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Using an alternate light source to detect electrically singed feathers and hair in a forensic setting

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Using an alternate light source to detect electrically singed feathers and hair in a forensic setting

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Abstract

Mortality due to electrical injury in wildlife may occur in the form of lightning strike or power line contact. Evidence of electrical contact may be grossly obvious, with extensive singeing, curling, and blackening of feathers, fur, or skin. Occasionally, changes may be subtle, owing to lower current or reduced conductivity, making a definitive diagnosis of electrocution more difficult. We describe the use of an alternate light source in the examination of cases of lightning strike and power line contact in wildlife, and the enhanced detection of changes due to electrical currents in the hair and feathers of affected animals. Subtle changes in the wing feathers of 12 snow geese and 1 wolf that were struck by separate lightning events were made obvious by the use of an alternate light source. Similarly, this technique can be used to strengthen the evidence for power line exposure in birds.

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... 19,69 Identification of small skin lesions, so-called current marks, can be difficult, and the use of an alternate artificial light source during external inspection of the victim at necropsy may facilitate their detection. 95 Singed hairs, feathers, and skin develop photoluminescent properties absorbing light of a certain wavelength delivered by an alternate light source and emitting light of a longer wavelength, which can be detected with goggles or cameras equipped with screening filters. 95 Current marks are described as crater-like elevations of the skin around a sunken center. ...
... 95 Singed hairs, feathers, and skin develop photoluminescent properties absorbing light of a certain wavelength delivered by an alternate light source and emitting light of a longer wavelength, which can be detected with goggles or cameras equipped with screening filters. 95 Current marks are described as crater-like elevations of the skin around a sunken center. 26 They are macroscopically surrounded by a pale, porcelain-like or alabaster-colored zone and have a raised border (Fig. 2). ...
... 3,27,92,100 The use of an alternate light source emitting variable wavelengths of 400 nm, 450 nm, 485 nm, 530 nm, 570 nm, and 700 nm during macroscopic investigation of the body surface may increase the detection rate in victims with subtle changes. 95 ...
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... The ALS is a simple, non-invasive, non-destructive method that is used to detect biological fluids [3,4], wounds (contusions, ecchymosis, bite marks) [5,6], human remains [7], and a range of other types of evidence. An area should be scanned with an ALS before the application of other reagents [8,4]. ...
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... 1,4 The principles of examination with a FLS are based on the absorption and photoluminescence properties of stains. 5 In crimescene investigations, FLSs are frequently used to detect various biological stains at wavelengths of 300-900 nm. 6,7 Once the location of the stain has been detected with an FLS, the crime-scene photographer can store the evidence as permanent images. ...
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... Just a few printed experiments have been performed to detect and classify semen or spermatozoa after processing. Traces of sperm cells retrieved on clothing require challenges as to the explanation of such findings in rape cases [3][4][5][6]. The way of discharge may not be readily identified, clothing may have been washed, or the findings may not be related to the incidence under investigation [7]. ...
Article
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... Fig. 3A;, Hurmence and Harness 2004, Viner et al. 2014. We identified species from whole carcasses, or parts of carcasses on pole-mounted equipment(Fig. ...
Article
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... The dark coloration of the polyester may have created a similar problem. While there are published studies investigating the impact of substrates when using ALS, these studies are limited to include substrates such as tile, concrete, wood, and fabric, which almost always is cotton [18][19][20][21]. There is very little research investigating a variety of different fabric types. ...
Article
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... Examination with an alternate light source at 530 to 570 nm under a red filter can highlight charred skin, feathers, and beak keratin (Figs. 9, 10). 19 If the equipment is available, this is an extremely useful tool for identifying and documenting Figure 4. (continued) the dorsal aspect of the right elbow, there is a burn resulting in a 4-cm-long laceration. The surrounding feathers are burned, and there is small amount of ash on the surface of the exposed bone. ...
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