#cclivechat Recap June 15, 2012

sum it up #cclivechatIn today’s #cclivechat, Sue Carney covered body fluids testing, limitations of tests and forensic interpretation of body fluids with us. It brought a few surprises such as that urine and feces contain very little DNA, that some cells look identical and are thus less suited for forensic purposes. Sue also indicated the difficulties with several tests and the limits of postmortem testing.

Encouraging is the research happening to identify tissue specific RNA molecules that might allow for more accurate identification of body fluids found. Moreover, the RNA molecules might eventually help identify cause of death.

There is still a lot more to cover on this topic so if you have any questions for Sue please leave them in the comment section below this recap and I will alert Sue.

Kindly note that #cclivechat always takes place on Fridays and always from noon-1pm EST. Only the themed chats are listed by date on the homepage so you can see who my guest is on that particular date. The other (not listed) chats are normal cold case updates.

The schedule so far:

June 22: Charlie Fox from the famous blog “the MOD stole my boyfriend” will be our guest! Charlie will discuss with us what it means to be an army partner and what we can do to help our service men and women. Her Twitter account is here.

July 6: Laura Madison will discuss the ins and outs of crisis mapping, the implementations and more! Her Twitter account is here.

July 20: Ian Rivers continues his chats on cyber-bullying and cyber-aggression. His Twitter account is here.

Aug 24: Colorado’s favourite Writing Private Investigators will be my guests. Be ready for everything! Their Twitter account is here.

Sept 7: John Leake will discuss his book “Cold a Long Time: An Alpine Mystery” and will explain more about the forensics involved in the case. His Twitter account is here.

The verbatim thread of today’s chat is below.

Cheers!

Vidocq_CCIt is noon, time for another cold case live chat. Our guest: Sue Carney on body fluid testing and their forensic interpretation. #cclivechatFri, 15 Jun 2012 15:59:55 +0000
Vidocq_CCWelcome Sue and thank you for being my guest again. How are you? #cclivechatFri, 15 Jun 2012 16:00:15 +0000
LilacLoungeGood afternoon everyone at #cclivechatFri, 15 Jun 2012 16:00:49 +0000
LilacLounge@Vidocq_CC I'm very well thanks Vidster. It's good to be back at #cclivechatFri, 15 Jun 2012 16:01:31 +0000
Vidocq_CC@LilacLounge Good to have you back! Now body fluids sounds like a subject you need to have a stomach for! #cclivechatFri, 15 Jun 2012 16:02:28 +0000
Vidocq_CCOops, ended a tweet in a preposition! Bad Vids! #cclivechatFri, 15 Jun 2012 16:03:28 +0000
GrahamKates@Vidocq_CC I'm ready to start learning about body fluid testing and their forensic interpretation #cclivechatFri, 15 Jun 2012 16:03:36 +0000
LilacLounge@Vidocq_CC Ha. It's not really as gruesome a subject as you might think. Very useful in a forensic interpretation. #cclivechatFri, 15 Jun 2012 16:03:37 +0000
Vidocq_CC@GrahamKates Welcome, Graham! #cclivechatFri, 15 Jun 2012 16:04:23 +0000
LilacLounge@GrahamKates Hello & welcome! #cclivechatFri, 15 Jun 2012 16:04:23 +0000
Vidocq_CC@LilacLounge I don't doubt the usefulness, was wondering about odours ... #cclivechatFri, 15 Jun 2012 16:04:52 +0000
LilacLounge@Vidocq_CC Ok yes, there are sometimes odours. In fact in some cases, that, primitive as it sounds, might form part of the test #cclivechatFri, 15 Jun 2012 16:06:21 +0000
LilacLounge@Vidocq_CC For example, a good initial indication of the presence of urine, is the smell! #cclivechatFri, 15 Jun 2012 16:07:13 +0000
Vidocq_CC@LilacLounge Part of the test ... ok, let's talk about body fluid testing. What can be tested and how does it help the police? #cclivechatFri, 15 Jun 2012 16:07:50 +0000
LilacLounge@Vidocq_CC And good forensic examination notes will document the smell along with other observations #cclivechatFri, 15 Jun 2012 16:08:19 +0000
LilacLounge@Vidocq_CC Well in general, body fluid tests are useful because they expand our interpretation. Often linked to DNA tests... #cclivechatFri, 15 Jun 2012 16:09:33 +0000
LilacLounge@Vidocq_CC ...They can assist us in interpreting the circumstances of how the biological material,whatever it is, was deposited. #cclivechatFri, 15 Jun 2012 16:10:19 +0000
LilacLounge@Vidocq_CC ...They can assist us in interpreting the circumstances of how the biological material,whatever it is, was deposited. #cclivechatFri, 15 Jun 2012 16:10:19 +0000
Vidocq_CC@eileenclayton1 @LilacLounge Pls use hashtag #cclivechat so everyone can see your tweets, thanks.Fri, 15 Jun 2012 16:11:10 +0000
GrahamKates@LilacLounge @Vidocq_CC Besides verifying the mere presence of a fluid what can fluid tests indicate in terms of cause of death? #cclivechatFri, 15 Jun 2012 16:11:27 +0000
Vidocq_CC@LilacLounge Can you give some examples? #cclivechatFri, 15 Jun 2012 16:11:40 +0000
LilacLounge@Vidocq_CC We can test for the obvious body fluids: blood, semen, saliva, urine & faeces. However, there are limitations. #cclivechatFri, 15 Jun 2012 16:11:49 +0000
Barnesy_@Vidocq_CC @LilacLounge hello all #cclivechat, just letting you know I'm tuning in for it 🙂Fri, 15 Jun 2012 16:12:11 +0000
Bopsterrrr@LilacLounge @Vidocq_CC #cclivechat in the cases of tests which aren't specific to a body fluid and detect things like detergents 1/2Fri, 15 Jun 2012 16:13:16 +0000
Vidocq_CC@Barnesy_ Hi Daniel! Good to see you! #cclivechatFri, 15 Jun 2012 16:13:37 +0000
Bopsterrrr@LilacLounge @Vidocq_CC #cclivechat how big an impact do these have in interpretation of real cases rather than being noted in journals 2/2Fri, 15 Jun 2012 16:13:46 +0000
LilacLounge@GrahamKates That's an interesting question. Current tests alone do not assist with COD, but RNA testing might. In research... #cclivechatFri, 15 Jun 2012 16:14:07 +0000
msashton_writerI made it! #cclivechatFri, 15 Jun 2012 16:14:27 +0000
eileenclayton1#cclivechat besides telling you last meal and how long ago they ate what else can be foundFri, 15 Jun 2012 16:14:33 +0000
Vidocq_CC@msashton_writer Awesome! #cclivechatFri, 15 Jun 2012 16:15:29 +0000
LilacLounge@Vidocq_CC For example, we can screen for saliva by looking for amylase, an enzyme. It does not confirm saliva is present... #cclivechatFri, 15 Jun 2012 16:16:16 +0000
Vidocq_CC@Bopsterrrr Excellent question! #cclivechatFri, 15 Jun 2012 16:16:27 +0000
LilacLounge@Vidocq_CC ...but, can indicate a location we might want to sample for DNA. #cclivechatFri, 15 Jun 2012 16:16:45 +0000
LilacLounge@eileenclayton1 Lots! We can look for traces of body fluids on clothing to address alleged sexual activity, for example. #cclivechatFri, 15 Jun 2012 16:17:39 +0000
LilacLounge@Bopsterrrr So you're talking about false positives to presumptive tests here. They must be interpreted within the case info... #cclivechatFri, 15 Jun 2012 16:19:05 +0000
Bopsterrrr@LilacLounge Yes, I was just wondering whether they are something that are commonly dealt with in casework #cclivechatFri, 15 Jun 2012 16:20:09 +0000
eileenclayton1#cclivechat what's the weirdest place you have got body fluid from?Fri, 15 Jun 2012 16:20:13 +0000
LilacLounge@Bopsterrrr If we're not expecting to find the other substances, then there's a good chance the reaction is due to the b'fluid.. #cclivechatFri, 15 Jun 2012 16:20:14 +0000
Vidocq_CC@LilacLounge Can body fluids tell someone's age at the time of death? #cclivechatFri, 15 Jun 2012 16:20:30 +0000
LilacLounge@Bopsterrrr and DNA testing may often support this. Unlikely to obtain a good DNA profile from a detergent! #cclivechatFri, 15 Jun 2012 16:20:52 +0000
LilacLounge@Bopsterrrr They are always considered, yes! There are more interesting false positives...1/2 #cclivechatFri, 15 Jun 2012 16:21:24 +0000
Bopsterrrr@LilacLounge In cases where it is unsure of the origin can techniques like microscopy help in identification of a source? #cclivechatFri, 15 Jun 2012 16:21:47 +0000
Bopsterrrr@LilacLounge haha that is very true ;)! #cclivechatFri, 15 Jun 2012 16:22:11 +0000
LilacLounge@Bopsterrrr Cauliflower gives a reaction to the presumptive test for semen. But it's rare to find cauliflower in your underwear! #cclivechatFri, 15 Jun 2012 16:22:12 +0000
Vidocq_CC@LilacLounge What body fluids if any can be obtain after exhumation? #cclivechatFri, 15 Jun 2012 16:22:37 +0000
Bopsterrrr@LilacLounge Now that would be something to try and explain! Is it acid phosphatase which causes the reaction? #cclivechatFri, 15 Jun 2012 16:23:33 +0000
LilacLounge@Bopsterrrr Great question!. Yep, we can look for cells (e.g. saliva) or sperm to support or confirm a test result. #cclivechatFri, 15 Jun 2012 16:23:43 +0000
Vidocq_CCFolks, this cold case live chat combines cauliflower, underwear, smells and tells. Join us! #cclivechatFri, 15 Jun 2012 16:24:04 +0000
Barnesy_RT @Vidocq_CC: Folks, this cold case live chat combines cauliflower, underwear, smells and tells. Join us! #cclivechatFri, 15 Jun 2012 16:24:41 +0000
LilacLounge@eileenclayton1 that's a tough one. In sex offence cases I've examined many weird objects. Sausages was a strange one! #cclivechatFri, 15 Jun 2012 16:25:02 +0000
GrahamKatesRT @Vidocq_CC: Folks, this cold case live chat combines cauliflower, underwear, smells and tells. Join us! #cclivechatFri, 15 Jun 2012 16:25:46 +0000
Bopsterrrr@Vidocq_CC I think we have a contender for tweet of the week right there!!! #cclivechatFri, 15 Jun 2012 16:25:53 +0000
Vidocq_CC@lilaclounge I know there are enzymes indicative of pregnancy. Other than that, can body fluids establish gender? #cclivechatFri, 15 Jun 2012 16:26:23 +0000
LilacLounge@Vidocq_CC I'm not sure about age at death. More usual to examine items such as clothing with transferred b'fluids. #cclivechatFri, 15 Jun 2012 16:26:29 +0000
BopsterrrrRT @Vidocq_CC: Folks, this cold case live chat combines cauliflower, underwear, smells and tells. Join us! #cclivechatFri, 15 Jun 2012 16:26:46 +0000
LilacLounge@Vidocq_CC That would probably depend on how long after burial. Most biological material will start to degrade fairly quickly. #cclivechatFri, 15 Jun 2012 16:27:35 +0000
msashton_writer@LilacLounge ~ Can TOD be determined using fluid testing? #cclivechatFri, 15 Jun 2012 16:27:56 +0000
LilacLounge@Bopsterrrr Yes indeed, AP for short. An enzyme in seminal fluid. But detergents can react directly with the dye in the reagent #cclivechatFri, 15 Jun 2012 16:29:27 +0000
eileenclayton1#cclivechat what's about information gained from visceral fluidsFri, 15 Jun 2012 16:29:28 +0000
Vidocq_CC@LilacLounge Can you give a time frame for the deterioration? Are we thinking in days, weeks? #cclivechatFri, 15 Jun 2012 16:29:48 +0000
