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Legal Medicine
Journal Prestige (SJR): 0.678
Citation Impact (citeScore): 1
Number of Followers: 359  
  Hybrid Journal Hybrid journal (It can contain Open Access articles)
ISSN (Print) 1344-6223
Published by Elsevier Homepage  [3160 journals]
  • Eye temperature measured after death in human bodies as an alternative
           method of time of death estimation in the early post mortem period. A
           successive study on new series of cases with exactly known time of death
    • Abstract: Publication date: May 2019Source: Legal Medicine, Volume 38Author(s): Michał Kaliszan, Magdalena Wujtewicz The paper presents a continuation of the studies on time of death (TOD) estimation based on post-mortem temperature measurements in the human eyeball. In the current study, single (in 20 patients) or double (within a 1-hour interval in 10 patients) eyeball and rectal temperature measurements were taken in patients who died in the University Hospital Intensive Therapy Unit. The actual TOD in each patient was exactly known and the body temperature was recorded shortly after (between 50 min and 3 h 30 min). The temperature was measured using pin probes connected to a high precision electronic thermometer. The measured eye temperatures ranged from 27.4 to 33.7°C. The ambient temperature in all cases was stable (22 °C), which corresponded to the usual room temperature. Post mortem interval (PMI) was calculated using a formula based on Newton’s law of cooling, previously successfully applied in comprehensive studies on pigs and recent studies on human bodies. Thanks to knowledge of the exact TOD and the stable ambient temperature, the current study on 30 new cases allowed the method to be improved by adjusting the mean value of the cooling constant and the initial eye temperature in comparison to recent studies.
  • Dependency relationships among ear characters in a Spanish sample, its
           forensic interest
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 18 March 2019Source: Legal MedicineAuthor(s): O. Rubio, V. Galera, M.C. Alonso The aim of this paper is to provide information on dependency relationships between the morphological characters of the external ear and their importance in physical identification. At present, there is a lack of population data in this field, and little research has been published. Our study sample consisted of 281 Spanish university students of European descent aged between 18 and 31 years old. We analysed a total of 562 ears. For a large number of characters, we found a dependency between anatomically related characters, confirming our hypothesis. For example, we found relationships between ear shape and protrusion, between rolling of the superior and posterior helix, and between the upper and lower parts of the scapha. However, our results also indicated that some anatomically related characters did not present relationships. Thus, we found no dependency between contour shape of the supero-posterior helix and rolling of the posterior helix or between intertragic incisure shape and tragus or antitragus shape. In addition, we found that some characters that are not anatomically related also showed relationships. These included rolling of the superior helix and intertragic incisure shape, and contour shape of the superior helix and the inferior part of the scapha. These results are of great importance and should be taken into account in forensic applications.
  • Preparation of dentin standard samples for age estimation based on
           increased aspartic acid racemization rate by heating
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 18 March 2019Source: Legal MedicineAuthor(s): Saki Minegishi, Susumu Ohtani, Kanako Noritake, Takeshi Funakoshi, Namiko Ishii, Hajime Utsuno, Ayaka Sakuma, Hisako Saitoh, Satoshi Yamaguchi, Eriko Marukawa, Hiroyuki Harada, Koichi Uemura, Koichi Sakurada Age estimation in adults based on aspartic acid racemization (AAR) provides fewer errors and higher precision than that based on bone morphology for the identification of cadavers. The technique has been established in some labs as a routine method. However, as the essential requisites for the technique, a wide age range of teeth of the same type as the target tooth must be collected for calibration for each examination. We investigated whether dentin standard samples could be prepared by increasing the AAR rate via heat. Powdered dentin was prepared from a maxillary first premolar (13 years) and heated for 0-72 h at 110 °C. The extent of AAR increased significantly with heating time and the correlation was strong (r=0.913; p
  • Sudden unexpected death in a case of necrotizing eosinophilic myocarditis
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 7 March 2019Source: Legal MedicineAuthor(s): Federica Fersini, Paolo Fais, Ilaria Cerquetti, Maria Carla Mazzotti, Chiara Palazzo, Leone Ornella, Susi Pelotti Acute myocarditis is related to a significant number of sudden deaths among young adults and its diagnosis is often demanded to post-mortem investigations performed on a forensic setting. Eosinophilic myocarditis (EM) is a rare form of myocarditis that is pathologically characterized by myocardial inflammation with eosinophils, often in association with elevated levels of circulating blood eosinophils. The sudden death of a 19-year-old boy with no past medical history is reported. Diagnosis of fatal acute EM was performed after a comprehensive investigation including an in-depth analysis of anamnestic and circumstantial data, and complete autopsy followed by toxicologic and cardio-pathological investigations. Discussion focuses on the forensic issues related to diagnosis and therapy of this rare form of acute myocarditis. As acute EM may be patchy, extensive myocardial sampling is mandatory in order to recognize the extent and the phase of the disease. An early diagnosis is the basis for a timely therapy, which is the key-point for prevent extensive myocardial damage, allowing a better outcome, especially when EM is acute and necrotizing. However, as demonstrated from the case herein reported, the course of EM is sometimes fulminant and does not allow any therapy nor even clinical diagnosis. Finally, this paper serves as reminder to consider this infrequent disease in differential diagnosis when facing with a sudden death, even in a young subject and in the absence of any prodrome.
