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CASE REPORT
Fat Embolism as a Rare Complication of Large-volume Liposuction in a Plastic Patient
Xiaoliang Fu, Shang Gao, Zhenyu Hu, Yadong Guo, Jifeng Cai
January-June 2015, 1(1):68-71
DOI:10.4103/2349-5014.155553  
Fat embolism is a dreaded complication in of procedures of multiple disciplines including plastic surgery. As the popularity of liposuction increases, cases of pulmonary embolism after liposuction are increasingly reported. However, documents of cerebral embolism after liposuction are rarely presented. The degree of disability with respect to Fat fat Embolism embolism Symdrome syndrome (FES) is a Gordian Knot in the evaluation of legal medicine. Therefore, it is of great significance for us to that we report the case of a 30-year-old woman who underwent a large-volume liposuction that resulted in serious complications, especially cerebral embolism. Untypical symptoms of fat embolism hamper the clinical diagnosis, particularly after a surgical procedure such as liposuction. Such a seldom-seen case would easily trigger medical disputes, especially in countries like China suffering increasing claims of medical malpractice and, medical negligences and lawsuits. Detailed descriptions of this case are presented below along with the discussion of the clinical symptoms and the diagnostic approaches to fat embolism.
  6,871 505 2
REVIEW ARTICLES
Significance of Dental Records in Personal Identification in Forensic Sciences
Vagish Kumar L Shanbhag
January-March 2016, 2(1):39-43
DOI:10.4103/2349-5014.155551  
Forensic odontology is a branch that connects dentistry and the legal profession. One of the members in the forensic investigation team is a dentist. Dentists play an important and significant role in various aspects of the identification of persons in various forensic circumstances. However, several dentists and legal professionals are quite ignorant of this fascinating aspect of forensic odontology. A need was felt to fill this gap. The dental record is a legal document possessed by the dentist and it contains subjective and objective information about the patient. A PubMed search and Google search were done for articles highlighting the importance of dental records in forensic sciences using the key words "forensic odontology, forensic dentistry, forensic dentists, identification, dental records, and dental chart". A total of 42 articles relevant to the title of the article were found and reviewed. The present article highlights the role of dentists in forensic sciences, their possible contributions to forensics, and the various aspects of forensic dentistry, thus bridging the gap of knowledge between the legal and the dental fraternities.
  5,139 589 2
The Hot Issues and Future Direction of Forensic Document Examination in China
Bing Li
January-March 2016, 2(1):22-27
DOI:10.4103/2349-5014.170619  
The domain of forensic document examination consists of a variety of professional tasks related to the history and preliminary of questioned documents. The wide area of tasks implemented by forensic document examiners includes the skill to identify the authorship of handwriting and signature; discriminate among genuine, imitated, or disguised handwriting; to examine and analyze components of inks, papers, and other materials connected with documents; and other highly skilled analyses based on specialized technique. The field of handwriting examination is tightly related to empirical knowledge and practical experience. Handwriting is usually thought to be behavioral activities that are identifiable due to the appearance of features and characteristics within the writing. When we assess these features we universally analyze them in two aspects: Both quality and quantity of writing. As mentioned above, the evaluation of quality and quantity is performed by forensic document examiners. The problem is how to conduct this kind of evaluation related to empirical knowledge and experience. There is not consistent answer yet, although many researchers devote themselves to explore in this hot issue, such as mathematical methods applied in handwriting analysis. In this article, several mathematical methods applied to forensic document field are deciphered in domestic perspective of China. In the digital age, we all inevitably deal with problems with the help of computer or computer technology. We also pay close attention to the computer technique assistant in the field of forensic document examination. Standards or criteria of forensic document examination are still hot issues in China. Although we established a few standards or criterion based on requires of practice, it is also a lack of standards or criterion associated to trainees and continuing education in view of practitioners. At the end of this article, the author intends to discuss a piece of a challenge to forensic document examination, which are also universal issues abroad. Those who are critical of the current state of knowledge in this area argue that members of the judiciary have failed to sufficiently address the shortcomings of the forensic document evidence proffered in criminal trials. Specifically, critics of forensic document examination argue that little valuable wording exists in the report to support the validity and reliability of the methodology and findings of forensic document examination.
  5,018 498 1
ORIGINAL ARTICLES
Meta-analysis of the Association between Serotonin Transporter Polymorphisms and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome
Haojie Qin, Guohui Xu, Xinmin Pan, Yaonan Mo
October-December 2016, 2(4):179-184
DOI:10.4103/2349-5014.197932  
The serotonin transporter (5-HTT) gene has been considered one of the risk factors for sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), but the association remains unconfirmed. This meta-analysis was performed to quantitatively summarize the evidence for such a relationship. PubMed, EMBASE, and China National Knowledge Infrastructure databases were searched for eligible studies within a range of published years from 1990 to December 2015. The odds ratios (ORs) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were used to assess the different associations. A total of 8 studies with 624 cases and 796 controls were included for 5-HTT promoter polymorphism, 5 studies with 418 cases and 542 controls for intron 2, and 3 studies with 253 cases and 334 controls for haplotype. The pooled examinations showed an overall increased SIDS risk for the 5-HTT promoter polymorphism (OR = 1.65, 95% CI = 1.03–2.63, P = 0.035 for LL vs. LS and SS; OR = 1.46, 95% CI = 1.04–2.04, P = 0.028 for L vs. S), but no association (OR = 1.00, 95% CI = 0.75–1.33, P = 0.994 for 10 + 9 carriers vs. 12/12; OR = 0.97, 95% CI = 0.79–1.19, P = 0.753 for 10 + 9 vs. 12) for intron 2 polymorphism, and an unreliable association (OR = 0.52, 95% CI = 0.31–0.87, P = 0.013) for S-9 and S-10 haplotypes. This meta-analysis suggests that the L allele or LL homozygote of 5-HTT promoter polymorphism has an increased risk for SIDS, while intron 2 polymorphism has no association with SIDS.
  3,117 2,268 -
COMMENTARY
From De Facto Fact-finder to Expert Witness? Transition of Forensic Examination in China
Thomas Y Man
July-December 2015, 1(2):75-83
DOI:10.4103/2349-5014.170602  
Forensic examination plays an important role in China's judicial system, especially in the fact-finding process of both civil and criminal proceedings. Since 2005, this system has experienced gradual, yet significant changes. This paper seeks to examine the major themes of these changes in the context of the continued conceptual reformulation and structural realignment of civil and criminal procedures and the ongoing effort to codify evidence law with transforming impact on China's judicial system and culture. Emphasis is given to the transition of the forensic examination system from an officially (both administrative and judicial) administered fact-finding mechanism with powerful impact on the courts' truth-seeking activities to, at least partially, an expert witness system with significant participation and control by the parties' to judicial proceedings. A convergence of influence from both the continental inquisitorial tradition and the common law adversarial structure appears to have strongly informed the process and direction of the Chinese forensic examination reform. This paper attempts to explain the reasons for this convergence of influence, identify the trend and direction of this development, and provide observations and suggestions for further improvement of the forensic examination system in several key aspects with particular reference to the legal principles and judicial practices under the Federal Rules of Evidence of the United States.
  1,713 3,035 -
CASE REPORTS
Choking or Epilepsy
Raktim Pratim Tamuli, Debarshee Chakraborty, Nayan Kumar Das, Braja Gopal Das
January-March 2016, 2(1):57-59
DOI:10.4103/2349-5014.155549  
Choking is a form of asphyxia caused by an obstruction within the air passage usually between the pharynx and bifurcation of the trachea. It is commonly associated with alcohol intoxication, neurological injury, or senility. Choking is almost always accidental. Suicidal and homicidal chokings are rare. Here, in the present case, the dead body of a 29-year-old male was brought by the local police to the mortuary of Gauhati Medical College and Hospital, Guwahati for medico-legal autopsy, who as reported, was mysteriously found dead on his bed. After complete and thorough autopsy, the cause of death was opined to be due to asphyxia as a result of antemortem choking, following impaction of the food bolus in the laryngotracheal region. The person had a history of a single episode of seizure (epilepsy) about 1 month back.
