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   Table of Contents - Current issue
Coverpage
July-September 2022
Volume 8 | Issue 3
Page Nos. 81-131

Online since Friday, September 2, 2022

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ORIGINAL ARTICLES  

Forensic identification of four Indian snake species using single multiplex polymerase chain reaction p. 81
Ishani Mitra, Soma Roy, Ikramul Haque
DOI:10.4103/jfsm.jfsm_50_21  
Among different endangered animal species, snakes are the most neglected creature looked at with apathy and therefore, are ruthlessly killed, illegally trafficked, and poached for their venom, lucrative skin, meat, and bones for manufacturing of medicines, accessories, and food items. Establishing the identity of the endangered snake species is important for punishing the offenders under Wildlife Protection Act (WPA) (1972) but morphological characters fail to establish identity as they are often altered. The technique of identification of snake species at molecular level holds very effective conclusion in punishing offender. Here, we have constructed and demonstrated a novel multiplexing polymerase chain reaction technique, using 16S rRNA and C-mos gene for identification of four Indian snake species, namely Ptyas mucosa, Daboia russellii, Naja naja, and Xenochrophis piscator. They are listed in Appendix-II and III of convention on international trade in endangered species of wild fauna and flora and Schedule II; Part II of Indian WPA, 1972. Therefore, it may be considered a functional tool for establishing species-specific identity of four Indian snake species and promising to be useful for their conservation.
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Sex identification using fingerprint white line counts in a sample of adult Egyptians and Malaysians p. 88
Eman Adel Seif, Wafaa Mohamed Elsehly, Maii Farag Henaidy, Magda Hassan Mabrouk Soffar
DOI:10.4103/jfsm.jfsm_76_21  
Background: Fingerprints are unique, persistent, and left on every object touched by bare hands. It can be used as a rapid and inexpensive method for identification. This study focuses on fingerprint white line counts (FWLCs) and its importance in sex estimation. Aim and Objectives: This study aimed to clarify the potential of FWLC in sex estimation among Egyptian and Malaysian ethnic groups. Materials and Methods: The study was conducted on two hundred adult participants, one hundred Egyptians and one hundred Malaysians (50 females and 50 males). Inked fingerprints of ten fingers were obtained from each participant then FWLC was extracted manually for each fingerprint. Results: The mean of females FWLC was significantly higher than males in all fingers in both populations. FWLC of the left index was the most significant predictor of sex in Egyptians, with an accuracy of 82% for males and 78% for females. FWLC more than seven in this digit was an absolute indication of being a female. The most significant predictors of sex in the Malaysian population were the left index and right ring with an accuracy of 80% for males and 71.4% for females and FWLC above six and seven in these fingers, respectively, was an absolute indication of being a female. The absence of FWLC was more common in males than females in all digits. Conclusions: FWLC is a reliable predictor of sex among adult Egyptian and Malaysian ethnic groups, and females tend to have more FWLC.
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Distinctive bullet impact holes by 9-mm caliber projectile on sheet metal surfaces p. 97
Syamsul Anuar Abd Malik, Farah Ad-din Nordin, Saiful Fazamil Mohd Ali, Ahmad Fahmi Lim Abdullah, Kah Haw Chang
DOI:10.4103/jfsm.jfsm_83_21  
Introduction: A comprehensive scene reconstruction requires forensic investigators to examine the impact marks left on various surfaces to identify whether a projectile produces a specific hole. Subsequently, it is further necessary to determine whether a particular ammunition has caused the impact. Throughout history, designs of ammunition have evolved with the intended effects, which could leave different impact marks on a target surface, especially by ammunition with a nonconventional design. Careful examination on impact marks and determination of their specific characteristics on sheet metal of vehicle would provide crucial forensic information. Aim: This study was aimed to physically characterize bullet impact holes made by 11 types of 9-mm caliber ammunitions. Materials and Methods: Two automotive doors were shot with different ammunitions from the same firearm, and the morphological features of bullet impact holes were observed and compared. Results: Bullet impact holes produced by the various ammunitions could be differentiated through careful observation of bullet hole circumferences, presence of petalling effect, metallic ring and triangular peak at the edge, and deposition of residue at the peripheral area of bullet impact holes. Ammunitions with nonconventional design such as Inceptor-Polycase and GECO Hexagon showed observable morphological differences and discriminated them from bullet impact holes made by conventional ammunitions. Conclusion: A thorough physical examination could aid in distinguishing bullet impact holes and predicting the possible types of ammunition that had made an impact hole on a surface.
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REVIEW ARTICLE Top

