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
Modern genetic sequencing tools give clearer picture of how corals are related
17.08.2017 | University of Washington
The irresistible fragrance of dying vinegar flies
16.08.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für chemische Ökologie
Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.
As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...
Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.
Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...
For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.
While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...
An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.
The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...
A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.
Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...
16.08.2017 | Event News
04.08.2017 | Event News
26.07.2017 | Event News
17.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
17.08.2017 | Earth Sciences
17.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy