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Transcript of FORENSIC
By Tori Gibson
FORENSIC SEROLOGY: the detection, classification
and study of various bodily fluids such as blood,
semen, fecal matter and perspiration, as they
apply to legal matters.
A Career in
Application to the
Admissibility in Court
Careers and Specialties
Courses of Study
A Timeline History of
Developments in Forensic Serology
Mathiew Orfila (often considered the father of modern toxicology) makes contributions towards tests detecting the presence of blood in a forensic context and is the first to attempt to use a microscope to assess blood and semen stains.
Erhard Friedrich Leuchs first notes amylase (an enzyme that breaks down complex carbohydrates into smaller sugar molecules) activity in human saliva.
Henri-Louis Bayard publishes the first reliable procedures for the microscopic detection of sperm.
Ludwig Teichmann develops the first microscopic crystal test for hemoglobin.
Dutch scientist J. Isaak Van Deen develops one of the earliest presumptive tests for blood using a West Indian shrub called guaiac.
German Scientist Christian Friedrich Schonbein discovers the ability of hemoglobin to oxidize hydrogen peroxide, causing a foaming reaction.
Eduard Piotrowski publishs a paper entitled On the formation, form, direction, and spreading of blood stains resulting in blunt trauma at the head.
German immunologist Paul Uhlenhuth develops the precipiten test for species (a test that identifies a blood sample as human). Wasserman and Shutze also independently discovered and published the test but never received credit.
Karl Landsteiner discovers human blood groups and is later awarded a Nobel Prize for his discovery in 1930. Max Richter adapts the technique to type blood stains.
Oskar and Rudolf Adler develop a presumptive test for blood that uses benzidine.
A professor at the Institute of Forensic Medicine, Leon Lattes develops the first antibody test for ABO blood groups. He also publishes the first book dealing with not only clinical issues, but heritability, paternity, and typing dried blood stains.
Austrian scientist Franz Josef Holzer develops the absorption-inhibition ABO typing technique (based on the prior work of Siracusa and Lattes) that would become the basis of the techniques used in forensic laboratories now.
Holzer publishes the first paper addressing the uses of secretor status for forensic applications.
Walter Specht develops the chemiluminescent reagent luminol as a presumptive test for blood.
M. Polonovski and M. F. Jayle first identify haptoglobin.
Landsteiner and Alexander S. Wiener first describe RH blood groups.
Frank Lundquist develops the acid phosphatase test for semen.
Mourant first describes the Lewis blood group system.
Robert R. Race first describes the Kell blood group system.
M. Cutbush and colleagues first describe the Duffy blood group system.
F.H. Allen and colleagues first describe the Kidd blood grouping system.
Alexander S. Wiener and colleagues introduce the use of H-lectin to determine positive O blood type.
Swiss scientist Maurice Mueller adapts the Ouchterlony anitbody-antigen diffusion test for precipiten testing to determine species
D. A. Hopkinson and colleagues first identify the polymorphic nature of erythrocyte acid phosphatase (EAP).
N. Spencer and colleagues first identify the polymorphic nature of red cell phospoglucomutase (PGM).
R. A. Fildes and H. Harris first identify the polymorphic natue of red cell adenylate cyclase.
Brian J. Culliford and Brian Wraxall develop the immunoelectrophoretic technique for haptoglobin typing in bloodstains
Culliford initiates the development of gel-based methods to test for isoenzymes in dried bloodstains. He is also is instrumental in the development and dissemination of methods for testing proteins im isoenzymes in blood and other serums.
Spencer and colleagues first identify the polymorphic nature of red cell adenosine deaminase (ADA).
Culliford publishes the The Examination and Typing of Bloodstains in the Crime Laboratory.
Herbert Leon MacDonell publishes the first modern treatise on bloodstain analysis, entitled Flight Characterisics and Stain Patterns of Human Blood.
Hopkinson and colleagues first identify the polymorphic nature of esterase D (ESD).
