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11/25/13. Learning Goal: Understand and apply concepts in molecular biology Warm-Up: A forensic scientist has collected hair samples from a crime scene. Predict how you believe they determine similarities and differences in the samples. Hair Evidence. Molecular Biology Techniques.

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11/25/13

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11 25 13

11/25/13

Learning Goal: Understand and apply concepts in molecular biology

Warm-Up: A forensic scientist has collected hair samples from a crime scene. Predict how you believe they determine similarities and differences in the samples.


Hair evidence

Hair Evidence

Molecular Biology Techniques


The function and structure of hair

The Function and Structure of Hair

  • Hair on mammals helps to regulate body temperature, decrease friction, and protect against sunlight.

  • Hair consists of (a) a hair shaft produced by (b) a follicle embedded in the skin.

  • A hair has three layers (illustrated above): the inner medulla, the cortex, and the outer cuticle.


Anatomy of a hair

Anatomy of a Hair

Hair Shaft

Sebaceous

gland

Epidermis

Dermis

Papilla


Follicle

Follicle

  • Hair is an appendage of the skin that grows out of a hair follicle.


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Root

  • The length of a hair extends from the root embedded in the follicle.

  • A single root contains sufficient DNA for analysis


Cuticle

Cuticle

  • The cuticle is the transparent outside covering of the hair.

  • It is formed by overlapping scales that always point toward the tip of the hair.


Cortex

Cortex

  • The Cortex is the thickest layer

  • It is the interior of the hair

  • It is embedded with pigment granules that give hair its color.


Pigment granules are absent in grey hairs

Pigment granules are absent in grey hairs


Medulla

Medulla

  • a collection of cells which appears as a canal running through the center of the hair

  • the medulla is the most predominant hair feature in many species


Medulla1

Medulla:

bsapp.com


Types of medulla

Types of Medulla

The medulla can be hollow or filled, absent, fragmented, continuous, doubled, pigmented, or un- pigmented.

Forensic Science: Fundamentals & Investigations, Chapter 3


Type of medulla

Type of Medulla?


Types of hair

Types of Hair

Buckled Blunt Double Medulla

  • Different regions of the body on which hair can vary are (1) head, (2) eyebrows and lashes, (3) mustache and beard, (4) underarms, (5) overall body (auxiliary hair), and (6) pubic.

  • The physical characteristics of hairs provide information about which part of the body they came from.


The life cycle of hair

The Life Cycle of Hair

  • Hair proceeds through 3 stages as it develops:

  • Anagen stage - hair actively grows. The cells around the follicle deposit materials in the hair.

  • Catagen stage - hair grows and changes.

  • Telogen stage - when the follicle becomes dormant, hairs easily lost.


Treated hair

Treated Hair

  • Bleaching disturbs the scales on the cuticle and removes pigment leaving hair brittle and a yellowish color.

  • Dyeing colors the cuticle and the cortex of the hair shaft.

    • Treated hair will have unique characteristics.


Racial differences

Racial Differences

  • Each racial group has hair with unique physical characteristics.

  • These characteristics, however, will not apply to all individuals in these groups.

  • Sometimes it is impossible to identify which racial group a hair belongs to.


Medullary index

Medullary Index

  • The percentage or fraction of the hair’s width occupied by the medulla

  • [between 0 and 1]


Medullary index1

Medullary Index?


Animal hair and human hair

Animal Hair and Human Hair

  • Animals: Medullary Index of 0.5 or higher.

  • Humans: Medullary Index of 0.33 or lower.


Animal hair and human hair1

Animal Hair and Human Hair

  • Pigmentation in animal hair is denser toward the medulla. In Humans it tends to be denser toward the cuticle.

  • Unlike human hair, animal hair abruptly can change colors in banded patterns.


Animal hair and human hair2

Animal Hair and Human Hair

  • The Cuticles

    Spinous Coronal Imbricate

  • The outermost layer of the hair shaft (the cuticle), is typically different in animals and humans.

    • Animals have a spinous or coronal cuticle.

    • Humans have an imbricate cuticle.


Using hair in an investigation

Using Hair in an Investigation

  • Macroscopic investigation – length, color, texture.

  • Microscopic investigation – Detail

    • Phase contrast microscopy - dyes

    • Electron microscopes – hair interior


Testing for substances in the hair shaft

Testing for Substances in the Hair Shaft

  • Chemicals that the skin absorbs often can be detected by analysis of the hair shaft.

  • A forensic scientist can perform chemical tests for the presence of various substances.

  • The hair shaft can be examined in sections to establish a timeline for exposure to toxins.

  • Neutron Activation Analysis (NAA) can determine concentrations of substances in the sample.


Testing the hair follicle

Testing the Hair Follicle

  • Microscopic assessment of the follicle is performed first because it is cost effective and quick.

    • If a microscopic match is found, the follicle can be blood tested and perhaps show the blood type.

    • If a microscopic match is found, the follicle can be DNA analyzed to provide identification with a high degree of confidence.


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