1997 Fall Meeting Abstracts

Abstracts From Fall 1997


Toxicology | Alcohol | Firearms | Drugs / Clan Labs | Trace / Scenes | Arson | Wildlife | Serology | Other
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Toxicology

1. TITLE: "ELISA SCREENING FOR AMPHETAMINES IN HAIR"

AUTHOR: Stacy A. Sweeney, Associated Pathologist Labs, Las Vegas, NV

ABSTRACT: Human hair was collected from the occipital crown region of the head from several suspected methamphetamine users. A new Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA) technique was adapted to the detection of amphetamines in hair. Gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS) was utilized as a reference technique. Cross-reactivity of several related compounds was evaluated. In these experiments, the inverse of the ligand concentration at 50% antibody binding was equated to the affinity constant to that for d-methamphetamine was used to derive percent cross-reactivity. The cross-reactivity was 30.8% for d-amphetamine, 7.4% for l-methamphetamine, 4.3% for phentermine, 2.9% for l-amphetamine and <1% for ephedrine, MDA and MDMA. The optimum cutoff concentration determined by receiver-operating characteristic (ROC) curve analysis was 300 pg/mg and the limit of detection (LOD) was 60 pg/mg. The intra-assay precision at 300 pg/mg was 3.3% (coefficient of variation, CV) and the interassay CV was 10.5%.
 

2. TITLE: "REAL WORLD HAIR COLOR BIAS IN TESTING FOR DRUGS OF ABUSE: DOES IT EXIST?"

AUTHORS: Raymond C. Kelly, Ph.D., DABFT, Stacy A. Sweeney, Associated Pathologists Laboratories, Las Vegas, NV

ABSTRACT: Several researchers have shown that non-Caucasians incorporate a greater amount of cocaine in their hair than do Caucasians. This phenomenon has been studied with in vitro cocaine binding, comparing various types of Caucasoid and Africoid hair. It was found that male Africoid hair bound significantly more drug and blond female Caucasoid significantly less drug than other hair types. The present work was undertaken to assess whether these cocaine studies had practical consequences in a 'real world' employment testing population as well as to look for the possibility of hair color bias for drugs other than cocaine. Samples testing positive for cannabinoids (THC, THC-COOH) cocaine (or the cocaine metabolite cocaethylene) or amphetamines (methamphetamine, amphetamine) were categorized visually according to color as: gray, red, blond, light brown, medium brown, dark brown and black. The breakdown of positive samples in each hair color class was evaluated for the three drug groups and compared to a corresponding group of negative samples. For cocaine positive samples, there was evidence that darker hair colors predominated. For the other two drug groups, however, the pattern was reversed. This suggests that the pattern of drug distribution seen in these samples might be due not to hair color or ethnic bias, but to ethnic differences in drug preferences. This possibility is currently under investigation.
 
 

3. TITLE: "ROUTINE TOXICOLOGY REPORTING USING "ADVANCED QUANT" FEATURES OF MS CHEM STATION 1.0"

AUTHOR: Michael Frontz, MSFS, Toxicology Laboratory, Bexar County Forensic Science Center, San Antonio, TX

ABSTRACT: Hewlett-Packard's model 5972 GC/MS came bundled with MS Chem Station 1.0 software coupled with Microsoft Excel for data handling. This older version of Chem Station (since revised with the arrival of the 5973 and Windows 95) can be somewhat cumbersome to customize. However, once a template worksheet is set up, it can prove more visually appealing and communicate the information more effectively, in most cases uses less paperwork.

Our laboratory has employed the "Advanced Quant" features within the software to generate custom reports for most of our common MS assays, as well as database to track our in-house performance check standards. We've tried to eliminate several potential problems that exist with the default reports generated by the system quant macros:

1. False low-level positive quantitations. This confusion can be eliminated by employing LOD data in the Excel custom report template to generate a response of "ND" or "None Detected" in the quantitation field of the analyte in question.

2. True positive concentrations at negative levels. This also can readily occur at low levels, and is an artifact of the application of the calibration curve to data below the x-axis. Excel can be used to eliminate the reporting of all negative concentrations, and also to generate single point quantitation data using any of the calibration points.

3. Incomplete information. The system quant macros do not record the particular files used to create the calibration curves. This is essential information, and can be easily displayed using a custom report template.

A custom database can also be maintained with minimal effort following setup. Currently we use this option to track MS response and retention time shift to a mixture of "performance check" compounds.

