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Essential Forensic Biology / Edition 2

Essential Forensic Biology / Edition 2

by Alan Gunn

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ISBN-10: 0470758031

ISBN-13: 9780470758038

Pub. Date: 03/24/2009

Publisher: Wiley

Essential Forensic Biology, Second Edition is an introduction to the application of biology in legal investigations. Fully revised and updated throughout, the second edition of this highly successful textbook offers an accessible overview to the essentials of the subject providing a balanced coverage of the range of organisms used as evidence in forensic


Essential Forensic Biology, Second Edition is an introduction to the application of biology in legal investigations. Fully revised and updated throughout, the second edition of this highly successful textbook offers an accessible overview to the essentials of the subject providing a balanced coverage of the range of organisms used as evidence in forensic investigations; invertebrates, vertebrates, plants and microbes.

The book provides an overview of the decay process and discusses the role of forensic indicators – human fluids and tissues, including blood cells, bloodstain pattern analysis, hair, teeth, bones, and wounds. It also examines the study of forensic biology in cases of suspicious death.

The coverage of molecular techniques has been expanded throughout with additional material on bioterrorism and wildlife forensics now included. The use of DNA and RNA for the identification of individuals and their personal characteristics is now covered along with a discussion of the ethical issues associated with the maintenance of DNA databases.

• Fully revised and updated new edition of this highly successful textbook.

• Includes self-assessment questions at the end of each chapter and case

studies throughout.

• Now in full colour throughout and includes a supplementary website

(www.wileyeurope.com/college/gunn) covering additional material

and self-test questions to reinforce student understanding.

Reviews of the First Edition

"The author does an excellent job of demonstrating how biological science can, and does, contribute to legal investigations…"

(The Quarterly Review of Biology, March 2007)

"…a super book …not a book that will languish on library shelves. Buy it!"

(Journal of Biological Education, Spring 2007)

"…naturalists and biologists will find much of interest within these books…new light on the application of their own specialism..."

(The Naturalist, 2007)

Product Details

Publication date:
Edition description:
New Edition
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
6.60(w) x 9.60(h) x 0.70(d)

Table of Contents

Introduction     1
The Decay Process     7
The stages of decomposition     7
Fresh     8
Bloat     11
Putrefaction     12
Putrid dry remains     16
Factors affecting the speed of decay     16
Burial underground     17
Burial underwater     18
Time of year and temperature     19
Burning     19
Exposure to sunlight     19
Geographical location     20
Quick quiz     20
Project work     21
Body Fluids and Molecular Biological Techniques as Forensic Indicators     23
Body fluids and waste products     24
Blood cells and blood typing     24
Confirming the presence of blood     26
Bloodstain pattern analysis     28
The Sam Sheppard case     33
The Sion Jenkins case     34
Saliva and semen as forensic indicators     37
Faeces and urine as forensic indicators     38
Molecular biology     39
The structure of DNA     39
DNA profiling     41
The Colin Pitchfork case     43
Forensic applications of DNAprofiling     43
Evaluation of DNA evidence     44
Polymerase chain reaction     45
Short tandem repeat markers     47
Y-Short tandem repeat markers     50
Single nucleotide polymorphism markers     51
Mobile element insertion polymorphisms     52
Mitochondrial DNA     53
The Tsar Nicholas II case     55
Quick quiz     57
Project work     58
Human Tissues and Wounds as Forensic Indicators     59
The outer body surface     60
Skin     60
Fingerprints     60
Lip prints and ear prints     65
Retinal and iris scans     66
Tattoos     67
Hair     68
Characteristics     68
Assimilation of poisons, drugs and explosives     69
Bones     71
Characteristics     71
Determination of gender     72
Determination of ethnic origin     73
Determination of stature     73
Determination of age     74
Facial reconstruction     76
Determination of age of remains     76
Teeth      78
Characteristics     78
Determination of age     79
Determination of gender and ethnic origin     80
Identification based on dental characteristics     81
Effects of drug abuse on dental characteristics     82
Wounds     84
Definitions     84
Bruises     85
Abrasions     88
Lacerations     90
Incised wounds     91
Stab wounds     93
Bone damage     97
Gunshot wounds     99
Bite marks     107
Burns and scalds     108
Postmortem injuries     110
Quick quiz     111
Project work     112
Bacteria and Viruses in Forensic Science     115
Introduction     115
The role of microorganisms in the decomposition process     116
Microbial profiles as identification tools     117
How microbial infections can predispose people to crime and simulate the occurrence of a criminal act     119
The use of microorganisms in bioterrorism     121
Anthrax     123
Plague     125
Smallpox     127
The transmission of HIV as a criminal act      129
The role of microbes in food poisoning     132
Quick quiz     133
Project work     134
Protists, Fungi and Plants in Forensic Science     135
Introduction     135
Protists as forensic indicators     136
Fungi as forensic indicators     141
Plants as forensic indicators     142
Wood     143
Pollen and spores     147
Fruit, seeds and leaves     154
Plant secondary metabolites as sources of drugs and poisons     159
Illegal trade in protected plant species     162
Quick quiz     163
Project work     164
Invertebrates in Forensic Science     167
Introduction     168
Invertebrates as forensic indicators in cases of murder or suspicious death     168
Invertebrates attracted to dead bodies     169
Detritivores     169
Carnivores     179
Parasitoid insects     181
Coprophiles     182
Invertebrates leaving dead bodies     183
Invertebrates accidentally associated with dead bodies     184
Invertebrates as a cause of death     186
Invertebrates as forensic indicators in cases of neglect and animal welfare     187
The role of invertebrates in food spoilage and hygiene litigation     188
Invertebrates as a cause of nuisance     192
Invertebrates as a cause of structural damage     193
Illegal trade in protected species of invertebrates     196
Quick quiz     196
Project work     198
Forensic Information Gained from Invertebrates     199
The importance of correct identification     200
Calculating the minimum time since death or infestation from invertebrate development rates     200
Complicating factors affecting minimum time since death calculations     206
Determination of the minimum time since death or infestation using invertebrate species composition     213
Determination of the minimum time since death using ectoparasites     213
Determination of body movement or point of infestation from invertebrate evidence     214
Invertebrate evidence in cases of wound myiasis and neglect     217
Detection of drugs, toxins and other chemicals in invertebrates     217
Obtaining DNA evidence from invertebrates     218
Determining the source and duration of invertebrate infestations of food and timber products     218
Quick quiz     220
Project work     221
Vertebrates in Forensic Science     223
Introduction     224
Vertebrate scavenging of human corpses     224
Vertebrates causing death and injury     228
Neglect and abuse of vertebrates     232
Vertebrates and drugs     233
Vertebrates and food hygiene     235
Illegal trade in protected species of vertebrates     236
Quick quiz     240
Project work     240
Collection of Animal and Plant Material for Forensic Studies     243
Introduction     244
The importance of scientific rigour and safety issues when collecting biolbgical material     244
Collecting and preserving diatoms and algae for forensic analysis     245
Collecting and preserving testate amoebae for forensic analysis     246
Collecting and preserving plant material for forensic analysis     247
Collecting invertebrates for forensic analysis     249
Killing and preserving techniques for invertebrates     252
Killing methods for hard-bodied invertebrates     252
Killing methods for soft-bodied invertebrates     253
Preservation of hard-bodied invertebrates     254
Preservation of soft-bodied invertebrates      254
Preservation of invertebrate eggs     254
Invertebrate identification techniques     255
Collecting environmental information for forensic analysis     256
Quick quiz     258
Project work     259
Postscript: Future Directions In Forensic Biology     261
References     265
Index     285

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