forensic sciences


Summary: Disciplines that apply sciences to law. Forensic sciences include a wide range of disciplines, such as FORENSIC TOXICOLOGY; FORENSIC ANTHROPOLOGY; FORENSIC MEDICINE; FORENSIC DENTISTRY; and others.

Top Publications

  1. Harvey M, Mansell M, Villet M, Dadour I. Molecular identification of some forensically important blowflies of southern Africa and Australia. Med Vet Entomol. 2003;17:363-9 pubmed
    ..This region therefore appears to provide southern African forensic entomologists with a new technique for providing accurate identification for application to estimation of PMI. ..
  2. Horenstein M, Linhares A, De Ferradas B, Garcia D. Decomposition and dipteran succession in pig carrion in central Argentina: ecological aspects and their importance in forensic science. Med Vet Entomol. 2010;24:16-25 pubmed publisher
    ..Other species, such as Musca domestica L. and Ophyra aenescens (Wiedemann), were also considered to represent potential forensic indicators. ..
  3. Alkass K, Buchholz B, Ohtani S, Yamamoto T, Druid H, Spalding K. Age estimation in forensic sciences: application of combined aspartic acid racemization and radiocarbon analysis. Mol Cell Proteomics. 2010;9:1022-30 pubmed publisher
    ..We show how these methods in combination can also assist in the estimation of date of death of an unidentified victim. This strategy can be of significant assistance in forensic casework involving dead victim identification. ..
  4. Williams R, Johnson P. 'Wonderment and dread': representations of DNA in ethical disputes about forensic DNA databases. New Genet Soc. 2004;23:205-23 pubmed
    ..It is argued that key ideas about DNA have become central to everyday assertions about the benefits and dangers of this forensic technology. ..
  5. Alvarez M, Ballantyne J. The identification of newborns using messenger RNA profiling analysis. Anal Biochem. 2006;357:21-34 pubmed
    ..The results indicate that the assays provide the ability to determine whether a bloodstain originated from a newborn. ..
  6. Ossorio P, Duster T. Race and genetics: controversies in biomedical, behavioral, and forensic sciences. Am Psychol. 2005;60:115-28 pubmed
    ..If genetic studies of criminalized behavior use forensic DNA databanks or forensic genetic profiles, they will be confounded by the many racial biases of the law enforcement and penal system. ..
  7. Leung S. The International Forensic Summit: vision and mission. Forensic Sci Int. 2006;162:2-5 pubmed
  8. Tagliaro F, Bortolotti F. Recent advances in the applications of CE to forensic sciences (2005-2007). Electrophoresis. 2008;29:260-8 pubmed
  9. Budowle B, Eisenberg A, van Daal A. Validity of low copy number typing and applications to forensic science. Croat Med J. 2009;50:207-17 pubmed

More Information


  1. Budowle B, Bottrell M, Bunch S, Fram R, Harrison D, Meagher S, et al. A perspective on errors, bias, and interpretation in the forensic sciences and direction for continuing advancement. J Forensic Sci. 2009;54:798-809 pubmed publisher
    The forensic sciences are under review more so than ever before. Such review is necessary and healthy and should be a continuous process. It identifies areas for improvement in quality practices and services...
  2. Amendt J, Campobasso C, Gaudry E, Reiter C, LeBlanc H, Hall M. Best practice in forensic entomology--standards and guidelines. Int J Legal Med. 2007;121:90-104 pubmed
  3. Ran X, Wang Z, Zhang Z, Pu F, Ren J, Qu X. Nucleic-acid-programmed Ag-nanoclusters as a generic platform for visualization of latent fingerprints and exogenous substances. Chem Commun (Camb). 2016;52:557-60 pubmed publisher
    ..Multi-color images for simultaneous visualization of fingerprints and exogenous components were successfully obtained. A quantitative detection strategy for exogenous substances in fingerprints was also established. ..
  4. Edelman G, Hoveling R, Roos M, van Leeuwen T, Aalders M. Infrared imaging of the crime scene: possibilities and pitfalls. J Forensic Sci. 2013;58:1156-62 pubmed publisher
    ..When introduced in forensic casework, infrared imaging can help investigators to detect, to visualize, and to identify useful evidence nondestructively. ..
