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NCJ Number: 236667 Find in a Library
Title: Reliable Genetic Identification of Burnt Human Remains
Journal: Forensic Science International: Genetics  Volume:5  Issue:5  Dated:November 2011  Pages:393-399
Author(s): Thorsten Schwark; Anke Heinrich; Andrea Preube-Prange; Nicole von Wurmb-Schwark
Date Published: November 2011
Page Count: 7
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: Ireland
Annotation: This study investigated whether authentic DNA profiles can be generated from human bones showing different stages of fire induced destruction (well preserved, semi-burnt, black burnt, blue-grey burnt, blue-grey-white burnt).
Abstract: The identification of severely burnt human remains by genetic fingerprinting is a common task in forensic routine work. In cases of extreme fire impact, only hard tissues (bones, teeth) may be left for DNA analysis. DNA extracted from burnt bone fragments may be highly degraded, making an amplification of genetic markers difficult or even impossible. Furthermore, heavily burnt bones are very prone to contamination with external DNA. In the current study, DNA was extracted from 71 bone fragments derived from 13 individuals. Obtained genetic patterns (STRs and mtDNA sequences) were compared to the genetic pattern of the respective bodies. The results show that the identification via DNA analysis is reliably and reproducibly possible from well preserved and semi-burnt bones. In black burnt bones the DNA was highly degraded and in some cases no nuclear DNA was left, leaving mitochondrial DNA analysis as an option. Blue-grey burnt bones lead only sporadically to authentic profiles. The investigation of blue-grey-white burnt bones barely led to reliable results. (Published Abstract)
Main Term(s): Forensic sciences
Index Term(s): Arson investigations; Bone analysis; Death investigations; DNA fingerprinting; Foreign criminal justice research; Germany; Victim identification
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