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1.
Sci Justice ; 62(6): 676-690, 2022 Nov.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2042122

ABSTRACT

In 2013, the Forensic Science Undergraduate Program (FSUP) at the National Autonomous University of Mexico was created in response to an alarming criminal situation in Mexico, as well as to the radical reform of its criminal justice system. Its mission is to educate and train ethical, critical, and humanistic forensic scientists capable of conducting inquiries that meet scientific quality standards and assist the justice system in firmly linking legal rulings to the available evidence. At the time, it was the first such program in the country, and the contributions that interdisciplinary forensic scientists could make to criminal investigations were largely unknown among forensic and legal practitioners. During its existence, providing an interdisciplinary, competence-based education to students has been one of the main challenges. To overcome it, teaching and assessment approaches-centered on the achievement of specifically forensic competencies as learning outcomes and the integration of forensic disciplines towards the resolution of simulated cases-have been devised to help develop the professional skill set expected of graduates. The COVID-19 pandemic led to adapting these approaches to distance or hybrid modes of learning, increasing their versatility and enriching the pedagogic repertoire of the FSUP. Currently, the main impact of the program lies in the successful incorporation of some of its graduates to agencies belonging to or related to the criminal justice system, such as the National Prosecutor's Office, the Commission for Truth and Justice for the Ayotzinapa Case, and the National Commission for the Search of Missing and Disappeared Persons, among others.

2.
Archives of Disease in Childhood ; 107(Suppl 2):A293, 2022.
Article in English | ProQuest Central | ID: covidwho-2019884

ABSTRACT

988 Table 1ConclusionThere were less medicals carried out in 2020, likely a reflection of the reduction in face to face contact with health professionals. The pandemic heightened risk factors for abuse which our data appear to reflect. 26% of infants with concerns for NAI following JPFME had head injuries on imaging and 20% had occult fractures on skeletal survey. This is higher than the average yield expected for this age group described in the literature. These audit findings at a local level, support findings published by a large centre for Paediatric abusive head trauma in the UK in 2020.This audit further provides evidence to consider the risk of occult injuries and support the existence of policies and protocols with a low threshold for information sharing and investigation. This also highlights the importance of training those working with families with young babies to support parents with keeping their babies safe and reducing the risk of non-accidental head injuries in the form of standardised training packages for example.

3.
24th International Conference on Information and Communications Security, ICICS 2022 ; 13407 LNCS:608-621, 2022.
Article in English | Scopus | ID: covidwho-2013997

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to a dramatic increase in the use of face masks. Face masks can affect both the acoustic properties of the signal and the speech patterns and have undesirable effects on automatic speech recognition systems as well as on forensic speaker recognition and identification systems. This is because the masks introduce both intrinsic and extrinsic variability into the audio signals. Moreover, their filtering effect varies depending on the type of mask used. In this paper we explore the impact of the use of different masks on the performance of an automatic speaker recognition system based on Mel Frequency Cepstral Coefficients to characterise the voices and on Support Vector Machines to perform the classification task. The results show that masks slightly affect the classification results. The effects vary depending on the type of mask used, but not as expected, as the results with FPP2 masks are better than those with surgical masks. An increase in speech intensity has been found with the FPP2 mask, which is related to the increased vocal effort made to counteract the effects of hearing loss. © 2022, Springer Nature Switzerland AG.

4.
25th International Conference on Miniaturized Systems for Chemistry and Life Sciences, MicroTAS 2021 ; : 711-712, 2021.
Article in English | Scopus | ID: covidwho-2012173

ABSTRACT

The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has elevated the development of novel diagnostic solutions, including rapid nucleic acid amplification tests (NAATs), to a global priority to meet the high demand for accurate, timely viral detection and diagnosis. However, ubiquitously implemented NAATs, such as polymerase chain reaction (PCR), consume hours of testing. We report a field-forward instrument capable of ultra-fast real-time PCR for amplification-based nucleic acid detection in a custom-designed microfluidic chip. Prudent selection and unconventional positioning of thermal cyclers relative to the microfluidic chip and a fluorescent detector permit ultra-fast simultaneous amplification and detection, with 40 cycles complete in under 10 minutes. © 2021 MicroTAS 2021 - 25th International Conference on Miniaturized Systems for Chemistry and Life Sciences. All rights reserved.

5.
Mass Mediated Representations of Crime and Criminality ; 21:149-172, 2021.
Article in English | Web of Science | ID: covidwho-1995201

ABSTRACT

Purpose: The authors attempt to capture new forensic science students' preconceptions of the field and their assessment of competencies. Methodology: The authors surveyed students at a Historically Black College and University and a Primarily White Institution on their viewership of crime and forensic TV shows and measured their competencies in a range of forensic science skills at the start and end of the semester, along with having students capture errors and evidence from an episode of CSI Las Vegas. Findings: Students who were viewers of crime series with and without prior forensics coursework over evaluated their level of preparedness at the start of the semester, often ranking themselves as moderately or well prepared in blood spatter analysis, fingerprinting, bodily fluid, and hair/ fiber collection. Research limitations: The authors relied on a convenience sample of forensic science courses, and their comparison of student learning was disrupted by COVID-19. Originality: The authors examine student concerns with working at crime scenes and reflections on their abilities to succeed in the field. The authors discuss the need for incorporating media literacy, content warnings, and emotional socialization and professional development into forensic science curricula to better equip and prepare students for careers as crime scene investigators and forensic analysts.

7.
Med Sci Law ; : 258024221103700, 2022 Jun 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1874954

ABSTRACT

Temporal trends in epidemiological parameters of domestic homicide and femicide in Greece over the last decade have not yet been studied. We conducted this study to fulfill this purpose. Specifically, we conducted a retrospective epidemiological study using 11-year data from the official nationwide Hellenic Police Archives and statistically analyzed data regarding domestic homicide and femicide. Overall, 1370 records of homicides among which 236 domestic homicides were identified. The pattern emerging from the statistical results of the present study highlighted the phenomenon of femicide as the gravest current issue to be interpreted and addressed. Nationally, the average number of homicides was 114.2/year, among which 19.7 domestic homicides. However, in 2021, while a decrease was recorded in homicides in general to 89 incidents per year, domestic homicides skyrocketed to 34 cases, reaching the highest annual number ever nationally recorded. On average, domestic homicides account for 18.2% of all homicides in Greece. In 2021, however, this percentage rose to 38.2%. The number of male victims of domestic homicide has declined over the years, with a further decline in 2021, in stark contrast to the number of women escalating over time and even more sharply in 2021. The proportion of female victims of domestic homicides in Greece was fourfold higher on average. The fact that cases of domestic homicide and femicide have received a lot of media attention, the recent Greek financial crisis, as well as increased alcohol and drug consumption due to the COVID-19 pandemic constitute possible aggravating factors.

8.
Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Research ; 14(3):713-720, 2022.
Article in English | EMBASE | ID: covidwho-1848396

ABSTRACT

Salivary diagnostics is emerging as a propitious tool with a multitude of clinical applications. It has been into practice for centuries but has recently garnered scientific researchers and clinicians' interest due to its added benefits. In this review, we have emphasized the various components of saliva and its functionalities, an introduction to salivary diagnostics, and its application in the detection and prognosis of many ailments all around the globe. A segment about saliva's special uses in animals and its role in therapeutics and forensics has also been focused. With the continually evolving technologies and chemical equipment, several devices have been devised which are used in salivary diagnostics. The utilization of saliva and its biomarkers as a non-invasive diagnostic agent in several diseases, including malignancies, caries, novel coronavirus, psychological stress, diabetes, and much more, has been discussed.