  5. Cosbey S, Peters K, Quinn A, Bentley A. Mephedrone (methylmethcathinone) in toxicology casework: a Northern Ireland perspective. J Anal Toxicol. 2013;37:74-82 pubmed publisher
    ..21, median 0.10). The casework evidence in this study indicated that recreational use of the drug can produce to blood levels as high as 0.74 mg/L, although the most common value encountered is likely to lie between 0.2 and 0.3 mg/L. ..
  6. Kreuzer H, West J, Ehleringer J. Forensic applications of light-element stable isotope ratios of Ricinus communis seeds and ricin preparations. J Forensic Sci. 2013;58 Suppl 1:S43-51 pubmed publisher
    ..Further, stable isotope ratios distinguished >99% of crude and purified ricin protein samples in pairwise comparison tests. Stable isotope ratios therefore constitute a valuable forensic signature for ricin preparations. ..
  7. Cordner S, Woodford N, Bassed R. Forensic aspects of the 2009 Victorian Bushfires Disaster. Forensic Sci Int. 2011;205:2-7 pubmed publisher
    ..This paper outlines the scale of the disaster and the work, from a forensic medical perspective, to identify the deceased. ..
  8. Flores M, Crippen T, Longnecker M, Tomberlin J. Nonconsumptive Effects of Predatory Chrysomya rufifacies (Diptera: Calliphoridae) Larval Cues on Larval Cochliomyia macellaria (Diptera: Calliphoridae) Growth and Development. J Med Entomol. 2017;54:1167-1174 pubmed publisher
    ..Understanding the impact of associated ES produced by interspecific cohorts on associated development could lead to more precise estimates of the minimum postmortem interval for forensic investigation of decomposing remains. ..
  9. Rivers D, Thompson C, Brogan R. Physiological trade-offs of forming maggot masses by necrophagous flies on vertebrate carrion. Bull Entomol Res. 2011;101:599-611 pubmed publisher
  10. Webb Robertson B, Corley C, McCue L, Wahl K, Kreuzer H. Fusion of laboratory and textual data for investigative bioforensics. Forensic Sci Int. 2013;226:118-24 pubmed publisher
    ..This is the first example of an automated methodology to integrate experimental and textual data for the purpose of investigative forensics. ..
  11. Roberts P. Renegotiating forensic cultures: between law, science and criminal justice. Stud Hist Philos Biol Biomed Sci. 2013;44:47-59 pubmed publisher
    ..Fruitful interdisciplinary collaboration between scholars with a shared interest in forensic science should dispense with reductive cultural stereotypes of Science and Law. ..
  12. Voss S, Spafford H, Dadour I. Hymenopteran parasitoids of forensic importance: host associations, seasonality, and prevalence of parasitoids of carrion flies in Western Australia. J Med Entomol. 2009;46:1210-9 pubmed
    ..zealandicus and N. vitripennis parasitizing the dipteran species Calliphora albifrontalis Malloch (Calliphoridae), Calliphora dubia Macquart (Calliphoridae), and Hydrotaea rostrata Robineau-Desvoidy (Muscidae). ..
  13. Scheflin A. How not to conduct a forensic hypnosis interview: a case study. Am J Clin Hypn. 2012;55:68-84 pubmed
    ..This article examines the many errors committed by the hypnosis specialist, and the subsequent legal proceedings which altered the verdict. ..
  14. Olds W, Sundarajoo S, Selby M, Cletus B, Fredericks P, Izake E. Noninvasive, quantitative analysis of drug mixtures in containers using spatially offset Raman spectroscopy (SORS) and multivariate statistical analysis. Appl Spectrosc. 2012;66:530-7 pubmed publisher
  15. Hookano R, Knight L, Brunelli R, Stoppacher R. Applications of social network media in medicolegal death investigation. J Forensic Sci. 2013;58:1628-32 pubmed publisher
    ..Potential pitfalls were identified, such as shared accounts or online impostors. SNS proved useful to the medicolegal death investigator and medical examiner, so long as their limitations were recognized. ..
