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  • 1. Angleby, Helen
    et al.
    Oskarsson, Mattias
    Pang, Junfeng
    Zhang, Ya-ping
    Leitner, Thomas
    Braham, Caitlyn
    Arvestad, Lars
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Numerical Analysis and Computer Science (NADA). Stockholm University, Science for Life Laboratory (SciLifeLab).
    Lundeberg, Joakim
    Webb, Kristen M.
    Savolainen, Peter
    Forensic Informativity of similar to 3000bp of Coding Sequence of Domestic Dog mtDNA2014In: Journal of Forensic Sciences, ISSN 0022-1198, E-ISSN 1556-4029, Vol. 59, no 4, p. 898-908Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The discriminatory power of the noncoding control region (CR) of domestic dog mitochondrial DNA alone is relatively low. The extent to which the discriminatory power could be increased by analyzing additional highly variable coding regions of the mitochondrial genome (mtGenome) was therefore investigated. Genetic variability across the mtGenome was evaluated by phylogenetic analysis, and the three most variable similar to 1kb coding regions identified. We then sampled 100 Swedish dogs to represent breeds in accordance with their frequency in the Swedish population. A previously published dataset of 59 dog mtGenomes collected in the United States was also analyzed. Inclusion of the three coding regions increased the exclusion capacity considerably for the Swedish sample, from 0.920 for the CR alone to 0.964 for all four regions. The number of mtDNA types among all 159 dogs increased from 41 to 72, the four most frequent CR haplotypes being resolved into 22 different haplotypes.

  • 2. Bartelink, Eric J.
    et al.
    Sholts, Sabrina B.
    Milligan, Colleen F.
    Van Deest, Traci L.
    Wärmländer, Sebastian K. T. S.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics. Linköping University, Sweden.
    A Case of Contested Cremains Analyzed Through Metric and Chemical Comparison2015In: Journal of Forensic Sciences, ISSN 0022-1198, E-ISSN 1556-4029, Vol. 60, no 4, p. 1068-1073Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Since the 1980s, cremation has become the fastest growing area of the U.S. funeral industry. At the same time, the number of litigations against funeral homes and cremation facilities has increased. Forensic anthropologists are often asked to determine whether the contents of an urn are actually cremated bone, and to address questions regarding the identity of the remains. This study uses both metric and chemical analyses for resolving a case of contested cremains. A cremains weight of 2021.8 g was predicted based on the decedent's reported stature and weight. However, the urn contents weighed 4173.5 g. The urn contents also contained material inconsistent with cremains (e.g., moist sediment, stones, ferrous metal). Analysis using XRD and SEM demonstrated that the urn contained thermally altered bone as well as inorganic material consistent with glass fiber cement. Although forensically challenging, cremains cases such as this one can be resolved using a multidisciplinary approach.

  • 3. Regoeczi, Wendy C.
    et al.
    Granath, Sven
    Issa, Rania
    Gilson, Thomas
    Sturup, Joakim
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Criminology. National Board of Forensic Medicine, Sweden; Karolinska Institute, Sweden.
    Comparing Homicide-Suicides in the United States and Sweden2016In: Journal of Forensic Sciences, ISSN 0022-1198, E-ISSN 1556-4029, Vol. 61, no 6, p. 1524-1530Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Research on homicides followed by suicides has largely relied on very localized samples and relatively short time spans of data. As a result, little is known about the extent to which patterns within cases of homicide-suicides are geographically specific. The current study seeks to help fill this gap by comparing twenty years of homicide- suicide data for Sweden and a large U.S. county. Although some of the underlying patterns in the two countries are similar (e.g., decreasing rates), a number of important differences emerge, particularly with respect to incidence, weapons used, perpetrator age, and relationship of the perpetrator to the victim.

  • 4. Sholts, Sabrina B.
    et al.
    Walker, Phillip L.
    Kuzminsky, Susan C.
    Miller, Kevin W. P.
    Wärmländer, Sebastian K. T. S.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics.
    Identification of Group Affinity from Cross-sectional Contours of the Human Midfacial Skeleton Using Digital Morphometrics and 3D Laser Scanning Technology2011In: Journal of Forensic Sciences, ISSN 0022-1198, E-ISSN 1556-4029, Vol. 56, no 2, p. 333-338Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Identifying group affinity from human crania is a long-standing problem in forensic and physical anthropology. Many craniofacial differences used in forensic skeletal identification are difficult to quantify, although certain measurements of the midfacial skeleton have shown high predictive value for group classifications. This study presents a new method for analyzing midfacial shape variation between different geographic groups. Three-dimensional laser scan models of 90 crania from three populations were used to obtain cross-sectional midfacial contours defined by three standard craniometric landmarks. Elliptic Fourier transforms of the contours were used to extract Fourier coefficients for statistical analysis. After cross-validation, discriminant functions based on the Fourier coefficients provided an average of 86% correct classifications for crania from the three groups. The high rate of accuracy of this method indicates its usefulness for identifying group affinities among human skeletal remains and demonstrates the advantages of digital 3D model-based analysis in forensic research.

