Estimation of the firing distance through micro-CT analysis of gunshot wounds.

Estimation of the firing distance through micro-CT analysis of gunshot wounds.

Int J Legal Med. 2011 Mar;125(2):245-51

Authors: Cecchetto G, Giraudo C, Amagliani A, Viel G, Fais P, Cavarzeran F, Feltrin G, Ferrara SD, Montisci M

Estimation of the firing range is often critical for reconstructing gunshot fatalities, where the main measurable evidence is the gunshot residue (GSR). In the present study intermediate-range gunshot wounds have been analysed by means of a micro-computed tomography (micro-CT) coupled to an image analysis software in order to quantify the powder particles and to determine the firing distance. A total of 50 shootings were performed on skin sections obtained from human legs surgically amputated for medical reasons. For each tested distance (5, 15, 23, 30 and 40 cm), firing was carried out perpendicularly at the samples using a 7.65-mm pistol loaded with jacketed bullets. Uninjured skin sections were used as controls. By increasing the firing distance, micro-CT analysis demonstrated a clear decreasing trend in the mean GSR percentage, particularly for shots fired from more than 15 cm. For distances under 23 cm, the powder particles were concentrated on the epidermis and dermis around the hole, and inside the cavity; while, at greater distances, they were deposited only on the skin surface. Statistical analysis showed a nonlinear relationship between the amount of GSR deposits and the firing range, well explained by a Gaussian-like function. The proposed method allowed a good discrimination for all the tested distances, proving to be an objective, rapid and inexpensive tool for estimating the firing range in intermediate-range gunshot wounds.

PMID: 21120514 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

Chronological age estimation based on third molar development in a Portuguese population.

Chronological age estimation based on third molar development in a Portuguese population.

Int J Legal Med. 2011 Mar;125(2):235-43

Authors: Caldas IM, Júlio P, Simões RJ, Matos E, Afonso A, Magalhães T

Third molar development was assessed using a sample of 1,131 orthopantomograms from a Portuguese population. The methodology applied was the eight stages (A-H) method described by Demirjian et al. The final sample was made of 739 orthopantomograms, 387 (52.5%) of which belonging to females; age ranged between 6.1 and 22.5 years old (mean age = 14.49, S.D. = 4.37). For each developmental stage, mean age, standard deviation, and minimal and maximal age was assessed; evaluation of the rate formation of each tooth, according to sex, was calculated and data distribution expressed in percentiles for each stage; the probability of an individual being 16 was also evaluated. The relationship between tooth development and chronological age had a statistical significance for all teeth and both sexes (p < 0.0001). The data described may provide reference for forensic application and agree with the thesis that each population need specific data.

PMID: 21107594 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

Accuracy of Cameriere, Haavikko, and Willems radiographic methods on age estimation on Bosnian-Herzegovian children age groups 6-13.

Accuracy of Cameriere, Haavikko, and Willems radiographic methods on age estimation on Bosnian-Herzegovian children age groups 6-13.

Int J Legal Med. 2011 Mar;125(2):315-21

Authors: Galić I, Vodanović M, Cameriere R, Nakaš E, Galić E, Selimović E, Brkić H

The aim of this cross-sectional study was to compare the accuracy of the Cameriere European formula (Cameriere), adopted Haavikko method from 1974 (Haavikko), and revisited Demirjian method by Willems (Willems) for age estimation on orthopantomograms (OPGs) of Bosnian-Herzegovian (BH) children age groups 6-13 years. The accuracy was determined as difference between estimated dental age (DA) and chronological age (CA) and the absolute accuracy (absolute difference) was assessed by analyzing OPGs of 591 girls and 498 boys. The Cameriere method overestimated the mean age by 0.09 year for girls and underestimated by -0.02 year for boys. The Haavikko method underestimated the mean age by -0.29 year for girls and -0.09 year for boys. The Willems method overestimated the mean age by 0.24 year in girls and by 0.42 year in boys. The absolute accuracies were 0.53 year for girls and 0.55 year for boys for Cameriere method; for Haavikko method, 0.59 year for girls and 0.62 year for boys; and for Willems method 0.69 year for girls and 0.67 year for boys. In conclusion, Cameriere method is the most accurate for estimating the age of BH children age groups 6-13 years using OPGs, following adopted Haavikko method and Willems method.

