Syllabus of Biological Sciences (FACT and FACT Plus Syllabus)



a) Death: Causes manner and mode of death, Signs of death and changes after death. Somatic death, molecular death, early changes after death – Algor mortis, rigor mortis, cadaveric spasm, heat stiffening, cold stiffening, changes in blood, chemical changes in cerebrospinal fluid, changes in vitreous humour, post mortem lividity, fluidity of blood. Late changes – putrefaction- external and internal changes. Adipocere, mummification, gastric content and bladder content and time of death from growth of hair and nails. Destruction of body and tissues by maggots and other insects, rodents, fish and crabs, moulds. Sudden death, post-mortem demonstration of myocardial infarction Medico legal aspects of death- Asphyxia, syncope, coma, death by starvation, drowning, hanging and strangulation. Causes and mechanism of traumatic death, manner of death. Classification of traumatic deaths.

b) Mechanical Injuries: Abrasions, Bruises, Lacerations, Incised wounds, Stab wounds, Firearm injuries, Defence injuries, fabricated injuries. Traffic accident injuries: vehicular injuries, railway injuries and aircraft injuries. Thermal injuries: Burn and scalds, Lightning, Electricity, Explosions. Chemical trauma. Injuries- Accidental, self-inflicted, or inflicted by others. Ante -mortem and post-mortem, artificial injuries and aging of injuries. Fractures, Dislocations Secondary causes of death Regional injuries- wound of the scalp- incised, contusions, lacerations, firearm injuries. Fractures of the skull from direct & indirect impact, injuries of the brain, face, eyes, nose, ears, lip, teeth and alveoli, neck, spine and spinal cord, chest, rib, sternum, ribs, lungs, heart, blood vessels, diaphragm, oesophagus, abdomen, stomach, liver, intestine, pancreas, spleen, kidneys, adrenals urinary bladder, rectum external genitalia, muscles, bones and joints.

c) Structure and function of the major organ systems: digestive, respiratory, endocrine, nervous, excretory, reproductive, cardiovascular and neuromuscular. Microorganism responsible for food poisoning. Times of digestion of foods. Collection, preservation and forwarding of samples – vomit, stool, stomach wash and residual food etc.

d) Cell structure and function: Membrane structure, lipids, proteins and carbohydrates in cell membranes. Role of cell membrane in transport of material into and out of the cell. Cell organelles, cytoskeleton, projections from cell membrane. The nucleus. Chromosomes. Synthesis of proteins, karyotyping, cell division. Chromosomal sex and sex chromatin. Abnormal cell growth and tumours.

e) Introduction to body function: External and internal environment, homeostasis. Negative and positive feedback mechanism. Essential body function- procuring and ingestion of food, respiration, excretion of waste products. Need for movement. Mode of communication within the body. Importance of electrolytes, acids and alkalis, carbohydrates, proteins and fats in the body.

f) Tissues of the body: epithelia and glands. Classification of epithelia, types of glands, their classification and function. Connective tissues- basic component, cell in general connective tissues. Different forms of connective tissues, fibres of connective tissues, cells of connective tissues- adipose tissue. Functions of connective tissues. Cartilage, structure, types of cartilage, gross structure of bones, elements comprising bone tissue. Lamellar bone, woven bone, cancellous bone. Structure of compact bone, periosteum, formation of bone, development of a typical long bone, fracture healing.

g) Skin and its appendages- structure and functions, pigmentation, blood and nerve supply. Structure of hair and hair follicle, hair cycle- anagen, catagen, telogen. Arrector pilli, muscles, sebaceous glands, nails, sweat gland. Muscle- skeletal, striated, non-striated, voluntary, involuntary. Organization of muscle fibres in muscle. Tendons. Nerves tissues- neuron structure, type of neurons, synapse, grey and white matter, peripheral nerves, ganglia.


a) Skeletal terminology used in forensic reports- Terminology associated with gross morphology of bone, bone features and skeletal direction. Basic adult human skeletal biology, The sub adult skeleton. Number and types of bones in human body. Human dentition- Terminology associated with human dentition, Dental numbering system. Forensic Odontology: tooth structure and growth, estimation of age in young and adults, Population differences in size and morphology. Bite marks. Individualization of tooth pulp.

b) Exhumation, recovery of fleshed and burnt remains, packaging and storage of human skeletal remains. Distinguishing Humans from other non- human skeletal remains. Nonhuman Animal bones commonly confused with human bones.

