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   2016| April-June  | Volume 2 | Issue 2  
    Online since June 16, 2016

 
 
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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.
  4,675 673 -
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.
  4,477 595 10
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.
  3,925 304 -
ORIGINAL ARTICLES
Knowledge, Attitude, and Perception of Postmortem Examination Among Doctors and Nurses in a Tertiary Hospital of Sokoto, Nigeria
AU Kaoje, U Mohammed, A Abdulkarim, MO Raji, UM Ango, BA Magaji
April-June 2016, 2(2):78-84
DOI:10.4103/2349-5014.181500  
Postmortem examination is a highly specialized surgical procedure that consists of a thorough examination of a corpse to determine the cause and manner of death and to evaluate any disease or injury that may be present. This study aimed to assess the knowledge, attitude, and perception of postmortem examination among doctors and nurses in a tertiary health care of Sokoto state. A cross-sectional study design was used, and a total of 149 doctors and nurses participated in the study. Respondents were recruited into the study using probability proportionate to size followed by a simple random sampling method. Data were obtained through self-administered questionnaires, and the data were analyzed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences Version 17.0. Descriptive statistics, Chi-square test, and multinomial logistic regression analysis were carried out. The mean age of respondents was 31.6 (5.6) years. There were more nurses than doctors (60.4% vs. 39.6%) in the study. More than three-quarter (80%) of the respondents had fair to good knowledge of postmortem examination. While many respondents expressed positive attitudes and perceptions, less than half were willing to accept organs from deceased donors. Respondents' profession influenced both the knowledge (P > 0.001, odds ratio [OR] = 13.95) and attitude (P < 0.04, OR = 2.49) to postmortem examination. Although greater than three-quarter of respondents had fair to good knowledge and many expressed positive attitudes and perceptions with respect to postmortem examination, there is need to create more awareness on medical benefit of postmortem examination.
  2,880 320 -
Determination of Cusp Number and Occlusal Groove Pattern in Mandibular Molars: A Preliminary Epidemiological Study in an Indian Population
Urvashi Ashwin Shetty, Pushparaja Shetty, Audrey Madonna D'Cruz
April-June 2016, 2(2):98-101
DOI:10.4103/2349-5014.179323  
Teeth are excellent material in living and nonliving populations for anthropological, genetic, odontologic, and forensic investigations. The present study aims to study the number of a number of cusps in the first and second mandibular molar and to assess the frequency and expression of different types of occlusal groove pattern. The cross-sectional study is carried out. One hundred patients attending the Outpatient Department of the hospital were recruited for the study based on exclusion and inclusion criteria. Clinical examination was done, and the morphological details of the crown (the number of cusps) were recorded. Dental casts of the mandibular teeth were made. The occlusal grooves were highlighted by using Indian ink and observed under the 2× magnification for the groove pattern (+ or y type). Descriptive statistics were carried out for the study. In the case of mandibular first molar, the 5 cusp form was the most frequent occlusal configuration (82%) followed by 6 cusp variety (12%) and 4 cusp variety (4%) bilaterally. The predominant occlusal groove pattern seen in mandibular first molar was “y” shape (65%) followed by “+” pattern (28%). Hence, the most frequent occlusal surface configuration in case of first mandibular molar was “y5” form. In the case of mandibular second molar, the 4 cusp form was the most frequent occlusal configuration (86%), followed by 5 cusp type (12%) bilaterally. The predominant occlusal groove pattern seen in mandibular second molar was a “+” shape (85%) followed by “y” pattern (11%). Hence, the most frequent occlusal surface configuration in case of mandibular second molar was “+4” form. The study of dental morphological characteristics is important in forensic and anthropological research as it can provide information on the phylogenetic relationship between species, as well as variation and diversities within a population.
