Gender Identification Using Pelvic Bone

Gender identification is an important aspect, especially when information relating to the deceased is unavailable. It is vital to record the death of the person. The first priority in the process of investigating the sex of the person by the forensic investigator is to determine the sex of the deceased individual. Sex determination is done during the case of death due to natural disaster, mass disaster, unidentified body, completely decomposed, mutilated, or fragmented body. In situations where sex cannot be identified from the general appearance, microscopic examination, hormone assay, or gonadal biopsy, determination from various bones of the skeleton is conducted. Gender Identification from bones can be estimated using various features of long bones, skull, and pelvic bones. The most reliable bone used is the pelvic as it is the most sexually dimorphic region of the skeleton. The difference exists because of the crucial role the pelvic plays in the […]

Estimation of Age Using Skull Sutures

Estimation of age plays an integral part in a person’s biological profile employed by forensic anthropologists for the identification of the deceased individual. Age estimation is important especially when the body is in a decomposed state, mutilated, fragmented or skeletonized state. One of the most important parts of the human body is the skull which holds the answers to the primary question of any investigation and identification procedure. It helps to identify gender, race, stature, and estimate the age of the deceased individual.  Estimation of age from the skull can be done by studying the closure of the fontanelle, fusion of bone, suture closure, secondary changes of the skull, and the oldest technique to estimate age was using cranial suture closures. Sutures are a type of fibrous joint found in between the various bones of the skull. Skull bones are united by sutures and the union begins endocranially and proceeds […]

Micro-Organisms: An Investigative Tool in Forensic Science

On February 16th, 1934, India reported its first biological attack. Amarendra Chandra Pandey was murdered by a goon assigned by his brother Vinayendra Chandra Pandey via needle prick, which contained one of the most dangerous bacteria, Yersinia Pestis. It was injected, and it further worsened into a plague; he fell into a coma on December 3rd and died on December 4th. The death of a completely healthy individual due to the plague caused quite a suspicion among the finest doctors of India. They further did a research study that led to the investigation and trial of Vinayendra.  Microbial Forensics: An Emerging Tool in Crime Investigation Over time various cases like the anthrax attack had proven how effortless it is to cause an attack using biological weapons. Micro-organisms are all around us. Due to its intrinsic features consisting of infectivity, virulence, toxicity, pathogenicity, transmission ease, etc. makes them the perfect weapon of […]

Role & Importance of Diatoms in Forensic Investigations

Diatoms are unicellular, photosynthetic, eukaryotic organisms, but many more are yet to be discovered. Diatoms are diverse microscopic organisms with silica cell walls. They are photosynthesizing algae. They vary in different characteristics such as colour, shape, and size. There are 15,000 known species of diatoms. These microscopic organisms mainly inhabit freshwater, marine water and soil as well. They can’t survive in domestic pools due to cleaning agents such as chlorine. They may be simple or branched, filamentous, and have a gelatinous envelope. All diatoms are enclosed by a frustule formed from two valves together by a connective at the girdle. They are mainly non-motile. Forensic Limnology focuses on the study of diatoms in crime scene samples and bodies. In forensic science, diatom testing is a technique used for the determination of death due to drowning. A body recovered from the water does not always infer that death was due to […]

Factors Affecting Age and Development of Maggots

Flies such as blowflies, blue bottle flies, green bottle flies, etc., get attracted towards a dead body, complete their life cycle, and feed on the body to decompose it. The metamorphosis of the flies controls the rate of body decomposition, and the adult flies develop from the maggots (second stage of their life cycle). In this article, we will study the factors affecting the age and development of maggots. Several factors directly or indirectly impact the age and development of maggots, such as temperature, season, species, toxicology, and death scenario. The favorable conditions of the environment lead to a fast decomposition rate of the dead organism, whereas unfavorable circumstances result in a slow decomposition rate due to a gradual rate of maggots’ growth and development. Along with this, we will also study Post-Mortem Interval and how it differs from the time of death. Without any delay, let’s start! Factors Contributing […]

Forensic Entomology Helps in Determining Child Abuse. How?

Forensic entomology is the field of forensic science where we use insects and various arthropods that feed on dead bodies to help in a legal investigation such as medicolegal (criminal), urban (civil and criminal), and stored product pest (civil). In this article, we will be studying the use of forensic entomology to determine child abuse. The branch of forensic entomology comprises of various categories. The one we will be discussing here is medicolegal forensic entomology to determine Child abuse. It deals with the involvement of arthropods in incidents nearby felonies, generally violent crimes like suicide, rape, murder, etc. It might include other acts of violations like contraband trafficking and physical abuse. It is also defined as medico-criminal forensic entomology. Along with the topic mentioned above, we will also discuss the life cycle of blowflies that helps estimate PMI and the other vital indications to lead the investigation in the right […]

Types of Flies Used in Forensic Entomology For Investigation

Forensic entomology is the study of insects with respect to the scene of the crime. Insects arrive in a specific order on a decomposing body to complete its life cycle based on the environment temperature. By collecting and studying different insects present on a decomposed body, an entomologist can estimate the time of death. This article will explore the types of flies present on a dead body for entomological study. The different types of flies that have forensic importance are blue bottle flies, green bottle flies, blowflies, flesh flies, etc. Their studies help us to determine the time of death. It helps in investigating the criminal cases which involve possible unexpected deaths. Dealing with traffic accidents with no instant apparent reason and possibilities of misusing the insects. Along with their forensic importance, we will also study the basic knowledge about the flies, which helps identify the flies found at the […]

Relation Between DNA, Genes, and Chromosomes

In one of our previous articles, we have briefly explained the relationship between chromosome, chromatid, and chromatin as all these aspects are correlated with each other along with DNA. DNA is a unique genetic material that fills up the genes. These genes rely on the core principle, which further proves whether living organisms look like their mother or father. Similarly, the chromosome is another genetic material responsible for carrying and passing the traits of both the parents to the new offspring. Chromosomes are present within the nuclei of the living organisms and further pass the traits from both the parents making the offspring look unique and somewhat similar to their parents because the newborn individual must carry the trait of both the parents.  What is DNA? DNA (Deoxyribonucleic Acid) is the primary genetic material that carries all the genetic information found in chromosomes, chloroplasts, and mitochondria. The building block components […]

Methods of Teeth Examination for Determining Age of Individual

Odontology is the scientific study of teeth, where – the study of the structure, development, and abnormalities of the teeth. Forensic Odontology can be defined as the application of the dental expertise to the legal system. It is a branch of forensic medicine and it’s finding is correlated with each other evidence such as findings from bone. As we know already that fingerprints and DNA are unique to every individual, similarly dental pattern of every individual is also unique and are extensively used in identification processes during mass disasters and forensic investigations. They are also used extensively for age determination. There are usually 3 methods which are used significantly for determining age of individual. They are:- Methods for the Examination of age through Teeth examination There are 3 broad methods for the examination of teeth.1. Boyde’s Method2. Stack’s Method3. Gustafson’s Method Following detailed methods : Boyde’s Method This teeth examination method is used to determine […]

Difference Between Chromosome, Chromatin and Chromatid

All living organisms are composed of genetic materials which contribute to the growth and development of the body. Starting from DNA, which is the most important part of genetics and serves a crucial role during cell division in the living organisms and helps in genetic identification within the living organisms. It’s a double helical structure composed of dual long and thin threads that twirl up around each other and look Simi to the spiral staircases. These thread-like structures are called chromosomes which are found both in eukaryotic and prokaryoticcells.  What is Chromosome? Chromosomes consist of thread-like structures that tightly bind the DNA located within the nucleus of the cell. These genetic materials assure that there is synchronized replication and dispersion of DNA during cell division. Humans have 46 chromosomes which are divided into two different pairs. One pair consists of 23 chromosomes, and both sets are inherited equally from both […]

How are Diatoms Helpful in Forensic Science?