PMID: 20878416 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

Determining falling patterns by estimation of horizontal distance and height.

Determining falling patterns by estimation of horizontal distance and height.

Int J Legal Med. 2011 Jan;125(1):1-10

Authors: Yanagida Y, Maeda M, Nushida H, Asano M, Ueno Y

Whether by accident or foul play virtually thousands of fall-related fatalities occur each year. While a number of past studies addressed the relationship between falls, injury, and death, only a small fraction sought to establish an objective index geared specifically towards determining the cause of a particular fall. The primary objective in the present study was to determine the range of attainable horizontal distances in various forms of active and passive falling patterns. The secondary objective involved the capturing of physical motions at the point of impact via 3D motion analyses in order to identify the defining physical characteristics of a particular form of fall. The introduction of live test subjects to these series of experiments added the advent of fear and other psychological factors to the study which are crucial in simulating real-life cases. To corroborate this point, five subjects (three male and two female) expressed their wishes to withdraw from the study, attributing their decision to feeling an inherent danger and fear of the physical aspects of the present study. The ten subjects were made to fall from a height of 3.65 m under 13 conditions of various natures. Footage of the subjects falling was captured on two high-speed video cameras which markedly improved the calculation of 3D coordinates along the subjects’ flight path. After extensive calculations, we were successful in determining the maximum attainable horizontal distances in passive falling patterns. Additionally, we found that force applied to the abdominal area results in shorter horizontal distances in comparison to falls where force is directly applied to the posterior side of the body.

PMID: 19701763 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

Studies on the chronology of third molar mineralization in First Nations people of Canada.

Studies on the chronology of third molar mineralization in First Nations people of Canada.

Int J Legal Med. 2010 Sep;124(5):433-7

Authors: Olze A, Pynn BR, Kraul V, Schulz R, Heinecke A, Pfeiffer H, Schmeling A

Forensic age estimation of living subjects has become increasingly important in recent years. One main criterion for dental age estimation in the relevant age group is the evaluation of third molar mineralization. In the present study, we determined the stages of third molar mineralization in 347 female and 258 male First Nations people of Canada aged 11 to 29 years based on radiological evidence from 605 conventional orthopantomograms. The results presented here provide useful data on the mineralization stages of third molars that can be used for forensic estimation of the minimum and most probable ages including the range of scatter of investigated persons.

PMID: 20623297 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

Immunohistochemical detection of MMP-2 and MMP-9 in a stasis-induced deep vein thrombosis model and its application to thrombus age estimation.

Immunohistochemical detection of MMP-2 and MMP-9 in a stasis-induced deep vein thrombosis model and its application to thrombus age estimation.

Int J Legal Med. 2010 Sep;124(5):439-44

Authors: Nosaka M, Ishida Y, Kimura A, Kondo T

We immunohistochemically examined the expression of matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-2 and MMP-9 using venous thrombi developed by ligation of the inferior vena cava (IVC) in mice. Both MMP-2- and MMP-9- positive cells could be detected in the whole course of thrombus formation after IVC ligation. Morphometrically, their number was greatest 14 days after IVC ligation and thereafter, gradually decreased at 21 days. The number of MMP-9-positive cells was significantly higher than that of MMP-2-positive cells at 1 to 7 days. The average ratio of MMP-9 to MMP-2 (MMP-9/MMP-2 ratio) was >2.0 in all thrombus samples at 1-5 days. After 7 days, the MMP-9/MMP-2 ratio was less than 2.0. These observations implied that an MMP-9/MMP-2 ratio markedly exceeding 2.0 strongly indicates an age of 5 days or less. Furthermore, an MMP-9/MMP-2 ratio of <2.0 probably indicates an age of more than 7 days. The present study demonstrated that the immunohistochemical detection of intrathrombotic MMP-2 and MMP-9 was suitable to estimate the age of venous thrombi.

PMID: 20623133 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

The cannabinoid receptor type 2 is time-dependently expressed during skeletal muscle wound healing in rats.

The cannabinoid receptor type 2 is time-dependently expressed during skeletal muscle wound healing in rats.

