the problems in post-mortem contrast media application, the various classic and modern techniques, and the issues to consider by using different media.

  1. [Toxicological analysis at the beginning of the third millennium: promising new applications and future implications].

    PubMed

    Goullé, Jean-Pierre

    2006-02-01

    Enormous progress has been made in clinical toxicology over the last two decades, notably in the detection of pollutants. Chromatographic techniques have now replaced colorimetric reactions, which were non specific and poorly sensitive. Mass spectrometry has largely supplanted immunological methods, and is now coupled to gas phase (GC-MS or GC-MS/MS), liquid phase (LC-MS or LC-MS/MS) or induced coupled plasma spectrometry (ICP-MS). Few substances responsible for clinical syndromes now escape detection, be they medicinal drugs, plant products, pesticides, drugs of abuse, drugs used for criminal purposes, metals, metalloids, or poisons. Forensic medicine has benefited from these advances, notably in the fields of post-mortem toxicology, driving under the influence of drugs of abuse, and drug-facilitated crime. Rapid advances are being made in occupational and environmental monitoring of new substances with poorly documented toxicity. The French National Health and Environment Program, launched on 9 August 2004, specifically takes this problem into account. The author presents recent personal laboratory results illustrating the potential of these new techniques.

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

    PubMed

    Offiah, Curtis E; Dean, Jonathan

    2016-01-01

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

  3. Environmental Toxicology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wright, David A.; Welbourn, Pamela

    2002-03-01

    Environmental Toxicology is a comprehensive introductory textbook dealing with most aspects of the subject, from the molecular to the ecosystem level. Early chapters deal with basic to advanced concepts, methods and approaches. The next discusses the environmental toxicology of individual or groups of substances. The third part addresses complex issues, in which many of the concepts, approaches and substances covered in earlier parts are incorporated. The fourth part includes chapters on risk assessment, rehabilitation and regulatory toxicology. The book concludes with a summary of present and future areas of emphasis. Each chapter contains a comprehensive list of references and further reading, case studies from different jurisdictions, and student exercises.

  4. Computational Toxicology

    EPA Science Inventory

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

  5. Developmental Toxicology##

    EPA Science Inventory

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

  6. 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)

  7. Centipede inflicted postmortem injury.

    PubMed

    Harada, K; Asa, K; Imachi, T; Yamaguchi, Y; Yoshida, K

    1999-07-01

    We here report the first case of postmortem injury caused by a centipede. An old man was found dead in his bedroom. The death was estimated to be due to intracranial hemorrhage and to have occurred two days before the police inspection. A centipede about 12 cm long emerged from a subcutaneous cavity on the victim's forearm. Obviously, the centipede had dug the cavity on the intact skin. A police inspector was bitten by the centipede, so he stepped on the centipede on the floor. The exudate from the insect was identified to be derived from the victim's blood.

  8. Modified method for the analysis of carbon monoxide in postmortem blood

    SciTech Connect

    Pannell, L.K.; Thomson, B.M.; Wilkinson, L.F.

    1981-01-01

    A simple spectrophotometric method is given for the determination of carbon monoxide in postmortem bloods. Duplicate determinations take about 15 minutes and are shown to be unaffected by the presence of methemoglobin. The method is therefore particularly suitable for use in a forensic laboratory. The results obtained are compared to those from the method of Commins and Lawther.

  9. Sudden unexpected death in epilepsy: Evaluation of forensic autopsy cases.

    PubMed

    Zhuo, Luo; Zhang, Yang; Zielke, H Ronald; Levine, Barry; Zhang, Xiang; Chang, Lin; Fowler, David; Li, Ling

    2012-11-30

    Epilepsy is a common chronic neurological disorder characterized by seizures. Mortality is significantly increased in patients with epilepsy. Sudden unexpected death in epilepsy (SUDEP) is the most common seizure-related category of death. A retrospective study of forensic autopsy cases from 2007 to 2009 at the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner (OCME) yielded a total of 104 sudden unexpected deaths directly or indirectly caused by an epilepsy/seizure disorder in the State of Maryland. Of these deaths, 74 cases met a general accepted definition of SUDEP. The age of SUDEP individuals ranged from 14 to 63 with the majority of subjects in the ages between 21 and 50 years (58 cases, 78.4%). Males were slightly more likely than females to die of SUDEP (male:female=1.5:1 based on the rate). The onset age of epilepsy was documented in 47.3% of cases (35/74) based on investigation and medical records. Of the 35 cases, 12 subjects had early onset epilepsy (onset ages 1-15 years) and 20 subjects had duration of epilepsy for more than 10 years. The majority of deaths (61 of the 74 cases, 82.4%) were unwitnessed. Death scene investigation showed that 71 deaths (95.9%) occurred inside their residence with 50 subjects (70.4%) found either in bed or on the bedroom floor near the bed. Forty-three out of 74 cases (58.1%) showed neuropathological lesions. Per history, 50 subjects were reported as being on anti-epileptic drugs (AEDs). However, postmortem toxicological analysis revealed that only 26 subjects (35.1%) had detectable AEDs. Of the 74 cases, seizure disorder or epilepsy was listed as primary cause of death in 66 cases and the term of SUDEP as official cause of death in only 8 cases. This report focuses on the characteristics of death scene investigation and postmortem examination findings of SUDEP cases.

  10. Forensic pathology of companion animal abuse and neglect.

    PubMed

    Gerdin, J A; McDonough, S P

    2013-11-01

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

  11. Interpretation of postmortem change in cadavers in Spain.

    PubMed

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

    2004-09-01

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

  12. 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.

  13. Advances in post-mortem CT-angiography

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  14. 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.

  15. FORENSIC SCIENCE:: 20 YEARS OF FORENSIC DENTISTRY AT THE UNIVERSITY OF ZAGREB, 1994 - 2014.

    PubMed

    Brkić, Hrvoje

    2014-06-01

    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.

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

    PubMed

    Dolný, A; Buchtová, M; Loyka, S

    1992-11-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Dolný, A; Buchtová, M; Loyka, S

    1992-11-01

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

  18. Long-term RNA persistence in postmortem contexts

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Ribonucleic acids (RNA) are generally considered fragile molecules that are readily degraded. However, there is growing documentation of long-term (from days to centuries) RNA persistence in a variety of contexts and tissue types, and as such a number of academic disciplines are beginning to exploit degraded RNA. While the reasons for its survival are not fully understood, there are several plausible mechanisms that would safeguard this molecule against degradation. However, after examining the literature available on the postmortem instability and decay mechanisms of RNA, it has become clear that limited experimental studies and no reviews offer an overview of these mechanisms. Hence in this review we outline molecular reasons for RNA surviving long-term postmortem, and provide specific examples of RNA survival in forensic, archival and archaeological contexts. A better understanding of the mechanisms of RNA decay will be crucial for developing expectations on its long-term survival. PMID:23618361

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-11-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-11-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-07-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-01

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

  4. [Troponin in forensic medicine].

    PubMed

    Nowak, Agnieszka; Nowak, Seweryn; Chowaniec, Czesław; Wojnicz, Romuald

    2012-01-01

    In this review we try to answer the question whether and to what degree contemporary forensic pathology takes advantage of quantitative and qualitative troponin determinations. The report is simultaneously an introduction to discussing our results in this area. To perform this review we used the database "PubMed". Polish literature, concurrent with the objective of the study and not included in "PubMed" or included in "OLDMEDLINE" was also analyzed. The identified publications, which were concurrent with the aim of the study, were read and citations were checked. If among the cited papers we found one that was concurrent with the subject of the review, it was also included. While several studies support the use of post-mortem blood and body fluid levels of cardiac troponin T and I as a marker of sudden cardiac death, in our opinion, further research is required to determine the effects of post-mortem autolysis, microbial activity, metabolic derangement and the use of different sample matrices in autopsy cases.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-01

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

  8. Hebephilia: A Postmortem Dissection.

    PubMed

    Singy, Patrick

    2015-07-01

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

  9. Forensic pathology and the miscarriage of justice.

    PubMed

    Pollanen, Michael S

    2012-09-01

    A case of conviction for rape-murder that was eventually overturned based on a post-conviction re-evaluation of the findings at autopsy is described. The main issue elucidated on post-conviction review was that postmortem anal dilation and postmortem hypostatic hemorrhages of the neck were misinterpreted as injuries. After review of the autopsy findings, the prosecution agreed with the appellant that a miscarriage of justice had occurred and the conviction was quashed by an appellate court. This case underscores the need for an awareness of key pitfalls that can be encountered at autopsy, such as the proper interpretation of postmortem artefacts. The evolving role of the evidence-based framework for forensic pathology is explored as a systemic solution to enhance the administration of justice.

  10. Postmortem biochemistry in suspected starvation-induced ketoacidosis.

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-01

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

  11. Genetic toxicology.

    PubMed

    Kramer, P J

    1998-04-01

    Systems for testing genetic toxicology are components of carcinogenic and genetic risk assessment. Present routine genotoxicity-testing is based on at least 20 years of development during which many different test systems have been introduced and used. Today, it is clear that no single test is capable of detecting all genotoxic agents. Therefore, the usual approach is to perform a standard battery of in-vitro and in-vivo tests for genotoxicity. Work-groups of the European Union (EU), the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), and, very recently, the work-group of the International Conference on Harmonization of Technical Requirements for Registration of Pharmaceuticals for Human Use (ICH) have defined such standard battery tests. These and some currently used supplementary or confirmatory tests are briefly discussed here. Additional test systems for the assessment of genotoxic and carcinogenic hazard and risk are seriously needed. These tests must be more relevant to man than are current assays and less demanding in respect of cost, time and number of animals. Another aspect for reassessment derives from the actual situation in the pharmaceutical industry. Companies have to prepare for the world economy of the 21st century. Therefore, pharmaceutical research is speeding up tremendously by use of tools such as genomics, combinatorial chemistry, high throughput screening and proteomics. Toxicology and genotoxicology need to re-evaluate their changing environment and must find ways to respond to these needs. In conclusion, genetic toxicology needs to answer questions coming from two major directions: hazard and risk identification and high throughput testing. PMID:9625484

  12. Behavioral toxicology

    SciTech Connect

    Needleman, H.L.

    1995-09-01

    The new fields of behavioral toxicology and behavioral teratology investigate the outcome of specific toxic exposures in humans and animals on learning, memory, and behavioral characteristics. Three important classes of behavioral neurotoxicants are metals, solvents, and pesticides. The clearest data on the deleterious effects of prenatal exposure to toxicants comes from the study of two metals, lead and mercury, and form epidemiological investigations of the effects of alcohol taken during pregnancy. Less complete data are available for two other groups of agents, solvents, and pesticides. What we do know about their effects on the fetal brain is convincing enough to make us demand caution in their distribution. 15 refs.

  13. The use of Megaselia abdita (Diptera: Phoridae) in forensic entomology.

    PubMed

    Manlove, J D; Disney, R H L

    2008-02-25

    This case study demonstrates the importance of the Phorid, Megaselia abdita (Schmitz), as an indicator for post-mortem interval estimation in criminal investigations involving forensic entomology where it is usually the more frequently occurring Calliphorids that are most useful. A case example is discussed where the temperatures were low for the period of time the deceased was missing.

  14. Virtual assessment of perimortem and postmortem blunt force cranial trauma.

    PubMed

    Fleming-Farrell, Dara; Michailidis, Konstantinos; Karantanas, Apostolos; Roberts, Neil; Kranioti, Elena F

    2013-06-10

    The aim of this study is to investigate the potential use of reconstructed three-dimensional multi-detector computed tomography (3D MDCT) imagery to distinguish between perimortem cranial trauma and postmortem cranial damage. A total of 45 crania were initially examined for the purpose of this study. The postmortem group consists of 14 crania from a Medieval Scottish population while the perimortem group consists of 31 CT scans of perimortem trauma cases from the University Hospital of Heraklion, Crete. Six crania belonging to the perimortem group could not be assessed for the purposes of this study. Each of the remaining 39 crania was examined under the following criteria: preponderant texture, preponderant outline, edge morphology, fracture angle, fracture relationship to path of least resistance, evidence of plastic response and the presence of hinging. As edge morphology could not be determined for any of the crania this criterion was not considered for statistical computations. Statistical analysis demonstrated the five of the six criteria (preponderant texture, preponderant outline, fracture relationship to least resistance path, plastic response and the presence of hinging) subjected to statistical analysis bore statistical significance in distinguishing between perimortem trauma and postmortem damage when using 3D CT images. This study, therefore, demonstrated that the timing of cranial fractures can be determined using 3D CT images and thus can complement and add to existing methods for trauma assessment in both forensic and archaeological settings. PMID:23601150

  15. Forensic medicine services in Uganda--present and future.

    PubMed

    Bimenya, G S; Bhootra, B L; Mukasa, Nsereko

    2005-04-01

    Forensic medicine services (medico-legal services) as it is provided today in Uganda is discussed with special reference to forensic pathology and also to future plans for improvement to ensure quality service. Forensic medicine services are divided into clinical forensic medicine and forensic pathology. In Uganda, these services are rendered partly by pathologists attached to University, by pathologists and medical officers employed by police and by medical officers attached to hospitals. In Uganda, all types of unnatural deaths are reported to nearest police station and appointed investigating police officer(s) will take necessary action to have a medico-legal postmortem done as soon as possible. Currently there is no qualified forensic pathologist in Uganda. Suggestions are made with regard to the enactment of a Forensic Medicine Services Act by the Department of Health, the creation of a forensic medicine unit with, under the administrative umbrella of pathology department, in medical schools and imparting of forensic medicine training to anatomical pathologists to act as a qualified, specialist forensic pathologists.

  16. 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)

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

    PubMed

    Riepert, T

    2010-07-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  19. 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

  20. Best practice in forensic entomology--standards and guidelines.

    PubMed

    Amendt, Jens; Campobasso, Carlo P; Gaudry, Emmanuel; Reiter, Christian; LeBlanc, Hélène N; Hall, Martin J R

    2007-03-01

    Forensic entomology, the use of insects and other arthropods in forensic investigations, is becoming increasingly more important in such investigations. To ensure its optimal use by a diverse group of professionals including pathologists, entomologists and police officers, a common frame of guidelines and standards is essential. Therefore, the European Association for Forensic Entomology has developed a protocol document for best practice in forensic entomology, which includes an overview of equipment used for collection of entomological evidence and a detailed description of the methods applied. Together with the definitions of key terms and a short introduction to the most important methods for the estimation of the minimum postmortem interval, the present paper aims to encourage a high level of competency in the field of forensic entomology.

  1. Development and validation of an ESI-LC-MS/MS method for simultaneous identification and quantification of 24 analytes of forensic relevance in vitreous humour, whole blood and plasma.

    PubMed

    Arora, Beauty; Velpandian, Thirumurthy; Saxena, Rohit; Lalwani, Sanjeev; Dogra, T D; Ghose, Supriyo

    2016-01-01

    Detection and quantification of drugs from various biological matrices are of immense importance in forensic toxicological analysis. Despite the various reported methods, development of a new method for the detection and quantification of drugs is still an active area of research. However, every method and biological matrix has its own limitation, which further encourage forensic toxicologists to develop new methods and to explore new matrices for the analysis of drugs. In this study, an electrospray ionization-liquid chromatograph-tandem mass spectrometry (ESI-LC-MS/MS) method is developed and validated for simultaneous identification and quantification of 24 drugs of forensic relevance in various body fluids, namely, whole blood, plasma and vitreous humour. The newly developed method has been validated for intra-day and inter-day accuracy, precision, selectivity and sensitivity. Absolute recovery shows a mean of 84.5, 86.2, and 103% in the vitreous humour, whole blood and plasma respectively, which is suitable for the screening procedure. Further, the absolute matrix effect (AME) shows a mean of 105, 96.5, and 109% in the vitreous humour, whole blood and plasma, respectively. In addition, to examine the practical utility of this method, it has been applied for screening of drugs in post-mortem samples of the vitreous humour, whole blood and plasma collected at autopsy from ten cadavers. Experimental results show that the newly developed method is well applicable for screening of analytes in all the three matrices.

  2. Systems toxicology.

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

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

  3. Space Toxicology

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    James, John T.

    2011-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-07-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-03-01

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

  6. Associated postmortem dental findings as an aid to personal identification.

    PubMed

    Pretty, I A; Addy, L D

    2002-01-01

    The use of the unique features of the human dentition to aid in personal identification is well accepted within the forensic field. Indeed, despite advances in DNA and other identification methodologies, comparative dental identifications still play a major role in identifying the victims of violence, disaster or other misfortune. The classic comparative dental identification employs the use of postmortem and antemortem dental records (principally written notes and radiographs) to determine similarities and exclude discrepancies. In many cases the tentative identification of the individual is unknown and therefore antemortem records cannot be located. In such a situation a dental profile of the individual is developed to aid the search for the individual's identity. With such a profile a forensic odontologist can identify and report indicators for age at time of death, race (within the four major ethnic groups) and sex. In addition to these parameters the forensic dentist may be able to give more insight into the individual. This paper outlines, for the non-expert, some of the additional personal information that can be derived from the teeth of the deceased, and which may assist in their ultimate identification. PMID:12407975

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. The relationship between bupropion and suicide in post-mortem investigations.

    PubMed

    Kriikku, Pirkko; Ojanperä, Ilkka

    2016-09-01

    We reviewed the 33727 postmortem toxicology investigations performed in Finland over a period of 5years (2009-2013) and identified those in which the antidepressant bupropion was detected. Cases positive for other antidepressant drugs were reviewed for comparison. The postmortem toxicological examination included, in all cases, the routine screening and quantification of hundreds of drugs and poisons using quality-controlled methods. Bupropion was detected in 65 cases. A large proportion of the bupropion-positive deaths resulted from suicide (55%). In fatal poisoning cases found positive for bupropion, the proportion of suicide was even higher (77%). The measured median bupropion postmortem blood concentration (0.69mg/L) was markedly higher than the normal therapeutic range in plasma in the treatment of depression (up to 0.1mg/L) and even higher in fatal bupropion poisonings (13mg/L). Only 14% of the deceased positive for bupropion were estimated to be drug abusers. However, nearly all of the drug abuse cases were from the last year of the study (2013), indicating a recent increase of the use of bupropion among drug abusers and possibly even abuse of bupropion itself. Suicide victims positive for bupropion were younger than those who died with other antidepressant drugs in their blood. In addition, the percentage of fatal poisonings among bupropion-positive postmortem cases was higher than among the users of other antidepressant drugs. Suicide was significantly more common among the deceased positive for bupropion than among users of other antidepressant drugs. An unknown degree of bupropion degradation before the assay and post-mortem redistribution of bupropion may have impacted the measured levels. Nonetheless, all post-mortem concentrations of bupropion were elevated and especially high concentrations were detected in suicides.

  12. Forensic anthropology in Latin America.

    PubMed

    Işcan, M Y; Olivera, H E

    2000-03-13

    . Regional standards are also needed to estimate postmortem interval, to identify culture specific causes of trauma and other forensic phenomena. Some of these can be remedied if there is a database where the available literature is stored and osteometric information is shared.

  13. Gabapentin concentrations and postmortem distribution.

    PubMed

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

    2016-05-01

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

  14. 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.