The first formal bloodstain training course is given by MacDonnel in Jackson, Mississippi
J. Kompf and colleagues first identify the polymorphic nature of red cell glyoxylase (GLO).
Brian Wraxall and Mark Stolorow develop the "multisystem" method for testing PGM, ESD, GLO isoenzyme systems simultaneously and develop methods for typing blood serum proteins such as haptoglobin and Gc.
the International Association of Bloodstain Pattern Analysts is founded
Theodore Berger is convicted to the rape and murder of 8 year old Lucie Berger in Berlin, Germany. This is the first use of Uhlenhuth's human blood detection method in an investigation and the first admittance of the test in court as evidence.
Blood spatter analysis is used by Dr. Paul Kirk in the court case State of Ohio v. Samuel Sheppard, one of the earliest instances of the legal system recognizing the importance of blood spatter analysis.
First Known Applications to
Becoming a Forensic serologist requires a minimum of a Bachelors degree in a natural, physical, or forensic science.
A professional who specializes specifically in forensic serology is a forensic serologist
A forensic serologist's salary can vary widely based on experience, reputation, and the difficulty of the specialized serology requirements. An entry level forensic serologist may be labeled as a forensic serology technician with a salary of about $37,000. Recognized practitioners in the field can expect to earn $50,000 to $60,000.
When a laboratory does not have a specifically designated serologist on staff, the functions of a serologist are performed by a criminalist, a biochemist, a forensic biologist, or other technician.
Personnel who act as serologists in when one is not present in a lab would also normally possess a Bachelor's or Master's degree.
A chief serologist would possess an M.D. or Ph.D. Chief serologists are rare, and the Bachelor's degree seems common.
A few states have laws which make serological examinations admissible by statute without the necessity for testimony by an expert, in order to insulate and protect the crime lab technicians who serve as serologists.
Chief Medical Examiner's office, forensic pathologists, or board-certified toxicologists also serve as serologists in some states . Professors of biochemistry, hematology, and immunology are often "borrowed" as experts for serological evidence by both prosecution and defense.
Serological evidence is admissible in court given that any evidence taken from suspects or victims is documented as not forcibly collected ( the evidence is collected with their consent).
A professional who specializes in the analysis of blood splatters is a blood spatter analyst.
Blood spatter analysts examine blood found at a crime scene in order to determine important information about the crime such as:
direction of travel of a victim or suspect
trajectory of a projectile
number of wounds a victim may have suffered
Generally, blood spatter analysts must have a bachelor's degree, usually in criminal justice or forensic science. If they do not have a bachelor's degree, the analyst must have an associate's degree and two years of experience that is related to the job. If they solely have a high school diploma, they must have four years of job-related experience as a criminalist, CSI, or homicide investigator.
Because blood spatter analysis is a constantly evolving field, blood spatter analysts attend classes or workshops to continually update their skills and knowledge throughout their career.
Typical Duties of a Forensic Serologist
Accurately conduct and report results of forensic analysis/examination using valid methods
Completely document the analysis/examination
write technical reports and opinions about the results
Maintain strict chain of custody and preserve the evidence validity
Provide expert testimony in court
Help train other technicians as necessary
Participate in a proficiency testing program
Ensure laboratory safety and quality control in order to provide accurate results
Maintain and repair equipment
Continue to participate in training/education programs
Develop and implement new analytical procedures
Conduct peer/technical and administrative reviews of reports
Forensic serologists analyze blood, urine, saliva, semen and other bodily fluids found at crime scenes in order to identify information that is important to the criminal investigation.
Once hired, the blood spatter analyst must work closely with a mentor to gain experience. Prior to working independently, the analyst must pass an exam that illustrates competency in the field.
Serological techniques such as blood typing, presumptive tests to establish the presence of visible and latent blood stains, and blood spatter analysis were not available during the Meriwether Lewis case which occurred in 1809. However...
Analysis of serological evidence at the scene of Meriwether Lewis' death would have been helpful and would most likely have determined whether the mode of death was a homicide or a suicide.