  3,181 240 -
ORIGINAL ARTICLE
The Relevant Physical Trace in Criminal Investigation
Durdica Hazard
Ahead of print schedule 0, 0(0):0-0
DOI:10.4103/2349-5014.164662  
A criminal investigation requires the forensic scientist to search and to interpret vestiges of a criminal act that happened in the past. The forensic scientist is one of the many stakeholders who take part in the information quest within the criminal justice system. She reads the investigation scene in search of physical traces that should enable her to tell the story of the offense/crime that allegedly occurred. The challenge for any investigator is to detect and recognize relevant physical traces in order to provide clues for investigation and intelligence purposes, and that will constitute sound and relevant evidence for the court. This article shows how important it is to consider the relevancy of physical traces from the beginning of the investigation and what might influence the evaluation process. The exchange and management of information between the investigation stakeholders are important. Relevancy is a dimension that needs to be understood from the standpoints of law enforcement personnel and forensic scientists with the aim of strengthening investigation and ultimately the overall judicial process.
  3,308 110 1
ORIGINAL ARTICLES
Characteristics of Suicides Caused by Drug Overdose in the State of Maryland
Ling Li, Xinbiao Liao, Guozhong Zhang, Daming Sun, Tiantong Yang, Keming Yun, Rebecca Phipps, Xiang Zhang, Mary G Ripple, David Fowler
January-June 2015, 1(1):38-42
DOI:10.4103/2349-5014.157910  
Suicidal drug overdose is a major public health issue. In the United States, every year more than 33,000 people commit suicides. Our study focused on the characteristics of suicide victims in the state of Maryland. Material and methods: This study was a retrospective review of autopsy cases of all suicide deaths caused by drug (s) or drug (s) with alcohol intoxication investigated by the OCME in Maryland over a 7-year period from January 2004 to December 2011. All deaths investigated by the OCME that require autopsy examination are subject to comprehensive toxicology testing for drugs and alcohol. The screen tests were performed using gas chromatography (GC) and radioimmunoassay techniques. All detected drugs and/or metabolites were confirmed using GC-mass spectrometry (GC-MS). Results: From 2004 to 2011, 434 deaths were certified as suicide. Of the 434 suicidal overdose deaths, 84% were white, 11% were African-American, and about 5% were either Hispanic or Asian. The male and female ratio was almost equal. Their ages ranged 15-82 years. Of the 434 suicidal drug overdose deaths, 277 victims (63.8%) consumed a single drug type and 157 (36.2%) consumed more than one type of drug. Of the 277 single-drug overdose cases, 71.1% suicides were due to prescription drugs, 23.5% due to over-the-counter drugs, and 5.4% due to street/recreational drugs. Among single-type prescription drugs, analgesic (N = 76), antidepressant (N = 45), and neuroleptic (N = 35) classes were the three leading type of drugs used in suicidal deaths. Oxycodone, morphine, quetiapine, and amitriptyline were the most common prescription drugs in suicidal overdose. Diphenhydramine was the leading over-the-counter drug. Of the 157 victims who consumed more than one drug, combined prescription drugs were present in 54.1%, mixed prescription and over-the-counter drugs in 29.3%, and prescription drugs/over-the-counter drugs and street drugs in 16.6% of cases. Of the multiple-drug overdose suicides, 66.2% cases involved antidepressants. Discussion: Suicide is found in every age, racial, and ethnic group. In the USA, poisoning is thethird-leading method of suicide, following firearm injuries and hanging/strangulation. Our study indicates that prescription drugs, such as those in the opioid analgesic, neuroleptic, and antidepressant class (e.g., oxycodone, morphine, quetiapine, amitriptyline, doxepin, and citalopram), are of special concern in the context of suicidal overdose deaths in the state of Maryland. Therefore, addressing the problems of intentional drug overdose in our society is worthy of public attention.
  2,863 300 -
REVIEW ARTICLES
Infanticide: A Concept
Arneet Arora, Jayanthi Yadav, Sanjay Kumar Yadav, Hans Raj Singh
January-March 2017, 3(1):42-46
DOI:10.4103/jfsm.jfsm_51_15  
Infanticide is killing of a child <12 months of age by a mother who has not fully recovered from the effects of pregnancy, giving birth and lactation, and suffers some degree of mental disturbance. However, in India, infanticide means unlawful destruction of a newly born child and is regarded as murder in law and is punishable under section 302 completely neglecting postpartum psychiatric state of mothers' mind. Several studies have indicated a high incidence of postpartum depression in mother of developing as well as developed countries. The lack of awareness in medical fraternity, legal experts, and society leads to miscarriage of justice. In this article, we have compared legal status of infanticide in various countries vis-a-vis India and thus tried to arrive at a more humane and pragmatic approach in cases of infanticide keeping in mind the psychological state of mother, gender inequality, weak public health infrastructure, and the prevalent practice of homicide of unwanted/female child. A psychiatric or medical assessment model of mother by panel of experts in case of infanticide should be evolved. Information and awareness of postpartum psychiatric illness among medical professionals, legal persons, and society is an important aspect.
