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1.
Molecules ; 26(20)2021 Oct 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-34684853

ABSTRACT

Bloodstains found at crime scenes represent a crucial source of information for investigative purposes. However, in forensic practice, no technique is currently used to estimate the time from deposition of bloodstains. This preliminary study focuses on the age estimation of bloodstains by exploiting the color variations over time due to the oxidation of the blood. For this purpose, we used a colorimetric methodology in order to easily obtain objective, univocal and reproducible results. We developed two bloodstain age prediction algorithms: a short-term and a long-term useful model for the first 24h and 60 days, respectively. Both models showed high levels of classification accuracy, particularly for the long-term model. Although a small-scale study, these results improve the potential application of colorimetric analysis in the time-line reconstruction of violent criminal events.


Subject(s)
Colorimetry/methods , Forensic Medicine/methods , Adult , Algorithms , Blood Stains , Female , Humans , Male , Pilot Projects
2.
J Forensic Leg Med ; 83: 102250, 2021 Oct.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-34488176

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Vitreous humor has been extensively used in forensic practice to assess hyperglycemia after death. The results from different articles, for various hyperglycemia markers are highly variable, and a systematic analysis of the results from studies currently used in forensic practice as landmarks has not yet been performed. Therefore, we aimed to evaluate to usefulness and limits of using the values of vitreous glucose, lactic acid, beta-hydroxybutyrate, and 1,5 Anhydro-d-glucitol to detect postmortem hyperglycemia. MATERIALS AND METHODS: For this purpose, we performed a systematic review and a meta-analysis using the random-effects model to identify the threshold values and average differences for the markers mentioned above in the vitreous humor of diabetic versus nondiabetic subjects. RESULTS: We included eleven studies in the meta-analysis and found the following mean differences between the diabetic and nondiabetic groups: for glucose - 91.4 mg/dl, for lactate - 34.17 mg/dl, for the Traub formula - 111 mg/dl, for fructosamine - 0.71 mmol/L, for beta-hydroxybutyrate - 36.55 mg/dl and 1,5 Anhydro-d-glucitol - -15.2 mg/dl. We also gave practical recommendations, based on the range of values and 95% confidence intervals in normal subjects and controls to identify antemortem hyperglycemia and evaluated, whenever possible, threshold values for fatal diabetes. CONCLUSIONS: Glucose, Traub formula, fructosamine, and beta-hydroxy-butyrate can be used to detect postmortem hyperglycemia with some limitations; 1,5 Anhydro-d-glucitol can only be used to suggest the absence of a hyperglycemic status before death.


Subject(s)
Biomarkers/analysis , Biomarkers/metabolism , Forensic Medicine/methods , Hyperglycemia/diagnosis , Vitreous Body/chemistry , 3-Hydroxybutyric Acid/analysis , 3-Hydroxybutyric Acid/metabolism , Deoxyglucose/analysis , Deoxyglucose/metabolism , Fructosamine/analysis , Fructosamine/metabolism , Glucose/analysis , Glucose/metabolism , Humans , Lactic Acid/analysis , Lactic Acid/metabolism , Postmortem Changes
3.
Sci Rep ; 11(1): 16585, 2021 08 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-34400689

ABSTRACT

RNA analysis of post-mortem tissues, or thanatotranscriptomics, has become a topic of interest in forensic science due to the essential information it can provide in forensic investigations. Several studies have previously investigated the effect of death on gene transcription, but it has never been conducted with samples of the same individual. For the first time, a longitudinal mRNA expression analysis study was performed with post-mortem human blood samples from individuals with a known time of death. The results reveal that, after death, two clearly differentiated groups of up- and down-regulated genes can be detected. Pathway analysis suggests active processes that promote cell survival and DNA damage repair, rather than passive degradation, are the source of early post-mortem changes of gene expression in blood. In addition, a generalized linear model with an elastic net restriction predicted post-mortem interval with a root mean square error of 4.75 h. In conclusion, we demonstrate that post-mortem gene expression data can be used as biomarkers to estimate the post-mortem interval though further validation using independent sample sets is required before use in forensic casework.