  • Accuracy of the third molar index cut–off value for estimating 18 years
           of age: Validation in a Japanese samples
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 4 March 2019Source: Legal MedicineAuthor(s): Akiko Kumagai, Noriaki Takahashi, Luz Andrea Velandia Palacio, Agnese Giampieri, Luigi Ferrante, Roberto Cameriere AimsTo evaluate the cut-off value of third molar maturity index (I3M) = 0.08 for discriminating minors from adults in Japanese populationMaterial and Methods276 panoramic radiographs of healthy Japanese subjects (139 girls and 137 boys) age range from 14 to 24 years were evaluated.ResultsICC (Intra-class correlation coefficient) for intra-rater and inter-rater agreement of I3M was 99.6% (95% CI 98.6-99.9%) and 98.9% (95% CI 98.8-99.9%) respectively. The proportion of correctly classified in girls was 87% (95% CI 81-93%) and in boys was 91% (95% CI 87-96%). The sensitivity of the test in girls and boys was 84% (95% CI 77-92%) and 89% (95% CI 83-95%) respectively and specificity was 93% (95% CI 85-100%) and 96% (95% CI 90-100%) in girls and in boys. The PPV (Positive Predictive Value) was 87% (95% CI 69-95%) in girls and 92% (95% CI 74-98%) in boys.ConclusionThe results of the study show that I3M is capable of discriminating adults and minors in subjects around legal age of 18 years old in Japanese population.
  • Current and Future Directions of High Resolution and Tandem Mass
           Spectrometry in Postmortem and Human Performance Toxicology
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 16 February 2019Source: Legal MedicineAuthor(s): Michael Fagiola
  • Abnormal detection of Y-STR alleles at DYS385 from female DNA in forensic
           casework and interchromosomal insertional translocation of P4 palindrome
           (HSFY/DYS385) from AZFb region
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 11 February 2019Source: Legal MedicineAuthor(s): Soon Hee Kim, Jin Myeong Lee, Young Se Hyun, Dong Ho Choi The unknown origin of DNA samples derived from crime scenes generates a considerable amount of uncertainty, as do unexpected short tandem repeat (STR) results caused by sample mix-ups, contamination, medical interventions, and transgender individuals (broad meaning). Genetic abnormalities such as somatic/germline mutations, mosaicism or chimerism, sex reversal cases, aneuploidies, and chromosomal structural rearrangements are also possible causes of such results. The evidence offered by the present study suggested that additional DYS385 alleles, as seen in mixed stain samples and in the potentially single-source DNA profile of a female, originated from the female DNA source only. For the case reported here, we propose an interchromosomal insertion hypothesis, in which a 768-kb segment including the P4 palindrome of the azoospermia factor (AZFb) region was deleted from the Y chromosome and inserted into the X chromosome or an autosome during male meiosis. Y-SNP data points from the AccuID platform and in-house PCR assays narrowed down the expected length of the target region. Bioinformatics analysis followed by whole genome amplification and whole genome sequencing showed that a 529-kb segment including the P4 palindrome (HSFY/DYS385)/DYS460 region from the female sample mapped to the Y reference sequence (GRCh37). To our knowledge, the interchromosomal insertional translocation event was identified as an unknown type of genomic rearrangement in the forensic genetic field.
