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   Table of Contents - Current issue
Coverpage
April-June 2022
Volume 8 | Issue 2
Page Nos. 41-79

Online since Tuesday, June 28, 2022

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ORIGINAL ARTICLES  

Evidence for cerebral microvascular injury in head trauma involving infants and young children p. 41
Rudolph J Castellani, Ashley Rose Scholl, Carl J Schmidt
DOI:10.4103/jfsm.jfsm_41_22  
Background: The pathophysiology of lethal head trauma in infants and young children involves repetitive rotational forces of sufficient magnitude to produce subdural hemorrhage and brain swelling, which leads to considerable morbidity and mortality. The precise mechanism for brain swelling is unclear. Materials and Methods: We examined cerebral tissue from ten pediatric deaths due to blunt force trauma, along with seven control infants who asphyxiated in unsafe sleep environments. To assess the competence of the blood–brain barrier, we performed immunohistochemical stains for albumin and immunoglobulin G (IgG). Results: IgG and albumin were increased in subpial and superficial perivascular tissue in those cases due to blunt force trauma, and in particular, the blunt force trauma associated with subdural hematoma. This included two deaths at the scene without hospital survival time. Conclusions: Our findings suggest disruption of the blood–brain barrier with vasogenic edema as an early event in head trauma involving young children upstream of global ischemic brain injury. We hypothesize that mechanical injury to the cortical vasculature results in vasogenic edema by oncotic (increased plasma proteins in the cortical interstitium) and hydrostatic (increased capillary pressure) mechanisms, with subsequent cortical ischemia. This may explain why ischemic sequelae appear to occur in head trauma involving young children, regardless of whether anoxia, hypotension, or cardiac arrest complicate the disease course and may in part underlie the high morbidity and mortality of head trauma in early childhood.
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A retrospective study to evaluate the morphometry of the foramen magnum and its role in forensic science in a nigerian population of Delta State p. 46
Beryl Shitandi Ominde, Patrick Sunday Igbigbi
DOI:10.4103/jfsm.jfsm_41_21  
Background: Sexual dimorphism of the foramen magnum has increased its interest in forensic science. Gender determination is an important preliminary step in the identification of unknown skeletal remains. This study aimed at determining the dimensions of the foramen magnum in Delta State Nigeria and their role in gender discrimination. Materials and Methods: We retrospectively analyzed computed tomographic images of 336 patients (199 males and 137 females) aged ≥18 years, archived in the Radiology Department of a Teaching Hospital in Nigeria. Ethical approval was granted by the hospital's ethical board. The length, width, and area of the foramen magnum were measured and analyzed using the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences software version 23. We used an independent t-test and analysis of variance to evaluate the association of these dimensions with sex and age, respectively. The percentage accuracy of sex discrimination and the association between variables were assessed using discriminant functional analysis and Pearson's correlation test correspondingly. The results were considered significant at P < 0.05. Results: The foramen magnum length, width, and area showed a statistically significant gender difference (P < 0.05). The width was the best sex discriminating variable (64.3%) and the overall accuracy of correct sex allocation using all the variables was 75%. All the parameters measured showed a significant strong positive correlation with each other (0.5 ≤ r < 1, P < 0.05). Conclusion: The foramen magnum length width and area were sexually dimorphic. Their high overall accuracy (75%) in gender discrimination implies that they may collectively be utilized in the sex estimation of unknown skulls in Delta State Nigeria.
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Road traffic accident fatalities and its association with key sociodemographic determinants in Nashik, Maharashtra: A recurring challenge p. 52
Tej Bahadur Chhetri, Syed Meraj Ahmed
DOI:10.4103/jfsm.jfsm_84_21  
Background: Road traffic accidents are not a new phenomenon, rather it's a disturbing occurrence which shows no sign of abating very soon. Rather, it remains one of those public health issues which even the most educated and civilized populations tend to ignore, primarily for the thrill of it. This study aims to identify the outcome associated with vehicular accidents and its association with socio-demographic factors. Method: This is a retrospective, record-based study of victims of road traffic accidents admitted in a tertiary care hospital in Nashik, Maharashtra. The data would include records from the 2018 to 2019. The variables will include the socio-demographic factors, site of injuries and its severity. A descriptive analysis would be done by SPSS software to find out the prevalence of vehicular accidents, association of site of injury with age and severity of the trauma. Ethical approval would be taken before the initiation of the study. Result: A total of 486 victims of RTAs were included from the medical records of the casualty of a tertiary care hospital, out of which 330 were from the year 2018 and 156 from 2019. A look at the sociodemographic profiles of the RTA victims showed that females comprised only 19.3% (2018) and 18.6% (2019) of the total victims in road traffic accidents, while majority, 80.6% (2018) and 81.4% (2019) were males during the same period. Overall, we can also observe that both in 2018 (38.5%) and 2019 (50.6%) most of the road traffic accidents among the victims were of moderate grade. Conclusion: The need of the hour is to bring about a change from within through self-reflection of lawmakers, strict implementation of traffic rules and guidelines with hefty fines, lockup, and criminal punishment to habitual wrongdoers.
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REVIEW ARTICLES Top

