FORENSIC SCIENCE Trace Evidence 1 Introduction Trace Evidence--any small pieces of material, man-made or naturally occurring Most common examples: Hair Fiber 2 Test Questions for Trace Evidence
What is it? Is it man-made or natural? What is its source? How common is it?
Can it be identified to a single source? 3 Hair Human hair is one of the most frequently found pieces of evidence at the scene of a violent crime. It can provide a link between the criminal and the act. From hair one can determine:
Human or animal Race Origin Manner in which hair was removed Treated hair Drugs ingested 4 DNA The hair shaft contains abundant mitochondrial DNA--inherited only from our mothers. It can be typed by comparing relatives if no DNA from the body is
available. Only the root contains nuclear DNA. 5 Hair Morphology The Study of Structure and Form Parts of the hair Shaft--part of the hair that sticks out of the skin Root--lies below
the epidermis Follicle--structure from which the hair grows 6 Hair Growth Terminology
Anagen--hair that is growing Catagen--hair at rest Telogen--hair that is dying Length--00.5 mm per day or 1 centimeter per month; approximately one half inch per month 7 Hair Cuticle
The cuticle is the outermost layer of hair which is covered with scales. Scales also always point toward the tip of the hair. These scales differ between species of animals and are names based on their appearance. Some of these scales are variations of the same and include: Mosaic Pectinate Imbricate Petal Diamond petal 8 Chevron Scale Types Mosaic
11 HUMAN SCALES In order to visualize the scales paint fingernail polish on a slide place a hair on the polish lift off the hair and observe the scale imprints What pattern is seen in this slide? 12
Hair Cortex The cortex gives the hair its shape. It has two major characteristics: Melanin--pigment granules that give hair its color Cortical fusi--air spaces, usually found near the root but may be found throughout the hair shaft 13 Hair Medulla
The medulla is the hair core that is not always present. The medulla comes in different types and patterns. Types: Continuous Intermittent or interrupted Fragmented
Absent--not present 14 Hair Medulla Patterns Uniserial Multiserial Vacuolated Lattice Amorphous (without a distinct pattern) 15 HUMAN MEDULLA
Human medulla may be continuous, fragmented or absent. 16 RABBIT MEDULLA Rabbit medulla is different depending on the type (location on the rabbit) of hair. The one to the left is multiserial. The one to the right is a uniserial ladder and is found in guard hair. 17 Medullary Index Determined by measuring the diameter of the medulla and dividing it by the diameter of the hair.
Medullary Index for human hair is generally less than 1/3. For animal hair, it is usually greater than 1/2. 18 Hair Comparison Color Length Diameter Distribution, shape and
color intensity of pigments granules Dyed hair has color in cuticle and cortex Bleaching removes pigment and gives yellow tint
Scale types Presence or absence of medulla Medullary type Medullary pattern Medullary index 19 Collection of Hair Evidence Questioned hairs must be accompanied by an
adequate number of control samples. from victim possible suspects others who may have deposited hair at the scene Control Sample 50 full-length hairs from all areas of scalp 24 full-length pubic hairs 20 Hair Toxicology Advantages: Easier to collect and store Is externally available
Can provide information on the individuals history of drug use. Collections must be taken from different locations on the body to get an accurate timeline. 21 HAIR TESTING Procedure
Collect an adequate sample, cut as closely to the scalp as possible. Wash the hair to remove lipids, oils, cosmetics and any drugs adhering to it Cut it into one centimeter sections Place hair in a digesting solution Screening test--antibodies are added to the hair that bind with the drugs. If this shows that drugs are present: A confirmation test is done by gas chromatograph and then a mass spectrometer. 22
Fiber Evidence NOTE: Fabric is the type of material and fibers are the threads that make up the fabric The use of fiber evidence in court cases is used many times to connect the suspect to the victim or to the crime scene. In the case of Wayne Williams, fibers were the entire case. Williams was convicted in 1982 based on carpet fibers that were found in his home, car and on several murder victims. Although this case is unusual, fibers are generally considered of greater value as evidence than that of rootless hairs since they may contain a greater number of variables, thus showing more 23 individual characteristics.