  16. Bossers L, Roux C, Bell M, McDonagh A. Methods for the enhancement of fingermarks in blood. Forensic Sci Int. 2011;210:1-11 pubmed publisher
  17. Henion J, Oliveira R, Chace D. Microsample analyses via DBS: challenges and opportunities. Bioanalysis. 2013;5:2547-65 pubmed publisher
    ..This review discusses the basis for why DBS techniques are likely to be part of the future, as well as offering insights into where these benefits may be realized. ..
  18. Schneiders S, Holdermann T, Dahlenburg R. Comparative analysis of 1-phenyl-2-propanone (P2P), an amphetamine-type stimulant precursor, using stable isotope ratio mass spectrometry: presented in part as a poster at the 2nd meeting of the Joint European Stable Isotope User Meeting (JESIUM), Gi. Sci Justice. 2009;49:94-101 pubmed publisher
    ..The results show that IRMS provides a high potential in differentiating between precursors from different manufacturers for the clandestine production of ATS and identifying corresponding sources. ..
  19. Velásquez Y, Viloria A. Instar determination of the neotropical beetle Oxelytrum discicolle (Coleoptera: Silphidae). J Med Entomol. 2010;47:723-6 pubmed
    ..Distance between dorsal stemmata and pronotal width were good discriminating variables to determine instars, whereas total length was widely variable. For each instar, intervals of three morphological measures are given. ..
  20. Rosa T, Babata M, De Souza C, De Sousa D, de Mello Patiu C, Mendes J. [Dipterans of forensic interest in two vegetation profiles of cerrado in Uberlândia, State of Minas Gerais, Brazil]. Neotrop Entomol. 2009;38:859-66 pubmed
    ..Muscidae), Fannia pusio(Wiedemann), Fannia sp. (Fanniidae), Hermetia illuscens L. (Stratiomyidae) and Phoridae sp. The Cerrado of this region presents many dipterans potential forensic indicators. ..
  21. Clark M. Toolmark identification of a mattock to a clod of soil from a grave. J Forensic Sci. 2011;56:241-3 pubmed publisher
    ..Shovels and a mattock, which had been discarded by the suspects, were subsequently found at another location. A toolmark comparison identified the hoe end of the mattock head as having produced the striated toolmark. ..
  22. Song Y, Gyarmati P, Araújo A, Lundeberg J, Brumer H, Ståhl P. Visual detection of DNA on paper chips. Anal Chem. 2014;86:1575-82 pubmed publisher
    ..Coupling micrometer-sized beads to DNA allows the results to be visualized by the naked eye, enabling instant, cost-efficient, and on-site detection, while eliminating the need for advanced expensive instrumentation. ..
  23. Johnson D, Peterson J, Sommers I, Baskin D. Use of forensic science in investigating crimes of sexual violence: contrasting its theoretical potential with empirical realities. Violence Against Women. 2012;18:193-222 pubmed publisher
    ..The article closes with a discussion of research and policy recommendations to enhance the role played by forensic science evidence in sexual assault investigations. ..
  24. García Castillo Z, Graue Wiechers E, Durante Montiel I, Herrera Saint Leu P. [The undergraduate program in forensic science: a national challenge]. Gac Med Mex. 2014;150:108-14 pubmed
    ..This is focused on contributing to the national demand that the justice system has more elements to procure and administer justice in dealing with crime. ..
  25. Canter D, Hammond L, Youngs D. Cognitive bias in line-up identifications: the impact of administrator knowledge. Sci Justice. 2013;53:83-8 pubmed publisher
    ..These findings, taken together with related studies, support the recommendation that all forensic analyses are made 'double-blind'-a method that has proven to be effective in reducing such effects within the social sciences. ..
  26. Al Musa Alkahtani A. The influence of right or left handedness on the ability to simulate handwritten signatures and some elements of signatures: a study of Arabic writers. Sci Justice. 2013;53:159-65 pubmed publisher
    ..The operation of these four tendencies would account quite well for the right-handed and left-handed patterns in the two groups. ..
  27. Francese S, Bradshaw R, Ferguson L, Wolstenholme R, Clench M, Bleay S. Beyond the ridge pattern: multi-informative analysis of latent fingermarks by MALDI mass spectrometry. Analyst. 2013;138:4215-28 pubmed publisher
    ..Here, a review on the pioneering use and development of MALDI MSI for the analysis of latent fingermarks is presented along with the latest achievements on the forensic intelligence retrievable. ..
