Navigation Links
New forensics research will help identify remains of children
Date:5/13/2010

New research from North Carolina State University is now giving forensic scientists a tool that can be used to help identify the remains of children, and may contribute to resolving missing-persons cases, among other uses. Identifying skeletal remains can be a key step in solving crimes, but traditionally it has been exceptionally difficult to identify the skeletal remains of children.

"The key finding in our research is that children's faces attain the shapes they will have in adulthood much earlier than previously thought," says Dr. Ann Ross, an associate professor of anthropology at NC State and lead author of the new study. This finding is important because physical anthropologists use the shape of the skull to examine similarities and differences between populations, such as between Eastern Europeans and Mediterranean populations. This means that forensic experts can help identify the ancestry of skeletal remains in much younger individuals than is currently the case.

For example, Ross was able to use these findings to examine the remains of an unidentified 10-year-old boy, whose body was found in 1998, and determine that he was of Mesoamerican origin. That finding gives investigators additional information on the cold case, which can be used for facial reconstruction, among other things.

Until now, anthropologists relied solely on the remains of people who were at least 18 years old when studying the craniofacial (i.e. skull) characteristics of different populations. Similarly, forensic analysts did not attempt to assess the ancestry of remains belonging to people under the age of 18.

But the researchers have found that the population-specific traits that can be measured in the skull are actually present and can be measured at least as early as the age of 14. "These findings can likely be applied to much younger remains as well," Ross says, "but we did not have a large enough sample size to include younger kids in this paper."

One of the things that made this work possible was the use of shape analysis, relying on "geometric morphometrics" which is a field of study that characterizes and assesses biological forms. Geometric morphometrics has led to the development of software, statistical tools and research methods that enabled the researchers to examine shape differences in the skulls of children and adults.

"In the past," Ross says, "this was impossible because traditional techniques for measuring craniofacial characteristics relied on calipers which introduced size as a confounding variable." In other words, it was impossible to compare the small skulls of children to the larger skulls of adults.

The researchers collected craniofacial measurements from the remains of children between the ages of 14 and 16. The researchers then ran the data through modeling software and additional statistical analyses to determine whether children differ significantly from adults in terms of the craniofacial markers that identify a given population.

In addition to forensic applications, the findings also represent a breakthrough for physical anthropologists studying past civilizations. Because craniofacial characteristics are used to examine differences between populations, these findings can help anthropologists advance our understanding of how populations have moved or changed over time. The study shows that anthropologists can now use the remains of children to help get a snapshot of what the population looked like in a specific area they are no longer limited to using the craniofacial remains of adults.


'/>"/>

Contact: Matt Shipman
matt_shipman@ncsu.edu
919-515-6386
North Carolina State University
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. Center for Computer Forensics Offers Expert to Volunteer as CFCE Certification Applicants Coach
2. Salient Stills Notches Significant Advances in Profitability, Diversity of Sales and Customers, and Video Forensics Technology in 2008
3. Nottinghamshire Police First Law Enforcement Agency to Deploy ForensicSoft in United Kingdom
4. Research shows skeleton to be endocrine organ
5. Newly created cancer stem cells could aid breast cancer research
6. Dominant cholesterol-metabolism ideas challenged by new research
7. Researchers identify proteins involved in new neurodegenerative syndrome
8. Texas researchers and educators head for Antarctica
9. MGH researchers describe new way to identify, evolve novel enzymes
10. University of Pennsylvania researchers develop formula to gauge risk of disease clusters
11. University of Oregon researcher finds that on waters surface, nitric acid is not so tough
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
New forensics research will help identify remains of children
(Date:1/12/2017)... 2017  New research undertaken by Fit Small Business ... 1,000 participants were simply asked which office technology had they ... consider standard issue.  Insights on what will be ... from futurists and industry leaders including Penelope Trunk , ... Some of these findings included; ...
(Date:1/6/2017)...  SomaLogic announced today that it has agreed ... iCarbonX, the China -based company ... Health Ecosystem that can define each person,s ,digital ... behavioral and psychological data, the Internet and artificial ... will provide proteomics data and applications expertise to ...
(Date:12/22/2016)... , Dec. 20, 2016  As part of its ... the leading personal genetics company, recently released its latest children,s ... . The book focuses on the topics of inheritance and ... Science Standards (NGSS) taught in elementary school classrooms in the ... a series by illustrator Ariana Killoran , whose previous ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:1/20/2017)... -- Stock-Callers.com explores the Biotech industry to ... recent performances of select equities. In this morning,s lineup ... Abeona Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: ABEO ), Theravance ... Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: SAGE ). According to ... market size is expected to reach $604.40 billion by 2020 due to ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... 2017  Market Research Future has a half cooked research report ... is growing rapidly and expected to reach USD 450 Million by ... ... Market has been assessed as a swiftly growing market and expected ... the coming future. There has been a tremendous growth in the ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... Berkeley, CA (PRWEB) , ... January 19, 2017 ... ... the delivery of product vigilance software to leading biopharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers ... Mail is a fully 21 CFR Part 11-compliant email client designed to provide ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... ... January 18, 2017 , ... LabRoots , the leading ... the world, was today awarded the "Best Science & Technology Social Networking Service ... and decided upon by a dedicated team of researchers and analysts. , The ...
Breaking Biology Technology: