Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


New technique to determine the age of immigrant minors through ribs and teeth

Researchers from the Laboratory of Anthropology at the have devised a new technique to determine the age of living subjects using chest and dental x-rays.

The study was carried out by Dr. Pedro Manuel Garamendi González and directed by professors Miguel Botella López, and Inmaculada Alemán Aguilera. This is of special interest in the case of alleged illegal minors, since this technique will make it possible to determine the age of an individual by analysing the x-rays of their bones, when used in legal medicine.

For the study, UGR researchers conducted a comprehensive analysis of 123 digital postero-anterior chest x-rays and 742 digital ortopantomographies, using the “Image J” computer programme, which analyzes digital x-rays.

In radiology, what is the maturation rate of specific anatomical bone structures? The research carried out at the UGR aimed at answering this question. “In this particular case we have focused on the hyoid bone, the proximal clavicular epiphysis, the costal cartilage of the first rib, degenerative parameters of clavicle joints, certain abnormalities of the clavicle (conoid tubercle and the floor of the fourth ventricle) and cortical calvicular indicators”, stated Pedro Manuel Garamendi González.

Better than other techniques
The results of the project are of great interest for the legal medical practice, since they show the relative limits of current methods, nonetheless widely used and acknowledged by international study groups, such us the AGFAD (German group on age diagnostics). For instance, the fusion of the proximal epiphysis of the clavicle to diagnose ages of up to 21 years or the fusion of the greater horn of the hyoid to determine ages over 30 years are some of the methods applied by professionals.

The conclusions of the research carried out by the UGR suggest that it is impossible to establish the age of a subject by solely looking at the greater horn of the hyoid bone because it may or may not be fused (as part of the normal ageing process). When dealing with autopsy cases of strangulation and hanging (where hyoid bone fractures are likely to appear), it is advisable to always carry out a cervical x-ray in order to avoid errors in the differential diagnosis with pre-mortem and post-mortem fractures and non-fusion states.

More criteria for diagnosis
In the diagnosis of age in living subjects, the project considers new criteria with a sound scientific base and legal certainty. For instance, the use of the costal cartilage of the first rib has been suggested as a key factor in determining the age of individuals over 21 years.

The study opens the door to new research lines on age diagnosis based on the analysis of both the acromioclavicular and sternoclavicular joints using more appropriate image techniques.

A general assessment of the research parameters shows that, due to their technical features, the use of digital x-rays is not the most adequate method to be applied in Anthropologic research which will be based on metric measures. “Nevertheless, digital x-rays are appropriate for determining osteologic features of important bone areas in x-ray studies within the field of Physical Anthropology,” conclude the authors of the study.

Some of the research results have already been published in the magazine 'Notes on Forensic Medicine', currently the main magazine in Spanish on forensic medicine.

Antonio Marín Ruiz | alfa
Further information:

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Diagnoses: When Are Several Opinions Better Than One?
19.07.2016 | Max-Planck-Institut für Bildungsforschung

nachricht High in calories and low in nutrients when adolescents share pictures of food online
07.04.2016 | University of Gothenburg

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

Im Focus: New Products - Highlights of COMPAMED 2016

COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.

In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...

Im Focus: Ultra-thin ferroelectric material for next-generation electronics

'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.

Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Resolving the mystery of preeclampsia

21.10.2016 | Health and Medicine

Stanford researchers create new special-purpose computer that may someday save us billions

21.10.2016 | Information Technology

From ancient fossils to future cars

21.10.2016 | Materials Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>