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Forensic Institute

İstanbul, Turkey
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News Article | September 24, 2017
Site: news.yahoo.com

A latest study has claimed that even a single dose of cocaine has a damaging effect of how a person perceives negative emotions, including sadness and anger. Police officers will now be able to tell if a person has used cocaine almost instantaneously with just a piece of paper and a fingerprint. The paper which was developed by a team of researchers from the U.K. and The Netherlands can tell if someone has used the narcotic with 99 percent accuracy. This procedure can be developed for other chemical materials too, and the team says it can be used as a highly accurate and safe method of running drug tests. The team says that the paper uses a technique called “paper spray mass spectrometry” to detect the presence of chemicals in the fingerprint. The technique facilitates detection of a particular substance by measurings the mass of its molecules. Hence, cocaine molecules, with their unique mass, can be detected by the paper. It can also detect the metabolites secreted by the body while processing cocaine. The team of scientists from University of Surrey working with the Netherlands Forensic Institute and Intelligent Fingerprinting, published their findings in the journal Clinical Chemistry. "It can detect cocaine and metabolites of which is further proof that cocaine has gone through the body and is excreted," said lead researcher Catia Costa, a researcher at the University of Surrey in the U.K., in an with CNBC. The tests worked even after hands were washed because of this unique metabolite testing. Current tests take time and use samples like blood, urine or saliva. They are bio-hazards and the byproducts of such tests are tough to dispose. These papers provide an easy and safe alternative that is also much faster. Dr Melanie Bailey of Surrey University said the non-invasive method of the process is a huge breakthrough. This test is very accurate and cannot be faked. The identification process of an individual and their history of abuse can be recorded with the fingerprint data, proving the test to be an efficient database mechanism too. The team tested 39 subjects, of which some were users and some were not. The test turned out to be 99 percent effective and the average test time was 30 seconds. While most conventional lab tests take several hours or even days, this 30-second procedure could revolutionize existing security mechanisms to curb drug trafficking. The procedure involves collecting the fingerprint on a triangular piece of paper. The paper is then placed on a mass spectrometer and a solvent is poured on it. When an electric charge is passed through the spectrometer, it can tell the different molecules present in the sample. Researchers say that the method for detection of heroin has already been developed. They hope that they can develop this for a range of substances to make testing easy and efficient. The test could see application in the health and security industry. Even in work places, drug testing can become faster. In overdose situations, this test can identify the material and save crucial time in administering life-saving treatment. Applications in law enforcement and security screenings can help keep potential drug trafficking in check.


This new breakthrough, published in Clinical Chemistry, comes as a result of the first large scale study of cocaine users and could pave the way for the detection of a range of other Class A substances. The research was carried out with partners from the Netherlands Forensic Institute and Intelligent Fingerprinting. The team, led by Dr Catia Costa and Dr Melanie Bailey from the University of Surrey, developed a new technique to analyse the levels of cocaine detected in the fingerprints. They used chromatography paper to take the sample as part of a technique known as paper spray mass spectrometry. The study involved taking fingerprints from a group of patients seeking treatment at drug rehabilitation centres, as well as a larger group not known to be drug users. All of those taking part washed their hands before the test in a variety of ways, and then samples were collected on the prepared chromatography paper. The fingerprint is developed using chemicals, so that the ridges of the fingerprint (and therefore the identity of the donor) can be established prior to analysis. When someone has taken cocaine, they excrete traces of benzoylecgonine and methylecgonine as they metabolise the drug, and these chemical indicators are present in fingerprint residue. Importantly, the traces can still be detected even after handwashing. According to the National Statistics Office, 1 in 12 adults aged 16 to 59 (around 2.7 million people) had taken illicit drugs in 2015/16. There were also over 8,500 people who were admitted to hospital after being diagnosed with drug-related mental health and behavioural disorder. In 2015, there were almost 2,500 deaths related to drug misuse - an increase of 10 per cent on 2014. Dr Costa said: "Paper spray mass spectrometry is gaining increasing popularity in forensic circles because it is incredibly sensitive and is very easy to set up a testing system - the units will save laboratories time. "This is the first time it has ever been used to detect the presence of drugs in fingerprints, and our results show the technique was 99% effective in detecting cocaine use among the patients." Dr Bailey said: "This is a real breakthrough in our work to bring a real time, non-invasive drug-testing method to the market that will provide a definitive result in a matter of minutes - we are already working on a 30 second method." "And, as with previous methods we have developed, it is non-invasive, hygienic and can't be faked - by the nature of the test, the identity of the subject, and their drug use, is all captured within the sample itself." "This exciting research clearly demonstrates the important role that fingerprints can play in simplifying drug screening, and complements our own parallel developments in portable, point-of-use diagnostic tests. These activities confirm the value of a fingerprint as a diagnostic matrix," added Dr Jerry Walker, Intelligent Fingerprinting's CEO. "We have supported the University of Surrey research programmes for the last four years, and Dr Bailey and her team have shown time and again that they are the world's leading group in fingerprint diagnostics research using mass spectrometry. We congratulate them in continuing to expand knowledge in the revolutionary field of fingerprint-based diagnostics." It is anticipated that this technology could see the introduction of drug tests for law enforcement agencies to use within the next decade. Drug testing is used routinely by probation services, prisons, courts and other law enforcement agencies. However, traditional testing methods have limitations. Where bodily fluids are tested, there can be biological hazards and often a requirement for particular storage and disposal methods. Explore further: New test detects drug use from a single fingerprint


News Article | September 22, 2017
Site: www.chromatographytechniques.com

Scientists from the University of Surrey have developed a rapid and highly sensitive fingerprint test that can take just seconds to confirm whether someone has used cocaine. This new breakthrough, published in Clinical Chemistry, comes as a result of the first large-scale study of cocaine users and could pave the way for the detection of a range of other Class A substances. The research was carried out with partners from the Netherlands Forensic Institute and Intelligent Fingerprinting. The team, led by Catia Costa and Melanie Bailey from the University of Surrey, developed a new technique to analyze the levels of cocaine detected in the fingerprints. They used chromatography paper to take the sample as part of a technique known as paper spray mass spectrometry. The study involved taking fingerprints from a group of patients seeking treatment at drug rehabilitation centers, as well as a larger group not known to be drug users. All of those taking part washed their hands before the test in a variety of ways, and then samples were collected on the prepared chromatography paper. The fingerprint is developed using chemicals, so that the ridges of the fingerprint (and therefore the identity of the donor) can be established prior to analysis. When someone has taken cocaine, they excrete traces of benzoylecgonine and methylecgonine as they metabolize the drug, and these chemical indicators are present in fingerprint residue. Importantly, the traces can still be detected even after handwashing. According to the National Statistics Office, one in 12 adults aged 16 to 59 (around 2.7 million people) had taken illicit drugs in 2015/16. There were also over 8,500 people who were admitted to hospital after being diagnosed with drug-related mental health and behavioral disorder. In 2015, there were almost 2,500 deaths related to drug misuse - an increase of 10 percent on 2014. "Paper spray mass spectrometry is gaining increasing popularity in forensic circles because it is incredibly sensitive and is very easy to set up a testing system - the units will save laboratories time," said Costa. "This is the first time it has ever been used to detect the presence of drugs in fingerprints, and our results show the technique was 99 percent effective in detecting cocaine use among the patients." "This is a real breakthrough in our work to bring a real-time, non-invasive drug-testing method to the market that will provide a definitive result in a matter of minutes - we are already working on a 30 second method," said Bailey. "And, as with previous methods we have developed, it is non-invasive, hygienic and can't be faked - by the nature of the test, the identity of the subject, and their drug use, is all captured within the sample itself." "This exciting research clearly demonstrates the important role that fingerprints can play in simplifying drug screening, and complements our own parallel developments in portable, point-of-use diagnostic tests. These activities confirm the value of a fingerprint as a diagnostic matrix," added Jerry Walker, Intelligent Fingerprinting's CEO. "We have supported the University of Surrey research programs for the last four years, and Dr Bailey and her team have shown time and again that they are the world's leading group in fingerprint diagnostics research using mass spectrometry. We congratulate them in continuing to expand knowledge in the revolutionary field of fingerprint-based diagnostics." It is anticipated that this technology could see the introduction of drug tests for law enforcement agencies to use within the next decade. Drug testing is used routinely by probation services, prisons, courts and other law enforcement agencies. However, traditional testing methods have limitations. Where bodily fluids are tested, there can be biological hazards and often a requirement for particular storage and disposal methods.


News Article | September 22, 2017
Site: www.eurekalert.org

Scientists from the University of Surrey have developed a rapid and highly sensitive fingerprint test that can take just seconds to confirm whether someone has used cocaine. This new breakthrough, published in Clinical Chemistry, comes as a result of the first large scale study of cocaine users and could pave the way for the detection of a range of other Class A substances. The research was carried out with partners from the Netherlands Forensic Institute and Intelligent Fingerprinting. The team, led by Dr Catia Costa and Dr Melanie Bailey from the University of Surrey, developed a new technique to analyse the levels of cocaine detected in the fingerprints. They used chromatography paper to take the sample as part of a technique known as paper spray mass spectrometry. The study involved taking fingerprints from a group of patients seeking treatment at drug rehabilitation centres, as well as a larger group not known to be drug users. All of those taking part washed their hands before the test in a variety of ways, and then samples were collected on the prepared chromatography paper. The fingerprint is developed using chemicals, so that the ridges of the fingerprint (and therefore the identity of the donor) can be established prior to analysis. When someone has taken cocaine, they excrete traces of benzoylecgonine and methylecgonine as they metabolise the drug, and these chemical indicators are present in fingerprint residue. Importantly, the traces can still be detected even after handwashing. According to the National Statistics Office, 1 in 12 adults aged 16 to 59 (around 2.7 million people) had taken illicit drugs in 2015/16. There were also over 8,500 people who were admitted to hospital after being diagnosed with drug-related mental health and behavioural disorder. In 2015, there were almost 2,500 deaths related to drug misuse - an increase of 10 per cent on 2014. Dr Costa said: "Paper spray mass spectrometry is gaining increasing popularity in forensic circles because it is incredibly sensitive and is very easy to set up a testing system - the units will save laboratories time. "This is the first time it has ever been used to detect the presence of drugs in fingerprints, and our results show the technique was 99% effective in detecting cocaine use among the patients." Dr Bailey said: "This is a real breakthrough in our work to bring a real time, non-invasive drug-testing method to the market that will provide a definitive result in a matter of minutes - we are already working on a 30 second method." "And, as with previous methods we have developed, it is non-invasive, hygienic and can't be faked - by the nature of the test, the identity of the subject, and their drug use, is all captured within the sample itself." "This exciting research clearly demonstrates the important role that fingerprints can play in simplifying drug screening, and complements our own parallel developments in portable, point-of-use diagnostic tests. These activities confirm the value of a fingerprint as a diagnostic matrix," added Dr Jerry Walker, Intelligent Fingerprinting's CEO. "We have supported the University of Surrey research programmes for the last four years, and Dr Bailey and her team have shown time and again that they are the world's leading group in fingerprint diagnostics research using mass spectrometry. We congratulate them in continuing to expand knowledge in the revolutionary field of fingerprint-based diagnostics." It is anticipated that this technology could see the introduction of drug tests for law enforcement agencies to use within the next decade. Drug testing is used routinely by probation services, prisons, courts and other law enforcement agencies. However, traditional testing methods have limitations. Where bodily fluids are tested, there can be biological hazards and often a requirement for particular storage and disposal methods.


Ferreira K.B.,University of Brasilia | Oliveira A.G.G.,University of Brasilia | Goncalves A.S.,Forensic Institute | Gomes J.A.,Forensic Institute
Forensic Chemistry | Year: 2017

Spectroscopies have been widely used in forensic science to analyze fingerprints, bloodstains, paints, etc. Hyperspectral chemical imaging is a fast and non-destructive method that provides spatial and spectral chemical information of a particular specimen. Recently, researchers have evaluated the characterization of automotive paints using Principal Components Analysis (PCA) performed on infrared and Raman spectroscopies data. However, to date, there is no report concerning the discrimination power of such trace evidence using Hyperspectral Imaging Visible/Near Infrared Spectroscopy (HSI-UV/VIS/NIR). Therefore, this work evaluated the potential of this technique combined with PCA as a forensic approach to discriminate automotive paints. In total, 38 samples from twelve brands and a variety of colors were analyzed. HSI-UV/VIS/NIR data was acquired directly from the paint chip's surfaces, which includes the basecoat and clear coat layers. PCA was individually performed in distinct color datasets and could discriminate 100% of the white, silver, red and grey samples collected from different brands or from the same manufacturer with different color/shades. Furthermore, the PCA reliability for the identification of similar paint chips was successfully tested using fragments of silver and grey samples collected from different vehicle sources with common brand, color and shade. In agreement with the literature, the automotive black paints presented a much lower discriminating power (62.5%) because the spectra did not provide enough reflectance suitable for differentiation. These new findings support the idea of using HSI-UV/VIS/NIR as a fast, easy and efficient alternative technique to other spectroscopies for accurate forensic assessment of automotive paints. © 2017 Elsevier B.V.


Popa G.,Institutul Of Studii Pentru Ordine Publica | Potorac R.,Forensic Institute | Preda N.,Forensic Service
Romanian Journal of Legal Medicine | Year: 2010

The aim of this study was to establish an estimation relationship of the age of fingerprints left on surfaces, by morphological, structural, macro- and microscopic examinations, together with biochemical and titration DNA tests in order to confirm the rate of biological degradation during a certain period. The capacity of counting the age of a fingerprint lead to the possibility to place it in time and to correlate it with the time of doing the criminal act, bringing us information about the presence of a person in a certain place and period. As research methods we used forensic techniques for fingerprints, as well as cytology and molecular biological methods (DNA analysis, DNA quantification with TaqMan using Real Time PCR). The estimation of the age of fingerprints using these methods offers us the advantages of standardization based on relationships between morphological or/and biochemical characteristics depending on time, as well as the possibility to assign as a rough guide a blood type to an individual. © 2010 Romanian Society of Legal Medicine.


Gauthier S.,University of Zürich | Grass H.,University Hospitals | Lory M.,Forensic Institute | Kramer T.,University of Zürich | And 2 more authors.
Annals of Occupational Hygiene | Year: 2012

The installation of wood pellet heating as a cost-effective and climatically neutral source of energy for private households has increased steadily in recent years. We report two deaths that occurred within the space of about a year in wood pellet storerooms of private households in German-speaking countries and were investigated by forensic medical teams. This is the first report of fatalities in this special context as is shown in the literature review. Both victims died of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning; one of the victims was a woman who was 4 months pregnant. Measurements at the scene detected life-threatening CO concentrations (7500 ppm, >500 ppm), which were not significantly reduced after ventilation of the storerooms as required by regulations. We carried out a series of experiments in order to confirm CO production by wood pellets. Thirty kilograms of freshly produced pellets from two different manufacturers were stored for 16 days in airtight containers at 26°C with different relative humidities. CO concentrations between 3100 and 4700 ppm were measured in all containers. There were no notable differences between the wood pellet products or storage at different humidities. Emission of CO from wood pellets has already been described, but fatal accidents have previously been reported only in association with pellet transport on cargo ships or storage in silos. It is therefore a new finding that fatal accidents may also occur in the wood pellet storerooms of private households. We show that significant CO concentrations can build up even when these rooms are ventilated in accordance with the regulations and that such levels may cause the death of healthy persons, as described in the following. As the safety recommendations from the wood pellet industry are inadequate, we consider that further fatal accidents are likely to occur and recommend urgent revision of the safety regulations. © 2012 The Author.