Diatoms belonging to the algae Bacillariophyceae are some 16,000 species found in kidneys or attached to solids in all the earth’s water. Diatoms are among the most important and largest marine organisms and act directly or indirectly as food for many animals. Diatomaceous earth, a substance composed of mineral diatoms, is used for filtering, blocking, abrasives, paints, and varnishes and as a basis for dynamite. Diatoms can be unicellular or colonial. Diatoms are usually subdivided into two orders on the basis of their proportions and shapes. Centrales around circles with differing markers; the Pennales are fused, moving in a sliding motion, with feather-like markings. [1]. Diatoms are important as: • They provide a food chain base for both marine and freshwater and animal larvae. • They are the main source of oxygen for 20-30% of the world’s carbon footprint • They can act as environmental advocates for climate change • […]

Is DNA Evidence 100% Reliable in Court for Conviction?

There are many real-life cases like the Narborough Double murder case that assure us that the DNA evidence used in the court of law for the purpose of justice. Many movies and TV shows also corroborate the use of DNA evidence, fingerprints, hair samples, bite marks, etc., in convicting a criminal. Though it is true that if Forensic evidence is handled and tested by experts, they are reliable. However, in many cases, the mishandling of evidence by the police or the experts has convicted innocents many times because, however trustworthy science may sound, minimum error chances are always present there. The failures of Forensic science are present from the lowest level to the highest levels of criminal justice. FBI had confessed in 2015 that there had been the use of faulty hair analysis in the trials, and many innocents have been convicted guilty based on those wrong tests. FBI added that out of total […]

Touch DNA and its Forensic Significance

INTRODUCTION Forensic is a multidisciplinary science, which helps to solve the crime.  And nowadays the crime rate in the world and in India, in particular,  is increasing. So the need for fast and effective methods of criminal detection is also increasing. In such cases, DNA analysis has been playing a key role to link the suspect to the victim for some time. But in some cases, there may not found any biological evidence, physical evidence, or any other visible evidence at the crime scene. In such cases, the traces of DNA transferred from the suspect during physical contact with the evidence which is found at the crime scene, help in the investigation. The transferred DNA from the suspect due to touch is called touch DNA which is also called trace DNA. This technique has dramatically increased the number of items that can be used for DNA detection. In the 1980s, […]

Contribution of Neuroscience to Forensic science | Criminal Investigations

Neuroscience is a multidisciplinary science that is concerned with the study of the structure and function of the nervous system. It encompasses the evolution, development, cellular and molecular biology, physiology, anatomy, and pharmacology of the nervous system, as well as computational, behavioral, and cognitive neuroscience. Branches of Neuroscience Neurophysiology Neuroanatomy Neuropharmacology Behavioral neuroscience. Developmental neuroscience. Cognitive neuroscience. Systems neuroscience. Molecular neuroscience. Researches mainly check out the individual’s brain activity like Alzheimer’s disease. Neuroscience helps in the diagnosis of a varied range of conditions which include mongolism, ASD, ADHD, addiction, Parkinson’s disease, epilepsy, system disorders like MS. Recent advances in technology have led to an exponential growth of interest during this field. New techniques that generate markers of brain activity in vivo, such as electroencephalography (EEG), positron emission tomography (PET), and functional resonance imaging fMRI), have enabled researchers to systematically examine the neural structures and processes that are implicated in specific […]

Forensic Entomology: Effective Role of Insects in Death Investigation

Forensic Science deals with the evidence used in criminal investigations to aid in solving cases. Every evidence has some importance in the case and insects found on the dead body during decomposition is another important evidence to aid in the death investigation. The study of those insects and applying it in a court of law is known as Forensic Entomology. Introduction to Forensic Entomology Entomology is the study of insects and related arthropods (crustaceans, spiders, etc). When the study of entomology is used to aid in legal death investigations, it is called Forensic Entomology. The most visible type of Forensic Entomology is used in the investigation of death, abuse, and neglect cases. The most important contribution of the study of entomology is the estimation of the post mortem interval of time since death (TSD). Different information can be extracted from the study of arthropods on dead body present at a crime […]