  • Analysis of copy number variation in the NEDD4L gene potentially
           implicated in body height in the Japanese population
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 11 February 2019Source: Legal MedicineAuthor(s): Misuzu Ueki, Haruo Takeshita, Junko Fujihara, Kaori Kimura-Kataoka, Reiko Iida, Toshihiro Yasuda Recently it has been recognized that a considerable number of copy number variations (CNVs) are associated with diseases and other complex human traits. In our previous study, we developed a simple quantitative real-time PCR (Q-PCR) method for analysis of CNV copy number, which had the advantage of obviating the need for reference DNA with a known copy number. Using DNA samples obtained from 231 Japanese individuals, we applied this method for analyzing the copy number of a candidate CNV associated with body height, located in the neural precursor cell expressed, developmentally down-regulated 4-like, E3 ubiquitin protein ligase (NEDD4L) gene. In addition, the appropriateness of the results was evaluated and confirmed by quantification of amplicons with an Agilent 2100 Bioanalyzer. The NEDD4L gene encodes a member of the Nedd4 family of HECT domain E3 ubiquitin ligases. The target CNV located in the intron has been found to be significantly associated with height variation in Chinese. However, it remains unknown whether such an association exists in other populations, including Japanese. Analysis of the correlations between copy number and body height using ANOVA revealed no statistically significant correlations in Japanese.
  • Histopathology mapping of biochemical changes in diffuse axonal injury by
           FTIR Micro-spectroscopy
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 2 February 2019Source: Legal MedicineAuthor(s): Fulei Wang, Tiantong Yang, Jian Li, Xiaowei Zhou, Liang Liu The diagnosis of diffuse axonal injury (DAI) is an important task in forensic pathology and clinical medicine. This study aimed to explore the use of Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) to detect DAI. The DAI area of the rat model was detected point by point by the FTIR-mapping system. Infrared spectral data of DAI were obtained by selecting the amide A band, CH3 symmetric stretching, collagen triple-helix structure and asymmetric stretching vibrational frequency of nucleic acid and phospholipid PO2 as the target peak positions. The system can automatically draw infrared spectral color pathological images. In the DAI group, the amide A protein secondary amine N-H stretching vibration and the collagen triple-helix structure of the high-absorption area were consistent with the DAI area confirmed by the silver and β-APP staining. The CH3 symmetric stretching, nucleic acid and phospholipid PO2 symmetric stretching vibration absorption spectra showed no significant differences between the experimental and verification groups. The FTIR-mapping technique can visually express the molecular characteristics of DAI, which is expected to be applied to the pathological diagnosis of DAI.
  • Genetic polymorphism of 27 X-chromosomal short tandem repeats in an
           Egyptian population
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 24 January 2019Source: Legal MedicineAuthor(s): Mamiko Fukuta, Mohammed Gaballah, Kazushi Takada, Hiroki Miyazaki, Hideaki Kato, Yasuhiro Aoki, Sameera Sh. Hamed, Doaa A.A. ElMorsi, Sahar A. ElDakroory We presented allele frequencies of 27 X-chromosomal short tandem repeats (DXS6807, DXS9902, DXS6795, DXS6810, DXS10076, DXS10077, DXS10078, DXS10162, DXS10163, DXS10164, DXS7132, DXS981, DXS6800, DXS6803, DXS6809, DXS6789, DXS6799, DXS7424, DXS101, DXS7133, GATA172D05, DXS10103, HPRTB, GATA31E08, DXS8377, DXS10147, and DXS7423) obtained from 352 unrelated individuals in Egypt. No deviation from Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium was detected. Two pairs of adjacent loci showed significant linkage disequilibrium. In the principal component analysis plot, the Egyptian data were located between Europe and sub-Saharan Africa, away from Asia.
  • Suicide by gunshot at the back of the head with a muzzle-loading shooting
           revolver and homemade ammunition
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 16 January 2019Source: Legal MedicineAuthor(s): Enrique Dorado, Juan Carlos Gómez, Concepción Magaña, David Cáceres, Manuel F. Carrillo The present case concerns a 29 years-old male with a history of mental disorder, who committed suicide by gunshot at the posterior midline of the head. This location is very rare in suicide cases. The weapon used is the replica of a muzzle-loading Remington Revolver with homemade ammunition prepared with easily available materials such as lead fishing weights, percussion primers, and black powder from firecrackers.
