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   Table of Contents - Current issue
Coverpage
April-June 2019
Volume 5 | Issue 2
Page Nos. 61-122

Online since Wednesday, June 26, 2019

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ORIGINAL ARTICLES  

Mutations of Desmoglein-2 in Sudden unexplained death in the chinese han population p. 61
Junyi Lin, Yulei Yang, Ziqin Zhao, Yiwen Shen, Kaijun Ma, Mingchang Zhang
DOI:10.4103/jfsm.jfsm_40_18  
Sudden unexplained death (SUD) remains a puzzle in forensic medicine. Desmoglein-2 (DSG2) has been linked to arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy which may cause life-threatening ventricular arrhythmias and sudden death. Fatal arrhythmias resulting in sudden death also occur in the absence of morphologic cardiac abnormalities at autopsy. We hypothesized that DSG2 mutations may be responsible for certain Chinese SUD cases. We sequenced all 15 exons of DSG2 in DNA extracted from postmortem heart tissues of 25 Chinese patients dying from SUD. The primers were designed using the Primer Express 3.0 software. Direct sequencing for both sense and antisense strands was performed with a BigDye Terminator DNA sequencing kit on a 3130 Xl Genetic Analyzer. Mutation damage prediction was made using Mutation Taster, PolyPhen, and SIFT software. In 2 of 25 cases of Chinese SUD samples, two DSG2 heterozygous mutations (p.P927 L and p.T1070M) were identified, and one is probably damaging. We concluded that DSG2 mutations may be related to the occurrence of part of SUD cases in the Chinese Han population.
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Genetic distributions of 22 short tandem repeat loci in 760 unrelated tibet, Uygur, and mongolia individuals from China p. 65
Ya-Ran Yang, Jian Yang, Feng Li, Yong-Zai Wang, Zai-Liang Yu, Jiang-Wei Yan, Di Lu
DOI:10.4103/jfsm.jfsm_17_19  
In recent years, paternity testing in ethnic minority areas in China increases rapidly. However, the number of existing genetic markers does not meet the needs. The objective is to study the information of 22 genetic markers in Mongolian, Tibetan, and Uygur Nationality. The genetic polymorphism of 22 short tandem repeat (STR) loci (D10S1435, D11S2368, D12S391, D13S325, D14S608, D15S659, D16S539, D17S1290, D18S535, D19S253, D1S1656, D20S470, D21S1270, D22GATA198B05, D2S1338, D3S3045, D4S2366, D5S2500, D6S477, D7S3048, D8S1132, and D9S925) was estimated in 259 Uyghur, 251 Tibetan, and 250 Inner Mongolian individuals from China who were all unrelated. Allele frequencies and forensic parameters were evaluated. The Hardy–Weinberg equilibrium (HWE) of each locus and the linkage disequilibrium (LD) for all pairwise STR loci were tested. Additionally, the Nei's genetic distance was used to estimate the genetic heterogeneity between Tibetan, Uyghur, Mongolian, Chinese Northern Han and Chinese Li population. The 22 loci showed high genetic polymorphism in the three ethnic groups. An exact test for the genotype distribution of the markers showed no significant deviation from HWE. These 22 STR loci could be treated as independent loci at the population level in these three ethnic groups. Relatively short genetic distances were found between the Mongolian and Han and Uygur populations. The 22 loci had no LD in the three ethnic groups and showed high heterozygosity, providing genetic information and forensic statistics for the Uyghur, Tibetan, and Inner Mongolian groups. These 22 STR loci will be useful for identification and kinship analysis in these three populations in China.
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A gas chromatography–Mass spectrometry-based metabonomic study on estimation of toxicant in rats p. 80
Yingqiang Fu, Xinhua Dai, Fan Chen, Yuzi Zheng, Shiyong Fang, Yang Lin, Yi Ye, Linchuan Liao
DOI:10.4103/jfsm.jfsm_4_19  
The aim of this study was to develop a gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS)-based metabolomics method to distinguish different kinds of poisons in the blood. We examined the changes in blood metabolites using GC-MS following administration of four different poisons (paraquat, dichlorvos, aconitine, and sodium nitrite). The data were analyzed with orthogonal partial least squares. Then, total and single differential metabolite profiles were evaluated with support vector machine (SVM) models. The results showed that various metabolites (5-ketone proline, 1,5-anhydrohexitol, lactic acid, glycine 2,2-furoic acid, and 3-hydroxybutyric acid) were differential between the experimental groups and the control groups. The accuracy rates of the SVM models established using total and single differential metabolites were 80% and 100%, respectively. In conclusion, we successfully developed a poison screening method. The established SVM models can distinguish four kinds of poisons and could be used to establish a complete poison metabonomic information database. Furthermore, some of the metabolites could be biomarkers of these poisons. Finally, both the models and potential biomarkers may reduce the time required for poison detection and provide direction for solving cases and auxiliary diagnosis.
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Specificity of characteristic marks on cartridge cases from 3070 consecutive firings of a Chinese Norinco QSZ-92 9 mm Pistol p. 87
Feng Dong, Yabin Zhao, Yaping Luo, Weifang Zhang, Kaifeng Zhang
DOI:10.4103/jfsm.jfsm_6_19  
The specificity of marks was evaluated by differences between marks left by the same firearm (within variability) and differences between marks left by different firearms (between variability). The within variability and between variability of firing pin impressions and breech face marks on cartridge cases from over 3070 consecutive firings of a Chinese Norinco QSZ-92 9 mm pistol were investigated based on the automated ballistic identification system Evofinder®. The first 20 cartridge cases and one random specimen out of every set of 10 consecutive cartridge cases of the remaining 3050 cases were entered into the Evofinder® system. Thus, 325 cartridges fired from the same pistol were used to estimate the within variability. Then, 88 cartridges fired from 88 different pistols of the same model (one cartridge each) were used to estimate the between variability. This study established a database containing 413 cartridges. We used the 325 cartridges fired from the same pistol as a correlation baseline in the database. Both firing pin and breech scores and gaps between these scores were used to analyze the variability. In the score evaluation process, a likelihood ratio system was used to evaluate the likelihood ratio performance. The Evofinder® system correctly discriminated the matches, and the likelihood ratios provided strong support for the true state of the hypothesis. In addition, we found that the score gap was usually greater than the other score differences by more than 1000% in firing pin list and 100% in the breech list. Further analysis of the score and gap can help examiners use the Evofinder® system more efficiently.
