Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 4

Human identification Related Abstracts

4 Human Identification Using Local Roughness Patterns in Heartbeat Signal

Authors: Md. Khayrul Bashar, Md. Saiful Islam, Kimiko Yamashita, Yano Midori


Despite having some progress in human authentication, conventional biometrics (e.g., facial features, fingerprints, retinal scans, gait, voice patterns) are not robust against falsification because they are neither confidential nor secret to an individual. As a non-invasive tool, electrocardiogram (ECG) has recently shown a great potential in human recognition due to its unique rhythms characterizing the variability of human heart structures (chest geometry, sizes, and positions). Moreover, ECG has a real-time vitality characteristic that signifies the live signs, which ensure legitimate individual to be identified. However, the detection accuracy of the current ECG-based methods is not sufficient due to a high variability of the individual’s heartbeats at a different instance of time. These variations may occur due to muscle flexure, the change of mental or emotional states, and the change of sensor positions or long-term baseline shift during the recording of ECG signal. In this study, a new method is proposed for human identification, which is based on the extraction of the local roughness of ECG heartbeat signals. First ECG signal is preprocessed using a second order band-pass Butterworth filter having cut-off frequencies of 0.00025 and 0.04. A number of local binary patterns are then extracted by applying a moving neighborhood window along the ECG signal. At each instant of the ECG signal, the pattern is formed by comparing the ECG intensities at neighboring time points with the central intensity in the moving window. Then, binary weights are multiplied with the pattern to come up with the local roughness description of the signal. Finally, histograms are constructed that describe the heartbeat signals of individual subjects in the database. One advantage of the proposed feature is that it does not depend on the accuracy of detecting QRS complex, unlike the conventional methods. Supervised recognition methods are then designed using minimum distance to mean and Bayesian classifiers to identify authentic human subjects. An experiment with sixty (60) ECG signals from sixty adult subjects from National Metrology Institute of Germany (NMIG) - PTB database, showed that the proposed new method is promising compared to a conventional interval and amplitude feature-based method.

Keywords: Human identification, supervised classification, ECG biometrics, local roughness patterns

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3 Solving Crimes through DNA Methylation Analysis

Authors: Ajay Kumar Rana


Predicting human behaviour, discerning monozygotic twins or left over remnant tissues/fluids of a single human source remains a big challenge in forensic science. Recent advances in the field of DNA methylations which are broadly chemical hallmarks in response to environmental factors can certainly help to identify and discriminate various single-source DNA samples collected from the crime scenes. In this review, cytosine methylation of DNA has been methodologically discussed with its broad applications in many challenging forensic issues like body fluid identification, race/ethnicity identification, monozygotic twins dilemma, addiction or behavioural prediction, age prediction, or even authenticity of the human DNA. With the advent of next-generation sequencing techniques, blooming of DNA methylation datasets and together with standard molecular protocols, the prospect of investigating and solving the above issues and extracting the exact nature of the truth for reconstructing the crime scene events would be undoubtedly helpful in defending and solving the critical crime cases.

Keywords: Forensics, Human identification, DNA Methylation, differentially methylated regions

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2 Unidentified Remains with Extensive Bone Disease without a Clear Diagnosis

Authors: Patricia Shirley Almeida Prado, Selma Paixão Argollo, Maria De Fátima Teixeira Guimarães, Leticia Matos Sobrinho