9.
IEEE Sensors Journal ; 2022.
Article in English | Scopus | ID: covidwho-1846128

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has incurred huge loss to human lives throughout the world. Scientists, researchers, and doctors are trying their best to develop and distribute the COVID-19 vaccine throughout the world at the earliest. In current circumstances, different tracking systems are utilized to control or stop the spread of the virus till the whole population of the world gets vaccinated. To track and trace patients in COVID-19 like pandemics, various tracking systems based on different technologies are discussed and compared in this paper. These technologies include, cellular, cyber, satellite-based radio navigation and low range wireless technologies. The main aim of this paper is to conduct a comprehensive survey that can overview all such tracking systems, which are used in minimizing the spread of COVID-19 like pandemics. This paper also highlights the shortcoming of each tracking systems and suggests new mechanisms to overcome such limitations. In addition, the authors propose some futuristic approaches to track patients in prospective pandemics, based on artificial intelligence and big data analysis. Potential research directions, challenges, and the introduction of next-generation tracking systems for minimizing the spread of prospective pandemics, are also discussed at the end. IEEE

10.
Sci Justice ; 62(6): 740-748, 2022 Nov.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1815150

ABSTRACT

Forensic practice is the concluding practical course of the forensic science bachelor program at the School of Criminal Justice of the University of Lausanne. Learning activities are constructed around five main objectives for the resolution of simulated forensic case problems: 1) select relevant traces and items to be collected at the scene and perceive their potential value in the reconstruction process, 2) apply appropriate detection techniques in sequence to obtain clues of good quality, 3) process traces using Analysis, Comparison, Evaluation and Verification (ACE-V) methodology, 4) produce and summarise information in oral and written forms to help an investigation, and 5) work collaboratively to benefit from the diversity of group members. Simulating and supervising realistic activities is a complex task that became more and more challenging with a continuously increasing number of students over the years (from ca. 30 in 2016 to more than 60 in 2021). Thus, an educational innovation project was launched and aimed at implementing digital technologies to support the teaching staff. A computer-based crime scene simulation tool (allowing students to visualize 360° crime scenes and relevant items) and a communication tool (to simplify and centralise the communication between the students and the teaching staff) were implemented. This article describes the implementation, added value and limitations of these digital technologies in problem-based learning activities. Prior to 2020, the practical course forensic practice was delivered entirely on-site without specific technologies, and entirely on-line in 2020 (due to the sanitary restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic). Finally, in 2021, on-line and on-site activities were implemented with success, combining the best of both approaches in a blended teaching mode. An overall increase in the satisfaction of students and teaching staff was observed with the implementation of these tools. Limiting presence on-site allowed students to take a step back from the activities and collected items. This promoted critical thinking, and together with an increase in structured (on-line and on-site) interactions allowed for a positive, continuous learning experience. While the evaluations of these novel technologies were very positive, students still expressed their willingness to perform certain tasks on-site and a preference for face-to-face interactions.

11.
Sci Justice ; 62(6): 721-734, 2022 Nov.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1805111

ABSTRACT

As the COVID-19 pandemic upended college and university instruction throughout the world, instructors were hard-pressed to find suitable alternatives for practical activities typically carried out outside of classrooms-in laboratories, workshops, clinics, and in the field. In response to this unanticipated challenge, they relied on their ingenuity to achieve pre-pandemic goals under pandemic conditions that necessitated the shift to online teaching. The Forensic Science Undergraduate Program housed in the School of Medicine of the National Autonomous University of Mexico was not exempt from this educational upheaval but, due to its interdisciplinary nature, required creating and/or adopting a wide range of activities capable of training students to perform practical tasks associated with subject areas that span the natural and social sciences, the humanities, and the law. This report aims to describe the approaches undertaken in three subjects (Forensic Entomology, Forensic Anthropology, and Hematology & Serology) by interviewing instructors and examining their teaching materials. Also, through online surveys, students' reactions to these approaches were elicited to learn about their suitability and teaching potential. Instructor's experiences during the pandemic have proven to be a rich source of ingenious solutions, with implications well-beyond the current crisis, such as creating blended or fully online courses aimed at larger numbers of students, forensic and legal professionals, and even other instructors. The wide variety of forensic sciences offers the opportunity to innovate and improve the teaching and learning of science, particularly to the benefit of students that must combine their school tasks with professional and/or family duties.

