Alternative Approach to Computerized Tomography in Forensic Article Review

Excerpt from Article Review :

alternative approach to Computerized Tomography in forensic pathology.

Thomsen, A.H., Jurik, A.G., Uhrenholt, A.G., Vesterby, A. (2009).

Journal: Forensic Science International.

Publication Information: 2008, 183, 87-90.

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The main purpose of this article is to see whether or not CT scans are necessary as a means of augmenting autopsies. The research question is: do the benefits of CT scans match the effort required to implement this technology? There is no hypothesis for this article; the authors were certainly non-partisan in their approach and assumptions. The sample was 20 dead bodies (including 15 males) with CT scans performed by the Department of Radiology at Aarhus University Hospital. I reviewed this article to ascertain the relevance of CT scans to forensic pathology.

Abstract: This article denotes the boons and the detriments associated with using CT scans as compared to, and augmenting the usage of conventional autopsies for forensic pathology. Original research is conducted on 20 dead bodies.

Analysis and Synthesis: The procedure utilized within this paper was to utilize CT scans to determine the cause of deaths and the particulars of the factors that killed an individual, and to compare those results with that of the formal autopsy conducted. The results showed that there are advantages and disadvantages to the utilization of CT scans for the purpose of identifying contributing factors to death. Drawbacks include a tendency of this procedure to overlook subtle details including basal skull fissures, minor bleeding, and pale organs. Advantages pertain to the fact that CT scans are an effective means of documenting information found in an autopsy, for the most part, and provide a concrete visual means for non-medical personnel to understand what happened to a dead person.

Implications: The principle implications of this research article are that there are several pragmatic realities associated with using CT scans for forensic evidence. These are intrinsically related to the cost for purchasing and operating one, as well as for training a technician to use one at a level of proficiency. The article makes a convincing case for the notion that there are some excellent boons associated with deploying CT scans for forensic evidence. Still, neither the authors of the article nor the author of this document recommends forsaking autopsies for CT scans. A more advantageous means of utilizing the latter technology is to supplement the former.

Molecular pathology of pulmonary edema in forensic autopsy cases with special regard to fatal hyperthermia and hypothermia.

Author(s): Wang, Q., Ishikawa, T., Michiue, T., Bao-Li, Z., Guan D., Maeda, H. .

Journal: Forensic Science International.

Publication Information: 2013, 228, 137-141.

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Introduction: The primary purpose of this article was to determine facets of the molecular pathology of alveolar damage related to pulmonary edema in regards to heatstroke or to cold exposure. The research question is: what effect do intrapulmonary gene expressions of MMP-2, MMP-9, ICAM-1, CLDN-5, AQP-1, and AQP-5 have on the molecular pathology of pulmonary edema related alveolar damage regarding cold exposure or heatstroke. The sample included 122 cadavers within 48 hours of the time of death; 42 of them were female. I selected this article to review because one of the challenges of forensic psychology is establishing aspects of a person's death in extreme temperatures.

Abstract: This article presents original research into the phenomenon of molecular pathology of the molecular pathology of alveolar damage related to pulmonary edema in regards to hyperthermia and hypothermia. The results of the article reveal that MMPs are useable to determine the difference in the cause of death between these two conditions.

Analysis and Synthesis: This study was conducted largely on the basis of analyzing the effects of intrapulmonary and immunohistochemical matrix metalloproteinases, in addition to aquaporins, intercellular adhesion molecule-1, and claudin-5. Although the people used to conduct this research had all died from various causes, the results of the study demonstrated that MMPs were the most efficacious in determining the two causes of death that interested the researchers. Specifically, MMP-9's were used to denote differences between heatstroke and cold exposure, whereas MMP-2s were only effective in cases of hyperthermia.

Implications: This study was very important because it largely suggests that advanced pulmonary alveolar damage in heatstroke can cause extreme pulmonary edema. However, this condition causes only circumscribed ECM damage in hypothermia, creating a less austere version of pulmonary edema. These ramifications allude to the fact that an examination of gene expressions via real-time PCR can readily assist forensic pathologists in the investigation of the cause of death of a person.

Forensic molecular pathology of violent deaths.

Author(s): Maeda, H., Zhu, B., Isikawa, T., Michiue, T.

Journal: Forensic Science International

Publication Information: 2010, 203, 83-92.

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Introduction: The main purpose of this article is to conduct a review of the literature and studies regarding the viability of molecular biology and molecular pathology to buttress conventional morphological evidence within the field of forensic pathology/psychology. There is no original research conducted within this article, which means that there is also no research question, hypotheses, or sample.

Abstract: This article reviews a number of contemporary pieces of literature and methods to determine what effect molecular biology and molecular pathology may have on assisting morphological evidence for forensic psychologists trying to determine the cause of deaths in individuals who perished violently. This article notes that analyses of mRNA transcripts after death involving various forms of molecular biology can yield insight into why victims died.

Analysis and Synthesis: Much of the material discussed within this document pertains to definitions of some key concepts in forensic pathology. However, these concepts are only valuable in the sense that they can assist with the conventional procedures of classical morphology to determine how victims died. These definitions pertain to the term molecular autopsy, which is essentially a means of determining the genetic causes for diseases that have contributed to a sudden death. Another definition is for the term advanced molecular autopsy, which is the ready application of the quantification of mRNA transcripts to molecular pathology. There are several different ways in which medical sciences can determine the genetic nature of diseases which include intoxication disorders, injury to tissue, and system wide responses to the environment and violence, among others. These perspectives help to validate the analysis of mRNA transcripts for determining the cause of deaths.

Implications: To the credit of the authors, they were extremely thorough in their examination of the literature and the current methodologies employed in augmenting classical morphology as a means of investigating the reasons an individual died. And, they make a very valid point by attesting to the ramifications of mRNA transcripts in providing supplemental information for autopsies. However, this article could have certainly benefited from original research and a study that denoted findings of the author's themselves. Hopefully, this literature review will serve as the impetus for someone to do just that.

Author(s): Madea, B., Saukko, P., Oliva, A., Musshoff, F.

Journal: Forensic Science International

Publication Information: 2010, 203, 3-14.

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Introduction: This article primary serves as an introduction to the myriad uses of molecular pathology within the field of forensic science. As such, there is no research question, hypothesis or sample. I selected this article for review because it elucidates -- quite lucidly -- many of the other concepts discussed within the other articles in this assignment. In this respect it functions as a general overview of the uses of molecular pathology

Abstract: This article provides general edification for researchers and theorists regarding the uses of molecular pathological techniques within the field of forensic science. It provides a number of cases from different parts of the world that function as illustrative examples of applications such as providing the cause of a person's death, identification, tissue identification, and a host of genetic applications including toxicogenetics and gene expression.

Analysis and Synthesis: This article is decidedly atypical as it does not function as neither a medium for the documentation of original research or as a literature review. It is more like the latter, in fact, in that it provides a number of examples of cases which illustrate the different applications of molecular pathological techniques. It is interesting that a number of these techniques are used in other disciplines outside of forensics, and that molecular pathology is merely a scion of molecular biology in general. However, due to the somewhat unusual formatting of this research article, there is no conclusion or even implications. However, the article was certainly informative and well written .The examples of the cases provided certainly helped to clarify the various uses for molecular pathology which the authors discussed. Each of the cases pertained to these five applications: drug response (toxicogenetics), gene expression as relevant to factors such as survival time, trauma response and wound age, manner of death, cause of death, and identification.

Implications: Again, this article did not have any formal implications or ramifications, since it merely served as a review of several of the different uses for molecular pathology. However, there were several points of interest about this unusual variety…

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