Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Blowfly maggots provide physical evidence for forensic cases


Evidence collected from blowfly maggots could help in the investigation in murder cases.

Estimation of the post mortem interval (PMI) is one of the most crucial matters in autopsies and entomological specimens have been widely used to determine PMI after 72 hours of death. This is done using the oldest blowfly larvae found and from the succession pattern of insects that colonize the dead remains. Thus, the use of blowflies in forensic cases are crucial.

Chrysomya megacephala - a common blowfly in Malaysia

The most common blowflies in Malaysia are Chrysomya megacephala and Aechotandrus rufifacies. Blowflies arrive and deposit their eggs on a dead body within minutes of death occuring as the odour released from the carcass attracts them.

The eggs then grow to feeding larvae, which feed on the dead remains until they reach maturity. Larvae that feed on the tissues of an individual who took drugs or was poisoned will ingest these substances as well as their metabolites, proving that the drugs had accumulated in the body.

Some criminal cases involve the use of firearms. The forensic investigation of such cases requires physical evidence to be collected at the scene of the crime. In extreme conditions, when the bullet case is not found and the dead body is actively decomposing, blowfly maggots obtained from the dead remains hold potential clues in aiding the forensic investigation.

Our laboratory studied the presence of several different types of toxins, including malathion, paraquat, gasoline, paracetamol and ketum extracts, along with gunshot residue (GSR), to determine the effects of these toxins and GSR in the development rates of the blowfly species, Chrysomya megacephala and Aechotandrus rufifacies. Our aim was to determine whether the presence of toxins may affect the estimation of PMI. We were also exploring the potential of blowfly samples to be applied in forensic investigations for detecting toxins and GSR.

Our results showed that the presence of malathion, paraquat, gasoline, paracetamol, ketum extracts and GSR affected the development rates of blowflies. In real intoxication and shooting cases involving decomposed remains, estimation of the correct PMI using larvae samples should consider the delayed and accelerated duration on the development of the blowflies. We also found the presence of active components of toxins in the blowfly samples we studied, proving the potential of blowfly samples to be tested in investigations to identify toxins in the victim’s body.

In conclusion, the blowfly species, C. megacephala and A. rufifacies, can provide crucial and important physical evidence in forensic investigations.

For further information contact

Rumiza Abd Rashid
Faculty of Applied Science
University Teknologi MARA

Darmarajah Nadarajah | Research SEA News
Further information:

Further reports about: Teknologi UiTM drugs eggs evidence forensic gasoline investigations larvae malathion species toxins

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Two decades of training students and experts in tracking infectious disease
27.11.2015 | Hochschule für Angewandte Wissenschaften Hamburg

nachricht Increased carbon dioxide enhances plankton growth, opposite of what was expected
27.11.2015 | Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Climate study finds evidence of global shift in the 1980s

Planet Earth experienced a global climate shift in the late 1980s on an unprecedented scale, fuelled by anthropogenic warming and a volcanic eruption, according to new research published this week.

Scientists say that a major step change, or ‘regime shift’, in the Earth’s biophysical systems, from the upper atmosphere to the depths of the ocean and from...

Im Focus: Innovative Photovoltaics – from the Lab to the Façade

Fraunhofer ISE Demonstrates New Cell and Module Technologies on its Outer Building Façade

The Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE has installed 70 photovoltaic modules on the outer façade of one of its lab buildings. The modules were...

Im Focus: Lactate for Brain Energy

Nerve cells cover their high energy demand with glucose and lactate. Scientists of the University of Zurich now provide new support for this. They show for the first time in the intact mouse brain evidence for an exchange of lactate between different brain cells. With this study they were able to confirm a 20-year old hypothesis.

In comparison to other organs, the human brain has the highest energy requirements. The supply of energy for nerve cells and the particular role of lactic acid...

Im Focus: Laser process simulation available as app for first time

In laser material processing, the simulation of processes has made great strides over the past few years. Today, the software can predict relatively well what will happen on the workpiece. Unfortunately, it is also highly complex and requires a lot of computing time. Thanks to clever simplification, experts from Fraunhofer ILT are now able to offer the first-ever simulation software that calculates processes in real time and also runs on tablet computers and smartphones. The fast software enables users to do without expensive experiments and to find optimum process parameters even more effectively.

Before now, the reliable simulation of laser processes was a job for experts. Armed with sophisticated software packages and after many hours on computer...

Im Focus: Quantum Simulation: A Better Understanding of Magnetism

Heidelberg physicists use ultracold atoms to imitate the behaviour of electrons in a solid

Researchers at Heidelberg University have devised a new way to study the phenomenon of magnetism. Using ultracold atoms at near absolute zero, they prepared a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

Fraunhofer’s Urban Futures Conference: 2 days in the city of the future

25.11.2015 | Event News

Gluten oder nicht Gluten? Überempfindlichkeit auf Weizen kann unterschiedliche Ursachen haben

17.11.2015 | Event News

Art Collection Deutsche Börse zeigt Ausstellung „Traces of Disorder“

21.10.2015 | Event News

Latest News

Siemens to supply 126 megawatts to onshore wind power plants in Scotland

27.11.2015 | Press release

Two decades of training students and experts in tracking infectious disease

27.11.2015 | Life Sciences

Coming to a monitor near you: A defect-free, molecule-thick film

27.11.2015 | Materials Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>