Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Global database needed to guarantee identification of victims in mass disasters

19.03.2010
An expert in forensic anthropology argues that the database should include computer records of citizens such as anthropological data, physiognomic characteristics, medical information, radiographic files, dental records and numbers of different identity documents. Tzipi Kahana believes that radiographic techniques, together with information from this database, are a reliable mechanism for identifying bodies after natural disasters or attacks.

Forensic Anthropology, as an independent discipline within the field of forensic science, has evolved since the early twentieth century in tandem with technological developments of the scientific world. One of its best tools has been the implementation of radiological techniques for positive identification of human remains.

A research conducted at the University of Granada warns of the need to create "immediately" a database of citizens, from all countries of the world, that include computer records of citizens such as anthropological data, physiognomic characteristics, medical information, radiographic files, dental records and numbers of different identity documents.

This work has been performed by Tzipi Kahana (former student at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem) at the Department of Physical Anthropology of the University of Granada, and directed by professors Miguel C. Botella López and Immaculada Alemán Aguilera. Its author argues that the creation of this database “is crucial to the proper thanatological management following natural disasters or attacks", in order to guarantee an accurate diagnosis of the data of death and to enable the identification of victims.

Tsunami in Thailand
Kahana worked with the Israel Police in the task of identifying bodies after the tsunami that hit Phuket (Thailand) in December 2004. They were the first to reach the area after the disaster and, along with other teams that arrived successively (Italy, Switzerland, Japan, Canada and Portugal), identified more than 600 corpses. She was also active in identifying victims of the terrorist attack on the Asociación Mutual Israelita Argentina (AMIA) which took place in Buenos Aires, in 1994.

In this work, the scientist has analyzed how new radiographic technologies comply with legal requirements of the forensic field, studying the progressive development of Forensic Radiology as a new discipline through its symbiotic relationship with Forensic Anthropology. Tzipi Kahana has based her research on her own experience in the field of forensic anthropology for 20 years and, for the first time, her work meets the new legal requirements, the magnitude of major catastrophes of 19th and 20th centuries, and technological advances of the modern world.

From her point of view, “it is essential” to carry out a radiographic examination of all human remains in the field of forensic identification, as this examination not only provides documentation of the recovered material, but it is useful both in the identification of skeletal trauma and in the location of teeth hidden in the tissues.

A crucial role
Tzipi Kahana stresses that radiological investigation, as part of the thanatological examination, "is very useful in cases of traffic accidents, gunshot injuries and identification of corpses." Furthermore, radiographic examination plays a crucial role in the positive identification of human remains on Forensic Anthropology and Odontology.

The effectiveness and usefulness of any identification technique depends on the speed at which ante mortem data are available. In Israel, the U.S. and UK, countries where there are no fingerprint records of all people, an average of 10% of all medico-legal cases are individuals or human remains whose identity is unknown. Of these, 80% were identified through radiographic comparisons during the 90s.

The UGR researcher points out that some of the degenerative changes of the spine “are excellent radiological features, useful for the identification of corpses and human remains”, since, in general, "the radiographs of the spine contain a large number of individualizing features".

Useful vertebral features for necroidentification include conditions such as evidence of healed trauma, degenerative and infectious processes, congenital malformations and normal anatomic variations of the spinal structures.

Part of the results of this research has been published in scientific journals such as British Journal of Radiology, Journal of Forensic Identification, American Journal of Forensic Medicine and Pathology, Journal of Clinical Forensic Medicine and Forensic Pathology Reviews, among others.

Reference: Tzipi Kahana. Department of Physical Anthropology, University of Granada. Tel.:972-507-643-407.

E-mail: kahana.tzipi@gmail.com

Prof. Miguel Botella López
Director of the Forensic Anthropology Laboratory, University of Granada
Tel. 958 243535 | 958 24 35 26. E-mail: botella@ugr.es

Tzipi Kahana | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.ugr.es

More articles from Medical Engineering:

nachricht First transcatheter implant for diastolic heart failure successful
16.11.2017 | The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center

nachricht Theranostic nanoparticles for tracking and monitoring disease state
13.11.2017 | SLAS (Society for Laboratory Automation and Screening)

All articles from Medical Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: A “cosmic snake” reveals the structure of remote galaxies

The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.

Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...

Im Focus: Visual intelligence is not the same as IQ

Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.

That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...

Im Focus: Novel Nano-CT device creates high-resolution 3D-X-rays of tiny velvet worm legs

Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.

During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....

Im Focus: Researchers Develop Data Bus for Quantum Computer

The quantum world is fragile; error correction codes are needed to protect the information stored in a quantum object from the deteriorating effects of noise. Quantum physicists in Innsbruck have developed a protocol to pass quantum information between differently encoded building blocks of a future quantum computer, such as processors and memories. Scientists may use this protocol in the future to build a data bus for quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the journal Nature Communications.

Future quantum computers will be able to solve problems where conventional computers fail today. We are still far away from any large-scale implementation,...

Im Focus: Wrinkles give heat a jolt in pillared graphene

Rice University researchers test 3-D carbon nanostructures' thermal transport abilities

Pillared graphene would transfer heat better if the theoretical material had a few asymmetric junctions that caused wrinkles, according to Rice University...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Ecology Across Borders: International conference brings together 1,500 ecologists

15.11.2017 | Event News

Road into laboratory: Users discuss biaxial fatigue-testing for car and truck wheel

15.11.2017 | Event News

#Berlin5GWeek: The right network for Industry 4.0

30.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

NASA detects solar flare pulses at Sun and Earth

17.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

NIST scientists discover how to switch liver cancer cell growth from 2-D to 3-D structures

17.11.2017 | Health and Medicine

The importance of biodiversity in forests could increase due to climate change

17.11.2017 | Studies and Analyses

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>