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   2018| July-September  | Volume 4 | Issue 3  
    Online since September 28, 2018

 
 
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REVIEW ARTICLES
Application of molecular markers in wildlife DNA forensic investigations
Ishani Mitra, Soma Roy, Ikramul Haque
July-September 2018, 4(3):156-160
DOI:10.4103/jfsm.jfsm_23_18  
Wildlife DNA Forensic is the application of regular DNA forensic methods for proper identification of wildlife parts and their products. Recent advances in molecular genetic studies have generated a new and exciting range of possible applications of genetic methods to wildlife research, conservation, and management. These advances have led to an explosion in genetic research on wildlife for their identification at molecular level and have increased interest among researchers working in other scientific disciplines for application of genetic technology in wildlife DNA forensic field. Different molecular markers have been developed and being routinely used for analysis, such as nuclear markers (variable number of tandem repeats, single-nucleotide polymorphisms), mitochondrial markers (cytochrome b, cytochrome c oxidase subunit I, 16S rRNA, 12S rRNA, and D-Loop) and microsatellites. As soon as, a case is reported under Wildlife Protection Act (1972) the case exhibits are sent to forensic laboratories for proper analysis of species for appropriate application of law.
  9,159 808 -
Handwriting identification: Challenges and solutions
Liu Xiaohong, Lian Yuanyuan
July-September 2018, 4(3):167-173
DOI:10.4103/jfsm.jfsm_81_17  
As a historic technology, handwriting identification, especially that of Chinese characters, plays an important role in judicial trials both in domestic and abroad. However, in recent decades, handwriting identification has faced a challenging situation; the scientificity of handwriting identification has been questioned. This article analyzes the reasons for questioning handwriting identification, focusing on the aspects of standards, methods, quantitative analysis of handwriting identification, and qualification, training, and assessment of document examiners. Besides, corresponding solutions for the above aspects and some other characteristics, such as systematic identification, cross-examination of expert opinions, and rule of corroboration, are proposed.
  7,969 418 -
Bioterrorism threat: A review of microbial forensics source-tracing of some bioterrorism agents
Bobmanuel Chimaroke Echeonwu, Obinna O Nwankiti, Solomon C Chollom, Kayode A Olawuyi
July-September 2018, 4(3):161-166
DOI:10.4103/jfsm.jfsm_5_18  
Global perception and consciousness of the threat of bioterrorism seem to have diminished in recent past following achievements in decades of global fight against deadly infectious diseases such as plague and smallpox. However, with recent advancement in biotechnology and the arrival on the scene of amoral and rogue states as well as terrorist groups, there is a justifiably heightened global apprehension that bacteria, viruses, and toxicogenic fungi can be weaponized and used to cause great harm to humans and agricultural biodiversity. We now have on our hands the dilemma of dual-use of biotechnology. This review brings to the fore an aspect of microbial forensics – bioagent source-tracing (attribution) that is very key in mounting an appropriate response to the evident threat of bioterrorism. This article places a little more emphasis on the bioagent Yersinia pestis, and the technique of whole-genome sequence typing adjudged the most effective technique for building databases for bioterrorism-associated agents and public health important pathogens. The need for international sharing of data and databases of bio-agents is emphasized, as this would enable global applicability of bio-agent source-tracing in cases of bioterrorism.
  4,179 420 -
ORIGINAL ARTICLES
Mitochondrial DNA-based identification of developmental stages and empty puparia of forensically important flies (Diptera) in Egypt
Hedayat A Abdel Ghaffar, Marie Z Moftah, Alexandre Favereaux, Mohamed Swidan, Omar Shalaby, Sara El Ramah, Reda Gamal
July-September 2018, 4(3):129-134
DOI:10.4103/jfsm.jfsm_17_18  
Relying on morphology in the estimation of postmortem intervals is not always accurate for all life phases of flies, especially for immature stages. The present study demonstrates the application of cytochrome oxidase I sequences, a partial mitochondrial (mt) gene region, to differentiate forensically important flies in Alexandria, Egypt. Thirty-three adult flies, larvae, and pupae were collected from rabbit carcasses. Nineteen were used for genotyping. Sequence analysis revealed no significant intraspecific divergence in Diptera species. Accordingly, a neighbor-joining tree using the Kimura 2-parameter model illustrated reciprocal morphology between species. Specimens represented five species, four genera, four subfamilies, two families, and one order. We herein identify five different Diptera species, Chrysomya albiceps, Chrysomya megacephala, Calliphora vicina, Lucilia sericata, and Ophyra capensis, using mt DNA as a species-specific marker for identification in a local database set-up.
