Document Detail

Towards a "crime pollen calendar" - pollen analysis on corpses throughout one year.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  16412597     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
A palynological study was carried out on 28 corpses brought in one year (June 2003-May 2004) to the morgue of the Institute of Legal Medicine of Parma (Northern Italy). This preliminary research focuses on the date of death, which was known for all corpses examined. Pollen sampling and analyses were made with the first aim of comparing the pollen grains found on corpses with those diffused in the atmosphere in the region in the same season as the known date of death. Eyebrows, hair-line near the forehead, facial skin and nasal cavities were sampled. Most of the corpses had trapped pollen grains, with the exception of two December corpses. All pollen grains were found with cytoplasm and in a good state of preservation. In this way, a series of reference data was collected for the area where the deaths occurred, and we examined whether pollen grains on corpses could be an index of the season of death. To verify this hypothesis, the pollen analyses were compared with data reported in the airborne pollen calendars of Parma and the region around. Pollen calendars record pollen types and their concentrations in the air, month by month. The quantity of pollen recorded on corpses did not prove to be directly related to the quantity of pollen in the air. But qualitatively, many pollen types which are seasonal markers were found on corpses. Main corpse/air discrepancies were also observed due to the great influence that the local environmental conditions of the death scene have in determining the pollen trapped by a corpse. Qualitative plus quantitative pollen data from corpses appeared helpful in indicating the season of death. A preliminary sketch of a "crime pollen calendar" in a synthetic graphic form was made by grouping the corpse pollen records into three main seasons: A, winter/spring; B, spring/summer; C, summer/autumn. Trends match the general seasonal trend of pollen types in the air.
Elisa Montali; Anna Maria Mercuri; Giuliana Trevisan Grandi; Carla Alberta Accorsi
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article     Date:  2006-01-10
Journal Detail:
Title:  Forensic science international     Volume:  163     ISSN:  0379-0738     ISO Abbreviation:  Forensic Sci. Int.     Publication Date:  2006 Nov 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2006-10-30     Completed Date:  2007-01-09     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  7902034     Medline TA:  Forensic Sci Int     Country:  Ireland    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  211-23     Citation Subset:  IM    
Laboratorio di Palinologia e Paleobotanica, Dipartimento del Museo di Paleobiologia e dell'Orto Botanico, Università degli Studi di Modena e Reggio Emilia, Modena, Italy.
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MeSH Terms
Forensic Medicine / methods*

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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