  15. [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.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2005-09-01

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

  17. Forensic entomology and main challenges in Brazil.

    PubMed

    Gomes, Leonardo; Von Zuben, Cláudio J

    2006-01-01

    Apart from an early case report from China (13th century), the first observations on insects and other arthropods as forensic indicators were documented in Germany and France during mass exhumations in the 1880s by Reinhard, who is considered a co-founder of the discipline. After the French publication of Mégnin's popular book on the applied aspects of forensic entomology, the concept quickly spread to Canada and United States. At that time, researchers recognized that the lack of systematic observations of insects of forensic importance jeopardized their use as indicators of postmortem interval. General advances in insect taxonomy and ecology helped to fill this gap over the following decades. After World Wars, few forensic entomology cases were reported in the scientific literature. From 1960s to the 1980s, Leclercq and Nuorteva were primarily responsible for maintaining the method in Central Europe, reporting isolated cases. Since then, basic research in the USA, Russia and Canada opened the way to the routine use of Entomology in forensic investigations. Identifications of insects associated with human cadavers are relatively few in the literature of the Neotropical region and have received little attention in Brazil. This article brings an overview of historic developments in this field, the recent studies and the main problems and challenges in South America and mainly in Brazil.

  18. Biomarkers in Computational Toxicology

    EPA Science Inventory

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

  19. Toxicology Education Foundation

    MedlinePlus

    ... to Toxicology Excellence for Risk Assessment for website design. Donate Now OUR MISSION AND VISION Our mission is to enhance public understanding of toxicology through access to objective, science-based information on the safety of chemicals and other agents ...

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

    PubMed

    Maurer, H H; Meyer, Markus R

    2016-09-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Cecchi, Rossana

    2016-09-01

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

  2. Teaching forensic medicine in the University of Porto.

    PubMed

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

    2014-07-01

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

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. Forensic issues in cases of Diogenes syndrome.

    PubMed

    Byard, Roger W; Tsokos, Michael

    2007-06-01

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

  7. The forensic entomologist in the context of the forensic pathologist's role.

    PubMed

    Campobasso, C P; Introna, F

    2001-08-15

    An adequate death investigation requires the combined efforts and cooperation of experts in different disciplines: crime scene technicians, death investigators, forensic pathologists, anthropologists, entomologists, other medical and non-medical professionals. These front-line experts play a crucial role in every death investigation process. The forensic pathologist normally has the legal authority to take charge of the dead body at a death scene and his primary functions are the exterior and interior examination of the cadaver by analyzing the extent of antemortem injuries and the postmortem changes and the recovery of physical evidence. He is responsible for determining how, when and why of any death which is the result of violence, suspicious or unexplained circumstances or a death which is sudden or unattended, defending and explaining the reasons for making these diagnoses in a courtroom. The forensic entomologist can provide invaluable aid in death cases where human remains are colonized by insects and in the overall investigation. His principal role is to identify the arthropods associated with such cases and to analyze entomological data for interpreting insect evidence. He is responsible for determining the period of insect activity according to all the variables affecting insect invasion of remains and their development. The major goal of medico-criminal entomology is to contribute to the determination of the time, cause, manner and place of the investigated death (especially on badly decomposed corpses or skeletonized human remains) with the support of all the elements which can be inferred from the study of insects found on the cadaver or nearby. The application of techniques devised recently in forensic entomology can allow experts in the field to collect strong entomological evidence and provide useful information not only in a death investigation including movement or storage of the remains following death, time of dismemberment, postmortem artifacts

  8. 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

  9. Time-related course of pleural space fluid collection and pulmonary aeration on postmortem computed tomography (PMCT).

    PubMed

    Hyodoh, Hideki; Shimizu, Jyunya; Watanabe, Satoshi; Okazaki, Shunichiro; Mizuo, Keisuke; Inoue, Hiromasa

    2015-07-01

    Postmortem CT (PMCT) is increasingly used in forensic practice, and knowledge and classification of typical postmortem imaging findings would facilitate the interpretation of PMCT. The goal of this study was to define the time-related course of postmortem chest findings. Twelve cadavers (eight male, four female, 27-81 [mean, 60.0]years) were examined twice by PMCT within an interval of time (4-164 h [mean, 30.8; median, 17.5]). The pleural-space-fluid volume, pulmonary parenchyma volume, decreased aerated lung volume (DLV), %DLV (=DLV/pulmonary parenchyma volume) and chest cavity volume were compared between the first and second PMCT examinations. To evaluate the volume change rate, the rate of increase in pleural space fluid volume (mL/h) and the DLV rate (mL/h) were plotted according to the postmortem period. On the second PMCT, the volume of pleural space fluid (p=0.0469) and %DLV (p=0.0161) were significantly increased. The increase rate of the pleural space fluid increased at approximately 30 h and the volume continued to increase until approximately 40 h after death. The rate of DLV constantly decreased in the early postmortem period. In conclusion, the pleural-space-fluid collection and the DLV increased over different time-related courses in the postmortem period.

  10. 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.

  11. [Today and tomorrow of forensic thanatology].

    PubMed

    Raszeja, Stefan

    2007-01-01

    The essence of post-mortem examination and its special place among other disciplines of forensic medicine were presented. Attention was drawn to the role of better understanding of phenomena occurring during and directly after death in the development of forensic medicine. Progress in determination of the time of death and in estimation of the intravital character of injuries found on the corpse was discussed. The need for a wider application of results of bio- and thanatochemical analyses in determination of the cause of death and its mechanism was emphasized. Examples of progress in this domain were presented, based on a number of papers published in this field, especially in Poland. Finally, the author pointed to the necessity of upgrading training of medical doctors in the field of thanatology.

  12. Genetic toxicology: web resources.

    PubMed

    Young, Robert R

    2002-04-25

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  14. An examination of the postmortem redistribution of fentanyl and interlaboratory variability.

    PubMed

    Krinsky, Clarissa S; Lathrop, Sarah L; Zumwalt, Ross

    2014-09-01

    Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid agonist used for pain control. Often administered as a transdermal patch, it is an interesting drug for study of postmortem redistribution. We hypothesized that fentanyl concentrations would increase over time after death, as measured in blood drawn on the day prior to autopsy and in blood drawn at the time of autopsy in ten cases where fentanyl patches were identified at the scene. Concentrations were compared, and heart blood to femoral blood ratios were calculated as markers of postmortem redistribution. Fentanyl concentrations measured in peripheral blood drawn the day of autopsy (peripheral blood 2 [PB2]) were higher than those drawn the day prior to autopsy (peripheral blood 1 [PB1]) with a mean ratio (PB2/PB1) of 1.80. The ratio of heart blood concentrations (HB) to femoral blood concentrations drawn at autopsy (PB2) had a mean ratio (HB/PB2) of 1.08. Some cases had blood from the same source analyzed at two different laboratories, and concentrations of fentanyl in those samples showed inter- and intralaboratory differences up to 25 ng/mL. Postmortem fentanyl concentrations may be affected by antemortem factors, postmortem redistribution, and laboratory variability. Forensic pathologists must use caution in interpreting fentanyl levels as part of death investigation.

  15. Aquatic toxicology: fact or fiction

    SciTech Connect

    Macek, K.J.

    1980-02-01

    The science of aquatic toxicology is a relatively new science. The development of the field of aquatic toxicology since 1930 is traced. The state of the art of aquatic toxicology compared with that of classical toxicology is evaluated. The science of aquatic toxicology is expected to undergo a significant period of rapid growth and development, leading ultimately to the formation of a mature science.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-07-01

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

  17. Investigation into the merits of infrared imaging in the investigation of tattoos postmortem.

    PubMed

    Starkie, Alexandra; Birch, Wendy; Ferllini, Roxana; Thompson, Tim J U

    2011-11-01

    Infrared imaging has a history of use in the forensic examination of artwork and documents and is investigated here for its wider use in the detection of tattoos on the human body postmortem. Infrared photographic and reflectographic techniques were tested on 18 living individuals, displaying a total of 30 tattoos. It was observed that neither age, sex, age of the tattoo, nor, most significantly, skin color affected the ability to image the tattoos using infrared imaging techniques. Second, a piglet carcass was tattooed and the impact of the decomposition process on the visibility of the tattoos assessed. Changes were recorded for 17 days and decomposition included partial mummification and skin discoloration. Crucially, the discoloration was recorded as greatly affecting the image quality using conventional photography, but was insignificant to the infrared recording of these tattoos. It was concluded that infrared reflectography was beneficial in the investigation into tattoos postmortem. PMID:21827465

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

    PubMed

    Bell, Lynne S

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Bell, Lynne S

    2012-01-01

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

  20. Investigation into the merits of infrared imaging in the investigation of tattoos postmortem.

    PubMed

    Starkie, Alexandra; Birch, Wendy; Ferllini, Roxana; Thompson, Tim J U

    2011-11-01

    Infrared imaging has a history of use in the forensic examination of artwork and documents and is investigated here for its wider use in the detection of tattoos on the human body postmortem. Infrared photographic and reflectographic techniques were tested on 18 living individuals, displaying a total of 30 tattoos. It was observed that neither age, sex, age of the tattoo, nor, most significantly, skin color affected the ability to image the tattoos using infrared imaging techniques. Second, a piglet carcass was tattooed and the impact of the decomposition process on the visibility of the tattoos assessed. Changes were recorded for 17 days and decomposition included partial mummification and skin discoloration. Crucially, the discoloration was recorded as greatly affecting the image quality using conventional photography, but was insignificant to the infrared recording of these tattoos. It was concluded that infrared reflectography was beneficial in the investigation into tattoos postmortem.

  1. Microbiology & Toxicology: Space Environment

    NASA Video Gallery

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

  2. [Unusual questions of evidence in a case of offensive post-mortem dismemberment].

    PubMed

    Madea, Burkhard; Schmidt, Peter; Preuss, Johanna; Dietmar, Elenz

    2010-01-01

    In cases of post-mortem dismemberment, the main medicolegal task apart from the identification and assignment of body parts to one or several individuals is the determination of the cause of death and the course of events. Notably in cases of offensive postmortem dismemberment, the medicolegal findings on the victim may be of special importance also for the psychiatric evaluation of the suspect. In a case of offensive post-mortem dismemberment, parts of the body were found in a stone quarry and in the apartment where the victim and the suspect had lived together. Since the suspect refused to make a statement, the medicolegal findings were of great relevance for the psychiatric evaluation. In the first trial, in which the psychiatric expert was not present when the forensic pathologist gave his opinion, the Regional Court acquitted the suspect of murder and committed him to a psychiatric hospital. The accused successfully appealed on points of law, as the form and content of the psychiatric expert opinion did not comply with the requirements of procedural law and the forensic psychiatric state of the art. In a second trial, additional psychiatric experts were summoned. In that hearing, the task of the medicolegal expert was to reconstruct the course of events as far as possible to create a reliable basis for the psychiatric evaluation, as the suspect refused to make a statement both with regard to his personal circumstances and the facts of the case and did not agree to a psychiatric exploration either. The motivational and morphological criteria of the medicolegal classification as offensive post-mortem dismemberment with a cannibalistic background are discussed. In addition, some issues to be answered such as the detection of bloodstains on nonporous surfaces by means of leucocrystalviolet and the time of heat exposure of burned body parts are dealt with.

  3. Continuing education programme - Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine.

    PubMed

    Gall, J A; Ranson, D L

    1998-09-01

    With the increasing requirement of the courts for forensic experts to engage in ongoing education, a continuing education programme (CEP) was developed in the field of clinical forensic medicine at the Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine in 1996. This programme has been described and was initially established to provide a means of education for the contracted forensic medical officers who provide forensic services to the police via the Institute throughout the State of Victoria. Owing to the sparsity of the population and the considerable distances between forensic practitioners, the CEP was designed to cater for individuals who are working alone: in effect, a distance education programme. Forensic pathologists expressed interest in the programme and it was subsequently modified to include forensic pathology cases. Currently, the programme caters for both clinicians and pathologists, and takes the form of four to five cases with related questions which are circulated several times per year. The cases include a mixture of both challenging and ordinary procedural types that may present to practitioners working in either clinical forensic medicine or forensic pathology, or both. The areas covered include: * injury interpretation * procedural matters in relation to adult and child sexual and physical assault * pharmacology/toxicology interpretation of findings * medico-legal issues (e.g. confidentiality, consent, etc.) * issues relating to alcohol and drugs * traffic medicine * clinical and legal aspects of sudden natural death * suspicious deaths * suicide * interpretation of findings at autopsy * fitness for interview * fitness to plead * psychiatric issues * general clinical medical issues. The presentation of each case includes relevant and appropriate details/findings and may include photographs. A series of questions follow which are answered in either short answer or multiple-choice format. The answers are returned and are correlated by a review panel of

  4. Forensic odontology, Part 1. Dental identification.

    PubMed

    Hinchliffe, J

    2011-03-12

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  6. Educational Challenges in Toxicology.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dixon, Robert L.

    1984-01-01

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

  7. Toxicology ontology perspectives.

    PubMed

    Hardy, Barry; Apic, Gordana; Carthew, Philip; Clark, Dominic; Cook, David; Dix, Ian; Escher, Sylvia; Hastings, Janna; Heard, David J; Jeliazkova, Nina; Judson, Philip; Matis-Mitchell, Sherri; Mitic, Dragana; Myatt, Glenn; Shah, Imran; Spjuth, Ola; Tcheremenskaia, Olga; Toldo, Luca; Watson, David; White, Andrew; Yang, Chihae

    2012-01-01

    The field of predictive toxicology requires the development of open, public, computable, standardized toxicology vocabularies and ontologies to support the applications required by in silico, in vitro, and in vivo toxicology methods and related analysis and reporting activities. In this article we review ontology developments based on a set of perspectives showing how ontologies are being used in predictive toxicology initiatives and applications. Perspectives on resources and initiatives reviewed include OpenTox, eTOX, Pistoia Alliance, ToxWiz, Virtual Liver, EU-ADR, BEL, ToxML, and Bioclipse. We also review existing ontology developments in neighboring fields that can contribute to establishing an ontological framework for predictive toxicology. A significant set of resources is already available to provide a foundation for an ontological framework for 21st century mechanistic-based toxicology research. Ontologies such as ToxWiz provide a basis for application to toxicology investigations, whereas other ontologies under development in the biological, chemical, and biomedical communities could be incorporated in an extended future framework. OpenTox has provided a semantic web framework for the implementation of such ontologies into software applications and linked data resources. Bioclipse developers have shown the benefit of interoperability obtained through ontology by being able to link their workbench application with remote OpenTox web services. Although these developments are promising, an increased international coordination of efforts is greatly needed to develop a more unified, standardized, and open toxicology ontology framework.

  8. Postmortem pulmonary CT in hypothermia.

    PubMed

    Schweitzer, Wolf; Thali, Michael; Giugni, Giannina; Winklhofer, Sebastian

    2014-12-01

    Fatal hypothermia has been associated with pulmonary edema. With postmortem full body computed tomography scanning (PMCT), the lungs can also be examined for CT attenuation. In fatal hypothermia cases low CT attenuation appeared to prevail in the lungs. We compared 14 cases of fatal hypothermia with an age-sex matched control group. Additionally, 4 cases of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning were examined. Furthermore, 10 test cases were examined to test predictability based on PMCT. Two readers measured CT attenuation on four different axial slices across the lungs (blinded to case group and other reader's results). Hypothermia was associated with statistically significantly lower lung PMCT attenuation and lower lung weights than controls, and there was a dose-effect relationship at an environmental temperature cutoff of 2 °C. CO poisoning yielded low pulmonary attenuation but higher lung weights. General model based prediction yielded a 94% probability for fatal hypothermia deaths and a 21% probability for non-hypothermia deaths in the test group. Increased breathing rate is known to accompany both CO poisoning and hypothermia, so this could partly explain the low PMCT lung attenuation due to an oxygen dissociation curve left shift. A more marked distension in fatal hypothermia, compared to CO poisoning, indicates that further, possibly different mechanisms, are involved in these cases. Increased dead space and increased stiffness to deflation (but not inflation) appear to be effects of inhaling cold air (but not CO) that may explain the difference in low PMCT attenuation seen in hypothermia cases. PMID:25326676

  9. Postmortem pulmonary CT in hypothermia.

    PubMed

    Schweitzer, Wolf; Thali, Michael; Giugni, Giannina; Winklhofer, Sebastian

    2014-12-01

    Fatal hypothermia has been associated with pulmonary edema. With postmortem full body computed tomography scanning (PMCT), the lungs can also be examined for CT attenuation. In fatal hypothermia cases low CT attenuation appeared to prevail in the lungs. We compared 14 cases of fatal hypothermia with an age-sex matched control group. Additionally, 4 cases of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning were examined. Furthermore, 10 test cases were examined to test predictability based on PMCT. Two readers measured CT attenuation on four different axial slices across the lungs (blinded to case group and other reader's results). Hypothermia was associated with statistically significantly lower lung PMCT attenuation and lower lung weights than controls, and there was a dose-effect relationship at an environmental temperature cutoff of 2 °C. CO poisoning yielded low pulmonary attenuation but higher lung weights. General model based prediction yielded a 94% probability for fatal hypothermia deaths and a 21% probability for non-hypothermia deaths in the test group. Increased breathing rate is known to accompany both CO poisoning and hypothermia, so this could partly explain the low PMCT lung attenuation due to an oxygen dissociation curve left shift. A more marked distension in fatal hypothermia, compared to CO poisoning, indicates that further, possibly different mechanisms, are involved in these cases. Increased dead space and increased stiffness to deflation (but not inflation) appear to be effects of inhaling cold air (but not CO) that may explain the difference in low PMCT attenuation seen in hypothermia cases.

  10. 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)

  11. [Inductively coupled plasma and clinical biology. Toxicological applications].

    PubMed

    Goullé, J-P; Mahieu, L; Lainé, G; Lacroix, C; Clarot, F; Vaz, E; Proust, B

    2004-09-01

    The multi-elementary quantitation method using inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry has been widely developed for use with biological fluids. Many elements can be quantified simultaneously in biological fluids, including: Li, Be, B, Al, Mn, Co, Ni, Cu, Zn, Ga, Ge, As, Se, Rb, Sr, Mo, Pd, Cd, Sn, Sb, Te, Ba, W, Pt, Hg, Tl, Pb, Bi, U. The validation procedure is described by the French Society of Clinical Biology. Results for urine are corrected after creatinine determination. We report applications in clinical toxicology and forensic toxicology. Advances in inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry in the field of clinical biology are particularly important for toxicological analysis. This powerful tool is helpful for better patient care and for the search for cause of death.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-09-01

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

  13. 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.

  14. [Toxicological evaluation in the childhood].

    PubMed

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

    2014-03-01

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

  15. [Toxicological evaluation in the childhood].

    PubMed

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

    2014-03-01

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

  16. Advances in chemistry applied to forensic science.

    PubMed

    Rendle, David F

    2005-12-01

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

  17. Forensic science: the truth is out there

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Herold, Lynne D.

    2002-06-01

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

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. [The contribution of N.I. Pirogov to the development of forensic medicine (on the occasion of his 200th birthday anniversary)].

    PubMed

    Isakov, V D; Tolmachev, I A; Ozeretskovskiĭ, L B; Tiurin, M V; Belousova, O D

    2011-01-01

    The main facets of professor N.I. Pirogov's professional activity are outlined. Forensic medicine (in the first place its organizational and practical aspects) was an integral component of his scientific and clinical work, along with applied anatomy and surgery. Landmark publications of N.I. Pirogov are listed with special reference to those concerned with forensic medical expertise of medical malpractice cases, postmortem inspection and intravital examination procedures, wound ballistics studies, the atlas of forensic pathology, etc. The surgeon and anatomist N.I. Pirogov can be justly regarded as a founder of forensic medicine in this country. PMID:21866839

  1. [The contribution of N.I. Pirogov to the development of forensic medicine (on the occasion of his 200th birthday anniversary)].

