JFOS Vol 40,  No 2 Aug 2022

December 27, 2022
ISSN: 2219-6749
Vol 40
No 2 Aug 2022
Editorial Board
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Application of an ancestrality estimate method through morphoscopic analysis of Brazilian skulls

Joyce Campos de Miranda, Thais Torralbo Lopez-Capp, Luiz Airton Saavedra de Paiva,  Edgard Michel-Crosato,  Maria Gabriela Haye Biazevic

The objective of the investigation was to test a technique originating in the United States to verify the accuracy of the ancestry estimate in a sample of Brazilian skulls. The sample consisted of 120 skulls of Brazilian adults from the collection of the Institute of Education and Research in Forensic Sciences (IEPCF), Guarulhos-SP, Brazil, with ancestry determined by routine examination. In the skull, the following structures were analyzed: anterior nasal spine (ANS), inferior nasal aperture (INA), interorbital breadth (IOB) nasal aperture width (NAW), nasal bone structure (NBS), and post bregmatic depression (PBD). The Hefner and Ousley technique was applied to classify ancestry. Data were registered and correctness percentage was obtained. To improve ancestry prediction, Machine Learning techniques were used.   Regarding the error of the studied method and the correctness of the complete sample, the study presented a percentage above 50%, with values such as 56.33% for whites and 53.07% for non-whites. The most frequent ANS parameter was marked (37.5%), INA straight (31.7%), IOB wide (38.3%), NAW medium (32.5%) NBS triangular (29.2%), and PBD present (78.3%). The application of the method in the sample of the study showed a limitation to estimate ancestry, suggesting a need for adaptation for its applicability in the Brazilian population.

(J Forensic Odontostomatol 2022, 40; 2-2:9)

Dentinal translucency and width of cementum: predicting the age over 55 years in South Indian adults using extracted sectioned teeth

Sanjeevareddygari Shylaja, Srinivas M. Manay, Kiran K. Ganji, Eppalapalli S. K. Reddy, Vishwakarma R. Vamshi, Farahnaz Muddebihal

The main intention of this article was to evaluate the reliability of root dentine translucency (RDT) and the width of cementum (CW) in indicating the age over 55 years in forensic and criminal investigations. 600 non-restored, single rooted teeth (300 males and 300 females) which were extracted for periodontal or orthodontic reasons were collected. Each tooth was sectioned longitudinally until the desired thickness (250 µm) was obtained. Both the length of the RDT and CW were measured from these unstained ground sections of teeth using ImageJ computer software. Pearson’s correlation coefficient indicated a very strong and positive correlation for RDW and CW with age in both sexes. Cut-off values of RDT= 7.07 and CW= 52.06 were obtained using the maximum Youden’s index. The value for the area under the curve (AUC) was 0.987 for RDT and 0.910 for CW was seen as indicating a very high discrimination. The performance of these cut-off values was tested in a separate sample of sectioned teeth (n= 300) and was analyzed using contingency tables in both sexes. The sensitivity was 88.2% and 92.3%, while specificity was 98.9% for RDT in males and females. For CW, the sensitivity was 96.1% and 90.3%, and specificity was 76.7% and 74.4% in males and females, respectively. Bayes post-test probability was 98.9% for RDT in both sexes, while 80.5% in males and 78% in females, for CW. Based on our study findings, it can be concluded that both variables have performed well in predicting the age over 55 years. Further research concerning the radiographic study of secondary dentine deposition to predict legal age thresholds would be a great benefit for living adults who require age estimation in civil proceedings.

(J Forensic Odontostomatol 2022, 40; 2-10:20)

Applicability of the Demirjian, Willems and Haavikko methods in Croatian children

Ivan Bedek, Jelena Dumančić, Tomislav Lauc, Miljenko Marušić, Ivana Čuković-Bagić