4. TITLE: "SOLID PHASE EXTRACTION AND THIN-LAYER CHROMATOGRAPHIC ANALYSIS OF METHLPHENIDATE (RITALIN® AND RITALINIC ACID IN URINE) "

AUTHORS: Darrell Adams, Kevin J. Barta, ANSYS Diagnostics, Inc., Irvine, CA

ABSTRACT: Methlyphenidate (RITALIN®) is an a-phenyl-2-piperidine acetic acid methyl ester structurally related to amphetamine. In the United States alone, the drug is prescribed to approximately 1.3 million children diagnosed with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). In addition, an increase in the illicit use of methylphenidate, a Schedule II drug, has been identified. Methylphenidate is rapidly metabolized by hydrolysis of the ester linkage to ritalinic acid (a-phenyl-2-piperidine acetic acid), which comprises approximately 80% of the urinary excretion from an oral dose. Less than 1% of the parent drug is eliminated unchanged.

Several standard methods have been developed for the extraction and detection of methylphenidate in urine. Presently, the detection of ritalinic acid is accomplished by methylation of the metabolite using methanol, hydrochloric acid and heat, to form methylphenidate. A newly developed procedure (ANSYS Diagnostics, Inc.) employs SPEC® s solid phase extraction and TOXI sLAB® thin layer chromatography to extract, detect, and differentiate both methlyphenidate and ritalinic acid. Urine samples (3.0 ml) from 17 individuals taking a 5- to 20-mg dose of methylphenidate were acidified with 1.0 ml of 1.0 M HCl and extracted using the SPECs PLUS™s10MLsC18 AR/MP3 MULTIsMODAL® Column. The analytes were eluted and concentrated onto TOXIsDISCS® Blank B. Methylphenidate and ritalinic acid standards and patient discs were inoculated in a TOXIsGRAMS® B and developed in 3.0 ml chloroform/methanol (80:20) with 100 mL ammonium hydroxide. The chromatogram was dried completely and re-developed in 3.0 ml ninhydrin in butanol/ethyl acetate (10:90). While still wet, the chromatogram was heated to 250o F (using a heat gun/stage apparatus). Within 15-30 sec, methylphenidate developed as a blue®purple spot at approximately Rf 0.40. The method demonstrated high specificity with a sensitivity of 5 mg/ml, well within therapeutic range, making this procedure well suited for compliance as well as abuse testing.

5. TITLE: "TRANSESTERIFICATION REACTIONS: IS COCAETHYLENE THE END OF THE STORY?"

AUTHORS: James A. Bourland,Ph.D., Associated Pathologists Laboratories, Las Vegas, NV, Michael Mayersohn, Ph.D., University of Arizona, College of Pharmacy, Tucson, AZ

ABSTRACT: Perhaps the most widely publicized and significant transesterification reaction is the conversion of cocaine (COC) to cocaethylene (CE) in the presence of ethanol. We hypothesized that the transesterification of COC to CE is not unique and other compounds containing carboxyl ester groups might undergo transesterification in the presence of ethanol. Meperidine (MEP) and methylphenidate (MPH) were investigated using an in vitro and in vivo paradigm. Excised liver from male Sprague-Dawley rats were homogenized and centrifuged at 9,000g and the S9 fraction collected. Each drug investigated was separately incubated with S9 at 37o C with and without ethanol or 2H6-ethanol. Parent drugs and predicted ethyl-ester formation products were assayed via gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS). The experiments were repeated in vivo rats. Animals were dosed with drug in the absence or presence of ethanol or 2H6-ethanol. Plasma was collected and assayed for parent drug and ethyl-ester formation products by GC/MS. Pharmacokinetic parameters were calculated for both in vitro and in vivo experiments. 2H5-Meperidine was formed from MEP in the presence of 2H6-ethanol. The in vitro t1/2 of MEP increased by ~9 fold, from 16.1 +/- 3.8 min to 144.9 +/- 41.3 min., in the presence of ethanol. The in vivo t1/2 of MEP under control conditions, 27.2 +/- 7.7 min., increased 52.4 +/- 12.9 min., with the addition of ethanol. Ethylphenidate (EPH) was formed both in vivo and in vitro when MPH and ethanol were administered. There was no significant change in MPH t1/2 in the presence of ethanol both in vitro and in vivo, 179.90 +/- 18.6 min. vs 178.1 +/- 12.1 min. and 36.9 +/- 3.0 vs. 38.5 +/- 4.5 min., respectively. EPH administered to male Sprague-Dawley rats increased locomotor activity in equal intensity and duration to MPH.

6. TITLE: "VENLAFAXINE INVOLVEMENT IN DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE CASES"

AUTHOR: Emily Jochimsen, Phoenix Police Crime Laboratory, Phoenix, AZ

ABSTRACT: The drug recognition expert (DRE) program utilizes a combination of field sobriety testing (FST), vital signs and officer observations to predict drug category in cases of driving under the influence of drugs (DUID). Recent drug discoveries have produced a generation of medications that may not be as easily classified. Six cases were chosen for study to determine the effects of venlafaxine (Effexor) seen in DUID situations and how these effects might differ from other central nervous system (CNS) depressant symptoms. The results of the DRE evaluation and officer observations were compared with information from clinical trials. This case study indicates venlafaxine reacts much as would be expected for the average CNS depressant. However, it should be noted that venlafaxine will exhibit an increase in both blood pressure and pulse rate in contrast to the response for most CNS depressants.

