Journal of Forensic Dental Sciences
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   2011| January-June  | Volume 3 | Issue 1  
    Online since September 23, 2011

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Practical aspects of DNA-based forensic studies in dentistry
J Muruganandhan, G Sivakumar
January-June 2011, 3(1):38-45
DOI:10.4103/0975-1475.85295  PMID:22022138
Forensic dentistry as a science has evolved from simple methods of age estimation and bite-mark analysis, to a new era of genetic and serological investigations. DNA analysis in forensic science requires a sample or source from either an individual (living or dead) or a crime/incident site. The orofacial region is a good source of such material, due to the fact that certain oral tissues are relatively resistant to environmental degradation and destruction by thermal, electrical, and mechanical insult. Dentists may be called upon to provide samples and expert analysis in many such situations. Sources include soft and hard tissues of teeth and jaws, saliva, biopsy material, and mucosal swabs. Tissue samples should be handled with care, and correct protocol in collection and preparation has to be followed. This ensures a high yield of the required DNA. Hard tissues like teeth require specialized procedures to extract the genetic material. Research has shown that there is a wide variation in the quality and quantity of DNA extracted from different individuals from the same site even under similar conditions. This necessitates calibration of the various methods to achieve best results. DNA analysis can provide highly accurate identification if used correctly. Here a description of the various sources in the oral region has been provided from which samples could be forwarded to the forensic laboratory. Most commonly employed techniques of collection and handling for laboratory procedures have been outlined.
  13,223 910 2
Neonatal line as a linear evidence of live birth: Estimation of postnatal survival of a new born from primary tooth germs
Mahija Janardhanan, B Umadethan, KR Biniraj, RB Vinod Kumar, S Rakesh
January-June 2011, 3(1):8-13
DOI:10.4103/0975-1475.85284  PMID:22022132
Background: The presence of neonatal line indicates live birth and it is possible to estimate the exact period of survival of the infant in days by measuring the amount of postnatal hard tissue formation, and thus can be an evidence to the brutal act of infanticide. Materials and Methods: Primary tooth germs of both the arches were removed from the sockets of an infant who died few days after birth. Ground sections were made with hard tissue microtome. Decalcified sections were made from the crown of primary right mandibular canine and the sections were stained with hematoxylin and eosin. To visualize the neonatal line, the sections were subjected to light mocroscopy, polarized microscopy and scanning electron microscopy. A developing permanent molar from a one and a half year old boy and ten fully developed deciduous molars were used as controls. Results: The ground sections of all the developing tooth germs showed the presence of neonatal line and the analysis of enamel showed six distinct cross striations along the enamel rod length indicating the period of survival of the baby to be six days which was later confirmed with the hospital records. Conclusion: Neonatal line could be used as an evidence of infanticide. Accurate detection of neonatal line with advanced techniques could rewrite this supplementary evidence of infanticide into substantial evidence.
  9,965 548 3
Patterns - "A crime solver"
A Nagasupriya, Raghu Dhanapal, K Reena, TR Saraswathi, CR Ramachandran
January-June 2011, 3(1):3-7
DOI:10.4103/0975-1475.85282  PMID:22022131
Objective: This study is intended to analyze the predominant pattern of lip and finger prints in males and females and to correlate lip print and finger print for gender identity. Materials and Methods: The study sample comprised of 200 students of Vishnu Dental College, Bhimavaram, Andhra Pradesh, 100 males and 100 females aged between 18 to 27 years. Brown/pink colored lip stick was applied on the lips and the subject was asked to spread it uniformly over the lips. Lip prints were traced in the normal rest position of the lips with the help of cellophane tape. The imprint of the left thumb was taken on a white chart sheet and visualized using magnifying lens. While three main types of finger prints are identified, the classification of lip prints is simplified into branched, reticular, and vertical types. Association between lip prints and finger prints was statistically tested using Chi-square test. Results: This study showed that lip and finger patterns did not reveal statistically significant results within the gender. The correlation between lip and finger patterns for gender identification, was statistically significant. In males, branched type of lip pattern associated with arch, loop, and whorl type of finger pattern was most significant. In females, vertical lip pattern associated with arch finger pattern and reticular lip pattern associated with whorl finger patterns were most significant. Conclusion: We conclude that a correlative study between the lip print and finger print will be very useful in forensic science for gender identification.
  6,466 823 4
Reliability of age estimation using Demirjian's 8 teeth method and India specific formula
V Jayanth Kumar, K Saraswathi Gopal
January-June 2011, 3(1):19-22
DOI:10.4103/0975-1475.85289  PMID:22022134
Introduction: The estimation of the age of a person has been an archaic exercise, and since decades even dentists have contributed to this science with several methods through radiography. The tooth with its developmental stages provides us with a non-invasive modality to determine the age of the person. Aim: To evaluate the reliability of age estimation using Demirjian's 8 teeth method following the French maturity scores and India specific formula. Materials and Methods: The study was conducted on 121 archived digital orthopantamographs which were predominantly pre-treatment orthodontic radiographs from patients without any obvious developmental anomalies. The radiographs were divided into two gender specific groups and further sub-divided into two smaller groups of 7-16 years and 16.1-23 years. The radiographs were evaluated as per Demirjian's criteria and age was calculated using the formula developed for the Indian population. Results: The results showed that the mean absolute error for the study sample was 1.18 years; in 57.9% of cases the error rate was within ±1 year. The mean absolute error in males (7-16 years) was 1.2 years; in males (16.1-23 years) was 1.3 years; in females (7-16 years) was 0.95 years and in females (16.1-23 years) was 1.16 years. Conclusion: The age estimation using this method narrows down the error rate to just over one year making this method reliable. However the inclusion of third molar increases the error rates in the older individuals within the sample.