If blood typing had been used in the Meriwether Lewis case, it could have been determined whether all of the blood found derived from the famous explorer. If a type of blood other than Lewis' was found, another person would be introduced to the scene, possibly an assailant who sustained wounds that Lewis inflicted in self defense.
Presumptive tests for both visible and latent blood using a chemiluminescent like Luminol, would have been useful in the Meriwether Lewis case to determine if there were blood stains that had been cleaned from the scene. If latent blood stains were recovered, it would indicate the presence of another individual who had attempted to clean up the some of the blood. This could mark Lewis' death as a homicide, as opposed to a suicide, or simply provide a lead for further evaluation by proving the existence of a suspect or witness.
Blood Spatter Analysis
"Blood Spatter Analyst Career Guide." Criminal Justice Degree Schools. Criminal Justice Degree Schools, n.d. Web. 08 Dec. 2014.
"Forensic Biology." Forensic Science Central. N.p., n.d. Web. 08 Dec. 2014.
"Forensic Serology." Forensic Serology. N.p., n.d. Web. 08 Dec. 2014.
"Forensic Serology." New Jersey State Police. New Jersey State Police, n.d. Web. 08 Dec. 2014.
Gadek, Radek. "Forensic Serologist Careers, Salary and Training – Serology Career." Criminal Justice Degree, College, and Career
Blog. N.p., 14 June 2014. Web. 08 Dec. 2014.
"Job Announcement Description." Allegheny County Pennsylvania. Allegheny County Pennsylvania, n.d. Web. 07 Dec. 2014.
Noureddine, Maher, Ph.D. "Forensic Tests for Saliva: What You Should Know." Forensic Resources. North Carolina Office of Indigent
Defense Services, 15 Aug. 2011. Web. 07 Dec. 2014.
Rudin, Norah, and Keith Inman. "Timeline - Forensic DNA." Forensic DNA- Consulting and Education in Forensic Science. Forensic
DNA, n.d. Web. 07 Dec. 2014.
Tucker, Abigail. "Meriwether Lewis' Mysterious Death." Smithsonian.com. The Smithsonian Institute, 8 Oct. 2009. Web. 09 Dec. 2014.
Presumptive Tests for Blood
Blood spatter analysis would have been very applicable to an investigation of the Meriwether Lewis case. Through blood spatter analysis, it could have been determined which shot had been fired first, the shot to the chest or to the head. Blood spatter analysis could have identified any voids in the blood spatter that would have indicated the presence of an object or person that blocked the blood. If a void was found, it could have indicated the presence and position of an assailant and marked the case as a homicide. If no voids were found, suicide would be more plausible. Blood spatter analysis also could have determined the angle at which the gun was fired, deciding whether such an angle could have been achieved by Lewis himself.
Vittorio Siracusa develops the absorption-elution test for ABO blood typing of stains. Lattes also performs significant work on the absorption-inhibition test.
Japanese scientist Saburo Sarai is credited with the first recognition of secretion of group-specific antigens into body fluids other that blood.
Karl Landsteiner and Phillip Levine first detect the M, N, and P blood factors leading to the development of the MNSs and P typing systems.
Mueller is the first medico-legal investigator to suggest the indentification of salivary amylase as a presumptive test for salivary stains.
Japanese scientist K. I. Yosida conducts the first comprehensive investigation establishing the existence of serological isoantibodies in body fluids other than blood.
Although there are not specific college programs offered in serology, many colleges offer programs in forensic science or criminology.
Top 5 Colleges for Forensic Science in the USA
University of California (Davis)
Boston State University (Boston, MA)
Syracuse University, New York
George Washington University, Washington D.C.
Ohio University (Athen, Ohio)
Top 5 Colleges for Criminology in the USA
University of Maryland (College Park)
University of Albany- SUNY
University of Cincinnati
University of Missouri- St. Lewis
Pennsylvania State University (University Park)