12.
Arab Journal of Forensic Sciences and Forensic Medicine ; 3(2):315-330, 2021.
Article in English | Scopus | ID: covidwho-1709429

ABSTRACT

Many investigations have confirmed the link between a substance use disorder (SUD) and the COVID-19 pan-demic's increased risk of infection and consequences. This narrative review aims to understand these issues from a pharmacological standpoint, as well as the pan-demic's impact on forensic medicine. Research and review articles included in this review were selected through an extensive search of databases such as PubMed and the use of appropriate keywords e.g. “substance use disorder” and “COVID-19”. Due to a weakened immune system and degeneration of the respiratory system's defense systems, SUDs have been shown to increase the risk of COVID-19 infection. Furthermore, some substances raise pro-inflammatory mediators, exposing the body to a cytokine storm. SUD frequently causes secondary comorbidities, such as the liver, lung and cardiovascular disease, complicating the treatment of COVID-19 infections. Some misused substances can compromise the treatment's effectiveness or safety. This study also looked at the effects of the pandem-ic on forensic medicine. It underlines the importance of developing safe forensic examination procedures and methodologies during pandemics. The use of narcotic substances was documented as one of the reasons for the increase in the frequency of COVID-19 and the sever-ity of its repercussions. © 2021. AJFSFM.

13.
J Forensic Sci ; 67(4): 1513-1533, 2022 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1702668

ABSTRACT

While the COVID-19 virus remolded the routines of the establishments, remote collaboration and distant communication gained more popularity. As the way electronic communications are handled changes drastically, new applications and storage mechanisms are introduced. Microsoft Teams is an application offered within the scope of Microsoft Office 365 that offers services for hosting virtual meetings, team communication, and comprehensive team resource management. It is prevalently used by organizations and indicates a great potential to be a source of digital forensic investigations. This paper scrutinizes the artifacts created by Microsoft Teams in IndexedDB persistent storage. IndexedDB is a fast-growing client-side storage technology that is relatively new as a source for digital forensic investigations. A single-case pretest-posttest quasi experiment was conducted to produce artifacts in Microsoft Teams IndexedDB storage. The artifacts were extracted without user credentials indicating security flaws in the application. Extracted artifacts were processed based on signature patterns and evaluated for their significance. Traditional database queries were utilized to link and present the information clustered according to their relevancy. A time-frame analysis was constructed to display information in a suitable format for investigators. The results indicate that Microsoft Teams IndexedDB storage artifacts contain significant potential for digital investigations with extraction of complete contents of private chat messages, voice mails, and team extensions with efficient time-frame analysis.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Communication , Databases, Factual , Humans
14.
American Journal of Public Health ; 112:S39-S41, 2022.
Article in English | ProQuest Central | ID: covidwho-1695781

ABSTRACT

For most decedents, the COD is determined by the attending physician or nurse;however, death investigations are required for cases in which the COD is sudden or unexpected, is not of natural causes, is unattended, or is unexplained.2 Therefore, coroners and medical examiners are typically the authorized certifiers of death in cases involving overdose.3 In this issue of AJPH (p. S36), Merlin et al. provide a timely analysis of overdose surveillance in the health care settings, where deaths may be miscategorized by attending physicians for decedents with underlying illness. According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data, of the 28 states with county coroners, 22 states do not have a state medical examiner, and half do not require the coroner position to be held by a medical professional or an individual with certified credentials to conduct autopsies, such as pathology, toxicology, and forensic medicine.4 The accuracy of COD related to drugs is higher for medical examiners than for coroners. [...]the specific drug was not listed for 38% of death certificates in states with decentralized county coroner systems, compared with 8% in states with a statewide medical examiner system, leading to underestimates for death rates.3 Even in situations where medical examiners are present, death investigations continue to be substantially underfunded and threaten the accuracy of COD data. COD determination exists within a broader context of institutional racism and racial bias in clinical policy and practice.11 Genomic research has unequivocally determined that race is not a biological categorization;yet, erroneous beliefs persist in the medical community about biological differences between Black and White individuals.12 These biases are associated with clinical recommendations and how services are delivered.13 Recognizing signs that overdose may have occurred is also limited by the lack of foundational training provided by medical institutions for substance use disorder, despite its being a leading COD for unintentional injury.