  6,337 860 3
An anthropometric analysis of facial height, arch length, and palatal rugae in the Indian and Nepalese population
Shreenivas Kallianpur, Ami Desai, Sowmya Kasetty, US Sudheendra, Prathamesh Joshi
January-June 2011, 3(1):33-37
DOI:10.4103/0975-1475.85294  PMID:22022137
Introduction: A country such as India abounds with diverse population groups with distinct anthropometric characteristics. Among these, numerous Nepalese population groups are present in different states of India comprising one of the most common immigrant races. The aim of the study is to compare two distinct races, Indians and Nepalese on the basis of facial height proportions, arch length and palatal rugae patterns and assess their significance in racial identification. Materials and Methods: A total of 120 subjects comprising of 60 Indians and 60 Nepalese were selected, with each group including 30 males and 30 females. Facial heights were measured using sliding digital calipers, arch lengths with the help of a brass wire and rugae patterns were traced on dental casts obtained with alginate impressions. Results: Facial height measurements did not give significant results for racial or gender identification of given races. Differences between arch length parameters were found to be significant between the two population groups. Secondary and fragmentary palatal rugae forms were found to be more common in Nepalese than Indians. Conclusion: The Indian and Nepalese have similar anthropometric characteristics with regard to facial height. However, arch length and palatal rugae characteristics vary between the two races.
  6,145 711 3
Radiographic correlation of dental and skeletal age: Third molar, an age indicator
GN Suma, B Balaji Rao, Rajeshwari G Annigeri, JK Dayashankara Rao, Sumit Goel
January-June 2011, 3(1):14-18
DOI:10.4103/0975-1475.85286  PMID:22022133
Background: Age estimation plays a great role in forensic investigations, orthodontic and surgical treatment planning, and tooth transplantation. Teeth offer an excellent material for age determination by stages of development below the age of 25 years and by secondary changes after the age of 25 years. Third molar is often not included for this purpose due to its notorious developmental patterns. The aim of this study was to evaluate the development of third molar anlage in relation to skeletal maturities and the chronological age. Materials and Methods: One hundred and fifty-six young individuals, 78 males and 78 females, were selected. The stages of development of all the third molars in every individual were determined from panoramic radiographs. The skeletal development was assessed using hand wrist radiographs. Data were analyzed statistically for mean value, standard deviation and the relationship between the recorded characteristics. Results: A strong correlation was found between third molar development and skeletal maturity (in males: r=0.88, P<0.001; in females: r=0.77 for maxillary third molar and 0.89 for mandibular third molar, P<0.001). Conclusion: Hence, it is concluded that a strong correlation exists between chronological age, developmental stages of third molars and maturation of epiphyses of hand. Any of the three parameters could be used for the assessment of other maturities.
  5,465 659 2
Isolation of epithelial cells from tooth brush and gender identification by amplification of SRY gene
A Vikram Simha Reddy, G Sriram, TR Saraswathi, B Sivapathasundharam
January-June 2011, 3(1):27-32
DOI:10.4103/0975-1475.85293  PMID:22022136
Introduction: This study determines the importance of tooth brush from which DNA can be isolated and used for sex determination in forensic analysis. Materials and Methods: A total of 30 samples were collected and stored at room temperature for different periods of time interval. The epithelial cells adhered to the bristles of tooth brush were collected and genomic DNA was extracted and quantified using Nanodrop 1000 spectrophotometer. Results: Gender identification was done by amplification of sex determining region on Y chromosome (SRY) gene using real-time polymerase chain reaction and minimal amount of DNA (in pico grams) with 100% sensitivity and 73.3% specificity, i.e., all male samples showed positive results and out of 15 female samples 4 showed false positive results, i.e wrongly identified as males. Conclusion: With this study, we conclude that PCR is a valuable and sensitive procedure where minute contamination may cause alteration in the result, i.e, 4 females showed false positive result. Minute amount of DNA in picograms, which was collected at different intervals is enough for amplification of SRY gene and tooth brush can be used as one of the very valuable sources of gender identification.
  5,489 478 -
Age and sex determination
B Sabarinath
January-June 2011, 3(1):46-47
DOI:10.4103/0975-1475.85296  PMID:22022139
  4,219 818 -
Forensic odontology in India, an oral pathologist's perspective
Pushparaja Shetty, A Raviprakash
January-June 2011, 3(1):23-26
DOI:10.4103/0975-1475.85291  PMID:22022135
Objectives: Oral pathologists have major responsibilities in the development of forensic science. We conducted a survey to evaluate the degree of involvement of oral pathologists in forensic investigations in India and the difficulties faced by them. Materials and Methods: Data was collected during 2007-2009 by means of a questionnaire survey among qualified oral pathologists related to confidence in handling forensic cases, knowledge and awareness, training in forensic odontology, practical exposure to forensic cases, and difficulties faced. Results: A total of 120 oral pathologists responded to the questionnaire. Of these, 28% expressed confidence in handling forensic cases, 7% had been exposed to formal training in forensic odontology, and 6% had handled forensic cases earlier. Only two participants said that they were part of the forensic team in their respective cities. Forty-eight percent of the participants said that they read forensic journals regularly. Conclusion: Oral pathologists are generally not very confident about handling forensic cases mainly because of inadequate formal training in the field of forensic dentistry, inadequate exposure to the subject, minimal importance given to the subject in the undergraduate and postgraduate curriculum, and no practical exposure to forensic cases.
  3,895 551 2
Chewing the very teeth because it bites: An anthropological forensics by stable isotope profiling
Raghu Radhakrishnan
January-June 2011, 3(1):1-2
DOI:10.4103/0975-1475.85279  PMID:22022130
  2,693 286 -