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Abingdon, United Kingdom

Nehlich O.,Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology | Fuller B.T.,Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology | Fuller B.T.,Catholic University of Leuven | Marquez-Grant N.,Cellmark Forensic Services | And 3 more authors.
American Journal of Physical Anthropology

We present sulfur isotope ratio measurements of bone collagen from animals (n = 75) and humans (n = 120) from five sites dating to four chronological periods (Chalcolithic, Punic, Late Antiquity-Early Byzantine, and Islamic) from the Balearic Islands of Ibiza and Formentera, Spain. This study is a follow up to previously published δ13C and δ15N values by [Fuller et al.: Am J Phys Anthropol 143 (2010) 512-522] and focuses on using δ34S values to better understand the dietary patterns of these populations through time and to possibly identify immigrants to these islands. The range of δ34S values (10.5-17.8‰) observed for the animals was relatively broad, which suggests that a significant sea spray effect has added marine sulfates to the soils of Formentera and Ibiza. The mean δ34S values of the different human populations were found to be: Chalcolithic (16.5 ± 1.4‰), Punic rural (13.6 ± 1.7‰), Punic urban (12.9 ± 1.8‰), Late Antiquity-Early Byzantine (12.3 ± 2.1‰), and Islamic (9.1 ± 2.7‰). These human δ34S results are similar to the animal data, a finding that supports the notion that there was little marine protein consumption by these societies and that the diet was mainly based on terrestrial resources. During the Punic and Late Antiquity-Early Byzantine periods the δ34S values were used to identify individuals in the population who likely were not born or raised on the islands. In addition, 18 of the 20 individuals analyzed from the Islamic period have δ34S values that indicate that they were immigrants to Ibiza who died before acquiring the new local sulfur isotopic signature. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Source

Afolabi O.A.,University of Central Lancashire | Roeder A.D.,Cellmark Forensic Services | Iyengar A.,University of Central Lancashire | Hadi S.,University of Central Lancashire
Forensic Science International: Genetics Supplement Series

Reference genes are used in forensic body fluid identification studies to normalise data generated during gene expression experiments. The use of reference genes improves the reliability of qRT-PCR. In this study, 10 most common reference genes UCE, TEF, GAPDH, 18S rRNA, ACTB, B2M, B-Actin, OAZ1, RPS 29 and S15 widely used in forensic body fluid identification studies were selected from relevant literature and qPCR efficiency and sensitivity of all the reference genes was tested using SYBR Green detection. Stability was also assayed using samples stored at room temperature for 6 months using Taqman assay probes. All the markers except TEF displayed high sensitivity and were detected down to 25. pg of RNA input. Stability study demonstrates that B2M, ACTB, RPS29, and UCE are ideal markers for normalization in forensic body fluid identification studies. The study confirms that reference genes should be selected only upon adequate validation of their suitability. © 2015 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. Source

Jones S.,SPA Forensic Services | Scott K.,SPA Forensic Services | Lewis J.,Cellmark Forensic Services | Davidson G.,United Road Services | And 8 more authors.
Science and Justice

The UK and Ireland Association of Forensic Science Providers' (AFSP) Body Fluid Forum (BFF) set out to assist in the interpretation of sexual offence cases where semen is absent on vaginal swabs but female DNA is present on penile swabs or male underwear, and the issue to be addressed is whether or not sexual intercourse occurred. This study aims to investigate the frequency and amount of female DNA transferred to the penis and underwear of males following staged nonintimate social contact with females and to compare the findings with the amount of female DNA transferred to the penis and subsequently to the underwear of a male who had engaged in unprotected sexual intercourse with a female. In this study, no matching female DNA was detected on the inside front of the 44 items of male underwear used in this research following staged contact of a nonintimate nature and subsequent secondary transfer to the penis. After sexual intercourse, full profiles matching the female participant were found on the inside front of the males underwear with maximum peak heights in the range between 1898 and 3157 rfu. It was possible to demonstrate that DNA can occasionally transfer to the waistband and outside front of underwear worn by a male following staged nonintimate social contact. Data obtained in this study suggest that a matching female DNA profile below a peak height of 1000 rfu on the waistband of a male's underwear might be explained by nonintimate social contact with secondary transfer of female DNA from the male's hands. © 2015 The Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences. Source

Lewis J.,Cellmark Forensic Services | Baird A.,BT in Ireland | McAlister C.,Birmingham Business Park | Siemieniuk A.,Cellmark Forensic Services | And 7 more authors.
Science and Justice

Acid phosphatase (AP) reagent (Fast Black) is used as a presumptive test for the presence of seminal fluid on exhibits submitted in allegations of sexual assault. Research was carried out to determine whether the direct application of AP reagent to exhibits is a viable alternative to the traditional indirect (blot) testing method used routinely in the laboratory. The relative sensitivity of the indirect and direct testing methods was investigated as was the effect of AP reagent on histological staining of spermatozoa, the incidence of false positives from vaginal material and saliva, and the effect of AP reagent on subsequent DNA testing. Also included are the results of specificity studies from validations of the direct AP testing method. The results of this research show that, provided the incidence of false positives is borne in mind, direct AP testing can be especially useful when screening exhibits which are difficult to indirectly (blot) AP test or when it is problematic to relocate an AP positive stain. Direct application of AP reagent can also be beneficial for locating dilute semen stains. Three case examples are given which illustrate the use of direct AP testing in laboratory casework. © 2013. Source

Hulme P.,Cellmark Forensic Services | Lewis J.,Cellmark Forensic Services | Davidson G.,Cellmark Forensic Services
Science and Justice

This report describes the validation of a two phase cell recovery technique for the elution of two common cell types, epithelia and spermatozoa, from frequently examined items submitted as part of sexual assault casework. Furthermore, separation of cell types prior to microscopic examination of cell pellets improves the scientist's confidence in observing and scoring spermatozoa that may be present. During the validation, Orchid Cellmark's Sperm Elution© method consistently recovered a greater number of spermatozoa from simulated sexual assault items and swabs taken following consensual sexual intercourse compared to a water extraction technique. On average the Sperm Elution method recovered over twice the number of spermatozoa compared to the water method. The ability to separate the cell types present allows a rapid microscope slide search for spermatozoa and faster DNA extraction protocol in comparison to Cellmark's previous preferential method. © 2012 Forensic Science Society. Source

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