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Application of resistance measurements of black gel ink to identify altered documents p. 95
Wei Han
DOI:10.4103/jfsm.jfsm_33_18  
Identification of altered documents written in black gel ink is widely recognized as problematic, especially if both the original and altered strokes contain carbon. In this work, we used a black handwriting resistance measurement instrument to measure the resistance values of ink strokes. Because black gel inks are made with different types of pigments, their resistance values could be used to differentiate between different pen models from the same brand and among brands. In this study, 30 black gel inks were classified by their resistance values. In a pair-wise comparison analysis of the results, there were 435 possible pairs and 347 (i.e., 79.8% of the total) of these were able to be effectively distinguished. This is a nondestructive, convenient, and effective method to identify altered documents.
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United States rules on electronic evidence collected from smartphones and their influence on China p. 104
Yiyang Cao
DOI:10.4103/jfsm.jfsm_51_18  
The popularity and wide use of smartphones have led to an increase in the debate on the procedure relating to their investigation and search. We should not neglect the protection of citizens' privacy concerning the content of their smartphones since they contain so much personal information. In 2014, the United States (US) Supreme Court addressed two cases, Riley v. California and US v. Wurie, which dealt with smartphone searches and the search incident to arrest exception to the warrant requirement. Police must obtain a warrant when they want to search for evidence in the smartphone of a potential suspect. However, there are exceptions to this requirement: emergencies and exigent circumstances; the consent to search exception; and the “plain view” exception. The procedural law of China contains no legal regulations on smartphone searches. Therefore, we should establish the principles of smartphone searches to strike a balance between the protection of citizens' privacy and the punishment of crime. It is helpful for us to learn from the experience of the US and other countries and limit warrantless searches, improve the writ principles and clarify the scope and procedure of smartphone searches. It is also important to establish corresponding procedural sanctioning and supervisory mechanisms.
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Probative values and their affecting factors of criminal investigation records p. 112
Jun-Yao Yue
DOI:10.4103/jfsm.jfsm_38_18  
Following improvements in evidential thinking, more questions have been raised about the probative values of criminal investigation records; therefore, there is an urgent need to investigate the prominent problems with this system for keeping investigation notes and evidence. The binding 2013 Criminal Procedural Law of the People's Republic of China lists the victim's statement, defendant's confession or defence, inspection, examination, identification, and investigation notes as statutory evidence. Technically, these criminal investigation records are naturally legally admissible as evidenced in criminal justice procedures. However, the Miranda rules of the United States, which guarantee the defendant's right to silence, have not been established in mainland China. Consequently, the objectivity of those kinds of criminal investigation records can be questioned during cross-examination. Comparative and systematic research methods were used to examine the probative values and their affecting factors in criminal investigation records. The results show that it is not easy to obtain the full probative value of criminal investigation records because it involves analyses of issues such as understanding the notes, procedures, and methods in making the records, as well as the reform of related systems, such as transplanting the Miranda rules to secure the defendant's right to silence and the presence of counsel. Only in this way can we expect evidence used in criminal investigation records to be used scientifically by ensuring that evidence of criminal acts are kept free from irrational contamination and resolve the existing related problems in judicial practice.
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REVIEW ARTICLE Top

New developments in quality control of forensic science in China p. 118
Xu Wang, He Yuan
DOI:10.4103/jfsm.jfsm_48_18  
Forensic science has advanced rapidly in China in recent years, with the number of forensic cases increasing in leaps and bounds. Forensic evidence has become indispensable in judicial trials. With the introduction of anti-trial strategy in the reforms of the trial-centered litigation system, quality of forensic evidence has become a focus of cross-examinations. Since 2015, product quality in numerous areas has been improved by standardization, and thus, China has focused on developing a national standardization strategy. Thus, standardization is also increasing in the field of forensic science. This study examines the growth in both the number and the type of forensic science cases in China over the past 10 years and also the deep qualitative cross-examination brought by the rise of the expert assessor policy toward forensic conclusions in trial. We also examine the progress of forensic science standardization in the context of the quality triangle of forensic science, as well as the structure of standardization in forensic science, basic research on forensic science, and measures designed to strengthen education, training, and communication with the judicial profession. These issues are of vital importance in relation to quality control in forensic science.
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