7. TITLE: "WHY IN THE WORLD ARE WE DOING POST-MORTEM BLOOD LEVELS INSTEAD OF BRAIN LEVELS"

AUTHOR: Steven B. Karch, M.D., Assistant Medical Examiner, San Francisco, CA, Medical Director, Department of Fire Services, Las Vegas, NV

ABSTRACT: Postmortem blood is not a homogenous fluid. So-called "heart" blood may have come from the pulmonary vein, or even the inferior vena cava, aorta and subclavian veins. Unless the vessels are ligated first, "leg blood" is just as likely to contain blood from the liver as from the extremities, and postmortem redistribution can cause the concentrations of drugs to vary markedly from site to site. Furthermore, the existence of tolerance makes it impossible to speak of concentrations that are "consistent with recreational drug use, or of "fatal blood levels." Forensically important drugs, such as antidepressants, benzodiazepines and narcotics affect the brain and can be measured there. The brain is not subject to diffusion from the stomach, and is unlikely to be affected by postmortem diffusion and redistribution. Brain measurements are especially valuable in the case of cocaine-related deaths because cocaine rapidly crosses the blood brain barrier, but the main metabolite, benzoylecgonine (BEZ) does not. For that reason, the ratio of cocaine to benzoylecgonine in brain tissue can be used to determine the pattern of use. High BEZ concentrations are indicative of chronic heavy use. High cocaine levels are consistent with use just before death. High brain BEZ levels are consistently observed in deaths from agitated delirium. Blood and brain concentrations in a series of typical cases will be reviewed, and the utility of brain drug concentration measurements discussed. Decisions based on concentrations measurements made in a single postmortem blood specimen can be mistaken.

8. TITLE: "DRUG OVERDOSE DEATHS IN THE MEDICAL COMMUNITY"

AUTHOR: James E. Meeker, Ph.D., Institute of Forensic Sciences, Toxicology Laboratory, Oakland, CA

ABSTRACT: In cases of suspected drug overdose it is often valuable to obtain the case history. One useful bit of information might be the decedents occupation. Individuals that die of a drug overdose and were employed in the medical profession often pose a problem to the toxicologist. Doctors and nurses have access to a wide variety of potent pharmaceutical drugs. Also, if the individual is administering these drugs intravenously, because of their access to new needles and syringes and aseptic techniques, they may not have the classic "track" marks that are often noted on the "street" drug addict.

This presentation will discuss several cases in which a medical professional was found dead and was suspected of abusing pharmaceutical drugs. The toxicological findings and circumstances surrounding the death will be presented.

9. TITLE: "FIELD EVALUATION OF DRUG INFLUENCE: COMPARING SPECIFIC DRUG REQUESTS BY POLICE IN SANTA CLARA COUNTY WITH THE DRUG ACTUALLY FOUND BY THE SANTA CLARA COUNTY CRIME LAB"

AUTHOR: Anne D. Imobersteg, Anne Imobersteg and Associates, San Jose, CA

ABSTRACT: Law enforcement personnel are being trained to recognize the signs and symptoms of drug abuse. It is common practice for the police officer to request a drug screen and designate the specific drug suspected based on the FST administered, or the detailed evaluation of the suspect for symptoms consistent with a specific drug. Data regarding the "hit rate" of highly trained law enforcement personnel frequently report a 80-90% correlation of a drug suspected with the drug detected by laboratory. Drug analysis requests from the 13 police agencies in Santa Clara County and the subsequent laboratory analyses for cases in 1994, 1995, and 1996 were compared to determine the "hit rate" of police officers. Cocaine, methamphetamine, PCP and opiates and alcohol requests from officers on subjects arrested for penal code, vehicle code, and health and safety code violations were selected. The "hit rates" for specific drugs ranged from approximately 40% to 90%, depending on the drug suspected.

10. TITLE: "OPERATIONAL HPLC TRICKS FROM A HIGH VOLUME THERAPEUTIC DRUG MONITORING LABORATORY"

AUTHOR: Lonnie Dosher, Department Supervisor, NETC Chromatography, SmithKline Beecham Clinical Laboratories, Van Nuys, CA

ABSTRACT: Operation of analytical HPLC instruments in the clinical or forensic laboratory requires the laboratorian to meet sometimes conflicting requirements. These requirements include but are not limited to: imposed regulatory mandates, cost constraints, quality compliance and customer service. This presentation will discuss ways of planning development and problem solving to meet the utilization demand and some of the operational tricks available to the laboratory manager or supervisor.