Y-STR Kits and Y-STR diversity in the South African population: A review p. 104
Sthabile Shabalala, Meenu Ghai, Moses Okpeku
DOI:10.4103/jfsm.jfsm_67_21  
The South African population consists of four ethnic groups, i.e., Blacks, Coloreds, Indians, and Whites, and is considered the most diverse conglomeration of humans. In addition to autosomal short tandem repeat (STR) variation, an important tool to study population diversity is Y-chromosome (Y)-STR analysis. Y-STRs aid in forensic investigations and provide essential data about paternal lineage origins. Y-STR kits consisting of an array of stable and rapidly mutating markers offer crucial information on a given population's genetic and haplotype diversity. This review discusses the development of Y-STR kits over the years and highlights some prominent Y-STR studies conducted on the South African population. The earliest Y-STR kit developed was the Y-PLEX™6, with the most recent being the UniQTyper™ Y-10 Multiplex. The South African population studies show varying data, with the “minimal haplotype” having low discrimination capacity among the ethnic groups and the UniQTyper™ Y-10 showing high genetic diversity among the ethnic groups of the country. There is a dearth of Y-STR studies on the South African population. With the advent of new Y-STR kits with increased discriminatory markers, additional studies are required to represent the South African population in the Y-STR databases. Considering the diversity of the South African population, establishment of a local/regional population database would be beneficial. In addition, data on the origins and prevalence of mutations and silent alleles should be obtained from STR datasets generated during kinship investigations (specifically, parentage tests) so that detailed information about the frequencies of mutations, silent alleles, and uniparental disomy in the South African population at Y STR loci can be estimated.
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CASE REPORTS Top

Differentiating postmortem claw marks by the Asian water monitor (kabaragoya) from antemortem sharp weapon trauma based on the injury pattern p. 114
Piumi Dileka, Chiranthika Madhupoorni A. Gunathilaka, Thilinika Ranchamali, Sameera A Gunawardena
DOI:10.4103/jfsm.jfsm_18_21  
The Asian water monitor (Varanus salvator) or kabaragoya is the predominant large animal scavenger of human remains in Sri Lanka; however, its significance is rarely discussed in the forensic literature. This is the case of a 54-year-old male with a history of dementia, depression, and wandering behavior whose body was found, partially submerged in a river, 2 days after he was reported missing. There were several linear wounds with regular margins over his arms and face which raised the suspicion of homicidal sharp weapon trauma. The injuries were seen in clusters and did not involve harder structures such as tendons, ligaments, or bones. There were no signs of inflammation or bleeding. They were attributed to kabaragoya claw marks, which are postmortem artifacts that mimic incised wounds. However, there were no areas of tissue loss to indicate that the animal had begun feeding on the corpse. This case discusses the problems faced by medicolegal investigators when encountering this phenomenon which is relatively underreported in the forensic literature.
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Body fluid identification by messenger RNA profiling in sexual assault p. 118
Chong Wang, Hemiao Zhao, Qingzhen Meng, Hui Sun, Xiulan Xu, Wanshui Li
DOI:10.4103/jfsm.jfsm_54_21  
Body fluid identification through messenger RNA (mRNA) has been proposed as a useful supplement to presumptive and confirmatory tests by previous laboratory studies; however, its application in routine clinical forensic examination was rare. We report a case of sexual assault in which body fluid identification by mRNA profiling was used. Vaginal secretions mRNA markers (MUC4, HBD1, and CYP2B7P1) were used to test the sample, being obtained positive results. This case demonstrates that mRNA profiling of body fluids could be applied to routine case examinations as an aid, acting as a scientific collaborative evidence to strengthen the medicolegal opinion.
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SHORT COMMUNICATION Top

Genetic polymorphism investigation of 19 X-STR loci in the Han population in Northern China p. 123
Shicheng Hao, Yan Liu, Yan Xu, Dong Zhao, Gexin Liu, Jinpei Zhang, Li Yuan
DOI:10.4103/jfsm.jfsm_60_21  
To investigate the genetic polymorphisms of 19 X-STR loci in the Han population in Northern China, samples from 628 unrelated individuals (314 males and 314 females) were collected and 19 X-STR loci were amplified by AGCU X19 STR System. A total of 270 different alleles were detected in 19 X-STR loci. All loci were in Hardy − Weinberg equilibrium and there was only one pair of linkage loci (DXS10103-DXS10101). There was no significant difference in allele frequency between male and female populations. The combined power of discrimination in males was 1–1.8667 × 10−13, while the combined power of discrimination in females was 1–3.6532 × 10−22. The combined mean paternity exclusion chance (CMEC) for X-chromosomal markers in father/daughter or mother/son duos Mean paternity exclusion chance (MECDesmarais Duo) was 1–5.1109 × 10−9. Moreover, the CMEC for X-chromosomal markers in trios involving daughters (MECDesmarais) was 1–2.0292 × 10−12. The compound amplification system composed of 19 X-STR in this study showed high polymorphism in the Han population of Northern China, which had a high application value in difficult genetic relationship identification.
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LETTER TO EDITOR Top

Postmortem myocardial computed tomography: Correspondence p. 131
Pathum Sookaromdee, Viroj Wiwanitkit
DOI:10.4103/jfsm.jfsm_82_21  
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