  • Evaluation of the effect of heat damage on DNA extracted from the dental
           pulp of restored teeth
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 14 January 2019Source: Legal MedicineAuthor(s): Lucía Angeles Estrada, Adriana Martínez-Cuatzitl, Mónica Maribel Mata-Miranda, César Antonio González-Díaz, Gustavo Jesús Vázquez-Zapién, Elsa Saldaña Rivera, Virginia Sánchez-Monroy We evaluate structural damage effects of heat on DNA obtained from the dental pulp of restored premolars. We studied three groups (A, B and C) each group comprised twenty premolars extracted from five patients. Three of the four premolars of each donator were restored with different materials: amalgam, glass ionomer and resin, and one unrestored premolar was used as control. The group A was not exposed to heat, while B and C groups were exposed to 100°C and 300°C, respectively. The DNA damage was evaluated as percentage of genotyping of 15 Short Tandem Repeats (STRs) and amelogenin and by Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR).The results showed 100% genotyping in all unheated premolars; however, the increase in heat decreased genotyping percentage due to DNA degradation. The amplifications from the premolars restored with glass ionomer and those unrestored were less affected, amplifying by approximately 80% at 300°C.FTIR revealed that DNA structural damage occurred in the phosphate region, and changes in ribose were also shown; in addition, we detected presence of β- three-calcium-phosphate (β - TCP) due to heat treatment. Moreover, the phosphate region of DNA was a good indicator of DNA integrity related to the ratio of 1230/1085 cm-1 in the second derivative (asymmetric/symmetric PO2), which was major in premolars restored with glass ionomer heated at 100°C, and this ratio is related to less DNA alterations and better genotyping; however this changes only were detected at 100°C, suggesting that dental restoration with this material only protects dental pulp at temperatures below 300°C.
  • Identification of extra alleles in DYS385a/b multi-allelic patterns
    • Abstract: Publication date: March 2019Source: Legal Medicine, Volume 37Author(s): Fayuan Li, Peng Zhao, Cheng Xiao, Chunlei Feng, Ling Chen, Weian Du Y chromosome short tandem repeats (Y-STRs) are widely used in forensic DNA analysis. Y-STRs usually genotyped as a monoallelic pattern, or a diallelic pattern at some double-copy loci. Abnormal genotypes with three or four alleles have been reported at DYS385a/b, which is a double-copy locus. However, multi-allelic patterns with more than four alleles have not been reported at this locus. In this study, abnormal five-allelic patterns at DYS385a/b locus were observed in 2 out of 7760 unrelated males from Henan Province, detected by the HG19+14Y fluorescence detection kit; and abnormal six-allelic pattern was observed in 1 out of 4920 unrelated males from Guangdong Province, detected by the AGCU Data Y30 fluorescence kit. The genotypes of these abnormal samples were confirmed again by the Yfiler® Plus and PowerPlex® Y23 kits. In order to understand the genomic structure of the extra alleles at this locus, forward and reverse primers were designed to sequence the three samples. The results showed that the five-banded and six-banded pattern genotype did exist at DYS385a/b locus. These data enriched the knowledge about multi-allelic patterns at DYS385a/b locus, which allowed the use of DYS385a/b profile in forensic analysis, even with multi-allelic patterns.
  • Forensic parameters and mutation analysis of 23 short tandem repeat
           (PowerPlex® Fusion System) loci in Fujian Han Chinese population
    • Abstract: Publication date: March 2019Source: Legal Medicine, Volume 37Author(s): Beilei Zhang, Zheng Li, Kai Li, Peng Chen, Feng Chen Kinship testing based on genetic markers has valuable practical applications. Short tandem repeat polymorphisms (STRPs) can have large number of alleles, and become the dominant marker for kinship identification. However, the high mutation rates affect the identification accuracy. Thus, accurate investigation of the mutation rate of STR loci in different populations is crucial for the reliability of phylogenetic relationships. In present study, forensic parameters and mutation rates (include 95% CI) of 23 short tandem repeats (STR) loci (D3S1358, D1S1656, D2S441, D10S1248, D13S317, D16S539, D18S51, D2S1338, CSF1PO, TH01, vWA, D21S11, D7S820, D5S818, TPOX, D8S1179, D12S391, D19S433, FGA, D22S1045, PentaE, PentaD and DYS391) were investigated through PowerPlex® Fusion System in Fujian Han population. The high level of CDP (0.999999999999999999999999992) and CPE (0.999999993) indicated the panel was high efficiency in forensic DNA identification and paternity testing. In mutation analysis, 43 mutation cases were found through 54,124 parent-child meiotic transfers. The observed mutation rates ranged from 0 (D3S1358, D1S1656, D13S317, TH01, D19S433 and D22S1045) to 0.0025 (PentaE and FGA). The overall mutation rate across all loci was 0.0008 and the average mutation rate for the 23 loci was estimated to be 0.00078 per meiosis. The vast majority of mutations were single-step (88.4%) mutation and also include double-step (9.3%) and triple-step (2.3%) mutations. Paternal mutation rate was more common than maternal mutation rate with a ratio of 7.2:1. In addition, mutation rates indicated positive correlation (r = 0.633, p = 0.009) with the expected heterozygosity (He).
