Isotope and trace element analysis of human teeth and bones for forensic purposes
Isotopic and elemental concentration data can be extremely useful in the identification of human remains. Archaeological, ecological and forensic investigations to date have primarily made use of 87Sr/86Sr, 143Nd/144Nd, 18O/16O and trace element data obtained from analysis of carbonate-hydroxyapatite in bones and teeth, and/or 12C/13C, 14N/15N, 18O/16O and 35S/37S ratios in bone collagen. However, a wide range of other chemical parameters are potentially useful for intersample comparison and environmental characterization, and increasing attention is being given to hair, nail and skin tissues, which provide dietary and environmental information over shorter time periods than bones and teeth. This paper reviews some of the principles which underlie such work and the current position with regard to modern forensic applications.
Figures & Tables
Forensic Geoscience: Principles, Techniques and Applications
Forensic geoscience is an increasingly important sub-discipline within geoscience and forensic science. Although minerals, soils, dusts and rock fragments have been used as only begun to be recognized in the last ten years or so. The police and other investigative bodies are keen to encourage such developments in the fight against crime, particularly since many criminals show a high level of forensic awareness with regard to evidence such as fingerprints, blood and other body fluids. The papers in this volume illustrate some of the main principles, techniques and applications in current forensic geoscience, covering research and casework in the UK and internationally. The techniques described range from macro-scale field geophysical investigations to micro-scale laboratory studies of the chemical and textural properties of individual particles. In addition to forensic applications, many of these techniques have broad utility in geological, geomorphological, soil science and archaeological research.