Subject(s)
Cell Survival/genetics , DNA Repair/genetics , Postmortem Changes , RNA, Messenger/blood , Transcriptome , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , DNA Damage , Female , Forensic Medicine/methods , Gene Expression , Gene Ontology , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Models, Genetic , RNA, Messenger/biosynthesis , RNA, Messenger/genetics , Time Factors
4.
J Am Geriatr Soc ; 69(10): 2759-2765, 2021 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-34409587

ABSTRACT

Telecommunication assisted forensic assessments of capacity and mistreatment by geriatricians with expertise in elder abuse and self-neglect are helping to meet the demand for such forensic services for Adult Protective Services (APS) clients in remote and underserved areas of Texas. The use of synchronous audiovisual assisted interviews instead of in-person interviews with clients to provide capacity assessments has become more important with the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic. There is growing interest in establishing similar programs in other states using geriatrician faculty from medical schools to serve the clients of their state Adult Protective Services agencies. The arrangement between APS and the geriatricians at McGovern Medical School in Houston, Texas is novel. The structure of the arrangement is important for the success of the program. Legal, ethical, and practical considerations are discussed in this article, including approaches to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, physician liability, state law, and resource limitations. It is hoped that sharing how one such collaboration has addressed these important issues will suggest approaches for the structuring of similar programs.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Elder Abuse , Forensic Medicine , Geriatric Assessment/methods , Telemedicine , Aged , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Communicable Disease Control/methods , Elder Abuse/diagnosis , Elder Abuse/ethics , Elder Abuse/legislation & jurisprudence , Elder Abuse/prevention & control , Forensic Medicine/ethics , Forensic Medicine/legislation & jurisprudence , Forensic Medicine/methods , Humans , Organizational Innovation , Program Evaluation , SARS-CoV-2 , Telecommunications/organization & administration , Telemedicine/ethics , Telemedicine/legislation & jurisprudence , Telemedicine/methods , United States/epidemiology , Vulnerable Populations
5.
Int J Legal Med ; 135(6): 2469-2478, 2021 Nov.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-34313847

ABSTRACT

Electrical injury is a relatively uncommon but potentially devastating form of multi-system injury with high morbidity and mortality. In common electric injury cases, it is usually difficult to find characteristic changes of electric injury in major organs by using routine histopathological test methods unless there are landmark traces of electric injury, known as electric marks. How to determine electric shock death, especially in the absence of typical electrical marks on the body surface in some cases (which account for about two-thirds of electric injury cases), remains a challenging problem in forensic practice. Our summary shows that many current related studies have focused their efforts to find characteristic histopathological changes in major organs of the body caused by electric injury. Based on the results obtained through comparison of the literature, we find that it may be more urgent and important to find the optimal autopsy or sampling sites in cases with no typical electric marks, knowing that these sites may often reflect the most significant histopathological changes of electric injury, for instance anatomy and sampling of the anterior wrist and the medial malleolus in cases involving the hand-to-foot electric circuit pathway. In this article, we make a summary of advances in identification methods of electric injury, hoping that it could provide some new insights for further research in this field.


Subject(s)
Electric Injuries/diagnosis , Electric Injuries/pathology , Forensic Medicine/methods , Cause of Death , Electric Injuries/mortality , Humans
6.
J Forensic Sci ; 66(6): 2252-2260, 2021 Nov.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-34254689

ABSTRACT

Mummified tissue presents challenges for fingerprinting due to rigidity, shrinkage, and other features obscuring epidermal ridge detail. A new cost-effective in-house solution was developed to obtain good quality fingerprints from mummified remains. The simplified procedure uses a sodium carbonate:sodium acetate mixture easily prepared using commonly available chemical products. An overview of the methods and solutions utilized to date for rehydration and restoration illustrates the main benefits of the developed formulation: the solution provided better tissue pliability and turgor than the sodium carbonate:ethanol formulation of Rüffer previously employed; the prepared solution proved stable for weeks at room temperature and poses minimum hazard risk to users. It functions as a weak base (pH 9.3) and is sufficiently corrosive to allow tissue softening over a flexible timeframe of 1-5 days without causing any damage. The degree of effectiveness for rehydration of mummified tissue and restoration of ridge detail is attributed to three synergistic aspects: increased turgor as provided by a penetrating humectant and water; softening and pliability as a result of pH and any specific chemical interaction that affects calcium in collagen; ridge detail definition as a function of turgor and softening, with some secondary corrosive dependency related to the pH of a solution.