  2,627 459 -
BRIEF COMMUNICATION
Resurgence of Fentanyl as a Drug of Abuse
Lauren P Tamburro, Jenan H Al-Hadidi, Ljubisa Jovan Dragovic
April-June 2016, 2(2):111-114
DOI:10.4103/2349-5014.184195  
Fentanyl, a powerful opioid analgesic introduced over 50 years ago, has a major role in modern anesthesia and chronic pain relief but has also gained a major role in illicit use. After a spike in fentanyl abuse between 2005 and 2007, fentanyl deaths decreased until 2010, with the introduction of “abuse-deterrent” OxyContin. Our data indicate a recent rise in fentanyl-related deaths beginning in 2013, which follows national trends. With the re-emergence of the synthetic narcotic analgesic of high potency as a popular drug of abuse and the alarmingly increasing mortality associated with its abuse, there are profound implications for public health, health care providers, law enforcement, and the society in general.
  2,585 407 7
ORIGINAL ARTICLES
Transfer of Fibres onto Knife Blades in Stabbing Events: Distribution and Determination of the Stabbing Sequence
Michael Schnegg, Line Gueissaz, Jessica Rodriguez, Sabine Hess, Genevieve Massonnet
July-December 2015, 1(2):84-92
DOI:10.4103/2349-5014.164659  
Knives are among the weapons most frequently involved in criminal cases. They represent the most encountered category of weapons in Swiss homicide cases (completed and attempted homicides considered) and are also frequently employed in assault cases, notably bodily injuries. Whenever a knife is involved in a stabbing event, DNA and fingerprints may be sought. When garments are damaged, fibres can also be investigated. Fibres from the victim's garments might transfer onto the blade of the knife used in the assault and can thus provide useful information to determine whether a particular weapon could have be used to stab the victim. This study simulates vertical stabbings into garments with the use of a special holding device. Different types of knives and blades straight or serrated were used as weapons. Two garments presenting different shedding capacities and garment structures were also considered for the simulations. The distribution of fibres transferred onto the blade (number and position) was recorded for each simulation performed. Sequences of stabbings into the two garments were also carried out to assess whether the order of the stabs could be determined. Several parameters were considered, notably the distribution of fibres transferred onto the blade. The transfer of fibres inside the stab damage ballistic soap was used in this study and on the area near the second damage was also investigated. This study provides new insight into the interpretation of fibres transferred onto knives after a single stab or a sequence of stabbings and into determining the stabbing sequence. Finally, the study brings some guidelines for the search and recovery of fibres on the crime scene and on the blades of knives.
  2,062 834 3
Determination of Diphenylamine in Gunshot Residue by HPLC-MS/MS
Hongcheng Mei, Yangke Quan, Wenhao Wang, Hong Zhou, Zhanfang Liu, Huixia Shi, Peng Wang
January-March 2016, 2(1):18-21
DOI:10.4103/2349-5014.162808  
A high performance liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry/mass spectrometry (HPLC-MS/MS) protocol was developed for the determination of diphenylamine (DPA). Four productions of DPA were selected for qualitative assay and the peak area of the main product ion for quantitation. By means of separation using an Agilent Extend-C18 column (CA, USA) (150 mm × 4.6 mm, 5 μm) with methanol-water (90:10) as the mobile phase, DPA was detected by electrospray ionization (ESI) tandem mass spectrometry in positive mode. The linearity of the peak area versus concentration ranged 5-500 ng/mL, r 2 = 0.9978. The limit of detection (S/N =3) of this method was 0.3 ng/mL. This method is applicable for the determination of DPA in gunshot residue.