11. TITLE: "ENDOGENOUS GAMMA HYDROXYBUTYRATE (GHB) LEVELS IN POSTMORTEM SPECIMENS"

AUTHORS: Daniel T. Anderson and Tiffany Kuwahara, Los Angeles County Department of Coroner, Los Angeles, CA

ABSTRACT: Gamma Hydroxybutyrate (GHB) is a central nervous system depressant which was first synthesized in the 1960's. It was marketed in health food stores as an anabolic steroid alternative in the 1980's and is now emerging in the "Rave" nightclub scene, where it is used with criminal intent (date rape or knock out drops). During the past year, the Los Angeles County Department of Coroner has been asked numerous times to evaluate cases for the presence of GHB. Preliminary studies have shown measurable amounts of GHB in random postmortem specimens where no GHB use was suspected. This study measures endogenous GHB levels in heart blood, femoral blood and urine in approximately one hundred randomly selected postmortem cases.

The analysis of GHB in postmortem specimens (0.5 mL sample size) consisted of an acid hydrolysis of GHB to Gamma Butyrolactone (GBL), a liquid extraction procedure with chloroform, and quantitation by GC/MS. Linearity was achieved from 5.0 to 50 mg/L, with the limit of quantitation being 1.0 mg/L. Analysis of free or intact GBL from postmortem specimens (0.5 mL sample size) consisted of a liquid extraction procedure with chloroform, and quantitation by GC/MS. Linearity was achieved from 2.0 to 20 mg/L, with the limit of quantitation being 0.5 mg/L.

Endogenous GHB levels in 96 postmortem cases were as follows: Heart blood ranged from 1.6 to 36 mg/L with an average of 12 mg/L, Femoral blood ranged from 1.7 to 48 mg/L with an average of 11 mg/L, and Urine ranged from 0 to 14 mg/L with an average of 4.6 mg/L. Analysis of 50 antemortem blood specimens disclosed no measurable amount of GHB.
 
 
 

Alcohol

1.TITLE: "BEER AND IT'S FORENSIC IMPLICATIONS"

AUTHORS: Glenn A. Case, Barry K. Logan, Washington State Toxicology Laboratory, Seattle, WA

ABSTRACT: 80 to 90% of drivers arrested for DIU in the State of Washington admit that they had been drinking beer prior to their arrest. Reconciling their blood alcohol concentration with their alleged beer consumption requires some knowledge about the alcohol concentration of the beer, which can vary considerably depending on the type involved.

We measured the alcohol content of approximately 300 beers and malt beverages approved for sale in the state of Washington. The beers were filtered through filter paper to degas them, and samples were tested in duplicate by headspace gas chromatography, using n-propanol as an internal standard.

A wide range of alcohol concentrations were found. Average concentrations (%v/v) were: malt liquors (7.46), malt beverages (4.26), lambics (4.16), hefeweizens (4.89), ales (5.59), lagers (4.99), bocks (6.23), stouts (5.72), porters (5.23), ice beers (6.22), light beers (4.02), bitters (5.29), fruit added beers (4.81), seasonal beers (5.92). Non-alcohol beers must contain not more than 0.5% v/v alcohol, and those we tested met this standard.

The presentation will include a review of beer terminology, brewing processes, an evaluation of the manufacturers claims of alcohol content, labeling practices, and the application of Widmarks formula to some examples of beer consumption. We will also review some useful sites available on the Internet for information about beer.
 
 

2.TITLE: "PC-BASED ASSESSMENT OF ALCOHOL-RELATED IMPAIRMENT WITH SYNWORK 1"

AUTHORS: Patrick N. Friel, Daniel O'Malley, John S. Baer, Barry K. Logan, Washington State Toxicology Lab & Psychology Dept., Seattle, WA

ABSTRACT: Objective: To assess the sensitivity of Synwork 1, a PC-based divided attention test, to alcohol-related impairment at specific breath alcohol concentrations (BrACs).

Methods: 32 subjects participated (16 men and 16 women, all regular drinkers). Subjects attended a training lab where they practiced Synwork 1, and subsequently received two different ethanol doses, on separate occasions, in randomized order. The "low" dose resulted in mean peak BrACs of 0.07 g/210L, and the "high" dose resulted in mean peak BrACs of 0.105 g/210L. Subjects were tested with Synwork while their BrACs were rising or peaking, and while their BrACs were falling, after each dose.

Results: Low dose study: At mean BrAC 0.06 g/210L, the mean Synwork 1 score declined by 6%. At mean BrAC 0.04 g/210L, the mean Synwork 1 score increased by 3%.

High dose study: At mean BrAC 0.10 g/210L, the mean Synwork 1 score declined by 14%. At mean BrAC 0.07 g/210L, the mean Synwork 1 score declined by 10%. The effect of alcohol was highly statistically significant (p<0.001, ANOVA).