    PubMed

    Isakov, V D; Tolmachev, I A; Ozeretskovskiĭ, L B; Tiurin, M V; Belousova, O D

    2011-01-01

    The main facets of professor N.I. Pirogov's professional activity are outlined. Forensic medicine (in the first place its organizational and practical aspects) was an integral component of his scientific and clinical work, along with applied anatomy and surgery. Landmark publications of N.I. Pirogov are listed with special reference to those concerned with forensic medical expertise of medical malpractice cases, postmortem inspection and intravital examination procedures, wound ballistics studies, the atlas of forensic pathology, etc. The surgeon and anatomist N.I. Pirogov can be justly regarded as a founder of forensic medicine in this country.

  2. Forensic Entomology in Animal Cruelty Cases.

    PubMed

    Brundage, A; Byrd, J H

    2016-09-01

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

  3. [ABO blood group typing in forensic autopsies].

    PubMed

    Nishi, Katsuji

    2005-10-01

    In forensic science and medicine the ABO system has been a major focus, since the record of this blood system is a very prevalent one and A, B and O(H) antigens on erythrocytes are also associated with other cells and tissues throughout the body and are known to be considerably stable to the such violent conditions as heating or drying. However the determination of the ABO grouping from the body often encounters the difficulty due to haemolytic erythrocytes, and putrefaction, mummification or skeletonization of the body during post-mortem interval. In this presentation I review the merit and demerits of the ABO blood-grouping methods utilized in my division at the forensic autopsies according to the haemagglutination, absorption-elution and histochemical techniques and ABO genotyping method. It is important for ABO grouping to know the distribution of the ABO antigen in the body. I would like to emphasize that the species identification prior to ABO grouping is an important procedure because forensic materials such as from saliva, urine and seminal fluid might be contaminated with the fluid from animals, and DNA extracted from vertebrate species might be amplified with the primer for ABO genotyping and the amplified PCR products might be hybridized to those from human.

  4. Forensic Entomology in Animal Cruelty Cases.

    PubMed

    Brundage, A; Byrd, J H

    2016-09-01

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

  5. Postmortem bacteriology: a re‐evaluation

    PubMed Central

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

    2006-01-01

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

  6. National Toxicology Program

    MedlinePlus

    ... improved search is live. Try it now! NTP Cell Phone Radiofrequency Radiation Studies The National Toxicology Program (NTP) ... rats and mice on potential health hazards from cell phone radiofrequency radiation. The NTP released a report on ...

  7. Handbook of toxicology

    SciTech Connect

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

    1987-01-01

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

  8. Computational Toxicology (S)

    EPA Science Inventory

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

  9. Postmortem urinary catecholamine levels with regard to the cause of death.

    PubMed

    Ishikawa, Takaki; Inamori-Kawamoto, Osamu; Quan, Li; Michiue, Tomomi; Chen, Jian-Hua; Wang, Qi; Zhu, Bao-li; Maeda, Hitoshi

    2014-11-01

    Previous studies suggested that serum catecholamines are useful for investigating stress responses in the death process. The present study analyzed postmortem urinary adrenaline (Ad), noradrenaline (Nad) and dopamine (DA) in serial forensic autopsy cases (n=199: 154 males and 45 females; age >9years; survival time <0.5-168h; within 10days postmortem) to investigate the differences among the causes of death with special regard to hyperthermia (heatstroke; n=11) and hypothermia (cold exposure; n=10); other cases included fatalities from injury (n=47), mechanical asphyxiation (n=18), drowning (n=14), intoxication (n=31), fire fatality (n=33) and natural death (n=35). Each catecholamine level in urine was independent of the age or gender of the subjects, postmortem interval over 10days or survival time, and did not correlate with the blood level. Urinary Adr and Nad levels were similar to those of clinical serum reference ranges, while DA was higher in all cases. Adr and Nad were higher in blunt head injury, methamphetamine abuse, hypothermia (cold exposure) and hyperthermia (heat stroke), but were low in mechanical asphyxia, drowning, fire fatality, sedative-hypnotic intoxication and acute cardiac death. DA was higher in injury, drowning, fire fatality, methamphetamine abuse and acute cardiac death, but was lower in mechanical asphyxiation and sedative-hypnotic intoxication. These profiles were quite different from those of serum levels, involving a predominant increase of DA, and may be useful for differentiating hyperthermia (heatstroke) and hypothermia (cold exposure) from drowning, sedative-hypnotic intoxication and sudden cardiac death.

  10. The use of postmortem computed tomography in the diagnosis of intentional medication overdose.

    PubMed

    Burke, Michael P; O'Donnell, Chris; Bassed, Richard

    2012-09-01

    The recognition of a well defined basal layer of radio dense material on the postmortem computed tomography (CT) images, in the setting of typical scene findings of an intentional medication overdose and unremarkable external examination of the deceased's body can, in certain circumstances, permit such cases to be managed without routine full autopsy examination. Preliminary toxicological analysis can be targeted to such cases to provide further supportive evidence of intentional medication overdose. In cases where the scene findings are ambiguous or have been contaminated the postmortem CT images may alert the pathologist of the possibility of overdose in an otherwise apparently natural death. We reviewed 61 cases of documented intentional therapeutic medication overdose and 61 control cases. In the majority of the cases of confirmed intentional therapeutic medication overdose the CT images showed no diagnostic features. However, in many cases a well defined basal layer of radio-opaque material was clearly seen to line the gastric mucosa. The postmortem CT pattern which we believe to be highly suggestive of intentional medication overdose must be differentiated from other causes of increased radio density in the stomach which include CT artefacts.

  11. Child neglect and forensic entomology.

    PubMed

    Benecke, M; Lessig, R

    2001-08-15

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-01

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

  13. Dental identification by comparison of antemortem and postmortem dental radiographs: influence of operator qualifications and cognitive bias.

    PubMed

    Pinchi, Vilma; Norelli, Gian-Aristide; Caputi, Fabio; Fassina, Gianfranco; Pradella, Francesco; Vincenti, Cecilia

    2012-10-10

    Dental forensic identifications based on comparison of antemortem and postmortem radiographs provide effective and reliable evidence. There are no standardized procedures for assessing similarities between different types of dental radiographs (e.g. orthopantomograms, bitewings, and periapical radiographs), and the operator's subjective judgment can considerably affect identification. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the potential influence of experts' qualifications, training, and cognitive bias on the accuracy of identification. Seventy-eight differently qualified and experienced experts underwent an identification test. The expert sample was composed of 10 specialists in emergency care (ER), 10 specialists in legal medicine (ML), 20 pregraduate dental students (STU), 12 dentists (DENT), 20 dentists educated in forensic odontology (DENT-TRA), and 6 experienced forensic odontologists (FOR). The simulated cases required participants to assess the possible matching of 42 postmortem intraoral radiographs with 16 antemortem panoramic radiographs. Accuracy and specificity for the different operator groups were as follows: ER, 0.76-0.70; ML, 0.76-0.88; STU, 0.89-0.82; DENT, 0.87-0.97; DENT-TRA, 0.88-0.92; and FOR, 0.97-1. As evidenced by high rates of accuracy and repeatability, the most experienced forensic odontologist consistently outperformed operators less or differently educated and trained, especially for difficult cases. In our sample, the dentists who received additional education in forensic odontology did not necessarily perform better than dentists who had not received this additional education. Some cognitive bias, mainly the so-called observer effect, emerged as a possible source of outcome variability among the operator groups. PMID:22770720

  14. Aerospace Toxicology and Microbiology

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2007-01-01

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

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. Human Postmortem Tissue: What Quality Markers Matter?

    PubMed Central

    Stan, Ana D.; Ghose, Subroto; Gao, Xue-Min; Roberts, Rosalinda C.; Lewis-Amezcua, Kelly; Hatanpaa, Kimmo J.; Tamminga, Carol A.

    2007-01-01

    Post mortem human brain tissue is used for the study of many different brain diseases. A key factor in conducting postmortem research is the quality of the tissue. Unlike animal tissue, whose condition at death can be controlled and influenced, human tissue can only be collected naturalistically. This introduces potential confounds, based both on pre- and postmortem conditions, that may influence the quality of tissue and its ability to yield accurate results. The traditionally recognized confounds that reduce tissue quality are agonal factors (e.g., coma, hypoxia, hyperpyrexia at the time of death), and long postmortem interval (PMI). We measured tissue quality parameters in over 100 postmortem cases collected from different sources and correlated them with RNA quality (as indicated by the RNA Integrity Number (RIN)) and with protein quality (as measured by the level of representative proteins). Our results show that the most sensible indicator of tissue quality is RIN and that there is a good correlation between RIN and the pH. No correlation developed between protein levels and the aforementioned factors. Moreover, even when RNA was degraded, the protein levels remained stable. However, these correlations did not prove true under all circumstances (e.g. thawed tissue, surgical tissue), that yielded unexpected quality indicators. These data also suggest that cases whose source was a Medical Examiner’s office represent high tissue quality. PMID:17045977

  18. Protein phosphorylation systems in postmortem human brain

    SciTech Connect

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

    1989-01-01

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

  19. Recent applications of mass spectrometry in forensic toxicology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Foltz, Rodger L.

    1992-09-01

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

  20. Dating human skeletal remains: investigating the viability of measuring the equilibrium between 210Po and 210Pb as a means of estimating the post-mortem interval.

    PubMed

    Swift, B

    1998-11-30

    Estimating the post-mortem interval in skeletal remains is a notoriously difficult task; forensic pathologists often rely heavily upon experience in recognising morphological appearances. Previous techniques have involved measuring physical or chemical changes within the hydroxyapatite matrix, radiocarbon dating and 90Sr dating, though no individual test has been advocated. Within this paper it is proposed that measuring the equilibrium between two naturally occurring radio-isotopes, 210Po and 210Pb, and comparison with post-mortem examination samples would produce a new method of dating human skeletal remains. Possible limitations exist, notably the effect of diagenesis, time limitations and relative cost, though this technique could provide a relatively accurate means of determining the post-mortem interval. It is therefore proposed that a large study be undertaken to provide a calibration scale against which bones uncovered can be dated.

  1. [Medicolegal experiences in external post-mortem examinations before cremation--a retrospective analysis of the years 1998-2008].

    PubMed

    Eckstein, Philipp; Schyma, Christian; Madea, Burkhard

    2010-01-01

    The paper presents a retrospective analysis of 16,541 external post-mortem examinations carried out before cremation by the Institute of Forensic Medicine of the University of Bonn between 1998 and 2008 with regard to different variables (age, sex, place of death, cause of death etc.). In more than 50 % of cases, the individuals had died in a hospital followed by their apartment or a nursing home. The first post-mortem examination was mainly performed by hospital doctors followed by emergency doctors and office practitioners. As to the age distribution, the 6th to 8th decade of life was prevalent. In 99.8 %, a natural death was certified in the first external post-mortem and only in 0.2 % the manner of death was determined to be non-natural or unclear. In more than half of the cases, the non-natural deaths were determined by emergency doctors. Deaths wrongly classified in the first external post-mortem were mostly accidents and deaths associated with medical procedures. Although the second external examination before cremation is very useful in detecting previously overlooked signs of homicide, it is only of limited value in homicides with few external traces or for detecting underlying diseases and causes of death. In this respect, the second external examination before cremation can only check the plausibility of the cause of death given by the attending physician. The gold standard for a reliable certification of the manner and cause of death remains the autopsy.

  2. Quantitative determination of valproic acid in postmortem blood samples--evidence of strong matrix dependency and instability.

    PubMed

    Kiencke, Verena; Andresen-Streichert, Hilke; Müller, Alexander; Iwersen-Bergmann, Stefanie

    2013-11-01

    Most of the daily work of forensic toxicologists deals with fatal cases resulting from overdoses of licit and illicit drugs. However, another reason for fatalities in patients suffering from epilepsy can be undetectable or subtherapeutic levels of antiepileptic drugs. Some studies have shown a correlation between "sudden unexpected death in epilepsy" (SUDEP) and the ineffective treatment of epilepsy. Low levels of antiepileptic drugs may be a risk factor for SUDEP. The death of a psychiatric patient also suffering from epilepsy inspired the investigation. Subsequent to the death of the patient, the doctor was accused of providing inadequate therapy for epilepsy. The patient was to be treated with valproic acid. We developed and validated a simple method of determining valproic acid levels by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry for serum, but a transfer of the method from serum to postmortem whole blood failed. The method had to be modified and revalidated for postmortem whole blood specimens. A stability study of valproic acid in postmortem blood was conducted, showing a decline of valproic acid levels by 85 % after storage at room temperature for 28 days. During the storage time, the blood samples showed changes in consistency. Depending on the stage of decomposition, it is necessary to perform a determination by standard addition with an equilibration time of 4 h before extraction to achieve reliable results. For a proper interpretation of quantitative results, it is necessary to keep the postmortem decline of valproic acid concentrations in mind.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-02-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-02-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-05-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Korb, Ann-Sophie; Cooper, Gail

    2014-10-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-10-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-10-01

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

  9. [Progress on epigenetics applications in forensic science].

    PubMed

    Yang, Ya-ran; Wang, Peng-xiang; Fang, Xiang-dong; Yan, Jiang-wei

    2012-10-01

    Epigenetics is the study of heritable changes in gene expression other than changes in the underlying DNA sequence. Such changes include DNA methylation, histone modification, chromatin remodeling, genomic imprinting, X chromosome inactivation and non-coding RNA regulation. Recent progresses on epigenetics open new possibilities in tackling these challenging problems in forensic science, including identification of fetal paternity testing in embryonic period, determination of the necessary allele in paternity testing, discrimination of identical twins, origination analysis of micro tissue, verification of forged DNA. This review focuses on epigenetics concept and its latest application in the field of paternity testing, age estimation, discrimination between the twins, identification of tissue of origin, and estimation of postmortem interval. PMID:23213789

  10. Commercial fishing industry deaths - forensic issues.

    PubMed

    Byard, Roger W

    2013-04-01

    The commercial fishing industry has one of the highest injury and mortality rates of all occupational areas. This results from the nature of the work involving vessels often manned by only a few individuals who are working with heavy-duty equipment in dangerous environments at all hours. Economic pressures may force inappropriately geared vessels to operate further out to sea than is safe. Deaths result from a wide variety of situations involving vessel loss, falls overboard, fire and explosions, cable entanglements and gas exposure. Autopsies are often difficult as there are no diagnostic features of either drowning or hypothermia and features may be obscured by putrefaction and postmortem animal predation. The forensic implications of deaths in the fishing industry are reviewed.

  11. Forensic (medico-legal) necropsy of wildlife.

    PubMed

    Wobeser, G

    1996-04-01

    Post-mortem examination of wild animals for legal purposes has become increasingly common. Special procedures are necessary during such necropsies to ensure that the information collected is suitable for use in a court of law. Forensic necropsies should be performed by pathologists with formal training and experience, because these credentials will be examined if a case reaches court. There must be strict attention to maintaining a chain of custody when specimens are received from the field and in all subsequent procedures, so that the identity of specimens and information resulting from the necropsy is beyond question. A complete record must be kept of all procedures and observations. The necropsy report must be detailed, clear and, as far as possible, written in non-technical language. Photography should be used to preserve visual evidence. Special precautions are required for collecting specimens, such as bullets, suspected toxins, and material for DNA analysis, and for sending these specimens to other laboratories.

  12. Microbial Biofilm Community Variation in Flowing Habitats: Potential Utility as Bioindicators of Postmortem Submersion Intervals

    PubMed Central

    Lang, Jennifer M.; Erb, Racheal; Pechal, Jennifer L.; Wallace, John R.; McEwan, Ryan W.; Benbow, Mark Eric

    2016-01-01

    Biofilms are a ubiquitous formation of microbial communities found on surfaces in aqueous environments. These structures have been investigated as biomonitoring indicators for stream heath, and here were used for the potential use in forensic sciences. Biofilm successional development has been proposed as a method to determine the postmortem submersion interval (PMSI) of remains because there are no standard methods for estimating the PMSI and biofilms are ubiquitous in aquatic habitats. We sought to compare the development of epinecrotic (biofilms on Sus scrofa domesticus carcasses) and epilithic (biofilms on unglazed ceramic tiles) communities in two small streams using bacterial automated ribosomal intergenic spacer analysis. Epinecrotic communities were significantly different from epilithic communities even though environmental factors associated with each stream location also had a significant influence on biofilm structure. All communities at both locations exhibited significant succession suggesting that changing communities throughout time is a general characteristic of stream biofilm communities. The implications resulting from this work are that epinecrotic communities have distinctive shifts at the first and second weeks, and therefore the potential to be used in forensic applications by associating successional changes with submersion time to estimate a PMSI. The influence of environmental factors, however, indicates the lack of a successional pattern with the same organisms and a focus on functional diversity may be more applicable in a forensic context.

  13. Microbial Biofilm Community Variation in Flowing Habitats: Potential Utility as Bioindicators of Postmortem Submersion Intervals

    PubMed Central

    Lang, Jennifer M.; Erb, Racheal; Pechal, Jennifer L.; Wallace, John R.; McEwan, Ryan W.; Benbow, Mark Eric

    2016-01-01

    Biofilms are a ubiquitous formation of microbial communities found on surfaces in aqueous environments. These structures have been investigated as biomonitoring indicators for stream heath, and here were used for the potential use in forensic sciences. Biofilm successional development has been proposed as a method to determine the postmortem submersion interval (PMSI) of remains because there are no standard methods for estimating the PMSI and biofilms are ubiquitous in aquatic habitats. We sought to compare the development of epinecrotic (biofilms on Sus scrofa domesticus carcasses) and epilithic (biofilms on unglazed ceramic tiles) communities in two small streams using bacterial automated ribosomal intergenic spacer analysis. Epinecrotic communities were significantly different from epilithic communities even though environmental factors associated with each stream location also had a significant influence on biofilm structure. All communities at both locations exhibited significant succession suggesting that changing communities throughout time is a general characteristic of stream biofilm communities. The implications resulting from this work are that epinecrotic communities have distinctive shifts at the first and second weeks, and therefore the potential to be used in forensic applications by associating successional changes with submersion time to estimate a PMSI. The influence of environmental factors, however, indicates the lack of a successional pattern with the same organisms and a focus on functional diversity may be more applicable in a forensic context. PMID:27681897

  14. Estimation of postmortem interval in real cases based on experimentally obtained entomological evidence.

    PubMed

    Arnaldos, M I; García, M D; Romera, E; Presa, J J; Luna, A

    2005-04-20

    Using the entomological evidence obtained in several forensic cases analyzed in our laboratory for comparison, we evaluated the results of an experimental study carried out in a semiurban setting to determine the structure of the sarcosaprophagous fauna from a Mediterranean region of SE Spain. In all, 18 orders of arthropods were collected. The summarized experimental results refer to the most important taxa for estimating the postmortem interval. Thus, the seasonal character of certain Diptera species, such as Phaenicia sericata, Calliphora vicina, Chrysomya albiceps and Musca domestica, is cited. Among the Coleoptera, the role of Dermestidae as a necrophagous species, and of Staphylinidae and Histeridae as necrophilous, or Cleridae, Tenebrionidae and Nitidulidae as omnivorous, as well as their appearance on the corpse, is described. Among the Hymenoptera, Formicidae were as the most abundant group, acting as omnivores and not apparently related to any particular decomposition stage. The real cases are discussed using data from the literature and the experimentally obtained results. In every case, the most relevant factors for estimating PMI are briefly discussed, mentioning, when possible, the relation with the experimental results. We confirm the significance of the experimental results because they seem to be applicable to actual forensic cases, the details of which enlarge our very little knowledge on the subject in the Iberian Peninsula. The importance of regional faunistic studies of the sarcosaprophagous arthropod community, the results of which may be applied to forensic practice, is mentioned.

  15. Microbial Biofilm Community Variation in Flowing Habitats: Potential Utility as Bioindicators of Postmortem Submersion Intervals.

    PubMed

    Lang, Jennifer M; Erb, Racheal; Pechal, Jennifer L; Wallace, John R; McEwan, Ryan W; Benbow, Mark Eric

    2016-01-04

    Biofilms are a ubiquitous formation of microbial communities found on surfaces in aqueous environments. These structures have been investigated as biomonitoring indicators for stream heath, and here were used for the potential use in forensic sciences. Biofilm successional development has been proposed as a method to determine the postmortem submersion interval (PMSI) of remains because there are no standard methods for estimating the PMSI and biofilms are ubiquitous in aquatic habitats. We sought to compare the development of epinecrotic (biofilms on Sus scrofa domesticus carcasses) and epilithic (biofilms on unglazed ceramic tiles) communities in two small streams using bacterial automated ribosomal intergenic spacer analysis. Epinecrotic communities were significantly different from epilithic communities even though environmental factors associated with each stream location also had a significant influence on biofilm structure. All communities at both locations exhibited significant succession suggesting that changing communities throughout time is a general characteristic of stream biofilm communities. The implications resulting from this work are that epinecrotic communities have distinctive shifts at the first and second weeks, and therefore the potential to be used in forensic applications by associating successional changes with submersion time to estimate a PMSI. The influence of environmental factors, however, indicates the lack of a successional pattern with the same organisms and a focus on functional diversity may be more applicable in a forensic context.

  16. Microbial Biofilm Community Variation in Flowing Habitats: Potential Utility as Bioindicators of Postmortem Submersion Intervals.

    PubMed

    Lang, Jennifer M; Erb, Racheal; Pechal, Jennifer L; Wallace, John R; McEwan, Ryan W; Benbow, Mark Eric

    2016-01-01

    Biofilms are a ubiquitous formation of microbial communities found on surfaces in aqueous environments. These structures have been investigated as biomonitoring indicators for stream heath, and here were used for the potential use in forensic sciences. Biofilm successional development has been proposed as a method to determine the postmortem submersion interval (PMSI) of remains because there are no standard methods for estimating the PMSI and biofilms are ubiquitous in aquatic habitats. We sought to compare the development of epinecrotic (biofilms on Sus scrofa domesticus carcasses) and epilithic (biofilms on unglazed ceramic tiles) communities in two small streams using bacterial automated ribosomal intergenic spacer analysis. Epinecrotic communities were significantly different from epilithic communities even though environmental factors associated with each stream location also had a significant influence on biofilm structure. All communities at both locations exhibited significant succession suggesting that changing communities throughout time is a general characteristic of stream biofilm communities. The implications resulting from this work are that epinecrotic communities have distinctive shifts at the first and second weeks, and therefore the potential to be used in forensic applications by associating successional changes with submersion time to estimate a PMSI. The influence of environmental factors, however, indicates the lack of a successional pattern with the same organisms and a focus on functional diversity may be more applicable in a forensic context. PMID:27681897

  17. Role of forensic odontologist in post mortem person identification.

    PubMed

    Pramod, Jahagirdar B; Marya, Anand; Sharma, Vidhii

    2012-09-01

    The natural teeth are the most durable organs in the bodies of vertebrates, and humankind's understanding of their own past and evolution relies heavily upon remnant dental evidence found as fossils. The use of features unique to the human dentition as an aid to personal identification is widely accepted within the forensic field. Comparative dental identifications play a major role in identifying the victims of violence, disaster or other mass tragedies. The comparison of ante-mortem and postmortem dental records to determine human identity has long been established. Indeed, it is still a major identification method in criminal investigations, mass disasters, grossly decomposed or traumatized bodies, and in other situations where visual identification is neither possible nor desirable. This article has comprehensively described some of the methods, and additional factors aiding in postmortem person identification. PMID:23559914

  18. Role of forensic odontologist in post mortem person identification

    PubMed Central

    Pramod, Jahagirdar B.; Marya, Anand; Sharma, Vidhii

    2012-01-01

    The natural teeth are the most durable organs in the bodies of vertebrates, and humankind's understanding of their own past and evolution relies heavily upon remnant dental evidence found as fossils. The use of features unique to the human dentition as an aid to personal identification is widely accepted within the forensic field. Comparative dental identifications play a major role in identifying the victims of violence, disaster or other mass tragedies. The comparison of ante-mortem and postmortem dental records to determine human identity has long been established. Indeed, it is still a major identification method in criminal investigations, mass disasters, grossly decomposed or traumatized bodies, and in other situations where visual identification is neither possible nor desirable. This article has comprehensively described some of the methods, and additional factors aiding in postmortem person identification. PMID:23559914

  19. Advanced urine toxicology testing.

    PubMed

    Tenore, Peter L

    2010-10-01

    Urine toxicology screening testing is an important standard of care in the addiction and pain treatment setting, offering a reproducible, unbiased, and accurate laboratory test to monitor patients and provide objective support for clinical observations. It has been shown that physicians do not have proficiency in the ordering or interpretation of these tests. This article is an attempt to respond to that need. Current antibody-based enzymatic immunoassays (EIAs) used for urine toxicology screening are useful to detect classes of drugs (ex., opiate) but cannot determine which specific drug (ex., morphine) is present. Gas chromatography and mass spectroscopy can determine exactly which drugs are present, allowing prescribed (or illicit) opiates and benzodiazepines to be identified. This article will discuss principles and details of opiate and benzodiazepine EIA and gas chromatography and mass spectroscopy urine toxicology testing. The approach to detecting patients attributing positive opiate EIAs to prescription opiates who are using heroin or other opioids will be reviewed. Cases of controlled prescription drugs that do not produce the expected positive urine tests (ex., oxycodone producing negative opiate screening tests) will be discussed. How to differentiate codeine from heroin and the role of poppy seeds in toxicology will be examined. The case of an anti-depressant drug that produces false-positive benzodiazepine results and antibiotics that cause positive opiate urine toxicology results will be reviewed. Common benzodiazepines (ex., clonazepam and lorazepam) that do not reliably produce positive benzodiazepine EIAs will be discussed. The approach to detection and management of all these types of toxicology cases will be reviewed, and it is hoped that the analyses presented will impart an adequate information base to medical providers and staff members of drug treatment and pain centers, enabling them to order and interpret these tests in the clinic more

  20. [Site of discovery in the bath tub. Evaluation of a fatality after four years using postmortem roentgen diagnosis].

    PubMed

    Lasczkowski, G; Riepert, T; Rittner, C

    1992-01-01

    On the one hand the following case demonstrates the problems of finding a dead body in the bathroom and on the other hand the importance of postmortem x-ray examinations. The corpse of an 65-year-old woman was discovered in her bath tub. At the body's feet there was a hair dryer. Investigations concerning murder were negative, circumstances appeared to be unsuspicious. That was why a postmortem examination was not performed. -4 years later murder had to be considered. After manual strangling the deceased and the hair dryer were layed into the bath tub. The corpse was exhumed and taken to a forensic autopsy. It was found that the hyoid bone and the superior horn of the thyroid cartilage were both fractured on the right. Damages caused by the preparation itself were excluded by using serial roentgenographs. These observations in combination with histological findings and the results of further investigations convincingly supported the suspicion of strangling by hand.

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

    PubMed

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

    1994-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    1994-01-01

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

  3. Shuttle Lesson Learned - Toxicology

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    James, John T.

    2010-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Khalid, K; Yousif, S; Satti, A

    2016-07-01

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

  5. The ethics of postmortem examinations in contemporary Islam.

    PubMed Central

    Rispler-Chaim, V

    1993-01-01

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

  6. Toxicology and Chemical Safety.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hall, Stephen K.

    1983-01-01

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

  7. Toxicology, an STS Approach.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wagner, Richard

    1990-01-01

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

  8. 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…

  9. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

    Summers, W. C.

    1999-01-01

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

  11. Virtual anthropology and forensic identification using multidetector CT.

    PubMed

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

    2014-04-01

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

  12. Virtual anthropology and forensic identification using multidetector CT

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  14. The first documented forensic entomology case in Thailand.

    PubMed

    Sukontason, K; Sukontason, K; Vichairat, K; Piangjai, S; Lertthamnongtham, S; Vogtsberger, R C; Olson, J K

    2001-09-01

    The forensic entomology case described herein is the first such case documented in Thailand. A mummified corpse of a 32-yr-old man was discovered in a forested habitat, with the larvae of six species of flies (Diptera) found in association with the corpse at the time of its discovery, i.e., those of Hydrotaea (=Ophyra) spinigera Stein (family Muscidae), Piophila casei (L.) (family Piophilidae), Megaselia scalaris (Loew) (family Phoridae), Sagus sp. (family Stratiomyidae), and larvae of two unidenitified flesh fly species (family Sarcophagidae). The presence and age of the larval specimens of P. casei, M. scalaris, and H. spinigera gave entomological evidence that the postmortem interval for the corpse was 3-6 mo. This report also documets some of the forensically important fly species that occur in Thailand. PMID:11580050

  15. Palatal rugae and their role in forensic odontology.

    PubMed

    Jain, Anoop; Chowdhary, Ramesh

    2014-08-01

    Establishing a person's identity can be a difficult task in cases of traffic accidents or in mass disaster situations. The records collected to identify a decedent should be accurate and totally inclusive of objective findings. When a victim has no teeth, information for use in personal identification based on methods available in forensic odontology is much more limited than in the case of dentate victims. Palatal rugae have been considered relevant for human identification due to its stability, which is equivalent to the fingerprint, in that it is unique for each ruga pattern. Palatal rugae appear to possess the features of an ideal forensic identification parameter, that is, uniqueness, postmortem resistance, and stability. The purpose of this article was to review the literature, in order to determine if there is enough evidence to establish the use of palatal rugae in dental identification.

  16. [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.

  17. Post-mortem sperm retrieval in Australasia.

    PubMed

    Kroon, Benjamin; Kroon, Frederick; Holt, Saul; Wong, Brittany; Yazdani, Anusch

    2012-10-01

    Post-mortem Sperm Retrieval (PMSR) is seldom requested in Australasia. The retrieval of sperm is permitted only by prior written consent or by order of the court. Sperm should be retrieved within 24 h following death; however, collection within 36 h may still be successful. The clinical response to such a request must be mindful of complex ethical and legal considerations. Clear, accessible and consistent law in this area would benefit medical, legal and societal stakeholders. PMID:22862141

  18. Emerging Approaches in Predictive Toxicology

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  19. [Forensic entomology and globalisation].

    PubMed

    Turchetto, M; Vanin, S

    2004-06-01

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

  20. [Forensic entomology and globalisation].

    PubMed

    Turchetto, M; Vanin, S

    2004-06-01

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

  1. Modified intraoral film holders for postmortem identification.

    PubMed

    Oeschger, M P; Hubar, J S

    1999-07-01

    To date there have not been any commercial dental X-ray film holders marketed to accommodate the special needs of forensic odontologists. Modification of standard Rinn XCP film holders by the investigators produced self-supporting film holders that do not require the active participation from the examinee. The modified film holders greatly simplify the operator's technique of exposing dental radiographs on cadavers.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-01

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

  3. The role of spatial aggregation in forensic entomology.

    PubMed

    Fiene, Justin G; Sword, Gregory A; Van Laerhoven, Sherah L; Tarone, Aaron M

    2014-01-01

    A central concept in forensic entomology is that arthropod succession on carrion is predictable and can be used to estimate the postmortem interval (PMI) of human remains. However, most studies have reported significant variation in successional patterns, particularly among replicate carcasses, which has complicated estimates of PMIs. Several forensic entomology researchers have proposed that further integration of ecological and evolutionary theory in forensic entomology could help advance the application of succession data for producing PMI estimates. The purpose of this essay is to draw attention to the role of spatial aggregation of arthropods among carrion resources as a potentially important aspect to consider for understanding and predicting the assembly of arthropods on carrion over time. We review ecological literature related to spatial aggregation of arthropods among patchy and ephemeral resources, such as carrion, and when possible integrate these results with published forensic literature. We show that spatial aggregation of arthropods across resources is commonly reported and has been used to provide fundamental insight for understanding regional and local patterns of arthropod diversity and coexistence. Moreover, two suggestions are made for conducting future research. First, because intraspecific aggregation affects species frequency distributions across carcasses, data from replicate carcasses should not be combined, but rather statistically quantified to generate occurrence probabilities. Second, we identify a need for studies that tease apart the degree to which community assembly on carrion is spatially versus temporally structured, which will aid in developing mechanistic hypotheses on the ecological factors shaping community assembly on carcasses.

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

    PubMed

    Ciaffi, R; Gibelli, D; Cattaneo, C

    2011-09-01

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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-10-01

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

  9. Angiofil: a novel radio-contrast agent for post-mortem micro-angiography

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grabherr, Silke; Dominietto, Marco; Yu, Lisa; Djonov, Valentin; Müller, Bert; Friess, Sebastian

    2008-08-01

    The radio-contrast agent Angiofil has recently been developed to be predominantely applied in forensic medicine. Angiofil is a liquid radio-contrast agent based on iodine. Its viscosity is easy to adjust by the choice and the concentration of the solvent. Therefore, it is well suited for penetrating vessels of different diameters. The liquid Angiofil avoids the sedimentation of suspensions containing radio-opaque materials such as barium sulfate. The injection of Angiofil into the vascular system of mice post-mortem results in remarkable data showing the vascular trees of tissues and entire organs. Penetration into the surrounding tissue was not observed. Consequently, Angiofil has the potential to reach the performance of the established casting agent Microfil.

  10. Clinical or Postmortem? The Importance of the Autopsy; a Retrospective Study

    PubMed Central

    COSTACHE, Mariana; LAZAROIU, Anca Mihaela; CONTOLENCO, Andreea; COSTACHE, Diana; GEORGE, Simion; SAJIN, Maria; PATRASCU, Oana Maria

    2014-01-01

    Medicine is continually evolving; the new technologies of diagnosis and treatment continue to improve the life expectancy and lead to new information concerning various pathologies. The autopsy is viewed more and more as an ultimate branch of medicine and used only in extreme cases or for forensic purposes. Nevertheless, many studies, including this one, prove the utility and indispensability of the autopsies, without which a complete and accurate diagnosis cannot be made. Finally, the autopsy followed by histopathological examination of the tissues remains the ultimate and most important step for the apprehension of the diseases and for further evolution of medicine. This study reveals the correspondence rate between the clinical and the postmortem diagnosis, as well as between macroscopic and histopathological diagnosis. PMID:25705288

  11. Toxicologic evaluation of ofloxacin.

    PubMed

    Davis, G J; McKenzie, B E

    1989-12-29

    Results of studies conducted to characterize local, systemic, reproductive, and mutagenic effects indicate that ofloxacin is well tolerated within reasonable multiples of the intended clinical dose. Quinolone-associated arthropathic effects characterized by blister, erosion, and increased synovial fluid occurred in rats and dogs and appeared to be both age- and dose-related. Maternal toxicity and embryotoxicity were noted, but there was no teratogenicity in rats or rabbits. There was no impairment of fertility, and no adverse effects on late fetal development, labor, delivery, lactation, neonatal viability, or growth of offspring occurred. Target-organ studies revealed no evidence of ocular toxicity in rats, nephrotoxicity in rabbits, or antigenicity or ototoxicity in guinea pigs. Overall, the toxicologic evaluation of ofloxacin has shown this compound to be a drug with a low toxicologic potential.

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-03-01

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

  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. 20 years of toxicology.

    PubMed Central

    Fisher, B E

    1998-01-01

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

  15. Historical evidences on medicolegal autopsy and toxicological descriptions in Kautilya's Arthaśăstra.

    PubMed

    Prasad, Goli Penchala; Babu, G; Swamy, G K

    2006-01-01

    Kautilya's Arthaśăstra deals mainly the art of government, duties of Kings, ministers, officials and methods of diplomacy. It also deals with branches of internal and foreign policies, civil, military, commercial, fiscal, judicial etc. By name and popularity of the book, scholars believe this as seed of political science and Economics. Surprisingly, it also has the descriptions of many Ayurvĕda herbs, metals, herbomineral preparations and poisonous substances. This book also deals with medico legal autopsy and Toxicology. The main aim of this article is to highlight the descriptions of forensic medicines and toxicology.

  16. Estimating postmortem interval using RNA degradation and morphological changes in tooth pulp.

    PubMed

    Young, Stephanie T; Wells, Jeffrey D; Hobbs, Gerald R; Bishop, Clifton P

    2013-06-10

    The accurate determination of time since death, or postmortem interval (PMI), can be critical in the investigation of suspicious deaths. Knowing when a suspicious death occurred can limit the number of potential suspects to those without a viable alibi for the time of the crime. The forensic techniques currently employed to determine PMI: pathology, entomology, and anthropology, are accurate over different time periods following death. A large gap in time exists between the capabilities of forensic entomology and traditional anthropology, leaving a period in which PMI is difficult to estimate. In this study, time-dependent differences in RNA decay rates were examined to extend the time frame over which early PMI estimates can be made. Comparing the decay rates of a large, labile segment of β-actin RNA and a smaller, more stable, non-overlapping segment of the same RNA from tooth pulp, we were able to estimate PMI values of pigs buried within a shallow grave for up to 84 days. This compares favorably to an estimate of PMI using insect data. Full skeletonization and loss of insect activity was observed by day 28 of our study. In addition to differences in RNA decay rates, morphological changes were observed in the pulp as it aged postmortem. To provide a quantitative measure of progressive color changes, analysis of digital photographs of each tooth's pulp were used to construct a simple colorimetric assay. This assay was then used to cluster ages of pulp samples by color. The two assays, used in combination with one another, can create a more precise estimate of PMI. The potential advantages of this molecular means of estimating PMI include extending the time frame for such estimates, is applicable to samples collected worldwide (no specialized knowledge of local insect fauna is required), is relatively fast, and inexpensive. PMID:23647867

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  19. Toxicological Benchmarks for Wildlife

    SciTech Connect

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

    1993-01-01

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

  20. Postmortem analysis of cardiovascular deaths in schizophrenia: a 10-year review.

    PubMed

    Sweeting, Joanna; Duflou, Johan; Semsarian, Christopher

    2013-11-01

    Schizophrenia is a devastating mental disorder, associated with mortality rates up to three times higher than those in the general population. This post-mortem study sought to investigate the causes of death in a consecutive series of schizophrenia cases, with a specific focus on cardiovascular disease and sudden death. A 10-year review of autopsies in schizophrenia related-cases performed at the Department of Forensic Medicine in Sydney, Australia was undertaken. Premorbid clinical and demographic information was recorded, as well as the key pathological findings and final cause of death. From 2003 to 2012, there were 19,478 postmortem examinations performed of which 683 (3.5%) were deaths in people with a history of schizophrenia. In these cases, the mean age at death was 51years (range 18-93years), with 43% in the 41-60year age group. Males comprised 67% of cases. Overall, 62% of cases had a BMI≥25kg/m(2), indicating overweight or obese individuals. The three primary causes of death were "cardiovascular" (23%), "suicide" (20%), and "drug toxicity" (17%). In 11% of cases (n=72), no definitive cause of death was found, the so-called "unexplained" cases. In conclusion, patients with schizophrenia have premature mortality. The major contributing factors include cardiovascular diseases, suicide and drug toxicity. The "unexplained" and frequently sudden deaths may suggest underlying cardiac arrhythmias as a cause of death in a subgroup of schizophrenia patients. PMID:24028743

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Pechníková, Markéta; Porta, Davide; Cattaneo, Cristina

    2011-07-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-07-01

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

  6. Professionalism in Computer Forensics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Irons, Alastair D.; Konstadopoulou, Anastasia

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

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

    PubMed

    Bradley-Siemens, N; Brower, A I

    2016-09-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Bradley-Siemens, N; Brower, A I

    2016-09-01

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

  9. Pre- and postmortem imaging of transplanted cells

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  10. Aquatic toxicology: fact or fiction?

    PubMed Central

    Macek, K J

    1980-01-01

    A brief history of the development of the field of aquatic toxicology is provided. In order to provide a perspective on the state-of-the-art in aquatic toxicology relative to classical toxicology, the two fields are compared from the standpoint of the type of scientist practicing each field, the respective objectives of each, the forces which drive the activity in each field, and the major advantages and disadvantages accruing to the practitioner of aquatic toxicology as a result of the differences in objectives and driving forces. PMID:6993200

  11. Transporting Forensic Psychiatric Patients.

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-01

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

  12. Internet and forensic science

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chamakura, Reddy P.

    1997-02-01

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

  13. Transporting Forensic Psychiatric Patients.

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2004-01-01

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

  15. The impact of Māori cultural values on forensic science practice in New Zealand.

    PubMed

    Hudson, Maui L; Allan, Christine A; Bedford, Keith R; Buckleton, John S; Stuart, Keriata

    2008-03-01

    Forensic science aims to serve society by advancing justice. It is accepted that some actions taken by the state in the interests of advancing justice, such as postmortem examinations, may impinge on values held by members of groups within society. Such actions have the potential to cause cultural offense. It is important that forensic scientists are aware of these issues and that as a profession we should take actions, where possible, to reduce any potential offense and consequently reduce unnecessary distress. This paper examines the impact of these issues on forensic practice in New Zealand, and, in particular, in relation to the cultural values of Māori, the indigenous people of New Zealand. Interviews and workshops were used to identify forensic practices involving a risk of cultural offense. Particular issues were identified in regard to crime scene attendance and examination, postmortem attendance and sample storage, disposal, and return. This paper describes the response developed by the Institute of Environmental Science and Research Limited (ESR) to address these issues, including a cultural awareness training package and reference brochure.

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

    PubMed

    Schmidt, Markus; Pei, Lei

    2011-03-01

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

  17. History of wildlife toxicology.

    PubMed

    Rattner, Barnett A

    2009-10-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-09-01

    The application of medical knowledge to the purpose of law is the foundation of forensic pathology. A forensic postmortem examination often involves the expertise of multiple scientific disciplines to reconstruct the full story surrounding the death of an animal. Wildlife poses additional challenges in forensic investigations due to little or no associated history, and the disruptive effects of decomposition. To illustrate the multidisciplinary nature of wildlife forensic medicine, the authors outline a case of secondary pentobarbital/phenytoin toxicosis in a bald eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus). The eagle was the single fatality in a group of 8 birds that fed on euthanized domestic cat remains that had been improperly disposed of in a landfill. Cooperation between responding law enforcement officers, pathologists, and other forensic scientists led to the successful diagnosis and resolution of the case.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-09-01

    The application of medical knowledge to the purpose of law is the foundation of forensic pathology. A forensic postmortem examination often involves the expertise of multiple scientific disciplines to reconstruct the full story surrounding the death of an animal. Wildlife poses additional challenges in forensic investigations due to little or no associated history, and the disruptive effects of decomposition. To illustrate the multidisciplinary nature of wildlife forensic medicine, the authors outline a case of secondary pentobarbital/phenytoin toxicosis in a bald eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus). The eagle was the single fatality in a group of 8 birds that fed on euthanized domestic cat remains that had been improperly disposed of in a landfill. Cooperation between responding law enforcement officers, pathologists, and other forensic scientists led to the successful diagnosis and resolution of the case. PMID:27030371

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

    The estimation of the postmortem interval (PMI) is still one of the most challenging issues in forensic investigations, especially in cases in which advanced transformative phenomena have taken place. The dating of skeletal remains is even more difficult and sometimes only a rough determination of the PMI is possible. Recent studies suggest that plant analysis can provide a reliable estimation for skeletal remains dating, when traditional techniques are not applicable. Forensic Botany is a relatively recent discipline that includes many subdisciplines such as Palynology, Anatomy, Dendrochronology, Limnology, Systematic, Ecology, and Molecular Biology. In a recent study, Cardoso et al. (Int J Legal Med 2010;124:451) used botanical evidence for the first time to establish the PMI of human skeletal remains found in a forested area of northern Portugal from the growth rate of mosses and shrub roots. The present paper deals with a case in which the study of the growth rate of the bryophyte Leptodyctium riparium (Hedw.) Warnst, was used in estimating the PMI of some human skeletal remains that were found in a wooded area near Perugia, in Central Italy.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-09-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

    The estimation of the postmortem interval (PMI) is still one of the most challenging issues in forensic investigations, especially in cases in which advanced transformative phenomena have taken place. The dating of skeletal remains is even more difficult and sometimes only a rough determination of the PMI is possible. Recent studies suggest that plant analysis can provide a reliable estimation for skeletal remains dating, when traditional techniques are not applicable. Forensic Botany is a relatively recent discipline that includes many subdisciplines such as Palynology, Anatomy, Dendrochronology, Limnology, Systematic, Ecology, and Molecular Biology. In a recent study, Cardoso et al. (Int J Legal Med 2010;124:451) used botanical evidence for the first time to establish the PMI of human skeletal remains found in a forested area of northern Portugal from the growth rate of mosses and shrub roots. The present paper deals with a case in which the study of the growth rate of the bryophyte Leptodyctium riparium (Hedw.) Warnst, was used in estimating the PMI of some human skeletal remains that were found in a wooded area near Perugia, in Central Italy. PMID:23181480

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-09-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-07-01

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

  5. An Update on the Hazards and Risks of Forensic Anthropology, Part I: Human Remains.

    PubMed

    Roberts, Lindsey G; Dabbs, Gretchen R; Spencer, Jessica R

    2016-01-01

    This work reviews the hazards and risks of practicing forensic anthropology in North America, with a focus on pathogens encountered through contact with unpreserved human remains. Since the publication of Galloway and Snodgrass' seminal paper concerning the hazards of forensic anthropology, research has provided new information about known pathogen hazards, and regulating authorities have updated recommendations for the recognition and treatment of several infections. Additionally, forensic anthropology has gained popularity, exposing an increased number of students and practitioners to these hazards. Current data suggest many occupational exposures to blood or body fluids go unreported, especially among students, highlighting the need for this discussion. For each pathogen and associated disease, this work addresses important history, reviews routes of exposure, provides an overview of symptoms and treatments, lists decontamination procedures, and presents data on postmortem viability. Personal protection and laboratory guidelines should be established and enforced in conjunction with the consideration of these data.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-07-01

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

  7. Feasibility, diagnostic validity and limits of postmortem evaluation of a newborn infant following an extremely prolonged freezing interval: a thanatological case study.

    PubMed

    Krajčovič, Jozef; Janík, Martin; Novomeský, František; Straka, Lubomír; Hejna, Petr

    2014-11-01

    In forensic assessment, denial and concealment of pregnancy has wide-ranging implications including criminal abortions, extramural deliveries, concealment of birth, newborn infant abandonment or even neonaticide. Clarification of whether a newborn was born alive is the most important factor when evaluating an abandoned neonate or concealment of birth. Other points that need to be addressed are determination of viability and maturity of the newborn infant, and the identity of the mother. A prolonged postmortem interval following illegal disposal of a dead body often leads to advanced decomposition, making postmortem elucidation difficult. We report an exceptionally uncommon autopsy case of a well-preserved female newborn, which was accidentally found after eight years in a home freezer. Despite the prolonged postmortem interval, tissue preservation was sufficient for a meaningful autopsy including a comprehensive histopathological study. The purpose of the present investigations was to expand our understanding of thanatological processes, as well as detectability of particular histological findings on the remains of a newborn after extremely prolonged storage in an artificially frozen environment. In addition, this article discusses forensically important issues regarding concealment of newborn infant under specific conditions.

  8. Reprint Library for Toxicology Data Bank

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    1975-01-01

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

  9. American Academy of Forensic Sciences

    MedlinePlus

    ... American Society of Forensic Odontology Research Grants Academy Standards Board (ASB) Account ... The American Academy of Forensic Sciences is a multi-disciplinary professional organization that provides leadership to advance ...

  10. Toxicology: Old Art, New Science.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Timbrell, John A.

    1983-01-01

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

  11. Nanotechnology: Toxicologic Pathology

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Malve, Harshad Onkarrao

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Malve, Harshad Onkarrao

    2016-01-01

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

  14. Forensic psychiatry in Singapore.

    PubMed

    Chan, Lai Gwen; Tomita, Todd

    2013-12-01

    Singapore is a geographically small nation-state that has transformed itself from a third-world country to a developed nation after attaining political independence 46 years ago. The pace of change has been tremendous and mental health care is no exception. This paper provides an overview of mental health care and a review of key mental health legislation, including a National Mental Health Blueprint that was rolled out in 2007. On this background, the paper focuses on a description of forensic psychiatric services in Singapore. The role of the Department of Forensic Psychiatry at the Institute of Mental Health, which is the only forensic psychiatry department in the country, will be highlighted. Civil commitment and the treatment of unfit accused persons and insanity acquittees is reviewed. The role of forensic psychiatric assessments in the Singapore courts is examined. The application of the insanity and diminished responsibility defenses are reviewed. A trend is identified in the Singapore courts towards a more rehabilitation-focused sentencing approach and the role that forensic psychiatric assessments play in cases involving mentally disordered offenders is highlighted.

  15. Antemortem and postmortem methamphetamine blood concentrations: three case reports.

    PubMed

    McIntyre, Iain M; Nelson, Craig L; Schaber, Bethann; Hamm, Catherine E

    2013-01-01

    We compare antemortem whole-blood to postmortem peripheral blood concentrations of methamphetamine and its metabolite amphetamine in three medical examiner cases. Antemortem specimens, initially screened positive for methamphetamine by ELISA, were subsequently confirmed, together with the postmortem specimens, by GC-MS analysis following solid-phase extraction. Methamphetamine peripheral blood to antemortem blood ratios averaged 1.51 (± 0.049; n = 3) and amphetamine peripheral blood to antemortem blood ratios averaged 1.50 (n = 2). These data show that postmortem redistribution occurs for both methamphetamine and amphetamine, revealing that postmortem blood concentrations are ∼1.5 times greater than antemortem concentrations. Furthermore, as both methamphetamine and amphetamine have previously been shown to have liver/peripheral blood (L/P) ratios of 5-8, it can be proposed that drugs displaying L/P ratios ranging from 5 to 10 may exhibit postmortem concentrations up to twice those concentrations circulating in blood before death.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-09-01

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

  17. Specialty Guidelines for Forensic Psychology

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    American Psychologist, 2013

    2013-01-01

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

  18. Forensics on a Shoestring Budget

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Greco, Joseph A.

    2005-01-01

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

  19. Postmortem cardiac troponin T levels in the blood and pericardial fluid. Part 1. Analysis with special regard to traumatic causes of death.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Bao-Li; Ishikawa, Takaki; Michiue, Tomomi; Li, Dong-Ri; Zhao, Dong; Oritani, Shigeki; Kamikodai, Yasunobu; Tsuda, Kohei; Okazaki, Shuji; Maeda, Hitoshi

    2006-03-01

    In forensic pathology, previous studies have suggested the possible application of cardiac troponins in the diagnosis of myocardial infarction. However, there appears to be insufficient practical data on other causes of death. The present study was a comprehensive analysis of the cardiac, peripheral blood and pericardial levels of cardiac troponin T (cTnT) in serial medicolegal autopsy cases (n = 405) with a survival time <24 h and within 48 h postmortem to assess the validity of investigating myocardial damage with special regard to traumatic causes of death. These included blunt and sharp instrument injury (n = 122 and 21, respectively), asphyxiation (n = 35), drowning (n = 27), fire fatalities (n = 94), hyperthermia (n = 13), hypothermia (n = 6), fatal methamphetamine (MA) abuse (n = 12) and carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning (n = 5) in comparison with myocardial infarction (MI, n = 57) and cerebrovascular diseases (n = 13). Cases within 12h postmortem usually showed lower cardiac and pericardial cTnT levels than did those of longer postmortem time of 12-48 h. In the early postmortem period of <12 h, significantly elevated serum cTnT levels were observed for hyperthermia. Thereafter, fatal MA abuse, CO poisoning and MI cases also showed higher levels. However, cTnT remained at lower levels for hypothermia and drowning. The elevation of cTnT was associated with the pathology of advanced myocardial damage involving swelling and liquefactive necrosis. The above-mentioned differences were the smallest for peripheral blood. These findings suggest that elevations in postmortem serum and pericardial cTnT levels depend on the severity of myocardial damage at the time of death and are related to the pathological findings, although postmortem interference should be taken into consideration.

  20. Postmortem Cerebrospinal Fluid Pleocytosis: A Marker of Inflammation or Postmortem Artifact?

    PubMed Central

    Morris, James A.; Harrison, Linda M.; Telford, David R.

    2012-01-01

    The aim of this paper is to reassess the significance of postmortem cerebrospinal fluid pleocytosis. Published articles of CSF changes after death were reviewed, and reanalysis, in the light of modern views on the significance of bacterial postmortem isolates, was undertaken. There is theoretical and experimental evidence that the blood brain barrier to the movement of protein and cells is preserved in the first few hours after death. The number of mononuclear cells in the cerebrospinal fluid does rise in the first 24 hours after death, and this is most probably due to detachment of leptomeningeal lining cells. But the marked increase in lymphocyte counts seen in some cases of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) and in other deaths in the paediatric age range could well be a marker of inflammation. PMID:22518189

  1. Postmortem molecular diagnosis of sickle beta thalassaemia.

    PubMed

    Kutlar, F; Mirmow, D; Glendenning, M; Holley, L; Kutlar, A

    2005-05-01

    This report describes a case in which the diagnosis of sickle cell disease (SCD) was established after death. The diagnosis of sickle cell syndrome was made in a 68 year old black patient who was found to have sickled red blood cells in many organs at necropsy although the disease had not been diagnosed during her lifetime. DNA was isolated from a peripheral blood smear obtained on the day of the patient's death. The beta globin gene was polymerase chain reaction amplified and sequenced, revealing that the patient had S-beta(+) thalassaemia. This study shows that blood smears are a suitable source for retrospective DNA analysis studies. This case illustrates that relatively "mild" forms of SCD can be overlooked, despite symptomatology suggestive of a sickle syndrome, and demonstrates the feasibility of the postmortem molecular diagnosis of haemoglobinopathies in such cases.

  2. Forensic DNA and bioinformatics.

    PubMed

    Bianchi, Lucia; Liò, Pietro

    2007-03-01

    The field of forensic science is increasingly based on biomolecular data and many European countries are establishing forensic databases to store DNA profiles of crime scenes of known offenders and apply DNA testing. The field is boosted by statistical and technological advances such as DNA microarray sequencing, TFT biosensors, machine learning algorithms, in particular Bayesian networks, which provide an effective way of evidence organization and inference. The aim of this article is to discuss the state of art potentialities of bioinformatics in forensic DNA science. We also discuss how bioinformatics will address issues related to privacy rights such as those raised from large scale integration of crime, public health and population genetic susceptibility-to-diseases databases.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-09-01

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

  4. 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.

  5. Research in forensic odontology.

    PubMed Central

    Whittaker, D. K.

    1982-01-01

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

  6. Complexity and forensic pathology.

    PubMed

    Jones, Richard Martin

    2015-12-01

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

  7. Forensic Science Center

    SciTech Connect

    Andresen, B.; Grant, P.M.

    1994-03-01

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

  8. [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.

  9. Accuracy among dentists experienced in forensic odontology in establishing identity.

    PubMed

    Ekstrom, G; Johnsson, T; Borrman, H

    1993-12-01

    The aim of this study was to investigate the accuracy of 17 forensic odontologists identifying individuals from two sets of radiographs, one regarded as ante- and the other as postmortem. Each case was observed twice and only one pair out of 31 did not match. The observers were asked to comment about each case, classifying it as easy, moderate or difficult. The results show that one observer was totally correct in the first analysis while four observers made no errors the second time. In the first evaluation 14 observers made between one and seven errors and two observers made 11 errors each. In the second evaluation 12 observers made between one and seven errors and one observer made 13 errors. At the first evaluation, the observers judged 18 of the cases as easy, eight as medium and five as difficult. At the second evaluation, the observers pronounced 13 of the cases as easy, 13 as medium and five as difficult. The corresponding values for the authors were 6, 12 and 13. Most of the mistakes were made on the cases with no restorations and the incorrect answers were found mostly among the difficult cases. In practical forensic work however additional dental chart information is usually available to the forensic odontologist. PMID:8040212

  10. Honey bee toxicology.

    PubMed

    Johnson, Reed M

    2015-01-01

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

  11. Honey bee toxicology.

    PubMed

    Johnson, Reed M

    2015-01-01

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

  12. Overview of inhalation toxicology.

    PubMed Central

    Dorato, M A

    1990-01-01

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

  13. Toxicology in business decision making.

    PubMed

    Deisler, P F

    1982-12-01

    More than ever before, toxicology and its sister health sciences and technologies are needed as members of the business team to ensure sound business decision making for both new and existing businesses. Yet the marriage of toxicology and business is an uneasy one since toxicology is both the bringer of bad news and a major resource for the solution of problems. Both business and toxicology have much to learn about each other to make the marriage work and to make full use of toxicology's scientific advice in reaching sound decisions on the safe production, distribution, and handling of a company's products. Toxicology also has a central and difficult role in helping business navigate the turbulent waters of regulation or of potential or actual litigation. From his own experience in organizing a corporate health, safety, and environmental department, the author describes the concepts that must be understood and the marshaling of resources needed to ensure that toxicology can play its full role in business decision making.

  14. Toxicology of brotizolam

    PubMed Central

    Hewett, C.; Kreuzer, H.; Köllmer, H.; Niggeschulze, A.; Stötzer, H.

    1983-01-01

    1 Acute studies. Following oral or intraperitoneal administration, toxicity was very low (LD50 in rodents > 10,000 and > 900 mg/kg, respectively). 2 Subacute and chronic studies in rodents. Signs of toxicity were seen only at doses of 400 mg/kg or more. Histopathological changes were found only in the 78-week study. 3 Subacute studies in dogs (intravenous) and primates (oral). In dogs, doses of 0.1 and 0.3 mg/kg produced ataxia, salivation, and diarrhoea. In monkeys doses of 7 mg/kg or higher produced ataxia, increased appetite, hyperreflexive muscular spasms, increase in liver weight, and lipid depletion of the adrenal cortex. 4 Reproductive studies in the rat and rabbit. Repeated doses of up to 30 mg/kg were not associated with any disturbance in fertility; nor were any embryotoxic or teratogenic effects observed. When dams were treated with 400 mg/kg, litter mortality was markedly increased. 5 Mutagenicity studies. The four different tests performed gave no indication of any mutagenic effect. 6 Local tolerance tests in the rabbit. Brotizolam was well tolerated when administered intramuscularly, intra-arterially, or intravenously. 7 Carcinogenicity studies in rodents. The mouse study showed no evidence of a tumourigenic effect. The rat study is still being evaluated. 8 The toxicological studies demonstrate that brotizolam has an unusually wide therapeutic range. Findings of toxicological significance, most of which were reversible, were first recorded at doses of 7-10 mg/kg, i.e. at more than 100-times the intended human therapeutic dose. PMID:6686462

  15. Exploring Trends in Forensic Odontology

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  16. 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.

  17. Forensic entomology in Germany.

    PubMed

    Amendt, J; Krettek, R; Niess, C; Zehner, R; Bratzke, H

    2000-09-11

    Forensic entomology (FE) is increasingly gaining international recognition. In Germany, however, the development of FE has been stagnating, mainly because of the lack of cooperation between police, forensic medicine and entomology. In 1997 a co-operative research project 'Forensic Entomology' was started in Frankfurt/Main at the Center of Legal Medicine and the Research Institute Senckenberg. The aim of this project is to establish FE in Germany as a firmly integrated component of the securing of evidence from human cadavers in cases of suspected homicide. For this purpose we developed a forensic insect collecting kit, and policemen are educated for greater acceptance and better application of FE. The scientific programme focuses on the investigation of the insect succession on cadavers in urban and rural habitats. This also includes new indicator groups (e.g. parasitic wasps) for a more precise calculation of the late post mortem interval. Recently a DNA-based reliable and fast identification method especially for the immature stages of necrophagous insects became part of the project. Preliminary results are reported and two case studies presented.

  18. 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.

  19. Freezing effect on brain density in postmortem CT.

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  20. Predictive Models and Computational Toxicology

    EPA Science Inventory

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

  1. Toxicology of Biodiesel Combustion products

    EPA Science Inventory

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

  2. CHEMINFORMATIC APPROACHES IN PREDICTIVE TOXICOLOGY.

    EPA Science Inventory

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

  3. 78 FR 45253 - National Toxicology Program Scientific Advisory Committee on Alternative Toxicological Methods...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-07-26

    ... HUMAN SERVICES National Institutes of Health National Toxicology Program Scientific Advisory Committee on Alternative Toxicological Methods; Announcement of Meeting; Request for Comments SUMMARY: This notice announces a meeting of the Scientific Advisory Committee on Alternative Toxicological...

  4. Six forensic entomology cases: description and commentary.

    PubMed

    Benecke, M

    1998-07-01

    Insects are known to be useful in estimating the postmortem interval (PMI). Here several cases are reported which show that a wide range of applications in medicolegal questions and hygiene together or apart from estimating the PMI can be answered by use of forensic entomology techniques, including close observation of larval development. Case 1 describes how blowfly larvae fell from a putrefied corpse, hid, and finally emerged from pupae three months after disinfection and renovation. In case 2, the entomological state of the decomposed corpse of a heroin user is described. Case 3 deals with a single adult Protophormia terranovae found in the skull of a partially mummified woman. Case 4 reports the finding of Serratia marcescens bacteria in red Muscina stabulans pupae which were found on a 5-day-old corpse. In case 5, blowfly eggs on the corpse of another heroin user are interpreted as an indication of the decedent being laid outside at night after his death in a flat. Case 6 deals with the finding of Parasarcophaga argyrostoma, which in Cologne might be an indicator species which tells if a corpse was lying outside at least for some time.

  5. Forensic molecular pathology: its impacts on routine work, education and training.

    PubMed

    Maeda, Hitoshi; Ishikawa, Takaki; Michiue, Tomomi

    2014-03-01

    The major role of forensic pathology is the investigation of human death in relevance to social risk management to determine the cause and process of death, especially in violent and unexpected sudden deaths, which involve social and medicolegal issues of ultimate, personal and public concerns. In addition to the identification of victims and biological materials, forensic molecular pathology contributes to general explanation of the human death process and assessment of individual death on the basis of biological molecular evidence, visualizing dynamic functional changes involved in the dying process that cannot be detected by morphology (pathophysiological or molecular biological vital reactions); the genetic background (genomics), dynamics of gene expression (up-/down-regulation: transcriptomics) and vital phenomena, involving activated biological mediators and degenerative products (proteomics) as well as metabolic deterioration (metabolomics), are detected by DNA analysis, relative quantification of mRNA transcripts using real-time reverse transcription-PCR (RT-PCR), and immunohisto-/immunocytochemistry combined with biochemistry, respectively. Thus, forensic molecular pathology involves the application of omic medical sciences to investigate the genetic basis, and cause and process of death at the biological molecular level in the context of forensic pathology, that is, 'advanced molecular autopsy'. These procedures can be incorporated into routine death investigations as well as guidance, education and training programs in forensic pathology for 'dynamic assessment of the cause and process of death' on the basis of autopsy and laboratory data. Postmortem human data can also contribute to understanding patients' critical conditions in clinical management.

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

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

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

  7. 9 CFR 352.11 - Post-mortem inspection.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-01-01

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

  8. 9 CFR 352.11 - Post-mortem inspection.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-01-01

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

  9. 9 CFR 352.11 - Post-mortem inspection.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-01-01

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

  10. 9 CFR 352.11 - Post-mortem inspection.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

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

  11. 9 CFR 352.11 - Post-mortem inspection.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-09-01

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

  13. Avian toxicologic diagnosis

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sigurdson, C.J.; Franson, J.C.; Fudge, A.M.

    2000-01-01

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

  14. The toxicology of chemosterilants

    PubMed Central

    Hayes, Wayland J.

    1964-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    McEwen, B J

    2016-09-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Hemasathya, Bahavathi Ananthan; Balagopal, Sundaresan

    2013-01-01

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

  17. The postmortem examination of President Kennedy is invalid: the evidence.

    PubMed

    Salerian, Alen J

    2008-10-01

    This paper proves that President Kennedy's postmortem examination is a sham. The sham nature of the presidential autopsy is based upon several findings incompatible with human anatomy, practice of medicine and Newton's second law "an object acted upon by a constant force will move with constant acceleration in the direction of the force". We review the autopsy report and other assassination evidence and demonstrate that the postmortem examination is invalid.

  18. 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.

  19. Dried blood spots in toxicology: from the cradle to the grave?

    PubMed

    Stove, Christophe P; Ingels, Ann-Sofie M E; De Kesel, Pieter M M; Lambert, Willy E

    2012-03-01

    About a century after its first described application by Ivar Bang, the potential of sampling via dried blood spots (DBS) as an alternative for classical venous blood sampling is increasingly recognized. Perhaps best known is the use of DBS in newborn screening programs, ignited by the hallmark paper by Guthrie and Susi half a century ago. However, it is only recently that both academia and industry have recognized the many advantages that DBS sampling may offer for bioanalytical purposes, as reflected by the strong increase in published reports during the last few years. Currently, major DBS applications include newborn screening for metabolic disorders, epidemiological surveys (e.g. HIV monitoring), therapeutic drug monitoring (TDM), as well as toxicology. In this review, we provide a comprehensive overview of the distinct subdisciplines of toxicology for which DBS sampling has been applied. DBS sampling for toxicological evaluation has been performed from birth until autopsy, aiming at the assessment of therapeutic drugs, drugs of abuse, environmental contaminants, toxins, as well as (trace) elements, with applications situated in fields as toxicokinetics, epidemiology and environmental and forensic toxicology. We discuss the strengths and limitations of DBS in the different subdisciplines and provide future prospects for the use of this promising sampling technique in toxicology.

  20. Forensic psychiatry in private practice.

    PubMed

    Modlin, H C; Felthous, A

    1989-01-01

    This paper presents statistical and explanatory analyses of 637 forensic psychiatry cases in a private practice setting during the past 12 years, highlighting the remarkable variety of clinical and legal issues addressed by forensic psychiatrists. Emphasis is on how and why forensic psychiatrists need to be expert diagnosticians and clinicians, and ways in which they may respond to difficult clinical and legal opinions are recommended.

  1. British military forensic psychiatry.

    PubMed

    Turner, Mark A; Neal, Leigh A

    2004-04-01

    Military psychiatry has recently generated a lot of interest. In contrast there is virtually no literature on military forensic psychiatry. The first section of the paper is a brief review of British military psychiatric services and recent data on the prevalence of mental illness in British armed forces personnel. The second section summarizes the relevant aspects of the British military judicial and penal systems including the practice of summary justice, the court martial system, and sentencing and corrective training. The third section of the paper addresses issues which are particular to forensic psychiatry, including mental defences in relation to the military, the military offences of malingering and impersonation, risk assessment in military contexts and the notion of 'temperamental unsuitability' to military service. PMID:15176622

  2. [Forensic aspects of schizophrenia].

    PubMed

    Prunnlechner, Regina

    2012-12-01

    Recent research has shown a clear association between schizophrenia and violent behaviour, which cannot be completely explained by co-morbid substance abuse or personality disorders. This increased risk for delinquent behaviour becomes apparent in acts of severe violent crime. Individuals who frequent the penal system often have a history of acute and chronic mental illness, as well as significant rates of co-morbidity; this includes alcohol and drug abuse, lack of motivation in therapy, poor insight regarding their illness, high rates of therapeutic non-compliance, as well as frequent, mostly short-term, contact with general psychiatry prior to forensic institutionalisation. Forensic psychiatric research has developed assessment and treatment tools which are also of great practical importance to general psychiatry.

  3. Investigating forensic nursing.

    PubMed

    Barton, S

    1995-01-01

    Forensic nurses are making a positive impact in our society today. They are reaching out to aid victims of violence by not only attending to their injuries and emotional distress, but also by identifying, collecting, and preserving vital evidence that will be needed to assist their patients to seek justice through the legal system. Misinterpretation or failure to properly obtain evidence may result in a miscarriage of justice. Helping victims obtain validation of their injustice is crucial to their healing process and may be of critical importance in the effort to avoid further victimization. Forensic nurses work with victims of child abuse, elder abuse, domestic violence, sexual assault, and persons involved with violence or imminent death. This area includes psychiatric specialists who intervene not only with victims but also with perpetrators of violent and/or sexual acts.

  4. Microbes as forensic indicators.

    PubMed

    Alan, G; Sarah, J P

    2012-09-01

    The forensic potential of microorganisms is becoming increasingly apparent as a consequence of advances in molecular sciences and genomics. This review discusses instances in which microbes, and in particular bacteria, can impact upon forensic investigations. There is increasing evidence that humans have an extremely diverse 'microbiome' that may prove useful in determining ethnicity, country of origin, and even personal identity. The human microbiome differs between regions of the body and may prove useful for determining the nature of stains such as those caused by saliva and vaginal fluid: it may even be possible to link the stains to the person responsible for them. Similarly, the composition of the microbiome present in a soil sample may prove a useful indicator of geographic origin or as a means of linking people, animals, or objects together or to a specific location. Microorganisms are important in the decay process and also influence the presence and concentration of alcohol, drugs, and other chemicals of forensic relevance. There is also a possibility that the entry of microorganisms into the body during the agonal period may prove useful for the diagnosis of drowning. The transmission of infectious diseases, and in particular sexually-transmitted diseases, can provide evidence linking a victim and a suspect. Microorganisms that cause fatal infections are not always identified at the time of death and may lead to the death being considered 'suspicious'. If a fatal infection can be linked to a hospital or medical procedure it can lead to prosecutions and therefore it is important to determine when and where an infection was acquired. Similarly, naturally acquired infections need to be distinguished from those that result from malicious transmission. Microorganisms can therefore provide evidence in many different forensic scenarios but most of the work is still at the experimental stage and there are therefore many opportunities for further research.

  5. CT-guided percutaneous needle placement in forensic medicine.

    PubMed

    Hyodoh, Hideki; Shimizu, Jyunya; Mizuo, Keisuke; Okazaki, Shunichiro; Watanabe, Satoshi; Inoue, Hiromasa

    2015-03-01

    We have developed a technique of CT-guided needle placement in the destructed human body in forensic practice. A sixty-year-old male was found in a burned car and he was also destructed severely. Although blood was needed for the external examination, it was difficult to approach the vessels because of the severely burned condition of the cadaver. Thus, we attempted to obtain a blood sample from a vessel using a CT-guided technique. Postmortem CT demonstrated the presence of blood-containing vessels in the pelvis. Indeed, CT-guided needle placement had no difficulty with surface markers, table location, or depth measurement from the surface. CT-guide needle placement is a feasible and reliable technique, so that when the tissue/blood sample is at risk of being spoiled, CT-guided needle placement could be a substitute for conventional sampling techniques.

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

    PubMed Central

    Levy, Richard J.

    2010-01-01

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

  7. Toxicology of chlorofluorocarbon replacements.

    PubMed Central

    Dekant, W

    1996-01-01

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

  8. Toxicology of chlorofluorocarbon replacements.

    PubMed

    Dekant, W

    1996-03-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-09-01

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

  10. The Potential of High-throughput Metagenomic Sequencing of Aquatic Bacterial Communities to Estimate the Postmortem Submersion Interval.

    PubMed

    Benbow, Mark Eric; Pechal, Jennifer L; Lang, Jennifer M; Erb, Racheal; Wallace, John R

    2015-11-01

    Human remains can be discovered in freshwater or marine ecosystems, circumstances where insects and other invertebrates have infrequently been used for understanding the time of postmortem submersion. In this study, the identification and succession of epinecrotic bacterial communities on vertebrate remains were described during decomposition in a temperate headwater stream during two seasons (summer and winter). Bacterial communities were characterized with 454 pyrosequencing and analyzed at phyletic and generic taxonomic resolutions. There was a significant increase in genera richness over decomposition during both seasons. Additionally, multivariate statistical modeling revealed significant differences in bacterial communities between seasons at both taxonomic resolutions and siginificant genera differences among sampling days within each season, suggesting a succession of these communities. These data are the first to describe aquatic bacterial succession using high-throughput metagenomic sequencing on vertebrate remains submerged in a freshwater habitat, and provide initial evidence for their potential use in forensic investigations. PMID:26294275

  11. Forensic web watch 4.

    PubMed

    Lumb, P; Rutty, G N

    2000-06-01

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

  12. Parricide: a forensic approach.

    PubMed

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

    2014-02-01

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

  13. 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.

  14. Tattoos: forensic considerations.

    PubMed

    Byard, Roger W

    2013-12-01

    Tattooing refers to marking of the skin by puncturing and introducing pigmented material. Although it derives from a Polynesian word, tautau, decorative tattooing has been found in most societies over many centuries. The purpose of tattooing has varied from simple decoration, to a marker of social rank, criminal and noncriminal group membership, or a particular rite of passage in tribal communities. Tattooing may be used in medicine to mark areas for radiotherapy, and may occur inadvertently associated with certain occupations such as coal mining. Forensically, tattoos may be very useful in assisting with body identification if facial features or fingers have been damaged or removed. Aspects of a decedent's history may also be deduced from certain tattoos such as military tattoos in service personnel, rudimentary line tattoos with antisocial and anti-police messages in ex-prisoners, and syringes, marihuana leaves or mushrooms in illicit drug users. Tattoos have become more common in recent years in younger individuals in the West and so should be expected to be found with increasing incidence at the time of forensic autopsy examinations. Increasing population movements also mean that less common tattoos may be encountered during forensic evaluations.

  15. Tattoos: forensic considerations.

    PubMed

    Byard, Roger W

    2013-12-01

    Tattooing refers to marking of the skin by puncturing and introducing pigmented material. Although it derives from a Polynesian word, tautau, decorative tattooing has been found in most societies over many centuries. The purpose of tattooing has varied from simple decoration, to a marker of social rank, criminal and noncriminal group membership, or a particular rite of passage in tribal communities. Tattooing may be used in medicine to mark areas for radiotherapy, and may occur inadvertently associated with certain occupations such as coal mining. Forensically, tattoos may be very useful in assisting with body identification if facial features or fingers have been damaged or removed. Aspects of a decedent's history may also be deduced from certain tattoos such as military tattoos in service personnel, rudimentary line tattoos with antisocial and anti-police messages in ex-prisoners, and syringes, marihuana leaves or mushrooms in illicit drug users. Tattoos have become more common in recent years in younger individuals in the West and so should be expected to be found with increasing incidence at the time of forensic autopsy examinations. Increasing population movements also mean that less common tattoos may be encountered during forensic evaluations. PMID:23846907

  16. Forensic entomology investigations from Doctor Marcel Leclercq (1924-2008): a review of cases from 1969 to 2005.

    PubMed

    Dekeirsschieter, J; Frederickx, C; Verheggen, F J; Boxho, P; Haubruge, E

    2013-09-01

    Dr. Marcel Leclercq was a pioneer in the field of forensic entomology. He has provided his knowledge of insect biology to many forensic cases, and most of them have found the way to publication. Most of the articles he has written were focused on individual cases, and despite the abundance of entomoforensic investigations he conducted, no synthesis has been published. This article summarizes 36 yr of forensic entomological investigations in temperate Europe, mainly in Belgium. Dr. Leclercq's work includes 132 entomological cases involving 141 human corpses found in various death scenes. Under certain conditions, insect specimens found at death scene can provide information on when (postmortem interval estimation), where and how a person died. More or less 100 insect species associated with a dead body have been identified by Dr. Leclercq.

  17. Toxicological approaches to complex mixtures.

    PubMed Central

    Mauderly, J L

    1993-01-01

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

  18. Toxicological approaches to complex mixtures.

    PubMed

    Mauderly, J L

    1993-12-01

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

  19. 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.

  20. Postfeeding radial dispersal in larvae of Chrysomya albiceps (Diptera: Calliphoridae): implications for forensic entomology.

    PubMed

    Gomes, Leonardo; Zuben, Claudio José Von

    2005-12-01

    Blowflies utilize discrete and ephemeral breeding sites for larval nutrition. After the exhaustion of food, larvae begin dispersing in search of sites to pupate or additional food sources, a process referred as postfeeding larval dispersal. Some of the most important aspects of this process were investigated in the blowfly Chrysomya albiceps, employing a circular arena to allow radial dispersion of larvae from the center. The results showed a positive correlation between burial depth and distance, and a negative correlation between distance and pupal weight. These results can be used in forensic entomology for the postmortem interval estimation of human corpses in medico-criminal investigations.

  1. Toxicological profile for selenium. (Update)

    SciTech Connect

    1996-08-01

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

  2. Student Leadership in Forensic Programs.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kiser, Stephen D.

    Competitive forensic teams should turn to their students for leadership. Such an approach gives students valuable experience in handling responsibility, while relieving school administrators of some of the tasks involved in debate competition. Since forensic students are intelligent and highly ambitious, they should be leaders of debate programs,…

  3. An introduction to computer forensics.

    PubMed

    Furneaux, Nick

    2006-07-01

    This paper provides an introduction to the discipline of Computer Forensics. With computers being involved in an increasing number, and type, of crimes the trace data left on electronic media can play a vital part in the legal process. To ensure acceptance by the courts, accepted processes and procedures have to be adopted and demonstrated which are not dissimilar to the issues surrounding traditional forensic investigations. This paper provides a straightforward overview of the three steps involved in the examination of digital media: Acquisition of data. Investigation of evidence. Reporting and presentation of evidence. Although many of the traditional readers of Medicine, Science and the Law are those involved in the biological aspects of forensics, I believe that both disciplines can learn from each other, with electronic evidence being more readily sought and considered by the legal community and the long, tried and tested scientific methods of the forensic community being shared and adopted by the computer forensic world. PMID:16909643

  4. New Guidelines for Forensic Assessment.

    PubMed

    Vasile, Megan; Hamalian, Gareen; Wortzel, Hal S

    2016-03-01

    The American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law (AAPL) recently published guidelines for forensic assessment intended for psychiatrists and other clinicians working in medicolegal roles, or performing evaluations and offering opinions in relation to legal or regulatory matters. Although these guidelines do not establish a singular standard for forensic evaluation, they are intended to inform practice. Although nuances pertaining to any given case and the pertinent medicolegal issues involved will require professional judgment as to how best to conduct any particular evaluation, the guidelines do offer many helpful tenets and guiding principles that are broadly applicable. Psychiatrists and other clinicians performing forensic evaluations need to be aware of these guidelines and should strive to incorporate them as appropriate. In this column we offer a brief synopsis of the approach to the forensic psychiatric assessment based upon the AAPL Practice Guideline for the Forensic Assessment. PMID:27138081

  5. 42 CFR 493.1213 - Condition: Toxicology.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-10-01

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

  6. 42 CFR 493.1213 - Condition: Toxicology.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-10-01

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

  7. Science: Aquatic Toxicology Matures, Gains Importance.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dagani, Ron

    1980-01-01

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

  8. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

    Palmiere, Cristian; Augsburger, Marc

    2014-01-01

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

  10. Fly pupae and puparia as potential contaminants of forensic entomology samples from sites of body discovery.

    PubMed

    Archer, M S; Elgar, M A; Briggs, C A; Ranson, D L

    2006-11-01

    Fly pupae and puparia may contaminate forensic entomology samples at death scenes if they have originated not from human remains but from animal carcasses or other decomposing organic material. These contaminants may erroneously lengthen post-mortem interval estimates if no pupae or puparia are genuinely associated with the body. Three forensic entomology case studies are presented, in which contamination either occurred or was suspected. In the first case, blow fly puparia collected near the body were detected as contaminants because the species was inactive both when the body was found and when the deceased was last sighted reliably. The second case illustrates that contamination may be suspected at particularly squalid death scenes because of the likely presence of carcasses or organic material. The third case involves the presence at the body discovery site of numerous potentially contaminating animal carcasses. Soil samples were taken along transects to show that pupae and puparia were clustered around their probable sources.