Asian crocodile poaching: A review of molecular techniques developed for forensic identification p. 57
Ishani Mitra, Soma Roy, Ikramul Haque
DOI:10.4103/jfsm.jfsm_49_21  
Crocodiles, gharials and alligators (order Crocodilia), are aquatic reptiles that live in the tropics of Asia, America, Africa, and Australia. Asian countries such as India, Indonesia, Malaysia, and tropics of Australia are the stronghold of the family Crocodylidae. Among all 23 crocodile species, nine species occur in Asia and its surroundings, including the only member of Gavialidae and Alligatoridae family. They are “mugger” or “Crocodylus palustris,” “saltwater crocodile” or “Crocodylus porosus,” “Philippine crocodile” or “Crocodylus mindorensis,” “New Guinea crocodile” or “Crocodylus novaeguineae,” “Siamese crocodile” or “Crocodylus siamensis,” “gharials” or “Gavialis gangeticus,” “false gharial” or “Tomistoma schlegelii,” and “Chinese alligator” or “Alligator sinensis.” All of these species have been encompassed in “Appendix I” and “Appendix II” of the “Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora,” which prevents any kind of trade involving crocodilian species. However, it has been observed that these crocodiles are illegally poached and trafficked for their lucrative skin, meats, eggs, snouts, and bones in medicinal and cosmetic industries. Although many molecular biologists have come forward for the conservation of these species, lack of knowledge about the available, fast, and dependable techniques makes it difficult for forensic identification of seized or confiscated. It has been a major problem for the implementation of the “Wildlife Protection Law” on illegal trade. This article focuses on molecular techniques developed till date for the rapid and reliable species identification and conservation study of them.
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Challenges for expert evidence in the justice system of pakistan p. 62
Nouman Rasool, Muzamal Rasool
DOI:10.4103/jfsm.jfsm_16_21  
Expert evidence is admissible under articles 59 and 164 of Qanun-e-Shahadat Ordinance, 1984 (Law of Evidence), in the courts of law in Pakistan. However, the enacted laws and judicial precedents are inadequate to help a trial judge to get an answer to the question about the reliability and credibility of expert evidence. The process of judicial scrutiny of the expert evidence is challenging in the absence of national guidelines/standards, nonaccreditation of crime laboratories, and poor scientific knowledge of judges and lawyers. Therefore, the judges encounter difficulty in evaluating the knowledge and skills of an expert, validity of principles and methodologies used, application of quality management system, relatability, and reliability of expert evidence. While facing difficulty in ascertaining the level of certitude of expert evidence, the courts accept the expert testimony only when it corroborates the prosecution's propositions, which is a kind of disservice to justice. The reliance of courts on expert evidence varies from case to case, which can be observed in the form of many sporadic judicial decisions.
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Study on transfer and persistence of fibers: A systematic review p. 68
Manashree Mane, G Devika
DOI:10.4103/jfsm.jfsm_59_21  
Fiber evidence has played a crucial role in ascertaining various characteristics and has aided in providing evidential value to the fiber evidence as well as reconstructing events during crime scene investigation. Although fibers are transferred easily at the crime scene and various methods of interpretation exist, it is challenging to get a fiber match. The present study aims to provide a systematic review of the role of fiber as trace evidence. It explores the fiber population, transfer and persistence of fibers, fiber shedability and recovery, effect of laundry on fibers, stabbing events, the resistance of fabric against weapon's penetration, the behavior of fabric upon ballistic impact, and various analytical techniques of fiber examination. The study approaches to evaluate the significances and uncertainties of the recovered fiber evidence.
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BRIEF COMMUNICATION Top

The impact of different stain carriers on the mrna profiling from bloodstains p. 76
Hemiao Zhao, Qingluan Lin, Qi Zhang, Jing Chen, Zheng Tu, Ruiqin Yang, Lan Hu, Chong Wang
DOI:10.4103/jfsm.jfsm_36_21  
Unlike DNA profiling, mRNA profiling is greatly affected by external factors. To analyze the influence of different stain carriers on the detectability of mRNA markers from bloodstains, this study examined 10 carriers, including a knife, cotton swab, paper, plastic, leather, cement, chopsticks, clothes, ceramic block, and wall. After detecting five specific mRNA markers (HBA, HBB, ALAS2, GYPA, and SPTB) and the housekeeping gene B2M in peripheral blood samples, no statistically significant differences in the effects of the carriers were found. The results suggest that when performing mRNA testing on bloodstains, the effect of the stain carrier has little influence.
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