Anatomical appraisal of the skulls and teeth associated with the family of Tsar Nicolay Romanov.
This article describes the identification of skeletal remains attributed to the family of Tsar Nicolay Romanov and other persons buried together at a site near present-day Ekaterinburg, Russia. Detailed descriptions are given regarding the objective methods of craniofacial and odontological identification that were used. Employing computer-assisted photographic superimposition techniques and statistical analysis of morphologic and other characteristics of the specimens, this study identifies with a high likelihood of certainty the remains of the Tsar, his wife, three of his four daughters, and four household assistants. Very strong evidence is presented that the Tsar's daughter Anastasia was killed in 1918. This study demonstrates the effectiveness of the methods and trustworthiness of the results, as well as the prospects of future application of the methods for the identification of skeletonized human remains. Anat Rec (New Anat) 265:15-32, 2001. (+info)
A look at forensic dentistry--Part 1: The role of teeth in the determination of human identity.
Forensic dentistry can be defined in many ways. One of the more elegant definitions is simply that forensic dentistry represents the overlap between the dental and the legal professions. This two-part series presents the field of forensic dentistry by outlining two of the major aspects of the profession: human identification and bite marks. This first paper examines the use of the human dentition and surrounding structures to enable the identification of found human remains. Conventional and novel techniques are presented. (+info)
A look at forensic dentistry--Part 2: teeth as weapons of violence--identification of bitemark perpetrators.
Teeth are often used as weapons when one person attacks another or when a victim tries to ward off an assailant. It is relatively simple to record the evidence from the injury and the teeth for comparison of the shapes, sizes and pattern that are present. However, this comparative analysis is often very difficult, especially since human skin is curved, elastic, distortable and undergoing oedema. In many cases, though, conclusions can be reached about any role a suspect may have played in a crime. Additionally, traces of saliva deposited during biting can be recovered to acquire DNA evidence and this can be analyzed to determine who contributed this biological evidence. If dentists are aware of the various methods to collect and preserve bitemark evidence from victims and suspects it may be possible for them to assist the justice system to identify and prosecute violent offenders. This paper reviews the recognition and recovery of this evidence and provides insight into modern methods used to investigate bitemark evidence from heinous crimes. (+info)
DNA typing from skeletal remains: evaluation of multiplex and megaplex STR systems on DNA isolated from bone and teeth samples.
AIM: To evaluate the performance of three multiplex short tandem repeat (STR) systems (AmpflSTR Profiler, AmpflSTR Profiler Plus, and AmpflSTR COfiler), and a megaplex STR system (PowerPlex 16) on DNA extracted from the skeletal remains. By performing a microbial DNA challenge study, we also evaluated the influence of microbial DNA on human DNA typing. METHODS: A subset of 86 DNA extracts isolated from 8-50 years old bone and teeth samples, corresponding to 20 identification cases from mass graves in Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, and to 4 paternity cases involving deceased parents in Spain, were analyzed by the above systems. RESULTS: Bone samples with no detectable human DNA (tested with Quantiblot), as well as teeth samples with detectable human DNA, were successfully amplified. Surprisingly, even in highly degraded samples, PowerPlex 16 offered very robust amplification for the both Penta E and Penta D markers. We observed a few non-specific extra peaks of 202 and 308 base pairs, which appeared to match 16S rRNA of the Pseudomonas halodenitrificans. CONCLUSION: AmpflSTR Profiler Kit, AmpflSTR Profiler Plus Kit, the AmpflSTR COfiler Kit, and the PowerPlex 16 system are very sensitive multiplex STR amplification systems, which can be successfully used to obtain a multilocus STR profile from old teeth and bone samples with minimal amounts (pg) of human DNA or even with no detectable human DNA. (+info)
Genetic characterization of the body attributed to the evangelist Luke.
