2009 | 1(1) | 85-94
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Genetic Identification of Burnt Bodies Based on Biological Remains Preserved at Scenes of Acts of Terrorism, Disasters, and Criminal Acts

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Contemporary reality poses great challenges to forensic medicine. Despite relevant tactics, techniques, and strategies having been developed, we are often helpless when surprised by terrorist assaults, disasters and different kinds of crime.It is essential to establish an overall procedure to be followed in case of calamities affecting the mankind, most frequently accompanied by fire and operation of high temperatures on human tissues. Hence, the goal is to (i) enrich forensic practice by a consistent procedural algorithm while discovering and securing traces, and categorising biological material as part of examining scenes of mass destruction, and to (ii) implement adequate molecular analyses in identifying individuals.The work has two objectives: to launch procedures for terrorist assaults, disasters and/or criminal acts, and to verify a number of methods that permit to identify strongly thermally degraded DNA. Such a material is often available in forensic medicine and court genetics, not only as a result of decaying processes, causing large reduction of the actual amount of DNA array, but also as a result of high temperature operation on human tissues. It should be stressed that all activities have to be properly conducted to prevent contamination. The genetic identification involved many different human tissues, i.e. hair, skeletal femoral muscles, teeth, internal organs, fragments of skin and long bones, combusted in a laboratory oven for different durations and temperatures: 100–1100 oC.
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