  • Investigation on STR profiling of maternal DNA from a degraded placenta
           with an abandoned newborn male baby
    • Abstract: Publication date: March 2019Source: Legal Medicine, Volume 37Author(s): Soon Hee Kim, Jung Yoon Lee, Jong Jin Kim The placenta is a unique and complex organ composed of a mixture of fetal and maternal tissues. In this study, we aimed to detect maternal short tandem repeats (STRs) in degraded placenta from a newborn male baby found abandoned in a river. In order to deduce maternal alleles—which was not possible by sampling of different parts of the placenta—we collected samples from the maternal blood pool in the intervillous space and applied a multi-step method (named tempo-gap DNA extraction) for extracting DNA at defined time points after cell lysis (10 min, 2 h 10 min, and 4 h 10 min). The first lysis step (10 min) effectively removed severely degraded DNA; this was followed by a second lysis step (2 h 10 min) for high recovery of both fetal and maternal DNA. The third lysis step (4 h 10 min) effectively eliminated unwanted residual fetal DNA. The differential lysis of fetal and maternal cells occurred not because fetal and maternal cells exhibited different lysis behavior, but because of the difference in their numbers. Although all of the lysates showed fetal cell contamination, we were able to derive a maternal STR profile from the good-quality mixed STR profile from the second lysate of placental piece B. This study provides technical insight into concurrent issues encountered during routine forensic analysis of DNA samples, such as degradation, cell contamination (mixed DNA), and low-template DNA.
  • Facial approximation: soft tissue thickness values for caucasian males
           using cone beam computer tomography
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 4 January 2019Source: Legal MedicineAuthor(s): De Donno Antonio, Sablone Sara, Lauretti Chiara, Mele Federica, Martini Alessandra, Introna Francesco, Santoro Valeria The aim of this study was to obtain soft tissue thickness (STTs) of Caucasian males starting from 12 bone landmarks, to allow facial reconstruction and assign an identity to skeletal remains. When askeleton is found without any circumstantial evidence of identity, through anthropological investigations it is possible to estimate age, sex, and race studying specific characteristics of bones. This first step of identification process helps investigators to narrow down the identity suppositions, but not always forensic analysis guarantees a final positive identification. Moreover, it is possible to rely on facial reconstruction trying to reproduce the likely features of the face from the skull. The obtained images could be used as a support in recognition by relatives who could provide photos and other data to carry out a comparative analysis. Furthermore, identity can be confirmed by conventional identification methods such as DNA profiling, odontological identification, and radiological comparison.Forensic facial reconstruction (FFR) is based on the bone surface that conditions the facial physiognomy. Analyzing cone beam CT (CBCT) scans of 30 Caucasian males, average STTs values were obtained. CBCT, compared with the conventional spiral CT, has much lower radiation doses, lower costs, high spatial resolution and focuses on head and neck. The obtained results were compared with existing literature and databases and were analyzed by descriptive statistics. Two researchers repeated measurements in different times to assess the reliability of the method.
  • Genotyping of 49-plex autosomal SNP panel in Iranian Turkmens ethnic group
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 2 January 2019Source: Legal MedicineAuthor(s): Omid Yousef, Sayed Mostafa Hosseini A total of 94 unrelated individuals from Turkmens ethnic group in Iran were typed for forty-nine of the autosomal single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the SNPforID 52plex using the SNaPshot assay. Allele frequencies are presents for the 49 SNPs. No deviation from Hardy–Weinberg equilibrium (HWE) was observed in all but one of the 49 SNP systems and no significant linkage disequilibrium was detected for any SNP pairs. FIS and FST were estimated. A statistically significant global FST value was obtained when Turkmens ethnic group were compared with other 20 populations in Turkey, Israel, Pakistan, India, China, Taiwan, Japan, Thailand, Siberia, Algeria, Somali, Uganda, Mozambique, Angola, Nigeria, Russia, Slovenia, Sweden, France and Spain. All but 11 pairwise FST values were statistically significant. Multidimensional scaling plot drawn based on the pairwise FST values showed that the Turkmens ethnic grouped with populations geographically close to Iran and other Middle-Eastern populations. The cumulative values for the match probability using the 49 SNPs was 5.65×10-19 consistent to a combined power of discrimination of>99.99999% and the mean exclusion probability was 99.95%.
  • Forensic parameters of 15 autosomal STRs (Identifiler™ kit) in three
           Mayan groups and one Mestizo population from Guatemala
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 24 December 2018Source: Legal MedicineAuthor(s): M. Stephenson-Ojea, J.A. Aguilar-Velázquez, M.A. García-King, H. Rangel-Villalobos The population of Guatemala includes Mestizos (admixed) and different Mayan groups (Native Americans), which have been poorly studied in regards to short tandem repeat (STR) loci used for human identification (HID) purposes. Therefore, 483 unrelated Guatemalan volunteers from one Mestizo and three Mayan populations (Poqomchi, Ixil, and Achi) were analyzed with an AmpFlSTR IdentifilerTM kit. Allele frequencies and forensic parameters were obtained for 15 autosomal STRs in these populations. Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium by locus and equilibrium linkage between pair of loci were demonstrated by exact tests in all the studied populations. Larger genetic differentiation probably due to genetic drift effects was observed among the studied Guatemalan Mayan groups than the neighboring Mexican Mayas. In brief, our results validate to use the Identifiler™ kit for HID in three non-previously studied Mayan groups, and one Mestizo population from Guatemala.
  • Age estimation based on maturation of the medial clavicular epiphysis in a
           Japanese population using multidetector computed tomography
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 23 December 2018Source: Legal MedicineAuthor(s): Suguru Torimitsu, Yohsuke Makino, Hisako Saitoh, Namiko Ishii, Go Inokuchi, Ayumi Motomura, Fumiko Chiba, Rutsuko Yamaguchi, Yumi Hoshioka, Shumari Urabe, Hirotaro Iwase To estimate forensic age, the Study Group of Forensic Age Diagnostics of the German Association of Forensic Medicine (AGFAD) has recommended the radiological investigation of the medial clavicular epiphysis (MCE). This study aimed to investigate the relation between the maturation of the MCE and age in a contemporary Japanese population using a standard five-stage system by Schmeling et al. and Kellinghaus substage system. A total of 207 cadavers (128 males, 79 females) of known age and sex that underwent postmortem computed tomography (CT) and subsequent forensic autopsy were obtained. The earliest appearance for stage 3c was 18.1 years in the male subjects and 18.4 years in the female subjects. Our results were consistent with those in previous studies and indicate that stage 3c is crucial for medico-legal processes in evaluating age in various countries. Similar studies on the staging of the MCE using CT images in other populations, particularly in Asians, are required.Graphical abstractGraphical abstract for this article
  • DNA extraction of urinary bladder swabs collected from carbonized and
           decomposing corpses: possible application in disaster victim
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 17 December 2018Source: Legal MedicineAuthor(s): Felipe C.A. Brito, Marcilto R. Nunes, David R.B.M. Prata, Sandra F.P. Martha, Carolina Bottino, Rodrigo G. Garrido A disaster is an unexpected event causing death or injury to many people. In such events, a large number of casualties may take place, exposing corpses to a harsh environment for days or months. DNA profiling is recognized as one of the primary methods for identifying mass disaster victims, especially when it involves decomposed or fragmented bodies. The objective of this study was to standardize the use of urinary bladder swabs as a source of DNA for the identification of decomposing and carbonized human bodies by Forensic Genetic techniques. Samples’ DNA was extracted using both organic and Chelex® resin methods; quantified by qPCR and amplified with PowerPlex® Fusion System (Promega Corporation). The results of this study show that between the two methodologies used for DNA extraction, the organic method presented higher DNA yields in relation to the minimum acceptable for the amplification, while Chelex®, although not having a high yield, still allowed obtaining significant amounts of DNA for amplification. The use of bladder swabs has proven to be a viable source of DNA for human identification, since besides reproducible and reliable results, this type of sample allows a significant reduction in the time and cost required for analysis.