  2,467 424 4
Lucilia sericata (Meigen) and Chrysomya megacephala (Fabricius) (Diptera: Calliphoridae) Development Rate and its Implications for Forensic Entomology
Kapil Verma, Reject Paul
July-September 2016, 2(3):146-150
DOI:10.4103/2349-5014.191466  
Forensic entomology is basically a science that is based on the scientific study of the invasion and succession pattern of arthropods with their developmental stages of different species found on the decomposed cadavers during legal investigations. The developmental rate of Lucilia sericata and Chrysomya megacephala was studied in beef liver for the correlation of time duration in each phase with the temperature and climate. The obtained data belong to L. sericata at temperatures between 22°C and 26°C (mean - 24°C) and relative humidity 50% ±10% and C. megacephala at temperatures between 23°C and 27°C (mean - 25°C) and relative humidity 55% ±10%. From the analysis of results, it was observed that in the climatic conditions of the study area, time since death assessment involving L. sericata was found to be with a potential of maximum 10-11 days and C. megacephala with 8-9 days. The data emerged as results from the present work would be beneficial for investigations involving decomposed dead body remains for the assessment of time since death.
  2,504 376 -
REVIEW ARTICLES
Journey of DNA Evidence in Legal Arena: An Insight on Its Legal Perspective Worldwide and Highlight on Admissibility in India
Ramakant Gupta, Swati Gupta, Manju Gupta
April-June 2016, 2(2):102-106
DOI:10.4103/2349-5014.184196  
DNA profiling is one of the powerful breakthroughs in forensics. This specialized technique has made the identification of an individual possible even by a tiny shred of tissue or drop of blood thus, has strongly revolutionized various criminal investigations. Rape, paternity, and murder cases are the type of criminal cases commonly solved by the use of this technique. It has been recently introduced to forensic odontology and is also used frequently. Although this is a powerful and reliable scientific technique but its forensic use is a major contribution to the debate on law reform. The application of DNA profiling in the criminal justice system, i.e., the admissibility of DNA evidence in court of law is an important issue which is being faced by the courts and forensic experts worldwide today. Thus, a proper legal outlook is required while dealing with this kind of scientific evidence. Therefore, this review intends to make forensic experts/odontologists aware about the admissibility of DNA evidence in court, with a highlight on the laws related to the admissibility of evidence worldwide, having a special focus on the laws related to admissibility of evidence in Indian judicial system. For this review, the literature was overviewed from articles on DNA evidence and admissibility retrieved by searches on electronic databases such as Google, PubMed, and EMBASE from 1975 through July 2015.
  2,501 378 -
CASE REPORTS
Medicolegal Investigation of Medical Negligence in India: A Report of Forensic Autopsy Case
Raktim Pratim Tamuli
July-September 2016, 2(3):167-170
DOI:10.4103/2349-5014.191471  
In general negligence means failure to take proper care over something and according to law negligence means breach of a duty of care which results in damage. Medical negligence is not very uncommon; every now and then cases of medical negligence are reported in the electronic media. Medical Negligence is doing something that one is not supposed to do, or failing to do something that one is supposed to do. Role of Forensic Pathologist in cases of Medical Negligence is always unquestionable. Forensic Pathologists need to explore and maintain a high degree of transparency between the doctors, patients and the law enforcing agencies. In the present case, a person was attacked by a wild animal and he fell down on a rough surface. Immediately he was rushed to a local hospital. The treating doctor stitched the external injury and allowed him to go home; he neither advised any investigation nor kept him under observation to rule out any internal injury. After 12 hours the victim succumbed to death. At autopsy a fractured skull with underlying subdural haemorrhage was noticed. Was not the treating doctor negligent in this case? Were the protocols followed? What should be the role of a Forensic Pathologist in such kind of cases?
