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
Scientists uncover the role of a protein in production & survival of myelin-forming cells
19.07.2018 | Advanced Science Research Center, GC/CUNY
NYSCF researchers develop novel bioengineering technique for personalized bone grafts
18.07.2018 | New York Stem Cell Foundation
A new manufacturing technique uses a process similar to newspaper printing to form smoother and more flexible metals for making ultrafast electronic devices.
The low-cost process, developed by Purdue University researchers, combines tools already used in industry for manufacturing metals on a large scale, but uses...
For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.
To rule out other origins with certainty, the team led by neutrino physicist Elisa Resconi from the Technical University of Munich and multi-wavelength...
For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.
Whirlpools are an everyday experience in a bath tub: When the water is drained a circular vortex is formed. Typically, such whirls are rather stable. Similar...
Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.
A frequently used reaction in organic chemistry is nucleophilic substitution. It plays, for example, an important role in in the synthesis of new chemical...
Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.
"Put an excitation into the system and observe how it evolves." According to physicist Professor Tobias Brixner, this is the credo of optical spectroscopy....
13.07.2018 | Event News
12.07.2018 | Event News
03.07.2018 | Event News
20.07.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering
20.07.2018 | Information Technology
20.07.2018 | Materials Sciences