Conclusion: Synwork 1 is a convenient test of sustained divided attention, which is sensitive to alcohol-related impairment at relatively low BrACs. (Supported by a grant from the University of Washington Alcohol and Drug Abuse Institute.)

3.TITLE: "DUI-A TASKFORCE APPROACH"

AUTHOR: Gary R. Booker, Esq., Chief Deputy district Attorney, Las Vegas, NV

ABSTRACT: Program Purpose

To provide clinical and forensic toxicologists, laboratory directors and forensic scientists with general information on how they interface and interplay with prosecutors, specifically, and the court system, generally, in regards to being a part of the prosecution team in Driving Under the Influence (DUI) cases.

Learner Objectives

1) Discuss the role of the toxicologist/scientist as advisor to the prosecutor in DUI cases at both pre and post charging phases.

2) Discuss the role of the toxicologist/scientist as "expert witness" in grand jury, preliminary hearing(s), and jury trials.

3)Discuss the role of the toxicologist/scientist in relating to juries and others the complicated and sophisticated areas of retrograde extrapolation, synergetic co-mingling of various drugs and alcohol on DUI drivers.

4) Discuss the importance of the toxicologist/scientist explaining degrees of impairment, symptomology at various levels on both complicated and simple tasks.

5) Discuss the importance of the toxicologist/scientist in differentiating symptomology and behavior on persons under the influence of liquor, liquor and drugs, and drugs alone.

6)Discuss bottom line: To be convicted of Driving Under the Influence, it must be proved that the driver was "under the influence of some substance to some degree".

7)Discuss the toxicologist/scientist affidavits, their use.

8)Discuss toxicologist/scientist credibility in the legal system.
 
 

Firearms and related topics

1. TITLE: "VELOCITY DROP DURING THE DEPLETION OF CO2 CARTRIDGES IN A PELLET PISTOL"

AUTHOR: Matthew Noedel, WSP Crime Laboratory, Tacoma, WA

ABSTRACT: One of the most common questions asked in pellet gun shooting cases is whether or not a given shot could be fatal. Since some data exists on tissue penetration based on projectile size and velocity, these measurements must be obtained for any given pellet gun. This study looks at the drop in velocity over the use of a CO2 pellet cartridge used in one type of pellet pistol.
 
 
 

Drug Chemistry and Clandestine Labs

1. TITLE: "CLANDESTINE PHENETHYLAMINE LABORATORY SYNTHESES AND ANALYSES TRAINING"

AUTHOR: Roger E. Ely, DEA Western Laboratory, San Francisco, CA

ABSTRACT: Regardless of their experience in examining suspected controlled substances, newly hired forensic chemists with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration's (DEA) laboratories must successfully complete a rigorous analytical training program before they are allowed to examine case samples. Since the type of cases and work load vary with each DEA laboratory, each laboratory's training program is developed and tailored to suit their needs.

The DEA Western Laboratory, San Francisco, training introduces the controlled and restricted drug groups including color screening tests, extractions, identification and quantitative analyses procedures, and mock court sessions. The program also familiarizes the trainee with the uses and limitations of analytical instrumentation in the Western Laboratory. Though one or two "senior" chemists lead the training, other staff chemists assist by providing specialized training in analytical and/or instrumental methodology for particular drugs.

Over the past 5 years, the author has developed and refined the clandestine phenethylamine laboratory investigation and analyses portion of the Western Laboratory's training program. This section gives the new chemist the basic knowledge, skills, and techniques necessary to investigate, analyze, and testify about clandestine phenethylamine laboratories seized in the Western Laboratory's 11-state service area. The training utilizes classroom lecture, hands-on syntheses and sampling, hands-on analytical methodology, a written examination and an oral presentation of analytical findings.

This presentation details the clandestine phenethylamine laboratory training designed by the author. The author will provide a critical assessment of the success of the training to date and offer suggestions for developing similar training programs for individual laboratories.
 

2. TITLE: "COMMON DRUG QUANTITATION USING AUTOMATED GC/MSD ANALYSIS"

AUTHOR: Brad Johnston, Washington State Patrol Crime Laboratory, Kennwick, WA

ABSTRACT: Commonly encountered drugs were quantitated using an HP 6890 Series GC/MSD. A quick and reliable method for providing quantitative information on common drug samples will be examined. Instrumental methods development, sample preparation, database development, unknown sampling, report generation and autosampling will be discussed. The focus of this effort was to develop a rapid drug quantitation method which can be easily be integrated into routine qualitative controlled substance casework with a minimal impact on analytical time.