  2,382 271 -
REVIEW ARTICLES
Forensic Dental Identification: Practice in Indian Context Compared to Western Countries
Sudheer B Balla
January-March 2016, 2(1):44-47
DOI:10.4103/2349-5014.161629  
Today, in most of the countries forensic dental identification is considered as one of the most accurate and reliable method of identification of human remains. This application of forensic dentistry has proven successful in both single identification cases as well as in multiple fatality incidents such as world trade center disaster in 2001, the Asian tsunami in December 2004 etc. Comparative dental identification is one of the primary means of identification along with DNA and fingerprint analysis and also the most common method of identification of human remains. Identification of human remains from dental records is mandated by the law in some countries. India is one of the most disaster-prone countries of the world. It has had some of the world's most severe droughts, famines, earthquakes, road accidents, and rail accidents. In this paper, few multiple fatality incidents that took place over the last decade in India are reported. A brief analysis of all the reported cases and difficulties encountered during identification were discussed. The purpose of this paper is to discuss some of the issues involved in body identifications following disasters in India. The author also discussed to what extent Indian government is successful in utilizing the expertise of a forensic dentist in body identifications and also compared the present practice of forensic dental identification in India to Western countries. The goal is to cite situations and to bring issues into better focus, and hence that the identification procedures can be refined and changes can be made as necessary.
  2,330 298 -
CASE REPORTS
Application of a Standard Procedure to Avoid Errors When Comparing Fingerprints with Their Reversals in Fake Documents
Carlos Magno Alves Girelli
January-March 2016, 2(1):60-64
DOI:10.4103/2349-5014.162807  
Laterally reversed (mirrored) fingerprints are difficult to detect by applying routine search procedures. One suggestion to avoid errors when dealing with probable reversals is to perform comparisons with both direct and reversed fingerprints. This simple procedure has been applied and led to the detection of two more cases of reversed fingerprint usage in fake documents. In one of the reported cases, experts found on the web the same fingerprints used by criminals in fake documents. This finding is important because it indicates that matched fingerprints do not necessarily link different criminal cases.
  2,384 215 1
REVIEW ARTICLES
Chinese Forensic Psychiatry: History, Development and Challenges
Li Xue, Yan-Wei Shi, James L Knoll, Hu Zhao
January-June 2015, 1(1):61-67
DOI:10.4103/2349-5014.155555  
China has a long history of forensic psychiatry, which can be traced even back to Zhou dynasty (11 th century B.C.). However, modern forensic psychiatry has not been set up in China until the 1970s. After the interruption of Cultural Revolution of 1966-1976, there was a period of rapid development. In the past five years, a series of judicial identification system reforms have been taking place. In 2010, China had 225 forensic psychiatry agencies, 2,090 forensic psychiatry experts and 40,822 cases. The experts are organized within the separate agencies of psychiatric hospitals, universities, the Institute of Forensic Sciences of the Ministry of Justice and other forensic agencies. Apart from criminal forensic psychiatry, the experts are often asked to evaluate civil competency for the clients involved in civil litigation. Chinese forensic psychiatry has developed rapidly during the past 30 years, and formed the characteristics of its own under the special legal system. However, there is still much work for Chinese forensic psychiatrists to do for the future.
  2,331 241 -
ORIGINAL ARTICLES
Estimation of the Postmortem Interval by Measuring Blood Oxidation-reduction Potential Values
Zhuqing Jiang, Meng You, Xu Wang, Di Lu, Haidong Zhang, Shengli Di, Fengqin Zhang, Zhaoming Guo, Xiaofei E, Lin Chang, Jian Xiang, Rufeng Bai, Tiantong Yang
January-March 2016, 2(1):8-11
DOI:10.4103/2349-5014.155727  
Accurate estimation of the postmortem interval (PMI) is an important task in forensic practice. In the last half-century, the use of postmortem biochemistry has become an important ancillary method in determining the time of death. The present study was carried out to determine the correlation between blood oxidation-reduction potential (ORP) values and PMIs, and to develop a three-dimensional surface equation to estimate the PMI under various temperature conditions. A total of 48 rabbits were placed into six groups and sacrificed by air embolism. Blood was obtained from the right ventricle of each rabbit, and specimens were stored at 10°C, 15°C, 20°C, 25°C, 30°C, and 35°C. At different PMIs (once every 4 h), the blood ORP values were measured using a PB-21 electrochemical analyzer. Statistical analysis and curve fitting of the data yielded cubic polynomial regression equations and a surface equation at different temperatures. Result: The results showed that there was a strong positive correlation between the blood ORP values at different temperatures and the PMI. This study provides another example of using a three-dimensional surface equation as a tool to estimate the PMI at various temperature conditions.