Subject(s)
Dermatoglyphics , Fingers , Fluid Therapy , Mummies , Carbonates , Forensic Medicine/methods , Humans , Hydrogen-Ion Concentration , Sodium Acetate
7.
Forensic Sci Int ; 325: 110886, 2021 Aug.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-34192646

ABSTRACT

Sexual assault offences are one of the most serious crimes committed against a person, typically rank only second to homicide, and represent one of the major challenges in forensic sciences. In some cases of sexual assault, there may be more than one suspect and the analysis of the biological evidence with currently available methods such as human DNA analysis may not yield results. In this study using the designed experimental model (with different experimental scenarios that can be designed), it was aimed to investigate the effectiveness of the microbiome profile for the identification of the offender by comparing the microbiome structures of the suspects' saliva samples with the mixed samples on the victim (saliva transmitted on breast skin) within the first 48 h after a sexual assault. For this purpose, a total of 44 samples was collected from four healthy females and four healthy males aged 20-50 years. Microbiome profiles of 44 samples in four groups containing saliva, breast skin and mixed samples were determined with the IIlumina HiSeq platform. Differentiation between samples were calculated by beta-diversity analysis methods by using QIIME software (v1.80). To compare the differentiation among samples and groups, unweighted UniFrac distance values were applied. Eight dominant microbial genera accounted for 86.15% of the total bacterial population in male saliva samples and were composed of Fusobacterium, Haemophilus, Neisseria, Porphyromonas, Prevotella, Rothia, Streptococcus and Veillonella. These genera constituted 76.72% of the bacterial population in mixed samples, whereas they constituted 34.40% of the bacterial population in the breast skin samples. Results of this study show that bacterial DNA in saliva can be recovered from saliva transmitted breast skin within at least 48 h. In conclusion, it has been found that examination of the microbiota of the saliva transmitted to breast skin of a sexual assault victim as a forensic tool may have the potential to determine the offender of the incident among the suspects or to reduce the number of suspects. Supporting the results of this study with further studies using parameters such as different case models, different body regions, larger time periods and a higher number of participants will be beneficial to draw accurate conclusion of the judicial case.


Subject(s)
Breast , Saliva/microbiology , Sex Offenses , Skin/microbiology , Adult , DNA, Bacterial/genetics , Female , Forensic Medicine/methods , Humans , Male , Microbiota , Middle Aged , RNA, Ribosomal, 16S , Sequence Analysis, DNA , Young Adult
8.
Int J Legal Med ; 135(6): 2479-2487, 2021 Nov.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-34148133

ABSTRACT

The estimation of the time since death is an important task in forensic medicine that mainly relies on body cooling in the early post-mortem period. The rectum has been traditionally used to determine the central core temperature after death, though the external auditory canal has been proposed as an alternative site by several authors. The objective of this study was to assess the ability of four body temperature-based methods (Henssge's rectal nomogram, Henssge's brain nomogram, and Baccino's both interval and global formulae based on ear temperature) to estimate the post-mortem interval (PMI). PMI calculations were carried out based on ear and rectal temperature measurements performed with a reference metal probe on 100 inpatient bodies with an average PMI of 4.5 ± 2.5 h. For practical purposes, ear temperature measurements were applied to Henssge's brain nomogram. All methods could be applied to 81 cases, since high body temperatures prevented the rectal nomogram method from being used in most of the remaining cases. The actual PMI was within the time interval (95% CI) provided by the rectal nomogram method in 72.8% of cases, and in 63.0% to 76.5% of cases when using ear temperature-based methods. The proportions of adequate estimates did not differ statistically between the different methods. When the methods failed to provide a reliable time interval, all except the brain nomogram tended to underestimate the PMI. Similar results were obtained in the subgroup of normothermic patients at the time of death (n = 63), confirming that the PMI calculations had not been biased by the inclusion of patients with thermoregulation disorders. Our findings are in accordance with the published literature which suggests that ear temperature-based methods are as reliable as those based on rectal temperature for estimating the early PMI and that they may be used as quick, simple, and non-invasive methods at the scene, although caution should be taken in interpreting their results given their high error rates. However, further research including field studies is recommended to confirm their practical relevance in forensic casework.


Subject(s)
Body Temperature , Brain/physiology , Ear/physiology , Forensic Medicine/methods , Rectum/physiology , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Postmortem Changes
9.
Forensic Sci Int ; 325: 110870, 2021 Aug.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-34144279

ABSTRACT

In temperature based death time estimation, the mathematical description by Marshall and Hoare is combined with the parameters defined and additional correction factors introduced by Henssge in the Nomogram method (summarized as MHH). Parameters and correction factors however leave room for subjectivity and disagreement. Elevation of rectal temperature at the time of death has been acknowledged as problematic for death time estimation in several studies, but has neither been solved nor systematically integrated into death time estimation methodology. Ambient temperature, when non-constant and/or unknown, may introduce additional errors. Further problems may arise if the fundamental relationship between torso dimensions and total body weight is not comparable to Henssge's dummy cooling model. In this study we present a novel methodological approach to temperature based death time estimation, in which relevant parameters for calculations may be evaluated, corrected and generated using brute-force calculations. Consistency of death time over the course of cooling is used as brute-force target. The calculations produce momentary cooling weights, which are graphed over time. Cooling weight graphs can be analyzed to draw conclusions related to different parameters. The method was used on artificial ideal cooling data which was generated according to MHH for known parameters. Correctness of assumed parameters was confirmed by a linear horizontal path of the cooling weight graph. However, controlled false value input resulted in characteristic graph variations. Elevated rectal temperature at the time of death was detectable from the curve shape until hours after cooling below regular temperature at death. False high and false low ambient temperature produced positive and negative curve slopes. Overall, the method acts much like a prism which breaks up light into its elemental colors. It holds potential for application both in scientific settings and practical case work.


Subject(s)
Body Temperature , Forensic Medicine/methods , Nomograms , Postmortem Changes , Cadaver , Humans , Rectum
10.
Molecules ; 26(11)2021 May 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-34071519

ABSTRACT

Currently, forensic research is multidisciplinary with new methods and parameters useful to define the cause and time of death as well as survival/agony times. The identification of biochemical markers able to estimate agonal period has been studied by many forensic researchers. It is known that the estimation of agonal time in different types of death is not always easy, hence our interest in literature's data. The studies analyzed in this review confirm the important role of thanatobiochemistry for the estimation of survival times. Regardless of the death cause, the survival/agony time between the primary event and death influences markers concentrations in biological samples (e.g., blood, urine, cerebrospinal fluid). Different biomarkers can be used for qualitative evaluations in deaths with short and long agony (e.g., C-reactive protein, ferritin, GFAP, etc.). Instead, the quantitative interpretation showed limits due to the lack of reference cut-offs. Thanatobiochemistry is a useful tool to confirm what emerged from autopsies findings (macroscopic and histological analysis), but further studies are desirable to confirm the evidence emerging from our review of the literature.


Subject(s)
Autopsy/methods , Death , Forensic Medicine/methods , Postmortem Changes , 8-Hydroxy-2'-Deoxyguanosine/blood , Animals , Biomarkers/blood , C-Reactive Protein/biosynthesis , Carrier Proteins/blood , Catecholamines/metabolism , Electrochemistry , Fatty Acid-Binding Proteins/blood , Ferritins/blood , Glial Fibrillary Acidic Protein/blood , Humans , Mice , Models, Chemical , S100 Calcium Binding Protein beta Subunit/blood , Thyroglobulin/chemistry , Thyroid Hormones/blood
11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-33991956