  3,355 362 -
The validation of Goldeneye™ DNA ID 22NC kit and the genetic polymorphism of 21 short tandem repeat loci in the Chinese Hunan Han population
Xiaoliang Fu, Shule Sun, Yanfang Liu, Jing He, Jifeng Cai, Zha Lagabayila
July-September 2018, 4(3):122-128
DOI:10.4103/jfsm.jfsm_18_18  
Goldeneye™ DNA ID 22NC Kit is a novel short tandem repeat (STR) genotyping system that investigate 20 non-CODIS loci (D4S2366, D6S477, D22GATA198B05, D15S659, D8S1132, D3S3045, D14S608, D17S1290, D3S1744, D2S441, D18S535, D13S325, D7S1517, D10S1435, D11S2368, D19S253, D1S1656, D7S3048, D10S148, and D5S2500), a CODIS locus (D3S1358), and a sex-determining locus amelogenin in one assay. In the present study, this STR genotyping system was validated according to the guidelines of “Validation Guidelines for DNA Analysis Methods (2016)” updated by the Scientific Working Group on DNA Analysis Methods. A series of tests, such as polymerase chain reaction-based studies, sensitivity, inhibitors, DNA mixture, species specificity, precision and accuracy evaluation, stutter percentage, and peak height ratio, was conducted. The genetic polymorphism of 21 STR loci that included in the 22NC system was also investigated in the Chinese Hunan Han population. The validation results demonstrated that Goldeneye™ DNA ID 22NC Kit is a robust and reliable identification assay as required for genotyping in kinship analysis and forensic investigation. The 21 STR loci in this kit also showed a high level of genetic polymorphism for the Hunan Han population. Therefore, it can be used for forensic applications and population studies.
  2,897 305 -
CASE REPORT
Spontaneous subdural hemorrhage due to ruptured arteriovenous malformation in a child
Nor Fadhilah Madon, Ahmad Hafizam Hasmi, Khairul Anuar Zainun, Hapizah Mohd Nawawi
July-September 2018, 4(3):174-178
DOI:10.4103/jfsm.jfsm_93_17  
Spontaneous subdural hemorrhage (SDH) is an uncommon nontraumatic bleed of the brain, involving the dura and arachnoid mater. SDH commonly occurs due to tearing of bridging veins; however, SDH from the rupture of arteriovenous malformation (AVM) is an uncommon phenomenon, particularly in children. We report a case of atypical SDH in a 1-year-old child with AVM and a history of alleged abuse. Autopsy revealed SDH in the right parietal and middle cranial fossa without any external or internal injuries to the head, brain, or other parts of the body. Histopathological examination and immunohistochemical staining of the brain tissue revealed an abnormal distribution of arteries and veins of various sizes and architecture. From a detailed histopathological examination of the brain and meticulous investigation of vascular abnormalities, we conclude the cause of acute SDH to be due to a ruptured AVM.
  2,934 253 -
ORIGINAL ARTICLES
Differentially expressed microRNAs as potential markers for vital reaction of burned skin
Hao-Pin Lyu, Ming Cheng, Jin-Cen Liu, Ming-Yuan Ye, Di Xu, Jie-Tao He, Xiao-Li Xie, Qi Wang
July-September 2018, 4(3):135-141
DOI:10.4103/jfsm.jfsm_1_18  
The identification of antemortem burns and postmortem burns is essential in forensic practice. In this study, microRNA (miRNA) microarray analysis was conducted to identify differentially expressed miRNAs in the skin of an experimental burn model. Microarray analysis revealed 24 differentially expressed miRNAs in antemortem burned mice skin, with 19 miRNAs significantly upregulated and 5 downregulated. Based on the intersection predicted using three databases (Targetscan, microRNA.org, and PITA), 293 potential miRNA targets were identified. These dysregulated miRNAs and their predicted targets were further analyzed using the Gene Ontology and Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes databases. Several functional categories and signaling pathways were enriched, including the “fc epsilon ri signaling pathway,” “endometrial cancer,” and “mTOR signaling pathway.” Expression patterns of 10 differentially expressed miRNAs were verified by reverse transcription-quantitative polymerase chain reaction in mice skins. The results agreed with the results of microarray analysis. These findings suggest that differentially expressed miRNAs revealed by microarray are potential markers for forensic molecular diagnosis of antemortem burns.