  2,124 413 1
Validation of the DNATyper™15 PCR Genotyping System for Forensic Application
Jian Ye, Chengtao Jiang, Xingchun Zhao, Le Wang, Caixia Li, Anquan Ji, Li Yuan, Jing Sun, Shuaifeng Chen
January-June 2015, 1(1):8-15
DOI:10.4103/2349-5014.157903  
We describe the optimization and validation of the DNATyper™15 multiplex polymerase chain reaction (PCR) genotyping system for autosomal short tandem repeat (STR) amplification at 14 autosomal loci (D6S1043, D21S11, D7S820, CSF1PO, D2S1338, D3S1358, D13S317, D8S1179, D16S539, Penta E, D5S818, vWA, D18S51, and FGA) and  amelogenin, a sex-determining locus. Several DNATyper™15 assay variables were optimized, including hot start Taq polymerase concentration, Taq polymerase activation time, magnesium concentration, primer concentration, annealing temperature, reaction volume, and cycle number. The performance of the assay was validated with respect to species specificity, sensitivity to template concentration, stability, accuracy, influence of the DNA extraction methods, and the ability to genotype the mixture samples. The performance of the DNATyper™15 system on casework samples was compared with that of two widely used STR amplification kits, Identifiler™ (Applied Biosystems, Carlsbad, CA, USA) and PowerPlex 16 ® (Promega, Madison, WI, USA). The conditions for PCR-based DNATyper™15 genotyping were optimized. Contamination from forensically relevant nonhuman DNA was not found to impact genotyping results, and full profiles were generated for all the reactions containing ≥ 0.125 ng of DNA template. No significant difference in performance was observed even after the DNATyper™15 assay components were subjected to 20 freeze-thaw cycles. The performances of DNATyper™15, Identifiler™, and PowerPlex 16 ® were comparable in terms of sensitivity and the ability to genotype the mixed samples and case-type samples, with the assays giving the same genotyping results for all the shared loci. The DNA extraction methods did not affect the performance of any of the systems. Our results demonstrate that the DNATyper™15 system is suitable for genotyping in both forensic DNA database work and case-type samples.
  2,173 326 2
Determination of Electrical Conductivity of Cadaver Skeletal Muscle: A Promising Method for the Estimation of Late Postmortem Interval
Zhiyuan Xia, Xiandun Zhai, Beibei Liu, Yaonan Mo
January-June 2015, 1(1):16-20
DOI:10.4103/2349-5014.155554  
The electrical conductivity (EC) of extracted muscle fluid has been extensively used to evaluate meat freshness and shelf life in the field of food sanitation for decades. The opposite of freshness is the corruption that increases with time. Based on the freshness/corruption principle, we investigated the relationship between long postmortem intervals (PMIs) and EC in cadaver skeletal muscle. EC values of extracted fluid from rat muscles were measured at different PMIs for 10 days. The results indicate that there was a significant correlation between PMI and EC, and the data fit well to the cubic polynomial regression equation y = - 0.01x 3 + 0.264x 2 -13.657x + 1769.148 (R 2 = 0.925). In addition, the EC of different dilutions of these muscle extracts showed strict quadratic correlation (R 2 = 1) with the dilution ratios, suggesting that EC can be measured with very small quantities of muscle sample. Our study suggests that determination of the EC of cadaver skeletal muscle extracts may be a useful method for estimating long PMIs.
  2,075 397 1
Evaluation of Medical Malpractice Litigations in China, 2002-2011
Tiantong Yang, Guozhong Zhang, Xu Wang, Shengli Di, Haidong Zhang, Daming Sun, Siyang Xiang, Dong Zhao, Lin Chang, Ling Li
October-December 2016, 2(4):185-189
DOI:10.4103/2349-5014.197931  
In the past 10 years, medical malpractice litigations have become a serious public health and social issues in China. This study aims to evaluate the medical malpractice litigations in Beijing. A retrospective study was conducted using the database from the Key Laboratory of Evidence Science (KLES) at China University of Political Science and Law (CUPL) to demonstrate the extent and characteristics of the alleged medical malpractice cases and the conclusions of forensic evaluation from 2002 to 2011 in Beijing. A total of 1515 alleged medical malpractice cases were investigated by forensic medical experts at KLES-CUPL during the study period. Of the 1515 cases, 45.2% were male patients and 54.8% were female patients. The age of the patients ranged from newborn to 90 years, with average age of 44 years. The alleged medical malpractice cases involved 11.3% of newborns. From 2002 to 2006, the average number of medical malpractice litigations was 123 cases per year, while from 2007 to 2011, the average number of medical malpractice litigations was 180 per year, a 46% increase. Of the 1515 cases, 588 (38.8%) litigations were due to the patients' death. Clinical departments involved in claims most often were obstetrics (18.9%), followed by orthopedics (15.1%) and general surgery (11.5%). Medical error was found in 945 (62.4%) cases. Of the 945 confirmed medical malpractice cases, the top medical misadventures were diagnostic errors (36.5%), improper performance of procedures (36.4%), and medication error (12.6%). Although tertiary hospitals were more likely to be sued than the secondary and primary hospitals (63.6% vs. 36.4%), there was no significant difference between tertiary and secondary hospitals in the percentage of confirmed malpractice cases (62.3% vs. 59.4%). The primary hospitals had the highest confirmed malpractice cases (73.2%).