Age estimation is an inescapable part of every identification process. During growth and development, it is possible to estimate age based on the developmental stages of teeth. The aim of this study was to evaluate three frequently used methods for dental age estimation on a broad sample of Croatian children. The sample comprised 1996 digital, standardized orthopantomograms of children (1121 boys and 875 girls) aged 5 to 16, collected in four major Croatian cities. Age was estimated according to the Demirjian, Willems and Haavikko methods and the accuracy of the estimation was evaluated. The Kappa for intra-examiner agreement was 0.83 for the Haavikko stages and 0.92 for the Demirjian stages. Using the Demirjian method, the average overestimation of age was 0.80 years for boys and 0.84 years for girls. The Willems method overestimated the mean age by 0.41 years in boys and 0.22 years in girls. The Haavikko method underestimated the mean age by 0.60 years in boys and 0.80 years in girls. The Willems method proved to be the most accurate and can be used for dental age estimation among Croatian children. The Demirjian and Haavikko methods showed greater deviation between dental and chronological age and require adaptation when used in the Croatian population.

(J Forensic Odontostomatol 2022, 40; 2-21:30)

Identifying a victim of alligator attack and scavenger fish in the Brazilian Amazon rainforest using smile photographs: a case report

Leticia Regina Alfaia Custodio, Murilo Sérgio Valente-Aguiar, Ricardo Pereira Ramos, Gederson Rossato, Talita Lima de Castro Espicalsky

Reports of deaths caused by alligators or crocodiles are rare in the literature. These deaths may be related to sharp force trauma caused by the teeth of these animals, with or without mutilation, or even drowning after seizure and submersion of the victim. It is difficult to forensically identify bodies in cases of mutilation of the upper limbs during the attack or when the corpse is in an advanced stage of skeletonization. Smile photographs are an important source of ante-mortem references for comparison. We report a human identification based on a photograph of a victim, with the absence of limbs caused by an alligator attack and the advanced skeletonization stage due to scavenger fish action in the Amazon within only 36 hours after his disappearance. The description of alligator attacks and the marks observed on the victim’s body are essential to help medical and forensic professionals diagnose the injuries found and, consequently, define the cause of death

(J Forensic Odontostomatol 2022, 40; 2-31:37)

The CSI effect in Forensic Odontology.
A systematic review

Nikolaos Christoloukas, Anastasia Mitsea

The popularity of forensic science in recent decades is substantially related to the high rate of watching television programs dealing with the investigation of criminal cases, such as “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation” (CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, 2000) and the two sequels, “CSI: NY” (CSI: NY, 2004) and “CSI: Miami” (CSI: Miami, 2002). These medical-based TV series portrayed forensic science in a favorable way, encouraging viewers to experience differently this scientific field. Although it is considered a minor social phenomenon, the reality seems to diverge. The aim of this study is to systematically review the existing literature on the impact of the “CSI effect” on crime scene management, analysis, and interpretation of evidence on forensic odontology cases. Electronic research was attempted among four (4) different electronic databases from January 2005 to October 2021. After removing articles according to inclusion-exclusion criteria, the final selection resulted in 5 articles. The results indicated that forensic-based TV series provided a sense of plausibility not dependent on factual accuracy. In addition, an increasing pressure on law enforcement personnel and investigators to collect DNA at crime scenes, regardless of whether it was relevant to the case was also observed. The popularity of these TV shows has contributed to growing public interest in forensic science programs and hence the “CSI effect” had a greater impact on individuals who systematically watched such television series.

(J Forensic Odontostomatol 2022, 40; 2-38:43)

Forensic microbiology and bite marks: 
a systematic revie

Bruna Moitas, Inês Morais Caldas, Benedita Sampaio-Maia

The forensic role of microbiology in bite mark analysis as evidence in a court of law has not yet been explored, as the analysis of bite marks is mostly morphology-based. The aim of this systematic review is to investigate if the analysis of the oral microbiota may be helpful as a complementary forensic tool. Articles were searched on the PubMed database, using predefined data fields and keywords. The final selection included a total of 6 papers (out of 42). Our results indicated that the Streptococcus genus is a key player in the analysis of bite mark microbiology from a forensic perspective and its genomic analysis may facilitate the association of a bite mark to the perpetrator. However, much more research is still needed before this forensic strategy can be applied in real scenarios. There is a need to optimize and standardize the methods of microbiome analysis and to determine several factors that may influence the results, such as the frequency of bacterial genotypes in the human population and the temporal stability of the oral microbiome on human skin.