  2,862 283 -
Analysis of Microbiome DNA on Frequently Touched Items and from Palm Prints
Xue Yao, Wenli Liu, Junping Han, Guangqian Pei, Yigang Tong, Yaping Luo
April-June 2016, 2(2):74-77
DOI:10.4103/2349-5014.184190  
Limited by the sensitivity of laboratory techniques, conventional human DNA analysis of touch DNA on frequently used items and prints does not always provide satisfactory results. In this study, microbiome DNA on personal computers, cell phones, and palm prints was analyzed and compared. After sample collection, DNA extraction, polymerase chain reaction amplification, library preparation, and sequencing, data were analyzed using the QIIME 1.8.0 software. Weighted unifrac distance between the right palm skin and the right side of a keyboard, the right palm skin and the mouse, and the left side of the keyboard and the left palm skin was 0.258850, 0.265474, and 0.214098, respectively. Even after palm prints were left for 1 week, microbial community structures were still quite similar to those of samples collected from the palm skin on the day they were left (weighted unifrac distance was 0.270885).
  2,586 464 4
Forensic Experts' Opinion Regarding Clinical Forensic Medicine Practice in Indonesia and Malaysia
Hanusha Nair Gopalakrishnan, Yoni Fuadah Syukriani, Elsa Pudji Setiawati
April-June 2016, 2(2):85-90
DOI:10.4103/2349-5014.184193  
Clinical forensic medicine is a progressing branch. In Indonesia and Malaysia, there is inadequate information regarding this practice. It is always unclear about the job scopes and practitioners involved in this field. The study outlined in this article is aimed to explore the current clinical forensic medicine practice compared to existing systematic practice globally and hence analyzing for presence of difference in this practice between these two countries. A qualitative study was conducted by forensic experts in Indonesia and Malaysia from September to November 2015. In-depth interview was carried out to obtain data which were then validated using literature and legal documents in Indonesia and Malaysia known as the triangulation validation method. Data were presented in narrative form. In Indonesia, forensic pathology and clinical forensic medicine were approached as one whereas in Malaysia separately. This practice was conducted by a general practitioner in collaboration with other specialists if needed in Indonesia; whereas, in Malaysia, this practice was conducted by forensic pathologists or medical officers in the absence of forensic pathologists. Both Indonesia and Malaysia followed the continental regimen in practicing clinical forensic medicine. There was still a lack of involvement of doctors in this field due to lack of understanding of clinical forensic medicine. The current clinical forensic medicine practice has not developed much and has no much difference in both countries. The gap between the current practice with systematic practice cannot be justified due to the absence of one standardized code of practice.
  2,413 398 1
Identification of Colored Dyes that are Resistant to Fading on Exposure to Ethylene Oxide; Use with Indicating FTA™ Sample Collection Cards
Nina Moran, Peter James Tatnell
April-June 2016, 2(2):67-73
DOI:10.4103/2349-5014.184191  
Regulatory Standards and Forensic Communities are expressing an expectation for HID products to be certified as “DNA-free.” Recently, “DNA-free” status was described for HID-related products using ethylene oxide (EtO); this gas reduces the presence of amplifiable DNA and causes minimal interference to downstream HID-analytical methods. During sample collection, indicating cards, for example, Indicating FTA™ (GE Healthcare Life Sciences, UK), are used to collect and store buccal cell DNA. These cards contain a dye which changes color on application of a colorless sample. Generating “DNA-free” indicating cards using EtO should not impact the dyes' ability to indicate sample location or the efficacy of the card in downstream HID-analytical methods. This study was initiated to identify alternative dyes to those currently used with sample indicating collection cards. The most promising, dyes when applied to cellulose papers exhibited a uniform color distribution and excellent sample indicating properties even when mixed with chemicals associated with FTA™. When dyed cellulose papers were exposed to EtO, ultraviolet radiation, elevated temperature, and humidity, negligible fading or discoloration was observed. The presence of these dyes on cellulose papers did not interfere with direct short tandem repeat (STR) profiling. Allelic concordance, first pass success rate, and mean peak heights were comparable to samples applied to Indicating FTA. Biological samples applied to EtO-treated dyed cellulose papers and stored >1 month produced full STR profiles of sufficient quality to allow submission to DNA databases, confirming negligible interference from EtO treatment. These alternative sample indicating dyes resist EtO-mediated fading while fulfilling the Forensic Community's expectation for “DNA-free” with negligible impact on collection card performance.
  2,449 313 -
REVIEW ARTICLES
A Future Perspective in Forensic Medicine in China: Diatomological Mapping of Water Bodies
Luo Zhuo, Shu Lin, Peng Song
April-June 2016, 2(2):107-110
DOI:10.4103/2349-5014.177407  
Diatom test (forensic diatomology) is commonly considered as the “gold standard” in the diagnosis of drowning in forensic practices. The diatomology contributes significantly not only in determining the mode of death but also in determining the site of drowning because of various distribution characterizations of diatoms in different water bodies or different seasons. Hence, it is believed that diatomological mapping will be interest to forensic pathologists in the future development. Here, we reviewed the all the studies on the distribution characterizations of diatoms in different water bodies in China recently. The present paper summarized the current situation and the limitations of the previous studies. Moreover, we suggested that it was necessary to establish a systematized and standardized diatomological mapping program nationwide. Our study also encourages diatomological mapping for forensic characterization of water bodies for a prolonged time.
  2,331 256 1
ORIGINAL ARTICLES
A Preliminary Urinary Metabolomics Study of Sprague-Dawley Rats after Short-term Ketamine Administration by Proton Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy
Xiang Lu, Qunxing Tang, Yi Ye, Run Guo, Fan Chen, Xinhua Dai, Youyi Yan, Linchuan Liao
April-June 2016, 2(2):91-97
DOI:10.4103/2349-5014.184192  
Drug abuse has become a global problem. The mass spectrometry-based metabolic consequences of ketamine administration in anesthesia and therapy have been well studied, but to the best of our knowledge, metabolomic studies of ketamine abuse based on nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy are still lacking. In this study, twenty Sprague–Dawley rats were randomly assigned into two groups: a control group (n = 10) and a ketamine group (n = 10). The animals in the ketamine group received intraperitoneal injections of ketamine twice daily at 12-h intervals at progressively increasing doses over a period of 9 days, while the control group received an equal volume of saline. The urine samples were collected for 24 h at days 0, 1, 3, 5, 7, and 9 for the metabolomics study. The metabolic changes in urine after short-term ketamine administration were analyzed by proton NMR coupled with multivariate statistical analysis. The results indicated that short-term ketamine exposure led to significant alterations of the metabolites in the urine of the rats. Specifically, 1,3,7-trimethyluric acid, 1,3-dimethyluric acid, acetoacetic acid, acetylglycine, creatine, sarcosine, dimethylglycine, glycine, and theobromine were significantly increased in the urine. Significant changes were also found in metabolites related to antioxidant and energy metabolism, including acetoacetic acid, succinate, 1,3,7-trimethyluric acid, 1,3-dimethyluric acid, creatine, and taurine. Our findings indicated that short-term ketamine administration leads to disorder of energy metabolism and oxidative stress. In addition, the modified metabolites identified could serve as the new biological markers and potential biological indices reflecting the underlying mechanism of ketamine abuse.
  2,208 270 -
CASE REPORTS
A Case of Maternal Half-sisters Sharing Alleles at 18 X-chromosomal Short Tandem Repeat Loci
Qiu-Ling Liu, Li Xue, Hu Zhao, De-Jian Lu
April-June 2016, 2(2):115-118
DOI:10.4103/2349-5014.184194  
Analysis of X-chromosome short tandem repeats (STRs) is very helpful in deficiency paternity testing. Here, we reported a case of kinship analysis that showed a potentially erroneous inclusion of paternal sisters between two women. The two women shared alleles at 18 X-chromosomal STR loci spanned from 14.76cM (DXS6807) to 184.19cM (DXS7423). When their relatives were not available for testing, biostatistical analysis for the 18 X-chromosomal STR loci and 24 autosomal STR loci revealed the most possible relationship between the two women was paternal sisters. However, when the father of one woman was available, the other father-daughter possibility was excluded. In the end, the likelihood ratio of STR marker and mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) sequences confirmed the two women were maternal sisters. This case emphasizes a cautionary interpretation of X chromosomal marker in deficiency paternity cases with female offspring. Even though large parts of the X-chromosome haplotypes shared by two females, additional relatives and extended DNA typing (such as mtDNA) may be needed further to ascertain whether they are paternal or maternal sisters.
  2,162 273 1