  11. Sampling flies or sampling flaws? Experimental design and inference strength in forensic entomology.

    PubMed

    Michaud, J-P; Schoenly, Kenneth G; Moreau, G

    2012-01-01

    Forensic entomology is an inferential science because postmortem interval estimates are based on the extrapolation of results obtained in field or laboratory settings. Although enormous gains in scientific understanding and methodological practice have been made in forensic entomology over the last few decades, a majority of the field studies we reviewed do not meet the standards for inference, which are 1) adequate replication, 2) independence of experimental units, and 3) experimental conditions that capture a representative range of natural variability. Using a mock case-study approach, we identify design flaws in field and lab experiments and suggest methodological solutions for increasing inference strength that can inform future casework. Suggestions for improving data reporting in future field studies are also proposed.

  12. Generalized additive models and Lucilia sericata growth: assessing confidence intervals and error rates in forensic entomology.

    PubMed

    Tarone, Aaron M; Foran, David R

    2008-07-01

    Forensic entomologists use blow fly development to estimate a postmortem interval. Although accurate, fly age estimates can be imprecise for older developmental stages and no standard means of assigning confidence intervals exists. Presented here is a method for modeling growth of the forensically important blow fly Lucilia sericata, using generalized additive models (GAMs). Eighteen GAMs were created to predict the extent of juvenile fly development, encompassing developmental stage, length, weight, strain, and temperature data, collected from 2559 individuals. All measures were informative, explaining up to 92.6% of the deviance in the data, though strain and temperature exerted negligible influences. Predictions made with an independent data set allowed for a subsequent examination of error. Estimates using length and developmental stage were within 5% of true development percent during the feeding portion of the larval life cycle, while predictions for postfeeding third instars were less precise, but within expected error.

  13. Stature estimation from skull measurements using multidetector computed tomographic images: A Japanese forensic sample.

    PubMed

    Torimitsu, Suguru; Makino, Yohsuke; Saitoh, Hisako; Sakuma, Ayaka; Ishii, Namiko; Yajima, Daisuke; Inokuchi, Go; Motomura, Ayumi; Chiba, Fumiko; Yamaguchi, Rutsuko; Hashimoto, Mari; Hoshioka, Yumi; Iwase, Hirotaro

    2016-01-01

    The aim of this study was to assess the correlation between stature and cranial measurements in a contemporary Japanese population, using three-dimensional (3D) computed tomographic (CT) images. A total of 228 cadavers (123 males, 105 females) underwent postmortem CT scanning and subsequent forensic autopsy between May 2011 and April 2015. Five cranial measurements were taken from 3D CT reconstructed images that extracted only cranial data. The correlations between stature and each of the cranial measurements were assessed with Pearson product-moment correlation coefficients. Simple and multiple regression analyses showed significant correlations between stature and cranial measurements. In conclusion, cranial measurements obtained from 3D CT images may be useful for forensic estimation of the stature of Japanese individuals, particularly in cases where better predictors, such as long bones, are not available.

  14. Sex typing of forensic DNA samples using male- and female-specific probes.

    PubMed

    Naito, E; Dewa, K; Yamanouchi, H; Kominami, R

    1994-07-01

    Forensic DNA samples have been examined to ascertain the feasibility of a sex-typing procedure that we have recently developed. This uses two sets of primers complementary to the DXZ4 and SRY genes for polymerase chain reaction (PCR). PCR target in the DXZ4, an 80-bp sequence within the 130-bp fragment specific to females, is generated from inactive chromosome X by the DNA digestion with a methylation-sensitive restriction enzyme, HpaII. Therefore, the DXZ4 amplification and subsequent agarose gel electrophoresis detect the 80-bp fragment from female DNA. On the other hand, the SRY probe identifies a male-specific sequence on chromosome Y. Testing DNAs from fresh Turner's blood and from postmortem tissues exhibited band-signals confirming the sex identification. Degraded DNAs isolated from severely decomposed specimens were also identifiable when high-molecular-weight DNA was isolated before the assay. This demonstrates the usefulness of this method in forensic identification.

  15. An experimental field protocol for investigating the postmortem interval using multidisciplinary indicators.

    PubMed

    Schoenly, K; Griest, K; Rhine, S

    1991-09-01

    This article proposes an experimental field protocol for investigating the postmortem interval using specially designed apparatus and human and pig cadavers. We further propose that this goal can only be achieved by a multidisciplinary group, comprised of forensic entomologists, pathologists, and anthropologists. The apparatus and collecting methods described by the authors establish the means by which data can be collected on several fronts simultaneously: the sequential arrival and variety of insects in the decay process, the character and manner of soft tissue decomposition, the sequence and nature of bone exposure and order of disarticulation of skeletal remains, and the influence of climate and season on decay rates and arthropod succession. A central feature of this protocol involves the construction and use of a dual-functioning insect trap that allows separate but simultaneous capture of arriving and emerging populations while successional and decompositional processes of the cadaver are left intact. Results of trap performance tests in an arid climate and preliminary arthropod data collected from field-exposed pig carcasses are presented. The use of this protocol could provide important and badly needed baseline data for both medical investigators and law enforcement personnel, information that is critical to understanding the causes, manner, and time of death, which the law requires to be ascertained. PMID:1955831

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Turchetto, M; Lafisca, S; Costantini, G

    2001-08-15

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

  18. Caddisflies assist with homicide case: determining a postmortem submersion interval using aquatic insects.

    PubMed

    Wallace, John R; Merritt, Richard W; Kimbirauskas, Ryan; Benbow, M Eric; McIntosh, Mollie

    2008-01-01

    Although few indicators of time since death for corpses found in aquatic ecosystems are comparable in precision to the insect indicators used in terrestrial cases, there are observations that can be useful in suggesting or ruling out an approximate PMSI (postmortem submersion interval). For example, the time intervals required for certain growth phases of aquatic insects, such as caddisflies, that may attach themselves to the submerged remains can be used to estimate a minimum PMSI. Approximately 8 of the 13 orders of insects containing species with aquatic or semi-aquatic stages are likely to be associated with carrion or corpses in aquatic habitats. We present a case study in which portions of a body from an adult male were discovered in a south central Michigan stream. The body was dismembered and portions were recovered from two bags floating and submerged in the stream. Insect specimens collected from mesh and plastic bags consisted of one fly larva belonging to the family Muscidae, and caddisfly larvae belonging to two families: the Limnephilidae. (case-makers) and the Hydropsychidae, (net spinners). We used unique case-building behaviors of the limnephilid caddisflies found on the remains to elucidate a PMSI range consistent with the disappearance of the victim. It is important for forensic investigators to understand that although some precision is lost in estimating a PMSI with aquatic insects, these organisms should not be ignored in gathering evidence from aquatic crime scenes, and in fact, they can provide valuable details in estimating a PMSI.

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

    PubMed

    Turchetto, M; Lafisca, S; Costantini, G

    2001-08-15

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

  20. [Ethical problems in forensic-psychiatric assessment].

    PubMed

    Barbey, I

    1988-09-01

    Forensic psychiatry as a subspecialty variously differs from general psychiatry. Therefore psychiatrists working in forensic psychiatry are confronted with ethical problems of other kind. In the following several ethical problems connecting with forensic psychiatric examination are pointed out. Finally the question is discussed, whether there is a need of special ethical guidelines for forensic psychiatry.

  1. 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…

  2. 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.

  3. Forensic psychiatric examinations: competency.

    PubMed

    Koson, D F

    1982-01-01

    The many definitions of competency in civil, criminal, and domestic relations law are discussed with emphasis on the various legal criteria for competency and the different classes of psychiatric information required to apply the criteria to a given case. Within the context of a general discussion of forensic examinations, techniques for gathering the right kind of information are systematically related to the exigencies of evaluating past, present, or future mental states by selectively altering the focus of mental status evaluations and history-taking. In addition, special investigative techniques such as hypnosis, Amytal sodium interview, stress interview, psychological testing, and others are discussed.

  4. Bio-forensics

    SciTech Connect

    Trewhella, J.

    2004-01-01

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

  5. Bayesian Integrated Microbial Forensics

    SciTech Connect

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

    2008-06-01

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

  6. 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.

  7. New identification possibilities with postmortem multislice computed tomography.

    PubMed

    Dedouit, Fabrice; Telmon, Norbert; Costagliola, Rémi; Otal, Philippe; Florence, Loubes Lacroix; Joffre, Francis; Rougé, Daniel

    2007-11-01

    Historically, radiographical identification has been done by comparing conventional antemortem and postmortem X-ray images. The advent of new technologies such as multislice computed tomography (MSCT) is making traditional antemortem examination increasingly less frequent. The authors present the results of MSCT study of 35 corpses, which demonstrated features potentially useful for identification purposes in ten cases. These features, which relate to abnormalities of postcranial bone as well as of the internal organs, are presented. Attempts were made to find any antemortem X-rays or MSCTs on the cases described to compare the two antemortem and postmortem images. Although antemortem imaging was recovered for only two cases (one case with a skeletal abnormality and one case with a visceral abnormality), it permitted for both cases the comparison of antemortem and postmortem MSCTs.

  8. Public Databases Supporting Computational Toxicology

    EPA Science Inventory

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

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

    PubMed

    Urbanová, Petra; Hejna, Petr; Jurda, Mikoláš

    2015-05-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Urbanová, Petra; Hejna, Petr; Jurda, Mikoláš

    2015-05-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-03-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-08-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-08-01

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

  14. An Acute Butyr-Fentanyl Fatality: A Case Report with Postmortem Concentrations.

    PubMed

    McIntyre, Iain M; Trochta, Amber; Gary, Ray D; Wright, Jennifer; Mena, Othon

    2016-03-01

    In this case report, we present an evaluation of the distribution of postmortem concentrations of butyr-fentanyl in a fatality attributed principally to the drug. A man who had a history of intravenous drug abuse was found unresponsive on the bathroom floor of his home. Drug paraphernalia was located on the bathroom counter. Toxicology testing, which initially screened positive for fentanyl by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, subsequently confirmed butyr-fentanyl, which was then quantitated by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry-specific ion monitoring (GC-MS SIM) analysis following liquid-liquid extraction. The butyr-fentanyl peripheral blood concentration was quantitated at 58 ng/mL compared with the central blood concentration of 97 ng/mL. The liver concentration was 320 ng/g, the vitreous was 40 ng/mL, the urine was 670 ng/mL and the gastric contained 170 mg. Acetyl-fentanyl was also detected in all biological specimens tested. Peripheral blood concentration was quantitated at 38 ng/mL compared with the central blood concentration of 32 ng/mL. The liver concentration was 110 ng/g, the vitreous was 38 ng/mL, the urine was 540 ng/mL and the gastric contained <70 mg. The only other drug detected was a relatively low concentration of benzoylecgonine. The cause of death was certified as acute butyr-fentanyl, acetyl-fentanyl and cocaine intoxication, and the manner of death was certified as accident.

  15. Forensic web watch.

    PubMed

    Lumb, P D; Rutty, G N

    2001-06-01

    The chosen subject for this month's review is toxicology and covers sites touching upon prescription and illicit drugs, analytical techniques and poisonous plants. It highlights a common problem to the user of the Internet. As more and more people log on and put their web site on for public access, searching for a single, comprehensive, all-encompassing single site becomes almost impossible. Many sites are repetitive or purely personal adverts. Unless you are recommended a site or you are prepared to wade your way through all the junk, one will never find the 'El Dorado' you are seeking. PMID:15274978

  16. Forensic web watch.

    PubMed

    Lumb, P D; Rutty, G N

    2001-09-01

    The chosen subject for this month's review is toxicology and covers sites touching upon prescription and illicit drugs, analytical techniques and poisonous plants. It highlights a common problem to the user of the Internet. As more and more people log on and put their web site on for public access, searching for a single, comprehensive, all-encompassing single site becomes almost impossible. Many sites are repetitive or purely personal adverts. Unless you are recommended a site or you are prepared to wade your way through all the junk, one will never find the 'El Dorado' you are seeking. PMID:15274971

  17. Scope of practice issues in forensic nursing.

    PubMed

    Evans, A M; Wells, D

    2001-01-01

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

  18. Postmortem detection of inapparent myocardial infarction

    PubMed Central

    McVie, J. G.

    1970-01-01

    Two methods of detecting early inapparent myocardial infarcts have been studied and their value in diagnostic practice compared. The better method proved to be the determination of the potassium to sodium ratio (ionic ratio) which falls in infarcted tissue within minutes of the onset of anoxia. The second method was nitro blue tetrazolium staining of gross sections of myocardium which revealed any infarct older than three and a half hours. As staining is dependent upon enzyme activity, the latter method is disturbed by autolysis. It was shown, on the other hand, that the ionic ratio (K+/Na+) was not affected by autolysis and was therefore well suited to forensic practice. Sixteen non-infarcted control hearts, plus the nine from cases of sudden death due to causes other than myocardial infarction, all yielded high ionic ratios (K+/Na+), average 1·4, and stained normally with tetrazolium (the normal controls). Positive control was provided by 20 histologically proven infarcts of which the ionic ratios (K+/Na+) were all low (average 0·7). Histochemical staining with tetrazolium delineated infarcted areas in each case. In a series of 29 sudden deaths, a cause of death other than myocardial infarction was found at necropsy in nine, mentioned above as normal controls. The remaining 20 hearts were not infarcted histologically, but were shown to be infarcted by examination of the ionic ratios (K+/Na+). These ratios were low (average 0·8) including three borderline ratios. Confirmatory evidence of infarction included nitro blue tetrazolium staining which revealed infarcts in 10 of the 20 cases, and clinical and necropsy observations. The ionic ratio (K+/Na+) decreases as the age of the infarct increases for at least 24 hours. Thereafter as healing proceeds, the ratio gradually reverts to normal. Thus, previous infarction and replacement fibrosis do not significantly alter the ionic ratio (K+/Na+). Nor is it changed by left ventricular hypertrophy, the presence of

  19. Labs and slabs: television crime drama and the quest for forensic realism.

    PubMed

    Jermyn, Deborah

    2013-03-01

    This essay examines how crime dramas produced during, and since, the 1990s became marked by the quest for 'forensic realism'. In particular, the essay traces a landmark shift in the development of forensic realism in the form of the ground-breaking British police drama Prime Suspect in 1991. It is argued that this television series not only represents a turning point in television history, but that it also constitutes a key text in the broader cultural turn towards forensic fascination. Prime Suspect vividly revealed and displayed corpses, crime scenes and post-mortem photos in an unprecedented fashion for television. This essay shows how in the process it established new standards and expectations regarding the aesthetics and thematic content of the perceived 'realism' of the crime genre. Through an analysis of the reception and impact of Prime Suspect the essay also demonstrates how crime drama's increasing fascination with forensic realism has driven debate over just what kinds of stories and images constitute acceptable or appropriate subject matter for popular entertainment, and for the medium of television itself. PMID:23026189

  20. Using the developmental gene bicoid to identify species of forensically important blowflies (Diptera: calliphoridae).

    PubMed

    Park, Seong Hwan; Park, Chung Hyun; Zhang, Yong; Piao, Huguo; Chung, Ukhee; Kim, Seong Yoon; Ko, Kwang Soo; Yi, Cheong-Ho; Jo, Tae-Ho; Hwang, Juck-Joon

    2013-01-01

    Identifying species of insects used to estimate postmortem interval (PMI) is a major subject in forensic entomology. Because forensic insect specimens are morphologically uniform and are obtained at various developmental stages, DNA markers are greatly needed. To develop new autosomal DNA markers to identify species, partial genomic sequences of the bicoid (bcd) genes, containing the homeobox and its flanking sequences, from 12 blowfly species (Aldrichina grahami, Calliphora vicina, Calliphora lata, Triceratopyga calliphoroides, Chrysomya megacephala, Chrysomya pinguis, Phormia regina, Lucilia ampullacea, Lucilia caesar, Lucilia illustris, Hemipyrellia ligurriens and Lucilia sericata; Calliphoridae: Diptera) were determined and analyzed. This study first sequenced the ten blowfly species other than C. vicina and L. sericata. Based on the bcd sequences of these 12 blowfly species, a phylogenetic tree was constructed that discriminates the subfamilies of Calliphoridae (Luciliinae, Chrysomyinae, and Calliphorinae) and most blowfly species. Even partial genomic sequences of about 500 bp can distinguish most blowfly species. The short intron 2 and coding sequences downstream of the bcd homeobox in exon 3 could be utilized to develop DNA markers for forensic applications. These gene sequences are important in the evolution of insect developmental biology and are potentially useful for identifying insect species in forensic science.

  1. Are the evidences of forensic entomology preserved in ethanol suitable for SEM studies?

    PubMed

    López-Esclapez, Raquel; García, María-Dolores; Arnaldos, María-Isabel; Presa, Juan José; Ubero-Pascal, Nicolás

    2014-07-01

    In forensic practice, the use of arthropod evidences to estimate the postmortem interval is a very good approach when the elapsed time from death is long, but it requires the correct identification of the specimens. This is a crucial step, not always easy to achieve, in particular when dealing with immature specimens. In this case, scanning electronic microscopy (SEM) can be useful, but the techniques used to preserve specimens in forensic practice are usually different from those used to prepare specimens for SEM studies. To determine whether forensic evidences preserving techniques are also compatible with SEM analysis, we have compared specimens of all the immature stages of Calliphora vicina Robineau-Desvoidy, 1830 (Diptera, Calliphoridae) preserved in 70% ethanol, with others prepared with aldehydic fixative techniques that are more appropriate for SEM studies. At the same time, two drying techniques have also been compared with both fixative techniques, the critical point drying and air-drying following with hexamethyldisilizane treatment (HMDS). Our results indicate that there are not basis against recommending the use of ethanol to preserve forensic entomological evidences and that both drying methods appear to offer good results for second and third instar larvae, although HMDS behaves better with eggs and pupae.