  2,537 338 -
Sexual dimorphism of foramen magnum between two different groups of Indian population: A cross-sectional cone-beam computed tomography study
Vidisha Gargi, S M Ravi Prakash, Sangeeta Malik, K Nagaraju, Sumit Goel, Swati Gupta
July-September 2018, 4(3):150-155
DOI:10.4103/jfsm.jfsm_19_18  
The foramen magnum (FM), being a vital landmark at the base of the skull, includes interests to many fields of medicine. Many authors have recounted the usefulness of the FM in gender determination. The emphasis of this study is to evaluate the shape and dimensions of the FM among males and females and to establish its role in sexual dimorphism using cone-beam computed tomography (CBCT). Furthermore, to evaluate the area and FM index (FMI) among males and females and finally to evaluate the differences in FM measurements if any in two different regions of an Indian population. One hundred and ten CBCT scans (55 males and 55 females; age range, 20–80 years) were selected for this study. The sagittal diameter, transverse diameter, area, FMI, and circumference of FM were measured, and data were subjected to discriminant analysis for the evaluation of sexual dimorphism. The area of FM was the best discriminant parameter which was used to study the sexual dimorphism with an overall accuracy of 90.9%. It can be concluded that the reconstructed CBCT image provides valuable measurements for the FM and could be used for gender determination.
  2,422 332 -
An empirical study of exploring nonphonetic forensic speaker recognition features
Xin Guan
July-September 2018, 4(3):142-149
DOI:10.4103/jfsm.jfsm_20_18  
So far, phonetic features have been the main type of forensic speaker recognition features studied and used in practice. One problem with phonetic forensic speaker recognition features is that they are affected dramatically by the real-world conditions, which results in within-speaker variations and consequently reduces the reliability of forensic speaker cognition results. In this context, supported by Sapir's description of the structure of speech behavior and discourse information theory, natural conversations are adopted as experiment materials to explore nonphonetic features that are supposed to be less affected by real-world conditions. The results of experiments show that first there exist nonphonetic features besides phonetic features, and what's more, the nonphonetic features are less affected by real-world conditions as expected.
  2,120 251 -
The evaluation of insertion and deletion polymorphism in population and personal identification amidst Chinese populations
Hui Sun, Caiyong Yin, Lei Shang, Chong Wang, Kaiyuan Su, Wanshui Li, Feng Chen, Shilin Li
July-September 2018, 4(3):115-121
DOI:10.4103/jfsm.jfsm_24_18  
For comprehensive understanding of practical application and evaluation on the power of 30 commonly used InDels (Qiagen Investigator DIPplex® kit), we captured population data from 25 Chinese populations and employed F-statistics for population genetics analysis. The results indicated that the distributions of allelic frequencies among populations were in different levels. Furthermore, the phylogeny conforming pairwise FSTdistances showed that the differentiation of majority populations were consistent with their geographic locations and historic dispersals. We conduct the comprehensive correlation analysis between FSTand heterozygosity of 30 InDel loci and provided strong evidence for ongoing InDel loci selection. The FSTvalues of 30 InDels were calculated within 25 Chinese populations, and then, these loci were characterized definitely based on their roles in population genetics or individual identification. Data indicated that 17 InDels with FST<0.01 could be utilized regarding Chinese individual identification (total discrimination power = 0.999985 and cumulative matching probability = 0.00000009). We comprehensively reconstructed the population structure and filled the gap of evaluating the ability of InDels in personal as well as population identification. The application of InDel loci in the forensic area would convincingly promote the development matter of forensic population identification and personal discrimination.
  1,768 323 -