ABSTRACT

An ultra-performance liquid chromatography tandem triple quadrupole compound linear ion trap mass spectrometry (UPLC-Q-TRAP/MS) method was developed and validated for the detection of hypolipidemic drugs in fingerprints. 13 hypolipidemic drugs were well separated by the gradient elution of 0.01% formic acid in water and methanol at a flow rate of 0.4 mL/min within 11 min. The analytes were detected in positive (ESI+) and negative (ESI-) modes and scanned using scheduled multiple reaction monitoring-information dependent acquisition-enhanced product ion (SMRM-IDA-EPI) for best selectivity and sensitivity. The calibration curves showed good linearity in the range of 0.050-50.000 ng/patch with coefficients (r2) higher than 0.9904 for all analytes. Meantime, the LODs and LLOQs were in ranges of 0.001-0.034 and 0.003-0.050 ng/patch. The accuracies, intra-day and inter-day precision ranged from -13.3 to 0.3%, 1.1-10.4% and 3.7-14.5%, respectively. The recoveries ranged from 79.9 to 114.8%, while the absolute and relative matrix effects were in the range of 83.0-107.2% and 2.2-9.7%. By comparing the non-spiked fingerprints from healthy volunteers with the fingerprints obtained from patients, demonstrated that the method was competent for determination and quantitation of hypolipidemic drugs in fingerprints.


Subject(s)
Forensic Medicine/methods , Hypolipidemic Agents/analysis , Skin/chemistry , Adult , Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid , Female , Humans , Limit of Detection , Male , Tandem Mass Spectrometry , Young Adult
12.
Int J Mol Sci ; 22(8)2021 Apr 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-33923560

ABSTRACT

Inherited cardiomyopathies are frequent causes of sudden cardiac death (SCD), especially in young patients. Despite at the autopsy they usually have distinctive microscopic and/or macroscopic diagnostic features, their phenotypes may be mild or ambiguous, possibly leading to misdiagnoses or missed diagnoses. In this review, the main differential diagnoses of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (e.g., athlete's heart, idiopathic left ventricular hypertrophy), arrhythmogenic cardiomyopathy (e.g., adipositas cordis, myocarditis) and dilated cardiomyopathy (e.g., acquired forms of dilated cardiomyopathy, left ventricular noncompaction) are discussed. Moreover, the diagnostic issues in SCD victims affected by phenotype-negative hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and the relationship between myocardial bridging and hypertrophic cardiomyopathy are analyzed. Finally, the applications/limits of virtopsy and post-mortem genetic testing in this field are discussed, with particular attention to the issues related to the assessment of the significance of the genetic variants.


Subject(s)
Cardiomyopathies/genetics , Death, Sudden, Cardiac/pathology , Diagnostic Errors , Genetic Testing/methods , Biopsy/methods , Biopsy/standards , Cardiomyopathies/pathology , Forensic Medicine/methods , Forensic Medicine/standards , Genetic Testing/standards , Humans
13.
J Forensic Sci ; 66(4): 1520-1523, 2021 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-33645633

ABSTRACT

International protocols for forensic investigations are often created by committee and in isolation. When field tested, the results of such tests are rarely reported to the wider forensic community. This study presents a comparative study of one such protocol, the International Protocol on the Documentation and Investigation of Sexual Violence in Conflict: Best Practice in the Documentation of Sexual Violence as a Crime or Violation of International Law. The protocol was used in a pilot study involving 20 victims of conflict-related sexual assault in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). The results of the pilot study were compared with an existing database of 341 victims of sexual assault (also from the same region of the DRC) who were examined using another protocol developed and utilized by Medicins Sans Frontier (MSF). The results clearly indicate the international protocol was far superior in all aspects, including comprehensive data capture and ease-of-use. Although the MSF protocol is intended for humanitarian purposes, all medical records are subject to potential downstream forensic applications. Given constraints in funding and resources in conflict zones, the wide-spread adoption of the full international protocol would ensure that every victim receives a complete, forensically valid examination suitable for the future pursuit of justice.