  1,595 777 1
CASE REPORTS
A Rare Form of Major Self-mutilation in a Patient with Delusional Disorder
Shahbaz Habib Faridi, Mohammad Amir Usmani, Bushra Siddiqui, Mohammad Aslam
April-June 2016, 2(2):119-121
DOI:10.4103/2349-5014.155547  
Self-mutilation is defined as the intentional, direct injuring of body tissue without suicidal intent. In this article we report the case of a 45-year-old male who presented to the emergency department with a history of incising his abdomen and chopping his intestines into pieces. The patient also brought the chopped pieces along with himself. He was operated on, and a resection and anastomosis was done. Postoperative recovery of the patient was uneventful. After a psychiatric assessment was done, it was found that he was suffering from delusional disorder. Owing to such rare presentation of major self-mutilation in a patient with delusional disorder, this case is being reported here.
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ORIGINAL ARTICLES
A Gold Nanoparticle-enhanced Surface Plasmon Resonance Aptasensor for the Detection of 2,4,6-trinitrotoluene
Junpeng Tan, Bin Hao, Chuo Wang, Yifei Ren, Hongxia Hao, Ruiqin Yang
October-December 2016, 2(4):195-202
DOI:10.4103/2349-5014.197934  
A gold nanoparticle-enhanced surface plasmon resonance (SPR) aptasensor was developed for high-specificity and high-sensitivity detection of 2,4,6-trinitrotoluene (TNT). Self-assembly film-forming technology was used to modify the gold surface of the sensor chip with 2,4,6-trinitrophenyl glycine, a TNT analogue, using polyethylene glycol to which the thiol group and carboxyl group are attached. Aptamer-gold nanoparticle complexes were formed through Au-S bonding. To detect TNT, the samples were incubated with the aptamer-gold nanoparticle complexes, and the solution competition method was applied through the SPR aptasensor. The results showed that the SPR aptasensor achieved fast, real-time detection of TNT. This gold nanoparticle-enhanced SPR aptasensor is suitable for TNT detection in the field of public safety and environmental monitoring.
  1,983 335 3
REVIEW ARTICLE
Examining Scientific Evidence in the USA and Chinese Courts: A Comparative Study
Bangda Chen
Ahead of print schedule 0, 0(0):0-0
DOI:10.4103/2349-5014.170612  
The critical examination of scientific evidence is crucial in attempting to distinguish genuine science from "junk science" and provides judges with an important basis upon which to determine the credibility of expert witnesses giving scientific evidence. From studying the law in the USA, we learn that the process for examining scientific evidence in court is based on full discovery of the proposed evidence before trial and the availability of expert witnesses at trial to testify orally and be examined and cross-examined. Empirical studies suggest that the opportunities to critically examine scientific evidence in Chinese courts are not so freely available. Discovery is neglected, thus limiting the effectiveness of cross-examination and current rules do not encourage oral testimony or effective cross-examination. To solve these problems, the disclosure duty should be put on the prosecution, rather than the defendant. Scientific evidence should be discovered. Disclosure must include basis, process, reliance material, and methods of forensic appraisals. In trial process, prosecution has transferred the case file to court, where the defendant will be able to copy the scientific evidence. Strengthen the neutrality of experts assistants established by the 192th article of the new Criminal Procedural Law.
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