Category Archives: Forensic Palynology

Case Studies (Forensic Palynology)

By @forensicfield

Palynology is the study of pollens and spores.

Palynology

Spore– haploid cell derived from sporganium via meiosis.

Pollens – immature, endosporic male gametophyte derived from male spores (microspores) in seed plants.

Use of Pollens in Forensics

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Have a glance on Some Cases where Palynology have been used:-

CASE 1Arson

An arsonist was detected by rata and puriri pollen left on shoes and in the foot well of the car she drove. The two trees grew beside a school window where the fire was started.

CASE 2Abduction

Pumpkin, broad bean and beetroot pollen on a rope left behind at the scene of a disappearance of a young teenager identified an individual who worked at an orchard.

CASE 3Sexual Assault

Pollen from clothing off victim and suspect showed they both had been at the scene of an alleged sexual assault where Artemisia and other plants grew, supporting the victim’s story.

CASE 4Homicide

After examination of Clothing of a homicide victim Pollens were found and after pollens and mineral analysis of victim’s clothing indicated that she had been murdered beside a river. Her clothing had been placed in nearby mountains to distract the Police from the real homicide scene.

CASE 5Counterfeit Pharmaceuticals

Dust(Pollens) and stable isotope examination of forged anti-malarial pharmaceuticals showed different creation hotspots for the medications and demonstrated the place of source.

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Forensic Palynology

By @forensicfield

INTRODUCTION

Palynology   – Palynology is the study of pollens and spores.

Spore– haploid cell derived from sporganium via meiosis.

Pollens – immature, endosporic male gametophyte derived from male spores (microspores) in seed plants.

Use of Pollens in Forensics

Following Points can be proved by study of pollens in forensics:

  • It can relate a suspect to the scene of crime.
  • It can relate an item left at the scene to a suspect.
  • It can relate to the foreign item which found on the scene of crime.
  • Support or disprove alibis.
  • It can search for the trace materials to their original sources.

Detection of Pollens

Presence of pollens can be detected or verified by some forensic techniques, such as :

  • Mineral Analysis
  • Stable isotopes
  • Radiocarbon dating, etc.

FIRST USE OF POLLEN IN CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION

The country of New Zealand leads the world in the use of forensic palynology and in the acceptance of this type of evidence in court.

Work of Palynologist

  • The first task of the forensic palynologist is to try to find a match between the pollen in a forensic sample with the pollen from a known geographical region.
  • Knowledge of pollen dispersal (pollen rain) and productivity often plays a major role in solving such problems.

What to Sample?

  • Soil, dirt, dust are common at every crime scene.
  • They should be collected carefully because often these elements contain abundant pollen and spores.
  • Samples of dirt collected from the clothing, skin, hair, shoes, or the car of a victim might prove useful in linking the victim with the location where the crime occurred (mildenall, 1988)

Pollination Method

There are four types of pollen dispersal methods:

  1. Pollen that is carried by water currents.
  2. Pollen that is carried by wind currents.
  3. Pollen that is transported by an insect or animal, and
  4. Pollen that never leaves the flower because it is used for self pollination.

Best place to find Pollen / Spores

  • Woven cloth
  • Blankets
  • Ropes
  • Clothing
  • Fur,etc

Notes

  • Forensic palynology is useful even if no soil traces can be detected or seen by the naked eye on sample.
  • There is no time bound for pollen analysis; it can be performed in investigation after any years since the crime committed.

Have a glance on Some Cases where Palynology have been usedClick here…

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