msashton_writer@LilacLounge ~ How is TOD categorized? #cclivechatFri, 15 Jun 2012 16:30:23 +0000
LilacLounge@Vidocq_CC Well the presence of semen / sperm can. But DNA from other body fluids can also determine gender. #cclivechatFri, 15 Jun 2012 16:30:25 +0000
msashton_writerRT @Vidocq_CC: @lilaclounge I know there are enzymes indicative of pregnancy. Other than that, can body fluids establish gender? #cclivechatFri, 15 Jun 2012 16:32:01 +0000
LilacLounge@eileenclayton1 Maybe useful for toxicology. The type of testing we do is about identification of transferred bio material #cclivechatFri, 15 Jun 2012 16:32:42 +0000
LilacLounge@Vidocq_CC will depend on how much, what its been transferred to and how / where the body is buried. #cclivechatFri, 15 Jun 2012 16:33:40 +0000
LilacLounge@Vidocq_CC In addition, if a body is badly decomposed, then the chances of recovering material from the clothing are slim. #cclivechatFri, 15 Jun 2012 16:34:26 +0000
Vidocq_CC@LilacLounge So the preservation, method of burial is crucial, right? Dry versus moist ground, etc? #cclivechatFri, 15 Jun 2012 16:34:56 +0000
LilacLounge@Vidocq_CC I examined items in a case once where a body had been hidden in a suitcase for a month... #cclivechatFri, 15 Jun 2012 16:35:30 +0000
LilacLounge@Vidocq_CC Due to the products of decomposition on the clothing, it was impossible to identify any transferred b'fluids or DNA #cclivechatFri, 15 Jun 2012 16:36:19 +0000
LilacLounge@Vidocq_CC Yes, that could be a factor, and perhaps what a body is wrapped in. It's impossible to give a real timeframe #cclivechatFri, 15 Jun 2012 16:37:09 +0000
eileenclayton1#cclivechat that must of been quite awful, and body must of been degraded badlyFri, 15 Jun 2012 16:37:13 +0000
Vidocq_CC@LilacLounge Are there any body fluids that are useless for testing or for extracting DNA? #cclivechatFri, 15 Jun 2012 16:37:35 +0000
LilacLounge@msashton_writer Hi Marguerite. I'm not really sure of the answer to that one. TOD & COD are really medical questions. #cclivechatFri, 15 Jun 2012 16:38:14 +0000
LilacLounge@Vidocq_CC Great question! There very little DNA in urine, which surprises some people. Or in faeces for that matter... #cclivechatFri, 15 Jun 2012 16:38:51 +0000
Vidocq_CC@LilacLounge Are all organ fluids suitable for DNA testing? #cclivechatFri, 15 Jun 2012 16:38:57 +0000
Vidocq_CC@LilacLounge Ok, so the pee & poo scenes on TV are overrated! Good to know. #cclivechatFri, 15 Jun 2012 16:40:04 +0000
LilacLounge@Vidocq_CC we also have problems in identifying vaginal material. There's no test for that. Would be useful in sex cases. #cclivechatFri, 15 Jun 2012 16:40:05 +0000
LilacLounge@eileenclayton1 That was pretty bad yes. I was lucky not to have to see the body, only items recovered from it. #cclivechatFri, 15 Jun 2012 16:40:49 +0000
eileenclayton1#cclivechat you ever come across issue of some one who gave different dna readings? read person giving dna pre and post op organ transplantFri, 15 Jun 2012 16:41:47 +0000
Vidocq_CCRT @LilacLounge: Great question! There very little DNA in urine, which surprises some people. Or in faeces for that matter... #cclivechatFri, 15 Jun 2012 16:41:52 +0000
LilacLounge@Vidocq_CC I'm not sure what constitutes an organ fluid. If you want DNA, better to take a piece of the organ itself! #cclivechatFri, 15 Jun 2012 16:41:53 +0000
Vidocq_CCRT @LilacLounge: we also have problems in identifying vaginal material. Theres no test for that. Would be useful in sex cases. #cclivechatFri, 15 Jun 2012 16:42:02 +0000
Bopsterrrr@LilacLounge @Vidocq_CC #cclivechat can there be confusion in distinguishing between vaginal and buccal epithelial cells?Fri, 15 Jun 2012 16:42:18 +0000
Vidocq_CC@Vidocq_CC I was thinking about kidneys and their filters. #cclivechatFri, 15 Jun 2012 16:42:41 +0000
Vidocq_CCRT @Bopsterrrr: @LilacLounge Can there be confusion in distinguishing between vaginal and buccal epithelial cells? #cclivechatFri, 15 Jun 2012 16:43:06 +0000
LilacLounge@eileenclayton1 I've never encountered it, but it can certainly happen. Also with blood transfusions. #cclivechatFri, 15 Jun 2012 16:43:12 +0000
LilacLounge@Bopsterrrr Absolutely! Well remembered!! They look identical. We can't rely on distinguishing b'ween them for forensic purposes #cclivechatFri, 15 Jun 2012 16:44:51 +0000
LilacLounge@Vidocq_CC Well kidneys will be filtering urine, so little DNA there. But a piece of kidney is made of cells so will contain DNA #cclivechatFri, 15 Jun 2012 16:45:52 +0000