  2. Using the Developmental Gene Bicoid to Identify Species of Forensically Important Blowflies (Diptera: Calliphoridae)

    PubMed Central

    Park, Seong Hwan; Park, Chung Hyun; Zhang, Yong; Piao, Huguo; Chung, Ukhee; Kim, Seong Yoon; Ko, Kwang Soo; Yi, Cheong-Ho; Jo, Tae-Ho; Hwang, Juck-Joon

    2013-01-01

    Identifying species of insects used to estimate postmortem interval (PMI) is a major subject in forensic entomology. Because forensic insect specimens are morphologically uniform and are obtained at various developmental stages, DNA markers are greatly needed. To develop new autosomal DNA markers to identify species, partial genomic sequences of the bicoid (bcd) genes, containing the homeobox and its flanking sequences, from 12 blowfly species (Aldrichina grahami, Calliphora vicina, Calliphora lata, Triceratopyga calliphoroides, Chrysomya megacephala, Chrysomya pinguis, Phormia regina, Lucilia ampullacea, Lucilia caesar, Lucilia illustris, Hemipyrellia ligurriens and Lucilia sericata; Calliphoridae: Diptera) were determined and analyzed. This study first sequenced the ten blowfly species other than C. vicina and L. sericata. Based on the bcd sequences of these 12 blowfly species, a phylogenetic tree was constructed that discriminates the subfamilies of Calliphoridae (Luciliinae, Chrysomyinae, and Calliphorinae) and most blowfly species. Even partial genomic sequences of about 500 bp can distinguish most blowfly species. The short intron 2 and coding sequences downstream of the bcd homeobox in exon 3 could be utilized to develop DNA markers for forensic applications. These gene sequences are important in the evolution of insect developmental biology and are potentially useful for identifying insect species in forensic science. PMID:23586044

  3. Sudden cardiac death in forensic medicine – Swiss recommendations for a multidisciplinary approach.

    PubMed

    Wilhelm, Matthias; Bolliger, Stephan A; Bartsch, Christine; Fokstuen, Siv; Gräni, Christoph; Martos, Viktor; Medeiros Domingo, Argelia; Osculati, Antonio; Rieubland, Claudine; Sabatasso, Sara; Saguner, Ardan M; Schyma, Christian; Tschui, Joelle; Wyler, Daniel; Bhuiyan, Zahurul A; Fellmann, Florence; Michaud, Katarzyna

    2015-01-01

    Sudden cardiac death (SCD) is by definition unexpected and cardiac in nature. The investigation is almost invariably performed by a forensic pathologist. Under these circumstances the role of the forensic pathologist is twofold: (1.) to determine rapidly and efficiently the cause and manner of death and (2.) to initiate a multidisciplinary process in order to prevent further deaths in existing family members. If the death is determined to be due to "natural" causes the district attorney in charge often refuses further examinations. However, additional examinations, i.e. extensive histopathological investigations and/or molecular genetic analyses, are necessary in many cases to clarify the cause of death. The Swiss Society of Legal Medicine created a multidisciplinary working group together with clinical and molecular geneticists and cardiologists in the hope of harmonising the approach to investigate SCD. The aim of this paper is to close the gap between the Swiss recommendations for routine forensic post-mortem cardiac examination and clinical recommendations for genetic testing of inherited cardiac diseases; this is in order to optimise the diagnostic procedures and preventive measures for living family members. The key points of the recommendations are (1.) the forensic autopsy procedure for all SCD victims under 40 years of age, (2.) the collection and storage of adequate samples for genetic testing, (3.) communication with the families, and (4.) a multidisciplinary approach including cardiogenetic counselling.

  4. 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.

  5. Labs and slabs: television crime drama and the quest for forensic realism.

    PubMed

    Jermyn, Deborah

    2013-03-01

    This essay examines how crime dramas produced during, and since, the 1990s became marked by the quest for 'forensic realism'. In particular, the essay traces a landmark shift in the development of forensic realism in the form of the ground-breaking British police drama Prime Suspect in 1991. It is argued that this television series not only represents a turning point in television history, but that it also constitutes a key text in the broader cultural turn towards forensic fascination. Prime Suspect vividly revealed and displayed corpses, crime scenes and post-mortem photos in an unprecedented fashion for television. This essay shows how in the process it established new standards and expectations regarding the aesthetics and thematic content of the perceived 'realism' of the crime genre. Through an analysis of the reception and impact of Prime Suspect the essay also demonstrates how crime drama's increasing fascination with forensic realism has driven debate over just what kinds of stories and images constitute acceptable or appropriate subject matter for popular entertainment, and for the medium of television itself.

  6. Forensic Stable Isotope Biogeochemistry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-06-01

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

  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. Nanoparticles in forensic science

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cantu, Antonio A.

    2008-10-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-05-01

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

  10. Applications of liquid chromatography--mass spectrometry in analytical toxicology: a review.

    PubMed

    Hoja, H; Marquet, P; Verneuil, B; Lotfi, H; Pénicaut, B; Lachâtre, G

    1997-01-01

    Liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS), after long-term development that has introduced seven major interfacing techniques, is finally suitable for application in the field of analytical toxicology. Various compound classes can be analyzed, and sensitivities for more or less polar analytes that are as good as or better than those of gas chromatography-mass spectrometry can be obtained with modern interfaces. In addition, because ionization is often softer than classical electron impact, some LC-MS interfaces are able to handle fragile species that are otherwise not amenable to MS. This review is intended to present LC-MS to less familiarized readers and to give an extensive overview of the application of the different coupling techniques to doping agents, drugs of abuse, forensic analysis, toxic compounds of various nature, and several toxicologically relevant therapeutic drugs. Experimental parameters such as the interfaces used, ionization methods, detection limits, and experimental details for exemplary applications are given. PMID:9083829

  11. 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.

  12. The Emergence of Systematic Review in Toxicology.

    PubMed

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

    2016-07-01

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

  13. The Emergence of Systematic Review in Toxicology

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  14. Who's afraid of forensic psychiatry?

    PubMed

    Miller, R D

    1990-01-01

    Forensic psychiatry has come under mounting criticism from the press and other medical professionals, largely for its participation in the insanity defense. The author argues that the expertise available from the specialty is of increasing importance to psychiatry as a whole, as more and more legal issues become relevant to the practice of general psychiatry, and should be actively encouraged and legitimized rather than ostracized. All psychiatrists should be exposed to forensic principles and practices during their training, and the ability of forensic psychiatrists to serve as transducers between the clinical and the legal/judicial should be increasingly used to present the clinical viewpoint effectively in courts and legislatures.

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gaensslen, Robert E.

    2002-01-01

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

  16. 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.

  17. QUANTITATIVE TOXICOLOGIC PATHOLOGY-METHODS AND INTERPRETATION' SESSION AT THE JOINT MEETING OF SOCIETY OF TOXICOLOGIC PATHOLOGISTS AND THE INTERNATIONAL FEDERATION OF SOCIETIES OF TOXICOLOGIC PATHOLOGISTS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Report of the 'Quantitative Toxicologic Pathology - Methods and Interpretation' session at the Joint meeting of Society of Toxicologic Pathologists and the International Federation of Societies of Toxicologic Pathologists, Orlando, Florida, USA, June 24-28, 2001. Douglas C. Wolf,...

  18. 13. VIEW OF EAST OPERATING GALLERY ALONG THE POSTMORTEM CELLS. ...

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

    13. VIEW OF EAST OPERATING GALLERY ALONG THE POST-MORTEM CELLS. A NUMBER OF MANIPULATOR ARMS COVERED WITH PLASTIC ARE ON THE LEFT WALL. - Nevada Test Site, Engine Maintenance Assembly & Disassembly Facility, Area 25, Jackass Flats, Mercury, Nye County, NV

  19. 18. Photocopy of photograph. VIEW WITHIN POSTMORTEM CELL OF MANIPULATOR ...

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

    18. Photocopy of photograph. VIEW WITHIN POST-MORTEM CELL OF MANIPULATOR ARMS BEING USED TO MOVE METAL BARS FROM ONE LOCATION TO ANOTHER. Photographer unknown, ca. 1965, original photograph and negative on file at the Remote Sensing Laboratory, Department of Energy, Nevada Operations Office. - Nevada Test Site, Engine Maintenance Assembly & Disassembly Facility, Area 25, Jackass Flats, Mercury, Nye County, NV

  20. Interpretation of postmortem vitreous concentrations of sodium and chloride.

    PubMed

    Zilg, B; Alkass, K; Berg, S; Druid, H

    2016-06-01

    Vitreous fluid can be used to analyze sodium and chloride levels in deceased persons, but it remains unclear to what extent such results can be used to diagnose antemortem sodium or chloride imbalances. In this study we present vitreous sodium and chloride levels from more than 3000 cases. We show that vitreous sodium and chloride levels both decrease with approximately 2.2mmol/L per day after death. Since potassium is a well-established marker for postmortem interval (PMI) and easily can be analyzed along with sodium and chloride, we have correlated sodium and chloride levels with the potassium levels and present postmortem reference ranges relative the potassium levels. We found that virtually all cases outside the reference range show signs of antemortem hypo- or hypernatremia. Vitreous sodium or chloride levels can be the only means to diagnose cases of water or salt intoxication, beer potomania or dehydration. We further show that postmortem vitreous sodium and chloride strongly correlate and in practice can be used interchangeably if analysis of one of the ions fails. It has been suggested that vitreous sodium and chloride levels can be used to diagnose drowning or to distinguish saltwater from freshwater drowning. Our results show that in cases of freshwater drowning, vitreous sodium levels are decreased, but that this mainly is an effect of postmortem diffusion between the eye and surrounding water rather than due to the drowning process, since the decrease in sodium levels correlates with immersion time. PMID:27105154

  1. Neuroimaging, culture, and forensic psychiatry.

    PubMed

    Aggarwal, Neil K

    2009-01-01

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

  2. [Forensic significance of depressive syndromes].

    PubMed

    Lammel, M

    1987-10-01

    The three chief problems arising when an expert opinion is to be given are dealt with in brief, and the forensic significance of the depressive syndrome is described, without entering into the question of giving an opinion as to responsibility.

  3. Forensic historiography: narratives and science.

    PubMed

    Drukteinis, Albert M

    2014-01-01

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

  4. Professional convergence in forensic practice.

    PubMed

    Mercer, D; Mason, T; Richman, J

    2001-06-01

    This paper outlines the development and convergence of forensic science and secure psychiatric services in the UK, locating the professionalization of forensic nursing within a complex web of political, economic, and ideological structures. It is suggested that a stagnation of the therapeutic enterprise in high and medium security provision has witnessed an intrusion of medical power into the societal body. Expanding technologies of control and surveillance are discussed in relation to the move from modernity to postmodernity and the ongoing dynamic of medicalized offending. Four aspects of globalization are identified as impacting upon the organization and application of forensic practice: (i) organized capitalism and the exhaustion of the welfare state; (ii) security versus danger and trust versus risk; (iii) science as a meta-language; and (iv) foreclosure as a mechanism of censorship. Finally, as a challenge for the profession, some predictions are offered about the future directions or demise of forensic nursing.

  5. American Academy of Forensic Sciences

    MedlinePlus

    ... Methods Young Forensic Scientists Forum Newsletter – October 2016 Zika Virus Information for Travelers to the U.S. (Source: U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention) Quick Links Pay Your Dues About ...

  6. Forensic Science--A Proposal

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Geesaman, Donald P.; Abrahamson, Dean E.

    1973-01-01

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

  7. Toxicological significance of dihydrodiol metabolites

    SciTech Connect

    Hsia, M.T.

    1982-01-01

    Dihydrodiols are often found as the major organic-extractable metabolites of various olefinic or aromatic xenobiotics in many biological samples. Studies on the chemistry of dihydrodiol metabolites have provided insight into the pharmacokinetic behavior and the mode of action of the parent compound. The toxicology of dihydrodiol is more complex than what can be deduced solely on the basis of diminished bioavailability of the epoxide precursor, and the increased hydrophilicity associated with the dihydrodiol moiety. Dihydrodiols can be intrinsically toxic and may even represent metabolically activated species. Some of the dihydrodiol metabolites may still retain sufficient lipophilic character to serve again as substrates for microsomal oxygenases. Because of the tremendous chemical and biological diversity that existed among the various dihydrodiols, more mechanistic studies are needed to examine the toxicological properties of these compounds. It may be premature to conclude dihydrodiol formation as purely a detoxification route for xenobioties.

  8. Toxicologic studies of SRC materials

    SciTech Connect

    Mahlum, D.D.; Pelroy, R.A.; Drucker, H.; Wilson, B.W.; Massey, M.J.; Schmalzer, D.K.

    1980-02-01

    Investigations on the toxicity of SRC materials are reported. Toxicological studies include: microbial mutageneis (Ames test); in vitro mammalian cell toxicity and transformation assays; epidermal carcinogenesis (skin painting); acute and subchronic oral toxicity; developmental toxicity; dominant lethal assays; inhalation toxicity; and dosimetry and metabolism. The materials tested include: SRC-I process solvent, wash solvent, and light oil; SRC-II heavy distillate, middle distillate, and light distillate; shale oil; crude petroleum; and pure carcinogens. (DC)

  9. Postmortem evidence of cerebral inflammation in schizophrenia: a systematic review.

    PubMed

    Trépanier, M O; Hopperton, K E; Mizrahi, R; Mechawar, N; Bazinet, R P

    2016-08-01

    Schizophrenia is a psychiatric disorder which has a lifetime prevalence of ~1%. Multiple candidate mechanisms have been proposed in the pathogenesis of schizophrenia. One such mechanism is the involvement of neuroinflammation. Clinical studies, including neuroimaging, peripheral biomarkers and randomized control trials, have suggested the presence of neuroinflammation in schizophrenia. Many studies have also measured markers of neuroinflammation in postmortem brain samples from schizophrenia patients. The objective of this study was to conduct a systematic search of the literature on neuroinflammation in postmortem brains of schizophrenia patients indexed in MEDLINE, Embase and PsycINFO. Databases were searched up until 20th March 2016 for articles published on postmortem brains in schizophrenia evaluating microglia, astrocytes, glia, cytokines, the arachidonic cascade, substance P and other markers of neuroinflammation. Two independent reviewers extracted the data. Out of 5385 articles yielded by the search, 119 articles were identified that measured neuroinflammatory markers in schizophrenic postmortem brains. Glial fibrillary acidic protein expression was elevated, lower or unchanged in 6, 6 and 21 studies, respectively, and similar results were obtained for glial cell densities. On the other hand, microglial markers were increased, lower or unchanged in schizophrenia in 11, 3 and 8 studies, respectively. Results were variable across all other markers, but SERPINA3 and IFITM were consistently increased in 4 and 5 studies, respectively. Despite the variability, some studies evaluating neuroinflammation in postmortem brains in schizophrenia suggest an increase in microglial activity and other markers such as SERPINA3 and IFITM. Variability across studies is partially explained by multiple factors including brain region evaluated, source of the brain, diagnosis, age at time of death, age of onset and the presence of suicide victims in the cohort. PMID:27271499

  10. Postmortem evidence of cerebral inflammation in schizophrenia: a systematic review

    PubMed Central

    Trépanier, M O; Hopperton, K E; Mizrahi, R; Mechawar, N; Bazinet, R P

    2016-01-01

    Schizophrenia is a psychiatric disorder which has a lifetime prevalence of ~1%. Multiple candidate mechanisms have been proposed in the pathogenesis of schizophrenia. One such mechanism is the involvement of neuroinflammation. Clinical studies, including neuroimaging, peripheral biomarkers and randomized control trials, have suggested the presence of neuroinflammation in schizophrenia. Many studies have also measured markers of neuroinflammation in postmortem brain samples from schizophrenia patients. The objective of this study was to conduct a systematic search of the literature on neuroinflammation in postmortem brains of schizophrenia patients indexed in MEDLINE, Embase and PsycINFO. Databases were searched up until 20th March 2016 for articles published on postmortem brains in schizophrenia evaluating microglia, astrocytes, glia, cytokines, the arachidonic cascade, substance P and other markers of neuroinflammation. Two independent reviewers extracted the data. Out of 5385 articles yielded by the search, 119 articles were identified that measured neuroinflammatory markers in schizophrenic postmortem brains. Glial fibrillary acidic protein expression was elevated, lower or unchanged in 6, 6 and 21 studies, respectively, and similar results were obtained for glial cell densities. On the other hand, microglial markers were increased, lower or unchanged in schizophrenia in 11, 3 and 8 studies, respectively. Results were variable across all other markers, but SERPINA3 and IFITM were consistently increased in 4 and 5 studies, respectively. Despite the variability, some studies evaluating neuroinflammation in postmortem brains in schizophrenia suggest an increase in microglial activity and other markers such as SERPINA3 and IFITM. Variability across studies is partially explained by multiple factors including brain region evaluated, source of the brain, diagnosis, age at time of death, age of onset and the presence of suicide victims in the cohort. PMID:27271499

  11. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2005-09-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2005-09-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-05-01

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

  15. [Two anniversaries in Czech forensic medicine].

    PubMed

    Nečas, P; Hejna, P

    2012-10-01

    The authors commemorate the 100th anniversary of the publication of Slavíks textbook Forensic Pathology for Medical and Legal Students and the 125th anniversary of the 1st Czech forensic autopsy. They introduce professor V. Slavík and describe his personal qualities and expertise. The content of the textbook is described. The topicality of Slavíks explanations and the tradition of Czech forensic pathology are discussed. Key words: forensic pathology - history of Czech forensic pathology - textbooks of forensic pathology.

  16. Resource Guide to Careers in Toxicology, 3rd Edition.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Society of Toxicology, Reston, VA.

    This resource guide was prepared by the Tox 90's Educational Issues Task Force of the Society of Toxicology. The introduction provides information on the Society of Toxicology and financial support for graduate students in toxicology. Other sections include career opportunities in toxicology, academic and postdoctoral programs in toxicology, and…

  17. 21 CFR 862.3200 - Clinical toxicology calibrator.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-04-01

    ... 21 Food and Drugs 8 2010-04-01 2010-04-01 false Clinical toxicology calibrator. 862.3200 Section... (CONTINUED) MEDICAL DEVICES CLINICAL CHEMISTRY AND CLINICAL TOXICOLOGY DEVICES Clinical Toxicology Test Systems § 862.3200 Clinical toxicology calibrator. (a) Identification. A clinical toxicology calibrator...

  18. 21 CFR 862.3200 - Clinical toxicology calibrator.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-04-01

    ... 21 Food and Drugs 8 2011-04-01 2011-04-01 false Clinical toxicology calibrator. 862.3200 Section... (CONTINUED) MEDICAL DEVICES CLINICAL CHEMISTRY AND CLINICAL TOXICOLOGY DEVICES Clinical Toxicology Test Systems § 862.3200 Clinical toxicology calibrator. (a) Identification. A clinical toxicology calibrator...

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

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

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

  20. Significance of toxic interactions in medicolegal evidence. Complex fatal poisoning with drugs of abuse in the material of the Chair of Forensic Medicine, Collegium Medicum, Jagiellonian University in Kraków.

    PubMed

    Kłys, M; Bystrowska, B; Bujak-Gizycka, B; Nowak, G

    2001-01-01

    The subject of the study was fatal complex poisonings with drugs of abuse in two young men. In the first case, postmortem investigation revealed cardiotoxic death as the result of an interaction between opiates, amphetamine derivatives and oxazepam. In the second case, death followed the administration of amphetamine derivatives and cocaine (xenobiotics known on the illicit drug market as "UFO"). Based on the toxicological postmortem analysis the authors discuss the interpretation of the results in the light of general problems of interactions taking place in toxicokinetic and toxicodynamic phases of intoxication processes. PMID:11985341