This book is an introduction to the application of biology in legal investigations. Fully revised and updated throughout, the second edition of this highly successful textbook offers an accessible overview to the essentials of the subject providing a balanced coverage of the range of organisms used as evidence in forensic investigations; invertebrates, vertebrates, plants and microbes.
The book provides an overview of the decay process and discusses the role of forensic indicators – human fluids and tissues, including blood cells, bloodstain pattern analysis, hair, teeth, bones, and wounds. It also examines the study of forensic biology in cases of suspicious death.
The coverage of molecular techniques has been expanded throughout with additional material on bioterrorism and wildlife forensics now included. The use of DNA and RNA for the identification of individuals and their personal characteristics is now covered along with a discussion of the ethical issues associated with the maintenance of DNA databases.
- Fully revised and updated new edition of this highly successful textbook.
- Includes self-assessment questions at the end of each chapter and case studies.
- Now in full colour throughout.
- Includes a supplementary website (www.wileyeurope.com/college/gunn) covering additional material and self-test questions to reinforce student understanding.
From the reviews of the first edition:
"The author does an excellent job of demonstrating how biological science can, and does, contribute to legal investigations..."
—THE QUARTERLY REVIEW OF BIOLOGY
"...a super book …not a book that will languish on library shelves. Buy it!"
—JOURNAL OF BIOLOGICAL EDUCATION
"...naturalists and biologists will find much of interest within these books…new light on the application of their own specialism..."
"Overall, I give it my highest recommendation. I was unable to find a single paragraph that was no fascinating, despite being sad or gruesome at times."
PART A: HUMAN REMAINS: DECAY, DNA, TISSUES AND FLUIDS
Chapter One: The decay, discovery and recovery of human bodies
The dead body
The stages of decomposition
Factors affecting the speed of decay
Discovery and recovery of human remains
Determining the age and provenance of skeletonized remains
Chapter Two: Body fluids and waste products
Blood cells and blood typing
Methods for detecting blood
Confirming the presence of blood
Bloodstain pattern analysis
Post mortem toxicological analysis of blood
Saliva and semen
Faeces and urine as forensic indicators
Chapter Three: Molecular biology
The structure of DNA
Polymerase chain reaction
Short tandem repeat markers
Single nucleotide polymorphism markers
Determination of ethnicity
Determination of physical appearance
Determination of personality traits
Mobile element insertion polymorphisms
Chapter Four: Human tissues
The outer body surface
Chapter Five: Wounds
Blunt force injuries
Sharp force traumas
Additional aspects of wound interpretation
Pathology associated with drug use
Burns and scalds
Ageing of wounds
Post mortem injuries
PART B: INVERTEBRATES AND VERTEBRATES
Chapter Six: Invertebrates 1: biological aspects
An introduction to invertebrate biology
Invertebrates as forensic indicators in cases of murder or suspicious death
Invertebrates as a cause of death
Invertebrates as forensic indicators in cases of neglect and animal welfare
The role of invertebrates in food spoilage and hygiene litigation
The illegal trade in invertebrates
Invertebrate identification techniques
Chapter Seven: Invertebrates 2: practical aspects
Calculating the PMI/time since infestation from invertebrate development rates
Complicating factors affecting earliest oviposition date calculations
Determination of the PMI using invertebrate species composition
Determination of the PMI using ectoparasites
Determination of movement from invertebrate evidence
Invertebrate evidence in cases of wound myiasis and neglect
Detection of drugs, toxins and other chemicals in invertebrates
Obtaining human/vertebrate DNA evidence from invertebrates
Determining the source and duration of invertebrate infestations of food products
Collecting invertebrates for forensic analysis
Killing and preserving techniques for invertebrates
Chapter Eight: Vertebrates
Vertebrate scavenging of human corpses
Vertebrates causing death and injury
Neglect and abuse of vertebrates
Vertebrates and drugs
Vertebrates and food hygiene
Illegal trade and killing of protected species of vertebrates
Identification of vertebrates
PART C: PROTISTS, FUNGI, PLANTS AND MICROBES
Chapter Nine: Protists, fungi and plants
Plant secondary metabolites as sources of drugs and poisons
Illegal trade in protected plant species
Chapter Ten: Bacteria and viruses
The role of microorganisms in the decomposition process
Microbial profiles as identification tools
Microbial infections and human behaviour
Microbial infections that can be mistaken for signs of criminal activity
The use of microorganisms in bioterrorism
- Includes a range of important key case studies new to this edition in which the difficulties of evaluating biological evidence are highlighted.
- Two new separate chapters on ‘The Forensic Examination of Human Tissues’ and ‘Forensic Examination of Wounds’ including new section on pathology of strangulation and drug addiction
- Now in full colour throughout
"If it is entomology you are interested in, this is the book for you." (Australian Biochemist, April 2010)
"Gunn presents an introductory textbook on the application of biological science in legal investigations." (Book News, September 2009)
"This book is a must go for anyone, who either wishes to pursue a career in Biological Forensic discipline or simply has a general interest and would like to develop a general understanding." (The Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences, May 2016)
- Each chapter includes self-assessment quizzes and a series of questions and topics for further study to enhance student understanding.
- Supported by a website covering forensic entomology and additional material that includes interactive MCQs to test student understanding and animations to reinforce key concepts explored within the text.
- Now in full colour throughout