Subject(s)
Crime Victims , Forensic Medicine/methods , Sex Offenses , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Armed Conflicts , Child , Feasibility Studies , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Physical Examination , Pilot Projects , Young Adult
14.
Anal Bioanal Chem ; 413(12): 3201-3208, 2021 May.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-33665673

ABSTRACT

Entomotoxicology allows the detection and analysis of substances such as poisons, drugs, and metals in necrophagous insects using analytical protocols. In a forensic situation related to death by gunshot, the gunshot residue (GSR) is dispersed at the crime scene and may be consumed by necrophagous insects. Lead (Pb) is the most abundant metal in GSR samples and it can be determined using non-portable methods. However, the toxicity effects of GSR samples on Lucilia cuprina (Diptera: Calliphoridae) and the detection of Pb via portable electrochemical methods have not been investigated. This study describes for the first time the toxicity analysis of Pb on immature L. cuprina through their survival rate and influence of Pb on immature development. In addition, the bioaccumulation of Pb in the larvae samples was determined based on square wave anodic stripping voltammetry (SWASV) measurements. The results revealed a low limit of detection to Pb (6.5 µg L-1) and the analytical performance was satisfactory because it measures Pb levels in larvae exposed to a diet containing 50 µg Pb g-1. Furthermore, the levels of Pb influenced the survival rate and development time of the immature L. cuprina. Larvae exposed to a high concentration of the metal (50 µg Pb g -1) showed statistically significant changes (p < 0.05). The presence of Pb in immature L. cuprina can be used to estimate the post-mortem interval; thus, the present study provides important information in forensic entomology.


Subject(s)
Calliphoridae/drug effects , Costs and Cost Analysis , Electrochemical Techniques/methods , Forensic Medicine/methods , Lead/toxicity , Animals , Biological Assay , Biomarkers/metabolism , Calliphoridae/growth & development , Electrochemical Techniques/economics , Forensic Medicine/economics , Larva/drug effects , Larva/metabolism , Lead/analysis , Limit of Detection
15.
J Am Soc Mass Spectrom ; 32(4): 969-976, 2021 Apr 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-33779186

ABSTRACT

Developing a rapid, simple, and sensitive method to analyze drugs is critical to forensic research study because of the widespread occurrence of the matrix effect. Herein, we develop a method using thermal-assisted carbon fiber ionization mass spectrometry that can be used to directly analyze drugs in biological fluid. The key feature of this technique is that the biological samples such as urine and blood can be achieved online as precipitated protein on the carbon fiber tip and thermally desorbed by the metal ceramics heater, which can reduce the matrix effects and improve the sensitivity. Analytes including raw urine, blood, oral fluid, drink, tobacco tar, drug tablets, and paper cards can be rapidly identified and analyzed within a few minutes regardless of their physical variations. Due to its simplicity and noninvasive analysis, this method can be used for drugged driving analysis and to achieve point-of-care drug testing in clinical and forensic chemistry.


Subject(s)
Body Fluids/chemistry , Forensic Medicine/methods , Mass Spectrometry/methods , Pharmaceutical Preparations/analysis , Point-of-Care Systems , Substance Abuse Detection/methods , Blood Chemical Analysis/instrumentation , Blood Chemical Analysis/methods , Carbon Fiber , Driving Under the Influence , Humans , Illicit Drugs/analysis , Substance Abuse Detection/instrumentation , Tandem Mass Spectrometry , Urinalysis/instrumentation , Urinalysis/methods
16.
Rev. esp. med. legal ; 47(1): 9-15, ene.-mar. 2021. tab
Article in Spanish | IBECS | ID: ibc-202348

ABSTRACT

OBJETIVO: Caracterizar los cuerpos desmembrados o descuartizados abordados en la Unidad Básica Medellín del Instituto Nacional de Medicina Legal y Ciencias Forenses (INMLCF) y establecer los factores asociados con su identificación. MATERIALES Y MÉTODOS: Estudio de corte transversal de registros de cuerpos descuartizados o desmembrados que ingresaron al INMLCF de Medellín entre los años 2013 y 2017. Para evaluar las variables asociadas a la identificación de los cadáveres descuartizados o desmembrados se aplicó el test estadístico de chi-cuadrado. RESULTADOS: En el periodo de estudio se encontraron un total de 54 cadáveres. Los factores asociados con la identificación de los cuerpos fueron cuerpos de personas mayores de 26años (OR: 1,22; IC95%: 1,04-1,43; p = 0,043) y los cuerpos encontrados en sitios únicos (OR: 1,22; IC95%: 1,04-1,43; p = 0,043). Los factores asociados con una mayor probabilidad de no lograr una identificación fueron ser hombre (OR: 1,14; IC95%: 1,02-1,27; p = 0,435) y los cuerpos descuartizados (OR 1,14; IC95%: 1,02-1,28; p = 0,354). DISCUSIÓN: La identificación de cuerpos descuartizados y desmembrados es un reto para el médico forense colombiano, pero conocer los factores asociados con su identificación favorece su adecuado abordaje, lo que mejoraría este proceso