3. TITLE: "PRESUMPTIVE IDENTIFICATION OF METHAMPHETAMINE USING ODV NarcoPouchR FIELD TEST REAGENTS"

AUTHOR: Frances E. Beaudette, Criminalist, Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, Las Vegas, NV

ABSTRACT: Three hundred fifty-five (355) samples from 254 cases and 41 standards were submitted to testing by the ODV NarcoPouchR Marquis and Methamphetamine Field Test Reagents. The Marquis Reagent is the classic formulation of sulfuric acid and formaldehyde. The Methamphetamine Reagents are a stabilized variation of nitroprusside and sodium carbonate. The tests were conducted by laboratory personnel and trained narcotics detectives. Two hundred thirty-five (235) samples were determined to be methamphetamine by laboratory methods: 234 gave a positive response and one did not. One hundred twenty (120) samples were determined to be substances other than methamphetamine by laboratory methods; 117 gave a negative response and three gave a positive response. The specificity and sensitivity are 97.5% and 99.6%, respectively. The predictive value of a positive response is 98.7% and the predictive value of a negative response is 99.2%. These tests, when used in conjunction with each other, provide a rapid, sensitive, and specific presumptive identification of methamphetamine.
 
 
 
 

Trace Evidence and Crime Scenes

1.TITLE: "FORENSIC HAIR COMPARISON: ANTHROPOLOGICAL & NEURAL NETWORK PERSPECTIVES"

AUTHOR: Mool Shanker Verma, Denver Police Department Crime Laboratory Bureau, Denver, CO

ABSTRACT: Shortly after the Daubert ruling in June 1993, the literature was filled with predictions of doom for many forensic sciences including hair comparison, which had matured under Frye's "general acceptance" standard. Increasing number of courts however, are abandoning Daubert and the "Scientific Knowledge" element of Fed. R. Evid. 702 & turning to the "technical or other specialized knowledge" element as a basis for admitting forensic evidence that is not shown to be scientifically valid.

In this paper hair evidence is shown to be an area of "Scientific Knowledge" under rule 702 as opposed to "non-scientific evidence" linked to some body of "Specialized Knowledge" or skills. The reasoning foundations of hair comparisons are discussed within the logical framework of the methods & reasoning of comparative anatomy as well as the anthropological principles of comparative morphology.

Although there is an apparent scarcity of scientific studies in forensic hair comparison, the field is a confluence of many discrete, well grounded, and previously unrelated scientific disciplines (physical anthropology, comparative anatomy, pattern recognition and similitude amongst others) that are expressed in the common language of hair analysis and comparison.

Furthermore, developments in neural network technology over the last several years have shown that artificial neural systems are well suited for pattern recognition and image understanding applications. Forensic hair analysis and comparison falls in this class of problems; like a human observer, neural networks have been found to be good at exploiting redundancy in a perceived pattern. This paper outlines the author's continuing work in the development of a prototype intelligent Forensic System for Hair Comparison.
 
 
 

2. TITLE: "INVESTIGATION OF THE EVIDENTIARY VALUE OF TLC DYE COMPARISONS ON COTTON AND WOOL FIBERS"

AUTHOR: Kristi A. Lenon, Intern, Colorado Bureau of Investigation, Denver, CO

ABSTRACT: Analysis of cotton and wool fiber dyes with thin-layer chromatography, while commonly used in Europe, is rarely used technique in the United States. Several issues regarding this topic were explored: whether or not TLC offers discrimination between two similar samples; the smallest suitable sample size which will yield comparable results; and whether high-performance thin-layer chromatography plates offer better resolution than standard TLC plates. The results and discussion will be presented.
 

3. TITLE: "FIBER ANALYSIS BY REFLECTIVE FTIR: A NOVEL SAMPLE PREPARATION TECHNIQUE USING COPPER AND STEEL PLATES"

AUTHORS: Edgard O. Espinoza, Forensic Branch Chief, Robert Cox, Research Associate, National Fish and Wildlife Forensics Laboratory, Ashland, OR

ABSTRACT: This paper has two objectives:

(1) To demonstrate a novel technique for fiber analysis using reflective FTIR in which the sample is impressed into a copper substrate.

(2)To show that the method gives reliable, reproducible results.

Method: Fibers were placed on copper substrate and pressed in a laboratory press with 8 metric tons of pressure between steel plates. The fibers thus became embedded in the copper, which was placed in the FTIR IR-PLAN ADVANTAGE MICROSCOPE (Spectra Tech), and examined in the reflectance mode.

The preparation of fiber samples for microscopic FTIR analysis in the reflective mode has been difficult. The use of hand roller provided by the instrument manufacturer is less than satisfactory1 in that the sample may not remain perpendicular to the reflective objective, and unsatisfactory spectra are obtained. Using our technique a spectrum can be obtained in less than 10 minutes from a single fiber, remains unaltered and can be used in further examinations. We have compiled a collection of approximately 300 fibers and placed them in the OMNIC library, and have demonstrated the reliability of this library for the identification of unknown samples. This library is available to be shared with other laboratories.