Werner R.,Forensic Institute | Schultz B.,Forensic Institute | Frank M.,University of Greifswald
International Journal of Legal Medicine | Year: 2016

In firearm examiners’ and forensic specialists’ casework as well as in air gun proof testing, reliable measurement of the weapon’s muzzle velocity is indispensable. While there are standardized and generally accepted procedures for testing the performance of air guns, the method of seating the diabolo pellets deeper into the breech of break barrel spring-piston air guns has not found its way into standardized test procedures. The influence of pellet seating on the external ballistic parameters was investigated using ten different break barrel spring-piston air guns. Test shots were performed with the diabolo pellets seated 2 mm deeper into the breech using a pellet seater. The results were then compared to reference shots with conventionally loaded diabolo pellets. Projectile velocity was measured with a high-precision redundant ballistic speed measurement system. In eight out of ten weapons, the muzzle energy increased significantly when the pellet seater was used. The average increase in kinetic energy was 31 % (range 9–96 %). To conclude, seating the pellet even slightly deeper into the breech of spring-piston air guns might significantly alter the muzzle energy. Therefore, it is strongly recommended that this effect is taken into account when accurate and reliable measurements of air gun muzzle velocity are necessary. © 2016 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg


Mullen C.,Forensic Institute | Spence D.,University of Glasgow | Moxey L.,University of Glasgow | Jamieson A.,Forensic Institute
Science and Justice | Year: 2014

Many forensic scientists use a verbal scale to describe the significance or weight to be attached to their opinion. Although there is a considerable amount of work in the field of psychology regarding people's perception of quantitative descriptors such as those used in the verbal scale, there has been no published work relating to the use of such descriptors in a forensic context. Our aim was to assess the extent to which the verbal expressions used by the expert in court are perceived and the extent to which they are differentiated by potential jurors. Four hundred volunteers were asked to indicate the level of strength they perceived from the use of the verbal scale characters within excerpts from purported expert witness statements. Although preliminary, these results show that there are serious misunderstandings of the verbal scale. It does not achieve the purpose for which it was created. The terms used are unlikely to be understood properly by lay people and it would appear that they are actually misunderstood. © 2013 Forensic Science Society.


Meakin G.,Forensic Institute | Jamieson A.,Forensic Institute
Forensic Science International: Genetics | Year: 2013

DNA-bearing cellular material can come to be present on a surface by either direct or indirect transfer. Direct transfer includes contact, but also includes activities within the vicinity of an item that may result in the transfer of DNA directly from an individual without any contact, such as speaking, coughing, and sneezing. Indirect transfer of DNA is when DNA from an individual comes to be on an item via an intermediary surface. It is important to consider indirect transfer in the evaluation of trace DNA in casework. The term 'trace DNA' in this review refers solely to DNA that cannot be attributed to an identifiable body fluid. This review presents and considers data from trace DNA experiments to establish whether the quantity of DNA recovered from a crime stain and/or the quality of a DNA profile obtained can be used to infer the likely mechanism of transfer. The data show that varied results are obtained from apparently similar trace DNA samples, presumably due to the many factors that affect the detection of trace DNA. The nature and effect of these varying factors and the application of the data to casework is considered generally and with specific reference to DNA transfer to skin, DNA beneath fingernails, 'wearer DNA', and various contamination considerations. © 2013 Elsevier Ireland Ltd.

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