OBJECTIVE: To characterise the dismembered bodies dealt with in the Medellín Basic Unit of the National Institute of Legal Medicine and Forensic Sciences (INMLCF) and establish the factors associated with their identification. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Cross-sectional study of records of dismembered bodies that entered the National Institute of Legal Medicine and Forensic Sciences of Medellin between 2013 and 2017. To evaluate the variables associated with the identification of dismembered bodies, using the chi-square statistical test. RESULTS: A total of 54 bodies were found during the study period. The factors associated with the identification of the bodies were bodies of people older than 26years (OR: 1.22; 95%CI: 1.04-1.43; P=.043) and bodies found in unique sites (OR: 1.22; 95%CI: 1.04-1.43; P=.043). The factors that were associated with a higher probability of not achieving identification were being male (OR: 1.14; 95%CI: 1.02-1.27; P=.435) and dismembered bodies (OR: 1.14; 95%CI: 1.02-1.28; P=.354). DISCUSSION: The identification of dismembered bodies is a challenge for the Colombian coroner, but knowing the factors associated with their identification enables an appropriate approach which would improve this process


Subject(s)
Humans , Male , Female , Adult , Corpse Dismemberment/legislation & jurisprudence , Autopsy/methods , Forensic Anthropology/methods , Cause of Death , Colombia , Cross-Sectional Studies , Forensic Anthropology/legislation & jurisprudence , Cadaver , Forensic Medicine/methods
17.
FEMS Microbiol Lett ; 368(5)2021 04 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-33620469

ABSTRACT

Many people spend most of their time indoors, thereby exposing themselves to indoor environmental microbial communities that might interact with the human microbiota. These potential interactions have only been considered for personal identification; however, accumulating evidence indicates that these microbial interactions are potentially implicated with the identification of human interactions and location-specific factors including time and seasonal variations in the microbial community. To augment the potential of metagenomics-based forensic tools, we compared the composition of microbial communities in blood spot surfaces from healthy adults placed in different environments, such as in the bathroom of a female single-person household and on a laboratory, which were sampled across seasons and time points. The laboratory samples showed more changes in the bacterial community over time owing to the higher number of individuals using the laboratory, whereas the microbial communities in the bathroom samples remained relatively stable over time. Moreover, the two locations could be distinguished according to their specific bacterial community compositions. Variations were also observed related to changes in temperature and humidity, allowing for prediction of season-based microbial community. These findings offer a new perspective regarding the use of microbial community analysis in forensic science.


Subject(s)
Bacteria/classification , Bacteria/isolation & purification , Blood/microbiology , Microbiota/genetics , Adult , Bacteria/growth & development , Female , Forensic Medicine/methods , Genome, Bacterial/genetics , Humans , Male , Toilet Facilities , Whole Genome Sequencing
18.
AJR Am J Roentgenol ; 216(4): 1126-1133, 2021 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-33624521