Int J Legal Med. 2010 Sep;124(5):397-404

Authors: Yu TS, Cheng ZH, Li LQ, Zhao R, Fan YY, Du Y, Ma WX, Guan DW

The expression of the cannabinoid receptor type 2 (CB2R) was investigated by immunohistochemistry, Western blotting, and RT-PCR during wound healing of contused skeletal muscle in rats with attempt of its applicability to skeletal muscle wound age estimation. Furthermore, Macrophage Marker (MAC387) was utilized to identify macrophages recruited into injured skeletal muscle tissue. Co-localization of CB2R with Macrophage Marker was detected by confocal laser scanning microscopy. A total of 50 Sprague-Dawley male rats were divided into control and contusion groups (3 h, 6 h, 12 h, 1 day, 3 days, 5 days, 7 days, 10 days, and 14 days post-injury). In the uninjured controls, immunoreactivity of CB2R was detected in the sarcolemma and sarcoplasm of normal myofibers. In the contusion groups, a few polymorphonulcear cells, a large number of macrophages, and spindle-shaped fibroblastic cells showed a positive staining for CB2R in wounded zones. By Western blotting analysis, the average of CB2R to GAPDH ratios in 5-7 days post-injury groups was highest, and all the samples had ratios of >2.60. In the other groups, no samples showed ratios of >2.60 and the CB2R to GAPDH ratios ranged from 1.19 to 2.59. The expression tendency was also confirmed by RT-PCR. From the viewpoint of forensic pathology, these observations suggested that the ratio markedly exceeding 2.60 strongly indicated a wound age of 5-7 days. In conclusion, dynamic distribution and expression of CB2R suggest that CB2R be involved in modulating macrophages in response to inflammatory event in rat skeletal muscle wound healing and CB2R be available as a marker for wound age determination.

PMID: 20535492 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

The chronology of second and third molar development in Koreans and its application to forensic age estimation.

The chronology of second and third molar development in Koreans and its application to forensic age estimation.

Int J Legal Med. 2010 Nov;124(6):659-65

Authors: Lee SS, Byun YS, Park MJ, Choi JH, Yoon CL, Shin KJ

The accuracy of forensic age estimation based on the chronology of second (M2) and third molar (M3) development was investigated using 2,087 orthopantomograms of Korean men and women aged between 3 and 23 years. The developmental stages of M2s and M3s in these subjects were classified using the criteria of Demirjian. Inter-observer reliability and statistical data on each stage of mineralization of M2s and M3s were evaluated. The left-right symmetries of the maturation degrees in the M2s and M3s were observed in both sexes, between which no arch differences were found, but statistically significant sex-specific differences were observed in some stages of M2 and M3 development. In multiple regression analysis, a strong positive relationship was observed between age and mineralization of M2s and M3s. The regression formulas for estimating the age of Koreans were presented based on sex and combination of teeth. These results suggest that the developments of second and third molars can be considered as valuable age indicators in Korean adolescents and young adults.

PMID: 20830590 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

Y chromosome homogeneity in the Korean population.

Y chromosome homogeneity in the Korean population.

Int J Legal Med. 2010 Nov;124(6):653-7

Authors: Kim SH, Han MS, Kim W, Kim W

The distribution of Y-chromosomal variation from the 12 Y-SNP and 17 Y-STR markers was determined in six major provinces (Seoul-Gyeonggi, Gangwon, Chungcheong, Jeolla, Gyeongsang, and Jeju) to evaluate these populations’ possible genetic structure and differentiation in Korea. As part of the present study, a 10-plex SNaPshot assay and two singleplex SNaPshot assays were developed. Based on the result of 12 Y-SNP markers (M9, M45, M89, M119, M122, M174, M175, M214, RPS4Y, P31, SRY465, and 47z), almost 78.9% of tested samples belonged to haplogroup O-M175 (including its subhaplogroups O3-M122: 44.3%, O2b*-SRY465: 22.5%, O2b1-47z: 8.7%), and 12.6% of the tested samples belonged to haplogroup C-RPS4Y. A total of 475 haplotypes were identified using 17 Y-STR markers included in the Yfiler kit, among which 452 (95.2%) were individual-specific. The overall haplotype diversity for the 17 Y-STR loci was 0.9997 and the discrimination capacity was 0.9387. Pairwise genetic distances and AMOVA of the studied Korean provinces reflected no patrilineal substructure in Korea, except for Jeju Island. Thus, this survey shows that the present data of Korean individuals could be helpful to establish a comprehensive forensic reference database for frequency estimation.

PMID: 20714743 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]