  28. Marks V, Wark G. Forensic aspects of insulin. Diabetes Res Clin Pract. 2013;101:248-54 pubmed publisher
  29. Lewis A, Benbow M. When entomological evidence crawls away: Phormia regina en masse larval dispersal. J Med Entomol. 2011;48:1112-9 pubmed
  30. Luther F. Scientific misconduct: tip of an iceberg or the elephant in the room?. J Dent Res. 2010;89:1364-7 pubmed publisher
  31. Neumann C, Ramotowski R, Genessay T. Forensic examination of ink by high-performance thin layer chromatography--the United States Secret Service Digital Ink Library. J Chromatogr A. 2011;1218:2793-811 pubmed publisher
    ..The successful implementation of this new calibration method enabled the development of mathematical algorithms and of a software package to complement the existing ink library. ..
  32. Singh P, Purkait R. Observations of external ear--an Indian study. Homo. 2009;60:461-72 pubmed publisher
    ..Somatoscopy of external ear acts as an aid to surgeons while reconstructing deformed ears and also helps physicians in detecting anomalies, for example, Edward's, cleft lip/cleft palate syndromes. ..
  33. Ruffell A. Forensic pedology, forensic geology, forensic geoscience, geoforensics and soil forensics. Forensic Sci Int. 2010;202:9-12 pubmed publisher
    ..The issue of where forensic biology and microbiology sits with these uses of Earth evidence is considered. ..
  34. Wolstenholme R, Bradshaw R, Clench M, Francese S. Study of latent fingermarks by matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionisation mass spectrometry imaging of endogenous lipids. Rapid Commun Mass Spectrom. 2009;23:3031-9 pubmed publisher
    ..The feasibility of using MALDI-MSI in fingermark ageing studies is also demonstrated along with the potential to be integrated into routine fingermark forensic analysis. ..
  35. Davis J, Maigut A, Jolliffe D, Gibson S, Solomon C. Holistic Facial Composite Creation and Subsequent Video Line-up Eyewitness Identification Paradigm. J Vis Exp. 2015;:e53298 pubmed publisher
  36. Cole S. Forensic culture as epistemic culture: the sociology of forensic science. Stud Hist Philos Biol Biomed Sci. 2013;44:36-46 pubmed publisher
    ..Faithful sociological analysis of 'forensic culture' will be a necessary prerequisite for the kind of culture change prescribed by external reformist bodies like the NAS. ..
  37. Tregar K, Proni G. A review of forensic science higher education programs in the United States: bachelor's and master's degrees. J Forensic Sci. 2010;55:1488-93 pubmed publisher
  38. Swider C, Maguire K, Rickenbach M, Montgomery M, Ducote M, Marhefka C. Trace detection of meglumine and diatrizoate from Bacillus spore samples using liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry. J Forensic Sci. 2012;57:923-31 pubmed publisher
    ..anthracis spores during method development and validation. This protocol was successfully applied to limited evidentiary B. anthracis spore material, providing probative information to the investigators. ..
  39. Lucena Molina J, Pardo Iranzo V, Gonzalez Rodriguez J. Weakening forensic science in Spain: from expert evidence to documentary evidence. J Forensic Sci. 2012;57:952-63 pubmed publisher
    ..Although the reform is in compliance with the Spanish Constitution, it is at odds with science, in particular regarding the logic underpinning the scientific evaluation of evidence. ..
  40. Farrugia K, Savage K, Bandey H, Ciuksza T, Nic Daéid N. Chemical enhancement of footwear impressions in blood on fabric - part 2: peroxidase reagents. Sci Justice. 2011;51:110-21 pubmed publisher
    ..Luminol was the only technique to enhance footwear impressions made in blood on all the fabrics investigated in this study. ..
  41. Falk E, Landsverk E, Mosqueda L, Olsen B, Schneider D, Bernatz S, et al. Geriatricians and psychologists: essential ingredients in the evaluation of elder abuse and neglect. J Elder Abuse Negl. 2010;22:281-90 pubmed publisher
    ..These clinical teams emphasize the importance of conducting home visits and functional assessments, working with interdisciplinary team members, and providing expert testimony. ..