1. The Development of a Spectral Data Base for the Identification of Fibers by Infrared Spectroscopy, M.W. Tungol, E.G. Bartick and A. Montaser, Applied Spectroscopy 44 543, (1990).

4. TITLE: "THE FREQUENCY OF OCCURRENCE OF PAINT AND GLASS ON THE CLOTHING OF HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS"

AUTHORS: L. Lau*, A.D. Beveridge, B.C. Callowhill, N. Conners (1), K. Foster(2), R.J. Groves, K.N. Ohashi, A.M. Sumner and H. Wong, Royal Canadian Mounted Police Forensic Laboratory, Chemistry Section, Vancouver, B.C., Canada, (1) Cooperative education student, Department of Chemistry, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, B.C., Canada, (2) Cooperative education student, Department of Chemistry, University of Victoria, Victoria, B.C., Canada

ABSTRACT: The frequency of occurrence of paint chips and glass fragments on the outer clothing and footwear of 213 high school students from different areas of the city of Vancouver was determined. Paint and glass, respectively, were found on ca. 14% and 2% of the outer clothing items and on ca. 24% and 5% of footwear. These figures are significantly lower than figures reported in similar studies in the last 25 years.
 
 
 
 

Arson

No arson papers at this meeting
 
 
 

Wildlife Forensics

1. TITLE: "SPECIES DETERMINATION OF NORTH AMERICA GAME ANIMALS BY MOLECULAR WEIGHT DETERMINATION OF THE ALPHA AND BETA CHAINS OF HEMOGLOBIN BY ATMOSPHERIC PRESSURE IONIZATION - MASS SPECTROMETRY"

AUTHORS: Edgard O. Espinoza, Nadja Cech-Lindly, Jessica Ekhoff, Kathleen Gordon, National Fish and Wildlife Forensics Laboratory, Ashland, OR

ABSTRACT: This paper has two objectives:

(1) Determine if the molecular weight of the hemoglobin chains are robust enough to allow for species identification of North American Game animals, and

(2) Determine if hemoglobin analysis using Atmospheric Pressure Ionization - Mass Spectrometry (API-MS) is reproducible.

Methods: approximately 0.1 ug/ml of dried or fresh blood was dissolved in an aqueous solution. The aqueous blood is dissolved with equal parts of an ionizing reagent (50:50 acetonitrile: water with 0.1% acetic acid). This resulting solution is directly infused into an API-MS (API-I, Perkin Elmer) at a flow rate of 16 ul/min.

The determination of species from blood or tissue has traditionally been the exclusive domain of immunologists and serologists. Recent advances in Atmospheric Pressure Ionization - Mass Spectrometry (API-MS) has allowed for the analysis of large proteins by simply infusing a solution of the proteins to be analyzed. The tissues for common North America game animals. Simultaneous analysis of the alpha and beta chains of hemoglobin from the Cervidae family indicates that the molecular weight of these proteins may be species diagnostic.

The data collected from the Cervidae data suggests that the alpha chain is more conserved than the beta chain. In examining the difference between two subspecies of the cervus genus; the red deer. Cervus elaphus (North American elk or wapiti), the alpha chain exhibits the same amino acid sequence which has the weight of 15113 amu (atomic mass units). The beta chain exhibits amino acid sequence differences with a corresponding weight of 15939 amu for the red deer and 16011 amu for the elk. Other additional variants of alpha and beta chains were detected and are currently under study. A caveat which needs to be emphasized is that Advantages of API-MS analysis for species inference include speed (approximately hemoglobinopathies of the species under study may present molecular differences which may lead to spurious conclusions.

Additional examples will be presented which will include the data gathered from Sika deer (Cervus nippon), Black Tailed deer (Odocoileus hemionus), Mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus), White-Tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus), Black bear (Ursus americanus), Grizzly Bear (Ursus arctos), Polar bear (Ursus maritimus), and puma (Felis concolor).

