Forensic Biology involves the examination of items and crime scenes for different body fluids, for example blood, semen and saliva. Such body fluids are rich in DNA and can be used to assist in the identification of the individual who left the deposition. The examination of crime scenes and clothing can often assist in working out what happened, and who may have participted in violent action, or who was merely a bystander. We have a number of scientists who can perform examinations in forensic biology and have a long tack record of highly successful cases over the years.
We have been of particular assistance in cases where additional examinations have been carried out to reveal all of the scientific evidence, rather than what can appear very one sided.
Blood pattern analysis, (or BPA) is one of the more opinion-based disciplines within forensic science. As the appearance of a blood stain on a surface and the pattern or distribution of groups of blood stains can often be used to determine the action that caused the item to become blood stained, BPA can often assist the scientist in reconstructing the activity that occurred at the scene.
Our forensic experts are highly experienced in the blood pattern analysis of and have reported many BPA cases, both from a crime scene perspective and also from items of clothing addressing specific allegations in terms of the blood patterns observed. We can comment upon whether or not a blood stain or groups of stains originated from a given action such as, for example kicking or punching rather than being an innocent bystander.
At Manlove Forensics we can tell you what angle a drop of blood made contact with a surface, indicating where the source of blood may have been. We can also comment on contact blood staining, for example, did a specific item of footwear make a mark in blood?
We are frequently called upon to review blood pattern analysis findings, both to re-examine scenes and clothing to check the interpretation made by the initial forensic scientist. Very often the first analysis is made without the appropriate information to hand and when different scenarios are considered, suddenly blood pattern evidence can seem to provide an alternative series of events.
In addition to our comprehensive casework service in blood pattern analysis, we offer a lecture and workshops demonstrating this essential evidence type.
Our forensic biologists at Manlove Forensics are highly experienced in body fluid examination. The correct identification of blood, semen, saliva and other biological material by the biologist at the scene of a crime or on items of clothing is often of the utmost importance to an investigation. Similarly, the presence (or absence) of a specific body fluid on items of clothing, intimate swabs, possible weapons or other objects may assist the forensic biologist in clarifying what has occurred and identifying those who were or were not involved.
Our biologists are able to undertake examinations for a wide variety of body fluids at our laboratory facility in Oxfordshire. Our forensic scientists are trained in the most up-to-date methods of analysis and are happy to offer advice in all forensic case types. If required, we will visit other laboratories in order to undertake an independent assessment of forensic examinations already undertaken and can remove samples for further testing if appropriate.
We may also be able to offer an opinion regarding the possible mechanisms of transfer of a type of biological material or comment on whether a DNA profile can be attributed to a specific body fluid. Our forensic biologists are happy to provide a bespoke service to suit your needs and also offer training courses and awareness days in biological testing. Please do not hesitate to contact us to discuss how we can assist you with regard to any query involving body fluid examination.
As DNA profiling techniques have become more sensitive, it was become easier to detect the DNA of individuals on items which they have worn, or even just handled. This does not, however, mean that they were the only person, or indeed the most recent individual to have worn the item, and the interpretation of such evidence requires great care.
'Touch' DNA, when DNA matching a nominated individual is recovered from an item, also requires extremely careful interpretation. For example, is the result mixed? How many possible contributors are there? Is it really a match to that person, or are the possible combinations of alleles (DNA components) so numerous that it is also possible to link the DNA to a multitude of other people? This is one area in which we are frequently requested to assist, particularly in regards to the phenomenon of secondary transfer, and we are glad to help you with such enquiries.
MFL Forensics examines items for the presence of biological material in within our purpose-built secure facility in South Oxfordshire. A strict anti-contamination regime is maintained within the laboratories where items are examined, ensuring that any results obtained are robust. We examine items at MFL in our clean lab for all body fluids, touch DNA and BPA. We also examine items to assess damage in the same laboratory. We are often requested to examine larger items; either within our own facilities or at a location of the customer's choice. This may include the examination of vehicle and crime scenes.
It is to be noted that increasingly, initial examinations do not always include all items that may be important to understand all of the scientific evidence and this is one area in which we are conducting many more instructions.
Our forensics scientists analyse areas of damage in items of clothing and other items to distinguish what may have caused the material or item to become distorted, broken or torn.
Such areas of damage often exhibit specific characteristics that can enable them to be classified, for example as cuts or tears. By careful microscopic analysis, our scientists can guide you as to the correct assessment of the casue of the damage. It can also be possible to characterise the type of implement that caused a particular area of damage and undertake controlled tests to address allegations involving specific scenarios and to determine whether or not a specific weapon could have caused the damage.
Our forensic scientists have experience of forensic damage interpretation in a variety of case types, including murder and sexual assaults and have frequently presented evidence in these areas at court.
Our forensic biologists have many years experience of assisting in the investigation of sexual assaults. This can be done either as a review, or we can examine, or re-examine items and clothing previously examined. We examine items for semen and/or saliva, commenting on the meaning of the evidence given the quantity found, and its location.
It is possible, with new scientific developments, to find semen on intimate swabs even after a week since the alleged event. It is also always worth considering examination of clothing items that may have been in contact with the skin if such swabs are negative.
In some cases where trace quantities of body fluids are detected, it is important to ascertain whether or not these may have been confused with other body fluids, touch DNA or even are false positive reactions of presumptive tests. One must also assess whether or not any DNA profiling results can be attributed to the body fluid concerned.