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE. The purpose of our study was to assess the feasibility of 2D shear wave ultrasound elastography to quantitatively measure changes of rigor mortis. SUBJECTS AND METHODS. Muscle stiffness of two live pigs and nine sacrificed pigs was measured in kilopascals using ultrasound elastography. The nine sacrificed pigs were divided into three groups of three pigs each and placed in one of three environments at 90°F (32°C), 70°F (21°C), or 34°F (1°C). Ultrasound elastography of five muscles was performed at 1- to 2-hour intervals for up to 50 hours postmortem. For each pig and muscle location, the time to start, peak intensity, duration of peak, and time to decline of rigor mortis were identified from the graphs of muscle stiffness values over time. These outcome variables were then compared across ambient temperature, body weight, and age groups using the Wilcoxon rank sum test. RESULTS. Postmortem measurements show a rise, peak, and decline of muscle stiffness after death. Rigor mortis was highly significantly affected by ambient temperature (p < .001), was significantly affected by body weight (p = .04), and was not significantly affected by animal age or muscle location (facial vs truncal vs limb) (p > .50). Peak intensity of rigor mortis developed more quickly but attained lower levels of muscle stiffness at 90°F (80-100 kPa) compared with 70°F and 34°F (280-300 kPa) (p < .001). The duration of peak rigor mortis and the time to decline of rigor mortis were significantly longer for the lower temperatures (p < .001). CONCLUSION. Two-dimensional shear wave ultrasound elastography can quantifi-ably measure the trajectory of rigor mortis in an animal model. This new approach may have direct implications for human forensic investigations.


Subject(s)
Elasticity Imaging Techniques/methods , Forensic Medicine/methods , Muscle, Skeletal/diagnostic imaging , Rigor Mortis/diagnostic imaging , Age Factors , Animals , Body Weight , Disease Models, Animal , Feasibility Studies , Female , Rigor Mortis/diagnosis , Swine , Temperature , Time Factors
19.
J Forensic Sci ; 66(3): 1033-1041, 2021 May.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-33559876

ABSTRACT

Accurate presumptive and confirmatory test use for forensic body fluid identification is essential for gaining contextual information for crime scene investigators. Loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) is an ideal method for forensic body fluid identification because it is highly specific and generates multi-sized amplicon DNA, and successful amplification results can be read out colorimetrically. Here, we show preliminary data on a LAMP method that rapidly identifies body fluids including venous blood, semen, and saliva, based on colorimetric response and image analysis. The method is designed for easy implementation into forensic casework protocols with minimal disruption to DNA analysis. LAMP naturally increases target specificity due to the use of multiple primers for one target and mRNA targets were used for tissue and human specificity. With colorimetric detection as an inherent part of LAMP, samples that are positive or negative for any of the body fluids are readily identified by image capture and analysis, thus eliminating subjectivity. Results show by using the 3D-printed imaging system specific color ranges can be set for easy determination of body fluids. The resulting color change can be seen in <30 min using a universal temperature and primer concentration for all body fluids. This simple method and imaging system allow for minimal hands-on time with objective image analysis and presents a pathway for creating a new potential method for forensic body fluid identification.


Subject(s)
Blood Chemical Analysis , Colorimetry , Molecular Diagnostic Techniques , Nucleic Acid Amplification Techniques , Saliva/chemistry , Semen/chemistry , Forensic Medicine/methods , Humans , Image Processing, Computer-Assisted , Male
20.
Forensic Sci Int ; 320: 110708, 2021 Mar.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-33548584

ABSTRACT

A 27-year old woman reported an attack by her ex-partner. According to her, he suddenly started to strangle her with his left hand, using a claw-like grip against her throat. After 30-60 seconds the victim reacted by kicking the attacker in the groin, thereby disrupting the strangulation. During the court hearing, pictures of the strangulation marks taken by the police were shown as evidence. From a forensic viewpoint, the pictures and the victim's statements did present several inconsistencies, suggesting the possibility of self-inflicted injuries. The ex-partner was found guilty. The defense appealed against the sentence and demanded a thorough forensic expertise on the origin of the strangulation marks. To identify the possible origin of the strangulation marks considering the victim's statements and the presented strangulation marks, a reconstructive study with 26 participants (25 attackers, 1 victim) was carried out. In the study, the expected strangulation marks did show a vertical, C-shaped pattern on the study subject's neck and throat, while the wounds on the victim's neck were aligned horizontally on the right side of the neck. These results show that the strangulation marks on the neck of the victim did not correspond to the claw-like grip at the throat as described by the victim. In this light, the possibility of self-inflicted injuries is discussed.


Subject(s)
Forensic Medicine/methods , Neck Injuries/pathology , Self-Injurious Behavior/pathology , Adult , Asphyxia , Diagnosis, Differential , Female , Functional Laterality , Humans , Intimate Partner Violence , Male , Photography
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