Skeletal differential diagnosis is essential in forensic anthropology in order to differentiate skeletal trauma from normal osseous variation and pathological processes. Thus, part of forensic anthropological field is differentiate skeletal criminal injuries from the normal skeletal variation (bone fusion or nonunion, transitional vertebrae and other non-metric traits), non-traumatic skeletal pathology (myositis ossificans, arthritis, bone metastasis, osteomyelitis) from traumatic skeletal pathology (myositis ossificans traumatic) avoiding misdiagnosis. This case shows the importance of effective pathological diagnosis in order to accelerate the identification process of skeletonized human remains. THE CASE: An unidentified skeletal remains at the medico legal institute Nina Rodrigues-Salvador, of a male young adult (29 to 40 years estimated) showing a massive heterotopic ossification on its right tibia at upper epiphysis and adjacent articular femur surface; an extensive ossification on the right clavicle (at the sternal extremity) also presenting an heterotopic ossification at right scapulae (upper third of scapulae lateral margin and infraglenoid tubercule) and at the head of right humerus at the shoulder joint area. Curiously, this case also shows an unusual porosity in certain vertebrae´s body and in some tarsal and carpal bones. Likewise, his left fifth metacarpal bones (right and left) showed a healed fracture which led both bones distorted. Based on identification, of pathological conditions in human skeletal remains literature and protocols these alterations can be misdiagnosed and this skeleton may present more than one pathological process. The anthropological forensic lab at Medico-legal Institute Nina Rodrigues in Salvador (Brazil) adopts international protocols to ancestry, sex, age and stature estimations, also implemented well-established conventions to identify pathological disease and skeletal alterations. The most compatible diagnosis for this case is hematogenous osteomyelitis due to following findings: 1: the healed fracture pattern at the clavicle showing a cloaca which is a pathognomonic for osteomyelitis; 2: the metacarpals healed fracture does not present cloaca although they developed a periosteal formation. 3: the superior articular surface of the right tibia shows an extensive inflammatory healing process that extends to adjacent femur articular surface showing some cloaca at tibia bone disease. 4: the uncommon porosities may result from hematogenous infectious process. The fractures probably have occurred in a different moments based on the healing process; the tibia injury is more extensive and has not been reorganized, while metacarpals and clavicle fracture is properly healed. We suggest that the clavicle and tibia´s fractures were infected by an existing infectious disease (syphilis, tuberculosis, brucellosis) or an existing syndrome (Gorham’s disease), which led to the development of osteomyelitis. This hypothesis is supported by the fact that different bones are affected in diverse levels. Like the metacarpals that do not show the cloaca, but then a periosteal new bone formation; then the unusual porosities do not show a classical osteoarthritic processes findings as the marginal osteophyte, pitting and new bone formation, they just show an erosive process without bone formation or osteophyte. To confirm and prove our hypothesis we are working on different clinical approaches like DNA, histopathology and other image exams to find the correct diagnostic.

Keywords: Forensic Anthropology, Human identification, human remains, bone disease, hematogenous osteomyelitis

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1 Heterotopic Ossification: DISH and Myositis Ossificans in Human Remains Identification

Authors: Patricia Shirley Almeida Prado, Liz Brito, Selma Paixão Argollo, Gracie Moreira, Leticia Matos Sobrinho


Diffuse idiopathic skeletal hyperostosis (DISH) is a degenerative bone disease also known as Forestier´s disease and ankylosing hyperostosis of the spine is characterized by a tendency toward ossification of half the anterior longitudinal spinal ligament without intervertebral disc disease. DISH is not considered to be osteoarthritis, although the two conditions commonly occur together. Diagnostic criteria include fusion of at least four vertebrae by bony bridges arising from the anterolateral aspect of the vertebral bodies. These vertebral bodies have a 'dripping candle wax' appearance, also can be seen periosteal new bone formation on the anterior surface of the vertebral bodies and there is no ankylosis at zygoapophyseal facet joint. Clinically, patients with DISH tend to be asymptomatic some patients mention moderate pain and stiffness in upper back. This disease is more common in man, uncommon in patients younger than 50 years and rare in patients under 40 years old. In modern populations, DISH is found in association with obesity, (type II) diabetes; abnormal vitamin A metabolism and also associated with higher levels of serum uric acid. There is also some association between the increase of risk of stroke or other cerebrovascular disease. The DISH condition can be confused with Heterotopic Ossification, what is the bone formation in the soft tissues as the result of trauma, wounding, surgery, burnings, prolonged immobility and some central nervous system disorder. All these conditions have been described extensively as myositis ossificans which can be confused with the fibrodysplasia (myositis) ossificans progressive. As in the DISH symptomatology it can be asymptomatic or extensive enough to impair joint function. A third confusion osteoarthritis disease that can bring confusion are the enthesopathies that occur in the entire skeleton being common on the ischial tuberosities, iliac crests, patellae, and calcaneus. Ankylosis of the sacroiliac joint by bony bridges may also be found. CASE 1: this case is skeletal remains presenting skull, some vertebrae and scapulae. This case remains unidentified and due to lack of bone remains. Sex, age and ancestry profile was compromised, however the DISH pathognomonic findings and diagnostic helps to estimate sex and age characteristics. Moreover to presenting DISH these skeletal remains also showed some bone alterations and non-metrics as fusion of the first vertebrae with occipital bone, maxillae and palatine torus and scapular foramen on the right scapulae. CASE 2: this skeleton remains shows an extensive bone heterotopic ossification on the great trochanter area of left femur, right fibula showed a healed fracture in its body however in its inteosseous crest there is an extensive bone growth, also in the Ilium at the region of inferior gluteal line can be observed some pronounced bone growth and the skull presented a pronounced mandibular, maxillary and palatine torus. Despite all these pronounced heterotopic ossification the whole skeleton presents moderate bone overgrowth that is not linked with aging, since the skeleton belongs to a young unidentified individual. The appropriate osteopathological diagnosis support the human identification process through medical reports and also assist with epidemiological data that can strengthen vulnerable anthropological estimates.

Keywords: Human identification, human remains, bone disease, DISH

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