  • 5. Sholts, Sabrina B.
    et al.
    Wärmländer, Sebastian K. T. S.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics.
    Flores, Louise M.
    Miller, Kevin W. P.
    Walker, Phillip L.
    Variation in the Measurement of Cranial Volume and Surface Area Using 3D Laser Scanning Technology2010In: Journal of Forensic Sciences, ISSN 0022-1198, E-ISSN 1556-4029, Vol. 55, no 4, p. 871-876Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Three-dimensional (3D) laser scanner models of human crania can be used for forensic facial reconstruction, and for obtaining craniometric data useful for estimating age, sex, and population affinity of unidentified human remains. However, the use of computer-generated measurements in a casework setting requires the measurement precision to be known. Here, we assess the repeatability and precision of cranial volume and surface area measurements using 3D laser scanner models created by different operators using different protocols for collecting and processing data. We report intraobserver measurement errors of 0.2% and interobserver errors of 2% of the total area and volume values, suggesting that observer-related errors do not pose major obstacles for sharing, combining, or comparing such measurements. Nevertheless, as no standardized procedure exists for area or volume measurements from 3D models, it is imperative to report the scanning and postscanning protocols employed when such measurements are conducted in a forensic setting.

  • 6. Thiblin, I. B.
    et al.
    Fugelstad, A. B.
    Leifman, A. G.
    Romelsjö, Anders
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Social Research on Alcohol and Drugs (SoRAD).
    Ågren, G. S.
    Sorimachi, Y.
    Relationships between the deinstitutionalization of health care for patients with mental disorder, substance abuse, and isolated death2004In: Journal of Forensic Sciences, ISSN 0022-1198, E-ISSN 1556-4029, Vol. 49, no 2, p. 354-360Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Isolated death (ID) (i.e., dying alone without anyone noticing for several days) has been suggested to be related to social isolation, mental disorder, and alcohol and/or drug abuse. A major transfer of patients with a mental disorder and/or alcohol and/or drug abuse from institutionalized care to treatment as outpatients has been enacted in Sweden during the past decade. On the basis of the assumption that such deinstitutionalization is likely to result in increased social isolation, our working hypothesis was that the incidence of ID among patients belonging to these categories has increased in Sweden. The present study involved all deaths subjected to a medicolegal examination in Stockholm County (with a population of approximately 1.9 million people) during the period 1992-2000. The pattern of ID (defined as cases involving a postmortem delay between death and discovery of at least 1 week), as well as the incidence of fatalities subjected to medicolegal examination with a record of mental disorder and/or alcohol and/or drug abuse was evaluated. Throughout this period, the proportion of the deceased with a record of a mental disorder was high among all the cases examined and higher still among the cases of ID, especially among those younger than 65 years of age. There was a rather limited increase in the incidence of ID and a much more pronounced increase in the number of former psychiatric patients whose deaths were subjected to medicolegal examination, but did not satisfy the criteria for ID. A record of alcohol and/or drug abuse was more common than a diagnosis of mental disorder among both the males and females who died at an age of less than 65, with a clear difference between the cases of ID and non-ID in the case of men. There was no significant increase in incidence over the course of this study. Thus, this study reveals a slight increase in the number of IDs and a more pronounced increase in the number of medicolegal examination of non-IDs of individuals with a record of a mental disorder.

  • 7.
    Wärmländer, Sebastian K. T. S.
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics. Linköping University, Sweden; Cotsen Institute of Archaeology, UCLA, USA.
    Varul, Liivi
    Koskinen, Juuso
    Saage, Ragnar
    Schlager, Stefan
    Estimating the Temperature of Heat-exposed Bone via Machine Learning Analysis of SCI Color Values: A Pilot Study2019In: Journal of Forensic Sciences, ISSN 0022-1198, E-ISSN 1556-4029, Vol. 64, no 1, p. 190-195Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Determining maximum heating temperatures of burnt bones is a long-standing problem in forensic science and archaeology. In this pilot study, controlled experiments were used to heat 14 fleshed and defleshed pig vertebrae (wet bones) and archaeological human vertebrae (dry bones) to temperatures of 400, 600, 800, and 1000 degrees C. Specular component included (SCI) color values were recorded from the bone surfaces with a Konica-Minolta cm-2600d spectrophotometer. These color values were regressed onto heating temperature, using both a traditional linear model and the k-nearest neighbor (k-NN) machine-learning algorithm. Mean absolute errors (MAE) were computed for 1000 rounds of temperature prediction. With the k-NN approach, the median MAE prediction errors were 41.6 degrees C for the entire sample, and 20.9 degrees C for the subsample of wet bones. These results indicate that spectrophotometric color measurements combined with machine learning methods can be a viable tool for estimating bone heating temperature.

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