15.
Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews. Forensic Science ; 4(1), 2022.
Article in English | ProQuest Central | ID: covidwho-1620195

ABSTRACT

Video conferencing tool Zoom has boomed during this COVID pandemic situation. Although Zoom has been very useful for facilitating work‐from‐home and study‐from‐home arrangements, its misuse can result in cybercrime cases. The world has already seen the adverse effect of a Zoom‐related cybercrime, Zoombombing. In this article, we discuss how Zoom can also be misused for launching real‐time cybercrime, such as piracy and real‐time pornography. The end‐to‐end encryption proposed to be used by Zoom can further complicate these cybercrime issues. The existing mechanisms may not be sufficient in dealing with these real‐time issues. New mechanisms need to be found.This article is categorized under:Digital and Multimedia Science > Multimedia Forensics

16.
European Heart Journal ; 42(SUPPL 1):2410, 2021.
Article in English | EMBASE | ID: covidwho-1554463

ABSTRACT

Background: Various studies suggest a decrease of hospital admissions for acute coronary syndromes (ACS) during COVID-19 outbreak, implying an increase in ACS related pre-hospital-care deaths as a cause of this phenomenon. Purpose: Aim of this study was to investigate the impact of social containment measures on ACS admission and acute coronary deaths (ACDs) rates in Greece, during COVID-19 first pandemic wave in 2020. Methods: Data for this analysis were retrieved by the official records of University Forensic and Cardiology Departments and the Forensic Science Services of the most crowded metropolitan areas of Greece (almost 25% of the entire Greek population ≈ 2.5 million people). The study period was defined as the time between March 15 2020, when the Greek state started to implement strict lock-down measures to contain COVID-19 pandemics, until April 14 2020. To compare admission and SCD rates, a corresponding control period a year earlier was chosen. Incidence rates (IRs) (events over days) of ACSs and ACDs in each time-period were assessed along with IRs ratios (IRRs) and 95% CI intervals. Secondary analysis for nonischemic cardiovascular deaths (CVDs) or violent deaths (VDs) (including road traffic accident deaths) was also performed. Results: There has been a relative 38.9% reduction in ACS admissions in 2020 [1.8, 95% CI (1.35-2.34) in 2019 vs 1.1, 95% CI (0.76-1.54) in 2020, p=0.02], concordant with a 66% relative reduction of total admissions (p<0.005). Overall, 171 deaths in 2020 vs 208 in 2019 were referred for autopsies in the enrolled forensic departments. Gender and age distribution were not significantly different between case and control periods. There were no statistically significant differences in the frequency of deaths between the two periods examined, with the exception of deaths secondary to road traffic accidents [IR 0.13, 95% CI (0.04-0.34) in 2020 vs 0.67, 95% CI (0.41-1.03) in 2019, p=0.001] and CVDs [IR 0.43, 95% CI (0.23-0.74) in 2020 vs 1.03, 95% CI (0.70-1.47) in 2019, p=0.007] which significantly decreased during COVID-19 pandemic wave. Absolute numbers, percentile changes and IRs are demonstrated in Figure 1 and Table 1. Conclusions: Our analysis offers evidence over a significant decrease in ACS-related hospitalization rates during COVID-19 first pandemic wave. This decrease is not linked to an increase in pre-hospital, autopsy defined ACDs, as previously thought, implying that many ACS patients may not ask for help on time due to infection fear, being prone however to lateonset complications. Pre-hospital triage and care services, should be appropriately transformed to facilitate and speed-up access of cardiovascular patients to health-care systems during the pandemic. (Figure Presented).

17.
Forensic Sci Int ; 327: 110941, 2021 Oct.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1427935

ABSTRACT

This work proposes a formalized model, grounded in forensic science, to support a unified understanding of the Trace across scientific disciplines. The model is precisely defined in mathematical terms that reflect the dynamics of an offense as expressed in Locard's Exchange principle. Specifically, this mathematical approach represents the Trace as the modification of a Scene, subsequently perceptible, resulting from the Event under investigation. Examples are provided to illustrate how this conceptualization applies to forensic science, including DNA and digital evidence. Broader implications of this model are presented in the context of COVID-19, emphasizing the value of cohesive scientific study of the Trace. The aim of this work is to stimulate more formalized study of the Trace, both from tangible and abstract perspectives, and to strengthen forensic science as a whole.