Advantages of API-MS analysis for species inference include speed (approximately 5 minutes), resolution (15113 +/- 3 amu), simultaneous analysis of the alpha and beta chains, and sensitivity (>10 ng of hemoglobin). Preliminary data indicates that the analysis of the alpha and beta chains of hemoglobin are robust markers and may aid in species determination
 
 
 
 
 

DNA and Conventional Serology

1. TITLE: "ANTIBODY PROFILING TECHNIQUE FOR RAPID IDENTIFICATION OF FORENSIC SAMPLES"

AUTHORS: Vicki S. Thompson, Wyoming State Crime Laboratory, Cheyenne, WY

ABSTRACT: Antibody profiling is a technique used to identify autoantibodies found in blood or other bodily fluids. Profiles are unique to each individual indicating the potential to match forensic samples to an individual. Profiling strips, prepared by Miragen, Inc., contain antigens against autoantibodies and are used to capture antibodies from samples. The antigen-antibody complexes are visualized with a colorimetric reaction. The developed strips present a series of bands characteristic to the individual. This technique has advantages over DNA analysis: 1) approximate two hour analysis time, 2) requires no special equipment or training, 3) cost competitive ($20/sample). Blood samples were sent to Wyoming State Crime Laboratory for preparation. These samples were adulterated with a variety of materials such as dirt, oil, gasoline, etc. In addition, sample size, environmental factors, sample matrices, and collection techniques were included in sample preparation. These samples were analyzed using antibody pofiling by the Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory. Preliminary results indicate that antibody profiles were indifferent to contaminants, sample size, matrix and collection techniques for the samples studied. Future applications may include screening multiple suspects and as a confirmation tool for DNA profiling.
 
 
 

Other

1. TITLE: "USE OF ION-TRAP GC/MS: ADVANTAGES AND PIT FALLS"

AUTHORS: M.M. Rao, Valsa Philip, Allen C. Ray, Kenneth Peck, Texas Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory, College Station, TX

ABSTRACT: We have been using an ion-trap GC/MS (Varian Saturn) for over two years. The ion-trap offers some advantages over the quadrupole instrument. For example, both EI and CI mass spectra can be obtained in sequence without requiring any hardware changes. This is particularly important since the mass spectra of many drugs of interest have only one prominent peak (m/z 58 or 72 or 86). A surprising result is a "chemical reaction" taking place in the trap when using TMS derivatives. We have also observed that the shape of chromatographic peaks and the fragmentation patterns are influenced by the amount of sample injected. A number of pertinent examples from our work will be presented to illustrate the above.
 

2. TITLE: "CLASSIFICATION OF INK-JET PRINTER INKS"

AUTHOR: Denise Rapaich, Colorado Bureau of Investigation, Denver, CO

ABSTRACT: As personal computers and printers are becoming more readily available to the general public, Questioned Document Examiners need to be able to differentiate between the various types of ink-jet printers used for printing documents. The physical and chemical characteristics of black ink samples from 32 models of ink-jet printers along with unprocessed ink samples from 8 black ink cartridges were analyzed. The results of this study will be presented.
 

3. TITLE: "A FORENSIC PATHOLOGIST LOOKS AT THE SHROUD OF TURIN"

AUTHOR: Robert Bucklin, M.D., J.D., Autopsy Experts, Las Vegas, NV

ABSTRACT: This paper relates the studies of a forensic pathologist who has been actively involved in the study of the Shroud of Turin for many years. The various injuries depicted on the body image on the Shroud will be described, together with a forensic interpretation of their probable causes and manner of death of the individual whose image and blood stains appear on the Shroud.
 

4. TITLE: "LUNG CANCER: ETIOLOGY AND PHARMACOTHERAPY"

AUTHOR: Kay Cassel, Ph.D., D.A.B.F.T., Smith Kline Beecham, Santa Clarita, CA

ABSTRACT: Lung cancer remains the leading cause of cancer-related mortality among both men and women in our society. It is estimated that lung cancer will cause approximately 160, 400 deaths, or approximately 29% of all cancer mortality, in the United States in 1997. (American Cancer Society)

Non small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) includes adenocarcinoma, squamos cell carcinoma, and large cell carcinoma and represents 75% of all lung cancers. Small cell lung cancer (SCLC) represents about 20% to 25% of all lung cancers.

The relationship to smoking accounts for over 85% of cases, while exposure to radon, or other forms of industrial pollution accounts for less than 10%.

Because the malignant cells in SCLC have a high propensity for early metastasis, only 30% to 40% of patients present with limited-stage disease at the time of diagnosis; the majority present with extensive-stage disease with a median survival (no treatment) of two to four months. (Abrams, 1988) Unfortunately, 70% of patients with limited-stage SCLC, and over 90% of patients with extensive-stage SCLC, will develop recurrent or progressive disease.

Staging for NSCLC is based on TNM (tumor, lymph node, metastatic spread) is utilized to direct treatment. Staging also provides a prognosis since Stage l T1-2NO MO patients have a 50% five year survival rate while Stage IV patients with any metastases have less than a 5% five year survival rate.

The context of this presentation will be limited to SCLC. Limited-stage SCLC is defined as disease confined to one hemithorax with or without ipsilateral or contralateral mediastinal lymph node metastasis, and without ipsilateral pleural effusions, independent of cytology. For such patients, who are potentially curable, the treatment of choice appears to be chemotherapy and radiotherapy given concurrently or sequentially. (Pignon, 1992).