  • Age estimation based on the volume change in the maxillary premolar crown
           using micro CT
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 15 December 2018Source: Legal MedicineAuthor(s): Ruri Asami, Hirofumi Aboshi, Atsushi Iwawaki, Yusei Ohtaka, Kento Odaka, Shinichi Abe, Hideki Saka Age is often estimated using teeth because numerous external and internal changes appear due to aging. The purpose of this study was to investigate an age estimation method based on the volume ratio of the internal structure of the crown. 61 maxillary first premolars and 50 maxillary second premolars from subjects aged 20-79 years old were used. Micro CT, which can be used to analyze teeth in a non-destructive manner with high sensitivity, was employed in the present study. In consideration of individual differences among subjects, the volume ratio was calculated for the following four items: The pulp chamber was calculated separately based on the presence of enamel.•The volume ratio of the enamel to the entire crown: EVR•The volume ratio of the dentin to the entire crown: DVR•The volume ratio of the pulp chamber to the entire crown: PVR(E+)•The volume ratio of the pulp chamber to the entire crown excluding the enamel: PVR(E-)In order to estimate age, regression analysis was conducted with the actual age as the dependent variable and each volume ratio as the independent variable. As a result, the highest correlation was found with PVR (E-) for each measurement item.Therefore, the regression equation using the volume change of the maxillary premolar crown as an index was as follows:Age=-12.43× 4: PVR(E-) +69.85Age=-12.94× 5: PVR(E-) +72.54
  • Cellular uptake of paraquat determines subsequent toxicity including
           mitochondrial damage in lung epithelial cells
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 22 November 2018Source: Legal MedicineAuthor(s): Sanae Kanno, Seishiro Hirano, Toshiji Mukai, Ayako Ro, Hideaki Kato, Mamiko Fukuta, Yasuhiro Aoki Paraquat (PQ) is one of the commonly used herbicides in the world, despite its high toxicity. The ingestion of PQ accidentally or intentionally causes severe damage in diverse organs including the lung. Pulmonary fibrosis triggered by PQ accumulation in the lung epithelial cells is one of the major causes of death. This study investigated the intracellular accumulation of PQ, reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation and mitochondrial injury using two lung epithelial cell lines A549 and BEAS-2B (BEAS). Although A549 exhibit greater resistance to oxidative stress than BEAS, a cytotoxicity assay for PQ demonstrated that EC50 for lethality in A549 was 7 times lower than that in BEAS. When exposed to PQ at a concentration around EC50 for lethality, the amount of ROS generated in A549 was as low as that in BEAS. Conversely, the cellular concentration of PQ in A549 after exposure was higher than that in BEAS, which suggests a distinct difference in the susceptibility to PQ between these cell lines. After a 16 h exposure to PQ, mitochondrial membrane potential (MMP) decreased in A549, but decreased only slightly in BEAS even following a 30 h exposure. PQ-exposed A549 reduced an accumulation of PTEN-induced kinase 1 (PINK1), which works in degradation of damaged mitochondria, following the decrease of MMP, whereas PQ did not decline the PINK1 in BEAS. These results suggest that mitochondrial dysfunction due to cellular accumulation of PQ might contribute to the PQ-provoked toxicity more than the ROS generation in the lung epithelial cells.
  • Detection of cocaine and metabolites from mouse femur buried in soil
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 9 November 2018Source: Legal MedicineAuthor(s): Ken-ichiro Nakao, Yuki Tatara, Kazuhiko Kibayashi Drug addicts are frequently involved in committing homicides, and burial in the ground is often performed by offenders for body disposal. Therefore, toxicological analyses of buried bones are vitally important for investigating the cause and circumstance of death. Cocaine concentrations in heart blood, femoral muscle, and femur were measured in mice after injections of 5, 15, and 30 mg/kg cocaine and in femurs buried in soil. The concentrations of cocaine in femurs (253.67-1345.31 ng/g) were higher than those found in heart blood (3.14-28.73 ng/mL) and femoral muscle (76.41-429.76 ng/g). The cocaine concentrations in buried femurs (54.83-388.68 ng/g) were significantly lower than those in unburied femurs (253.67-1345.31 ng/g). Further, cocaine was detected in femurs after being buried for 7-180 days in soil. These findings indicate that cocaine concentrations are higher in bone than in heart blood and femoral muscle and that the concentration decreases after burial in soil.
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