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On the Viability of GSR As Evidence From Flies and their Pupae

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In this experiment, the viability of gunshot residue (GSR) was examined. This was done through the very rarely researched intersection of forensic firearms analysis and forensic entomology. The question being resolved is if GSR can reliably be detected from secondary

In this experiment, the viability of gunshot residue (GSR) was examined. This was done through the very rarely researched intersection of forensic firearms analysis and forensic entomology. The question being resolved is if GSR can reliably be detected from secondary evidence transfer of GSR laden carrion onto flies and their larvae. While it is know that secondary and tertiary GSR evidence can be transferred by way of handshakes, no such research has been conducted on flies or their pupae. Findings indicated varying levels of detection of GSR on evidence. GSR could reliably be detected on fly bodies and their legs, but not on their pupae. This research is significant as it provides previously unknown information on this line of research and provides the groundwork for further research on this topic in the future.

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2021-05

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Determination of the Thermal Maxima of Phormia regina (Meigen) Larvae

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Forensic entomology is the use of insects in legal investigations, and relies heavily upon calculating the time of colonization (TOC) of insects on remains using temperature-dependent growth rates. If a body is exposed to temperatures that exceed an insect’s critical

Forensic entomology is the use of insects in legal investigations, and relies heavily upon calculating the time of colonization (TOC) of insects on remains using temperature-dependent growth rates. If a body is exposed to temperatures that exceed an insect’s critical limit, TOC calculations could be severely affected. The determination of critical thermal limits of forensically-relevant insects is crucial, as their presence or absence could alter the overall postmortem interval (PMI) calculation. This study focuses on the larvae of Phormia regina (Meigen) (Diptera: Calliphoridae), a forensically relevant blow fly common across North America. Three populations were examined (Arizona, Colorado, and New Jersey), and five day old larvae were exposed to one of two temperatures, 39℃ or 45℃, for five hours. Across all colonies, the survival rate was lower at 45℃ than 39℃, in both larval and emerged adult stages. The Arizona colony experienced a harsher drop in survival rates at 45℃ than either the Colorado or New Jersey colonies. This research suggests that the range of 39℃ - 45℃ approaches the critical thermal limit for P. regina, but does not yet exhibit a near or complete failure of survivorship that a critical temperature would cause at this duration of time. However, there is opportunity for further studies to examine this critical temperature by investigating other temperatures within the 39℃ - 45℃ range and at longer durations of time in these temperatures.

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2022-05

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The Effect of Over-the-Counter Drugs on Blood Spatter and Blood Deposit

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Bloodstain Pattern Analysis and Toxicology are important aspects of Forensic Science in determining what occurred at a crime scene. There are limited studies done on the effects of drugs on blood spatter found at crime scenes. Since drugs can have

Bloodstain Pattern Analysis and Toxicology are important aspects of Forensic Science in determining what occurred at a crime scene. There are limited studies done on the effects of drugs on blood spatter found at crime scenes. Since drugs can have different effects on the body, the blood would be affected by these drugs. Visine and Aspirin were chosen to be incorporated into sheep’s blood due to their common use in the general population. Contaminated blood was deposited onto several common surfaces alongside controls. The results were compared to the control and the secondary control, DI water added to blood, using a two-sample t-test. Many of the results came back as significant including the secondary control compared to the control group. Therefore the significance of the results cannot be linked directly back to the substances themselves, but to the water in addition to the substance added. Future studies could be done with higher concentrations of drugs, with the metabolites of drugs, and with different drugs, licit and illicit.

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2022-05