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NCJ Number: 118673 Find in a Library
Title: Application of Stable Isotope Variation in Human Tissues to Problems in Identification
Journal: Canadian Society of Forensic Science  Volume:22  Issue:1  Dated:(March 1989)  Pages:7-20
Author(s): M A Katzenberg; H R Krouse
Date Published: 1989
Page Count: 13
Type: Research (Applied/Empirical)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: Canada
Annotation: Variation in the stable isotope composition of human tissues and fluids suggests that such data can be used as an aid in identifying unknown human remains.
Abstract: Carbon isotope values vary depending specifically upon photosynthetic pathways utilized by plants consumed as feed by domesticated animals and by humans directly. Sulphur isotopes vary depending on environmental sulphur in the atmosphere and lithosphere, and stable isotopes of oxygen, nitrogen, and hydrogen vary in predictable manners in different geographic locations. The use of a multi-element approach is demonstrated as a means for narrowing the possible place of residence of unidentified human remains. Carbon and sulphur isotope ratios were determined on samples of human hair from five countries. Results show that while values for one element may be similar for samples from diverse regions, values for a second element differ in a manner that distinguishes the samples. Hair samples from three regions of Canada were analyzed for carbon isotopes and the differences were due to latitude and diet. Analysis of tissues and fluids with varying turnover rates may be useful in distinguishing long-term resident from short term travel. Experiments on one individual show that theta O and theta S values changed on an extended stay in Japan then returned to normal values shortly after return to Canada. 8 figures, table, and 27 references. (Publisher abstract)
Main Term(s): Evidence identification; Tissue analysis
Index Term(s): Radioactive analysis; Trace evidence
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