The Study of Hair - Mrs. John

The Study of Hair - Mrs. John

Chapter 3 The Study of Hair SFS1. Students will recognize and classify various types of evidence in relation to the definition and scope of Forensic Science SFS2. Students will use various scientific techniques to analyze physical and trace evidence. b. Analyze the morphology and types of hair, fibers, soil and glass. Introduction Human hair is one of the most frequently found

pieces of evidence at the scene of a violent crime. From hair one can determine: If the source is human or animal Race (sometimes) Origin of the location on the sources body Whether the hair was forcibly removed If the hair has been treated with chemicals If drugs have been ingested 2

The Structure of Hair The actively growing base of the hair is called the follicle, and contains DNA and living cells. The Structure of Hair Hair is often compared to a pencil.

The Structure of Hair The cuticle is made of scales that overlap and protect the inner layers of the hair. The edges of the scales always point away from the root. The Structure of Hair The

cortex is the largest part of the hair. It is filled with pigment called melanin that gives hair its color. It also determines shape. The Structure of Hair The

medulla is the center of the hair. It can be a hollow tube, or filled with cells. What Can We Find Out From Hair? Hair with follicle cells is individual evidence. It can be used to make a DNA match. What Can We Find Out From Hair? Hair is class evidence without follicle cells.

It can be used to identify a class a people with certain hair characteristics. The Root Human roots look different based on whether they have been forcibly removed or if they have fallen out. Animal roots will vary, but in general have a spear shape. Forcibly removed

Fallen out Forensic Science: Fundamentals & Investigations, Chapter 3 10 The Life Cycle of Hair Anagen Hair grows. 80 90% of hair in this phase

Length of this phase varies from person to person, and on different parts of the body The Life Cycle of Hair Catagen Growth slows, and then stops Phase lasts only a couple of weeks Follicle shrinks and root breaks away. Telogen

Hair rests, no active growth Lasts five to six weeks Root begins to grow a new hair (in anagen), pushing the old hair out. What Can We Find Out From Hair? Phase contrast microscopy and

fluorescent microscopy can make it easier to determine the presence of a dye or other treatment. Treated Hair Hair that has been bleached or dyed can make hair brittle and disturb the cuticle.

Dying changes the color of both the cuticle and the cortex. Time since last treatment can be used to help identify hairs from the same person. Animal Hair vs. Human Hair Spinous Coronal

The Imbricate cuticle is typically different. The cuticle scales in animals tend to resemble petals (spinous) or they give the appearance of a stack of crowns (coronal). The cuticle scales in humans commonly are flattened and narrow (imbricate).

15 Animal Hair vs. Human Hair Human hair has pigment denser toward the cuticle. Animal hair is denser toward the medulla. Human hair is usually one color long its length. Animal hair can change suddenly in bands. The ratio of the diameter of the medulla to the diameter of the entire hair is called the medullary

index. If the medullary index is 1/3 or less, the hair is human. If it is or more, it is animal. What Can We Find Out From Hair? Neutron activation analysis (NAA) can identify fourteen specific elements in hair, greatly increasing the accuracy of matches. Hair can be used to detect exposure to poisons or

narcotics. The average hair grows 1.3 cm each month, allowing forensic chemists to determine when exposure occurred. DNA from Hair The root contains nuclear DNA. If the hair has been forcibly removed, some follicular tissue may be attached containing DNA.

The hair shaft contains abundant mitochondrial DNA, inherited only from the mother. This process is more difficult and costly than using nuclear DNA. 18 Other Hair Info Number

of hairs on typical heads Redheads = ~80,000 Dark hair = ~100,000 Blondes = ~120,000

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