Historical sources indicate that the evangelist Luke was born in Syria, died in Greece, and then his body was transferred to Constantinople, and from there to Padua, Italy. To understand whether there is any biological evidence supporting a Syrian origin of the Padua body traditionally attributed to Luke, or a replacement in Greece or Turkey, the mtDNA was extracted from two teeth and its control region was cloned and typed. The sequence determined in multiple clones is an uncommon variant of a set of alleles that are common in the Mediterranean region. We also collected and typed modern samples from Syria and Greece. By comparison with these population samples, and with samples from Anatolia that were already available in the literature, we could reject the hypothesis that the body belonged to a Greek, rather than a Syrian, individual. However, the probability of an origin in the area of modern Turkey was only insignificantly lower than the probability of a Syrian origin. The genetic evidence is therefore compatible with the possibility that the body comes from Syria, but also with its replacement in Constantinople. (+info)
Dental identification after two mass disasters in Croatia.
AIM: To determine the usefulness of dental methods in the identification of victims in the railway accident in Zagreb (August 30, 1974) and midair collision of a British and a Slovenian airplane near Vrbovec (September 10, 1976). METHODS: There were 152 people killed in the railway accident, and 176 fatalities in the plane crash (63 in the British and 113 in the Slovenian plane). Individual victim identification and autopsy forms, and group identification reports were analyzed. RESULTS: Of the railway accident victims, 111 were identified. Dental characteristics, along with clothes, personal descriptions, personal documents, fingerprints, and jewelry, proved to be decisive in 5% of the cases. All 63 passengers and crew members from the British plane were identified; in 33% of the victims dental features, along with other characteristics, were decisive. From the Slovenian plane 103 victims were identified, 14% exclusively by teeth and 16% by teeth in combination with other characteristics. Ten bodies remained unidentified. CONCLUSION: The reasons for the small number of dental identifications in the victims of the railway accident were incomplete or unavailable antemortem data provided by relatives and friends of the deceased, and the predominant orientation toward other forensic identification methods. The significant number of dental identifications in the plane crash is explained by the provision of complete and accurate antemortem odontological data. Dental characteristics proved to be particularly valuable in the identification of carbonized victims. (+info)
Different dental tissues as source of DNA for human identification in forensic cases.
AIM: To evaluate different dental tissues (pulp, dentin, and cement) as sources of DNA for forensic analysis. METHODS: A total of 20 teeth were obtained from unidentified bodies buried at the Central Cemetary in Bogota in 1995 and exhumed in 2000. The tissues from three teeth obtained after surgery were used as controls. The pulp cavity was exposed after cutting each tooth with a high-speed handpiece. The pulp was removed and processed separately from the dentin and cement. The dentin and cement were obtained by drilling with a high-speed handpiece and placed into separate tubes. DNA was extracted from mineralized tissues after a short decalcification step with EDTA. The DNA was quantified by dot-blot hybridization with D17Z1 probe, a primate- and human-specific alpha satellite DNA for the D17Z1 locus. Polymerase chain reaction was carried out for the hypervariable control region between nucleotides 29 and 408 bp (HV2 region) of the mitochondrial DNA, followed by gel electrophoresis to evaluate the amount and efficiency of the amplification. RESULTS: The pulp yielded the strongest amplification signals. The signals for dentin and cement were very similar because of the presence of cells of the periodontal ligament in the cement. The results of the amplification of the HV2 region of the mitochondrial DNA showed that dentin and cement acted as protective factors for the cells and allowed the conservation of the DNA. CONCLUSION: Cementoblasts and odontoblasts located within the cement and dentin are surrounded by the mineral matrix of the dental structure and thus protected from any environmental degradation forces, which makes them suitable sources for the DNA analysis. (+info)
Applicability of 3D-CT facial reconstruction for forensic individual identification.
Computed tomography (CT) is used in several clinical dentistry applications even by axial slices and two and three-dimensional reconstructed images (2D-CT and 3D-CT). The purpose of the current study is to assess the precision of linear measurements made in 3D-CT using craniometric patterns for individual identification in Forensic Dentistry. Five cadaver heads were submitted to a spiral computed tomography using axial slices, and 3D-CT reconstructions were obtained by volume rendering technique with computer graphics tools. Ten (10) craniometric measurements were determined in 3D-CT images by two examiners independently, twice each, and the standard error of intra- and inter-examiner measurements was assessed. The results demonstrated a low standard error of those measurements, from 0.85% to 3.09%. In conclusion, the linear measurements obtained in osseous and soft tissue structures were considered to be precise in 3D-CT with high imaging quality and resolution. (+info)