Polymers Synthetic fibers are made of polymers which are long string of repeating chemical units. The word polymer means many (poly) units (mer). The repeating units of a polymer are called monomers. By varying the chemical structure of the monomers or by varying the way they are weaved together, polymers are created that have different properties. As a result of these differences, forensically they can be distinguished from one another. 24 Analysis
of Fibrous Material U.S. Department of Justice FBI, April 1999 25 Types of Fibers Synthetic
Polyester Rayon Nylon Acetate Acrylic Spandex Natural
Silk Cotton Wool Mohair Cashmere 26 Classification Classified according to their origin: Vegetable or cellulose
Animal or protein Mineral 27 Cellulose Fibers Cotton--vegetable fiber. Strong, tough, flexible; moisture absorbent; not shape retentive Ramie--vegetable fiber. Less flexible than cotton
so its often blended with cotton Rayon--first man-made fiber; soft, lustrous, versatile fiber Cellulose esters--cellulose is chemically altered to create an entirely new compound not found in nature. Acetate--less expensive, less polluting than rayon 28 Fiber Comparison
Can you tell the difference(s) between the cotton on the left and the rayon on the right? Petroleum Plastics (Made from derivatives of petroleum, coal and natural gas) Nylon--most durable man-made fabric;
extremely light weight Polyester--most widely used man-made fiber Acrylic--provides warmth from a lightweight, soft and resilient fabric Spandex--extreme elastic properties 30 Protein Fibers Wool--animal fiber coming most often from sheep but may be goat (mohair), rabbit (angora), camel, mink, beaver
Silk--animal fiber that is spun by a silk worm to make its cocoon; fiber reflects light and has insulating properties Wool Fibers (400X) 31 Mineral Fibers
Asbestos--a natural fiber that was used in fire-resistant substances Metallics (mylar)--a manufactured mineral fiber Fiberglass--another manufactured mineral fiber 32 Fabric Production Fabrics are composed of individual threads or yarns, made of fibers, that are knitted, woven, bonded, crocheted, felted, knotted or
laminated. Most are either woven or knitted. The degree of stretch, absorbency, water repellence, softness and durability are all individual qualities of the different fabrics. 33 Woven Fabric Woven fabric are made by interlacing warp (lengthwise) and weft (filling) yarns. Warp run the length of the fabric and parallel to the selvage which is the edge of the fabric. Weft cross over and under the warp threads. Types include:
Plain Twill Satin 34 Woven Fabric PLAIN Simplest and most common weave Warp and weft pass under
each other alternately Create even patterns of 1/1 and 2/2 Design resembles a checkerboard 35 Woven Fabric TWILL Create by passing the warp yearn over one to three weft yearns before going under one Makes a diagonal weave
Design resembles a stair steps Denim is the most obvious example 36 Woven Fabric SATIN The yarn interlacing is not uniform Creates long floats Interlacing weave passes over four or more yarns Satin is the most obvious
example 37 Knitted Fabric Knitted fabrics are made by interlocking loops into a specific arrangement. It may be one continuous thread or a combination. Either way, the yarn is formed into successive rows of loops and then drawn through another series of loops to make the fabric.. Diagram: 38
Identification and Comparison of Fibers Microscopic examination Color--compositional differences in the dyes Fibers surface--delustering particles that may be added by manufacturers Microspectrophotometer--compares fiber colors through spectral patterns
Chromatography--gives a more detailed analysis of the dye composition 39 Identification and Comparison of Fibers (cont.) Polarizing microscope can be used to determine the refractive indices of various fibers. The fiber is immersed in a fluid that has a comparable refractive index.
The disappearance of the Becke line is observed under the microscope. In addition, fibers will absorb infrared light in a characteristic pattern. This can be observed through the use of an infrared microspectrophotometer and a microscope. 40 Collection of Fiber Evidence Bag clothing items individually in paper bags.
Make sure that different items are not placed on the same surface before being bagged. Make tape lifts of exposed skin areas of bodies and any inanimate objects Removed fibers should be folded into a small sheet of paper and stored in a paper bag 41 Uniqueness Establishing Individual Characteristics
If there is only one source for the transfer material with a controlled environment where the contact took place If there is contamination of several different materials from surface onto surface two If there is a method available to characterize the material, such as applying DNA Otherwise, trace evidence would have only class characteristics. 42 Man, I was nailed when those forensic guys found fibers from the kids math assignment in my teeth.
History taking. Is defined as planned professional conversation that enables the patient to communicate his/her symptoms, feelings, and fears to the clinician so as to obtain an insight into the nature of patients illness and his/her attitude towards them.
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Place aliquots of a non-pathogenic virus (Bacteriophage MS2 15597-B1) on the floors of patient rooms. MS2 bacteriophages are single-stranded RNA viruses that infect only certain strains of enteric bacteria, like . E. coli, They do not infect human cells.
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