Vidocq_CC@LilacLounge Are there other cells that look identical and thus not reliable for forensic purposes? #cclivechatFri, 15 Jun 2012 16:47:40 +0000
LilacLounge@Vidocq_CC For forensic purposes, most recovered cells look similar, hence not reliable, except sperm, which are easily IDed.. #cclivechatFri, 15 Jun 2012 16:50:43 +0000
LilacLounge@Vidocq_CC However, a particular chemical test result, e.g. presence of amylase, plus cells, can support presence of saliva. #cclivechatFri, 15 Jun 2012 16:51:57 +0000
LilacLounge@Vidocq_CC So, body fluid test results often add to our overall interpretation #cclivechatFri, 15 Jun 2012 16:52:41 +0000
Vidocq_CC@LilacLounge What are the latest advances in body fluid testing technology? #cclivechatFri, 15 Jun 2012 16:53:54 +0000
Bopsterrrr@LilacLounge @Vidocq_CC What techniques are available in interpreting mixtures of body fluids? (multiple semen samples 1/2 #cclivechatFri, 15 Jun 2012 16:54:41 +0000
LilacLounge@Vidocq_CC If you need a specific identification of cells / tissue then the pathologist is more helpful #cclivechatFri, 15 Jun 2012 16:55:20 +0000
LilacLounge@Vidocq_CC There's research happening to identify tissue specific RNA molecules which is really exciting #cclivechatFri, 15 Jun 2012 16:56:08 +0000
Vidocq_CCRT @LilacLounge: @Vidocq_CC Theres research happening to identify tissue specific RNA molecules which is really exciting #cclivechatFri, 15 Jun 2012 16:56:50 +0000
LilacLounge@Vidocq_CC This RNA testing might allow more accurate ID of body fluids, inc vaginal cells, and may also help to ID COD #cclivechatFri, 15 Jun 2012 16:57:02 +0000
LilacLounge@Vidocq_CC The RNA work isn't ready for forensic cases yet, but it's thought that specific RNA molecules may be produced... #cclivechatFri, 15 Jun 2012 16:58:28 +0000
Vidocq_CCRT @LilacLounge: This RNA testing might allow more accurate ID of body fluids, inc vaginal cells, and may also help to ID COD #cclivechatFri, 15 Jun 2012 16:58:51 +0000
LilacLounge@Vidocq_CC ...in circumstances of agony or distress, as well as being found in specific body tissues, hence the link to COD #cclivechatFri, 15 Jun 2012 16:59:30 +0000
LilacLounge@Bopsterrrr Generally, if you have a DNA mixture you can't attribute each contributor to a specific b'fluid. But some exceptions #cclivechatFri, 15 Jun 2012 17:01:13 +0000
Vidocq_CC@LilacLounge Very exciting news! #cclivechatFri, 15 Jun 2012 17:01:22 +0000
Vidocq_CCAnother hour flew by so Thank you very much, Sue for chatting under less favourable wifi circumstances! #cclivechatFri, 15 Jun 2012 17:01:48 +0000
LilacLounge@Vidocq_CC Wow, it's time already! It was my pleasure Vidster, and the WiFi seemed to hold out! 🙂 #cclivechatFri, 15 Jun 2012 17:02:53 +0000
GrahamKatesThanks @Vidocq_CC and @LilacLounge that was a really fascinating conversation! #cclivechatFri, 15 Jun 2012 17:02:56 +0000
Vidocq_CCIf you have any questions for Sue, just place them in the comment box below the recap on DCC. #cclivechatFri, 15 Jun 2012 17:03:03 +0000
Bopsterrrr@Vidocq_CC @LilacLounge Thanks Sue, was super interesting and the hour flew by! #cclivechatFri, 15 Jun 2012 17:03:06 +0000
LilacLoungeThanks all for your great questions. I'll answer any follow up ones after the recap on DCC - just post in the comments! #cclivechatFri, 15 Jun 2012 17:03:46 +0000
Vidocq_CC@LilacLounge Awesome, if you have additions just email me later and we can paste it into the post above the recap. #cclivechatFri, 15 Jun 2012 17:04:07 +0000
msashton_writer@LilacLounge @Vidocq_CC ~ Once again, I've learned something new. Thank you! #cclivechatFri, 15 Jun 2012 17:04:09 +0000
Vidocq_CCThanks everyone for joining me. The themed chat schedule is on the blog's homepage. #cclivechatFri, 15 Jun 2012 17:04:34 +0000
LilacLoungeOff for some dinner! Catch you all later, and thanks again! 🙂 #cclivechatFri, 15 Jun 2012 17:04:42 +0000
Vidocq_CCThe other Fridays are cold case updates without a specific theme or guest. #cclivechatFri, 15 Jun 2012 17:05:02 +0000
Vidocq_CC@LilacLounge Thanks Sue and bon appetit! #cclivechatFri, 15 Jun 2012 17:05:19 +0000
Vidocq_CCOff to write the recap, folks! Will be posting later on DCC with the verbatim thread as usual. #cclivechatFri, 15 Jun 2012 17:05:45 +0000
Vidocq_CCSigning off! #cclivechatFri, 15 Jun 2012 17:06:04 +0000