18.
Int J Legal Med ; 136(1): 209-217, 2022 Jan.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1321741

ABSTRACT

The global Covid-19 pandemic has forced forensic dentists to improve infection control methods. This search investigated the practical utilization of different 3D scanners to record and to analyze bite marks in the skin- and inanimate objects with this aim in mind. A systematic review of the literature using keywords like "human bite mark", "bite mark analyzes", "3D analyzes", "3D scanning", "forensic odontology", and "forensic dentistry" was performed in three scientific databases: MEDLINEOvid®, Pubmed® and Google Scholar. The initial search yielded 263 full-text articles, of which 15 were considered eligible and current within the last 10 years. 3D scanners and computer-assisted human bite mark analyzes showed potential advantages and can be effectively used in forensic odontology on skin and inanimate objects. These technologies minimize the number of people being exposed to pathogens, simplify the chain of evidence, facilitate immediate information exchange between the team members and enable the virtual presentation of the expert witnesses in a court of law.


Subject(s)
Bites, Human , Forensic Dentistry , Image Processing, Computer-Assisted , Bites, Human/diagnostic imaging , COVID-19 , Computers , Forensic Dentistry/methods , Humans , Infection Control , Pandemics
19.
Forensic Sci Int Synerg ; 3: 100153, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1265671

ABSTRACT

The year 2020 brought the COVID-19 pandemic, and increased focus on American racial injustice and victims' rights, spurring a reimagining of law enforcement and justice services. As forensic laboratories serve investigation and justice with objective data to drive investigations, prosecutions, and exonerations, it is worthwhile to also reimagine forensic science service. With comparators of cost and quality relatively fixed to the consumers of forensic service, service in the form of timeliness of turn-around-time is the main competitive measure of effectiveness. A total backlog can be defined as all cases submitted to the forensic laboratory where a report has not yet been issued. Within a total backlog are the in-analysis backlog and the awaiting start of analysis backlog. By eliminating the awaiting analysis backlog, analysis could begin immediately upon submission. This would provide analysis in as short a time as technology permitted, optimizing the value of forensic laboratory service.

20.
Diagnostics (Basel) ; 10(8)2020 Aug 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-854079

ABSTRACT

(1) Background: The current outbreak of COVID-19 infection is an ongoing challenge and a major threat to public health that requires surveillance, prompt diagnosis, as well as research efforts to understand the viral pathogenesis. Despite this, to date, very few studies have been performed concerning autoptic specimens. Therefore, this study aimed: (i) to reiterate the importance of the autoptic examination, the only method able to precisely define the cause of death; (ii) to provide a complete post-mortem histological and immunohistochemical investigation pattern capable of diagnosing death from COVID-19 infection. (2) Methods: In this paper, the lung examination of two subjects who died from COVID-19 are discussed, comparing the obtained data with those of the control, a newborn who died from pneumonia in the same pandemic period. (3) Results: The results of the present study suggest that COVID-19 infection can cause different forms of acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), due to diffuse alveolar damage and diffuse endothelial damage. Nevertheless, different patterns of cellular and cytokine expression are associated with anti-COVID-19 antibody positivity, compared to the control case. Moreover, in both case studies, it is interesting to note that COVID-19, ACE2 and FVIII positivity was detected in the same fields. (4) Conclusions: COVID-19 infection has been initially classified as exclusively interstitial pneumonia with varying degrees of severity. Subsequently, vascular biomarkers showed that it can also be considered a vascular disease. The data on Factor VIII discussed in this paper, although preliminary and limited in number, seem to suggest that the thrombogenicity of Sars-CoV2 infection might be linked to widespread endothelial damage. In this way, it would be very important to investigate the pro-coagulative substrate both in all subjects who died and in COVID-19 survivors. This is because it may be hypothesized that the different patterns with which the pathology is expressed could depend on different individual susceptibility to infection or a different personal genetic-clinical background. In light of these findings, it would be important to perform more post-mortem investigations in order to clarify all aspects of the vascular hypothesis in the COVID-19 infection.

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