  42. Correa R, Moura D, Leivas F, Almeida L. Operclipygus hospes (Lewis) (Coleoptera, Histeridae): a beetle of potential forensic importance for buried bodies. Neotrop Entomol. 2012;41:254-6 pubmed publisher
    ..To assist in the recognition and the use of this species in forensic entomology, diagnosis and illustrations of the main characters of the genus and species are provided. ..
  43. Ribaux O, Baylon A, Lock E, Delémont O, Roux C, Zingg C, et al. Intelligence-led crime scene processing. Part II: Intelligence and crime scene examination. Forensic Sci Int. 2010;199:63-71 pubmed publisher
    ..It also opens new perspective for forensic science and crime scene investigation, by the proposal to follow other directions than the traditional path suggested by dominant movements in these fields. ..
  44. Ogden R. Forensic science, genetics and wildlife biology: getting the right mix for a wildlife DNA forensics lab. Forensic Sci Med Pathol. 2010;6:172-9 pubmed publisher
    ..It includes a discussion of various models for operating individual laboratories as well as options for organizing forensic testing at higher national and international levels. ..
  45. Peschel O, Kunz S, Rothschild M, Mützel E. Blood stain pattern analysis. Forensic Sci Med Pathol. 2011;7:257-70 pubmed publisher
    ..A BPA working group has been established within the German Society of Legal Medicine aiming to put the knowledge and practical applications of this subdiscipline of forensic science on a wider basis. ..
  46. Barron L, Gilchrist E. Ion chromatography-mass spectrometry: a review of recent technologies and applications in forensic and environmental explosives analysis. Anal Chim Acta. 2014;806:27-54 pubmed publisher
    ..Finally, some promising areas for future research are highlighted and discussed with respect to potential IC-MS applications. ..
  47. Moran J, Ehrhardt C, Wahl J, Kreuzer H, Wahl K. Integration of stable isotope and trace contaminant concentration for enhanced forensic acetone discrimination. Talanta. 2013;116:866-9 pubmed publisher
    ..The data presented here demonstrates the power of combining orthogonal data sets to enhance sample fingerprinting and highlights the role disparate data could play in future forensic investigations. ..
  48. Marquis R, Bozza S, Schmittbuhl M, Taroni F. Handwriting evidence evaluation based on the shape of characters: application of multivariate likelihood ratios. J Forensic Sci. 2011;56 Suppl 1:S238-42 pubmed publisher
    ..This original Bayesian methodology provides a coherent and rigorous tool for the assessment of handwriting evidence, contributing undoubtedly to integrate the field of handwriting examination into science. ..
  49. Tagliaro F, Pascali J, Fanigliulo A, Bortolotti F. Recent advances in the application of CE to forensic sciences: a update over years 2007-2009. Electrophoresis. 2010;31:251-9 pubmed publisher
    This article reviews and comments the applications of CE to forensic sciences covering the short period from 2007 until the first months of 2009, being the latest update of two previous review papers covering the years from 2001 to 2004 ..
  50. Huang M, Cheng S, Cho Y, Shiea J. Ambient ionization mass spectrometry: a tutorial. Anal Chim Acta. 2011;702:1-15 pubmed publisher
    ..We describe and compare the underlying principles of operation, ionization processes, detecting mass ranges, sensitivity, and representative applications of these techniques. ..
  51. Roscher J, Posch T, Pütz M, Huhn C. Forensic analysis of mesembrine alkaloids in Sceletium tortuosum by nonaqueous capillary electrophoresis mass spectrometry. Electrophoresis. 2012;33:1567-70 pubmed publisher
    ..Thus, the use of the NACE-MS enables a new perspective on the alkaloid profile of Sceletium species. ..
  52. Holobinko A. Forensic human identification in the United States and Canada: a review of the law, admissible techniques, and the legal implications of their application in forensic cases. Forensic Sci Int. 2012;222:394.e1-13 pubmed publisher
    ..e., DNA profiling, forensic anthropology, forensic radiography, forensic odontology) and one complementary technique useful in determining identity, and the legal implications of their application in forensic cases. ..
  53. Jermyn D. Labs and slabs: television crime drama and the quest for forensic realism. Stud Hist Philos Biol Biomed Sci. 2013;44:103-9 pubmed publisher