Laboratory Examination of skeletal and decomposition remains-maceration, skeleton analysis and trauma analysis.

c) Skeletal age (Earlier years): Prenatal ossification. Postnatal appearance and union of centres ossification. Differences due to race. Skeleton age (Later years): Cranial suture closure, pubic symphysis. Sexing skeletal Remains: General consideration and age factors. Sex differences in skull, Pelvis and long bones. Calculation of stature of long bones: Studies on stature reconstruction in various population groups. Use of fragmentary long bones in stature reconstruction. Racial differences in human skeleton.

d) Other techniques of identifying skeletal remains: Facial reconstructions, Cranio facial superimposition, Video superimposition, Osteon counting, Bite mark analysis. Skeletal Trauma and identifying skeletal pathology- Anti-mortem, peri-mortem and post-mortem trauma and Pseudo trauma, Pathological changes in bones


a) Genesis and development of forensic anthropology. Personal identification of living persons- Identification through somatometric and somatoscopic observation, nails, occupation marks, scars, tattoo marks and deformities; handwriting and mannerisms. Genetic traits of forensic significance: Colour blindness, ear lobe, brachydactyly, polydachtyly,widow’s peak, eye colour, hair colour, face form, frontal eminences, nasalprofile, nasal tip,lips,chin form. Identification of the recently dead and decomposed bodies.

b) Major stages of human growth and development- Prenatal growth, Postnatal growth and their characteristics, Factor affecting growth- Genetic and Environmental. Methods of studying Human Growth, Significance of age in growth studies Methods of assessing age-chronological age, dental age, skeletal age, secondary sex character age and morphological age.

c) Techniques for recovering skeletonised human remains. Laboratory analysis of skeletal and decomposing remains; maceration, skeletal analysis.

d) Morphology and biochemistry of human and animal hair, hair growth and development, microscopical examination-, determination of origin race, sex, site, Hair types and morphology- hair growth rate, hair distribution, hair growth pattern. Hair colour and its variation. Forensic and microscopic examination of human and non-human hair, common animal hair- wool type fibres, cat and dog hair.

Microscopic features- diameter, pigment, cortex, cuticle, cross section. Collection & preservation of hair samples.


a) General plant classification schemes. Sub specialization of forensic botany- plant morphology, plant anatomy, plant systematic, palynology, plant ecology, limnology, Plant architecture- roots, stems, flowers, leaves. Practical plant classification schemes: – vegetables and herbs, fruits bearing trees and plants, landscaping plants: trees, shrubs and vines, grasses, plant cell structure and functions. Basic plant tissues

b) Various types of woods, timbers, seeds and leaves and their forensic importance. . Identification and matching of various types of wood, timber varieties, seeds and leaves. Types of fibers – forensic aspects of fiber examination- fluorescent, optical properties, refractive index, birefringence, dye analysis etc. Identification and comparison of man–made and natural fibres. Various types of Planktons and diatoms and their forensic importance Diatoms types morphology, methods of isolation from different tissue. Study and identification of pollen grains, Identification of starch grains, powder and stains of spices etc. Paper and Paper Pulp identification, Microscopic and biochemical examination of pulp material.

c) Various types of poisonous plants-abrus precatorius, Aconitum, Anacardium occidentale, argemone Mexicana, calotropis, cannabis sativa, claviceps purpuria, cinchona, croton tiglium ,atropa belladonna, erythroxylum coco, gloriosa superb,jatropha curcas, lathyrus sativus, manihot utilissima, nerium indicum, nicotiana tabacum, plumbago, ricinus communis, semicarpus anacardium, strychnos nux vomica, thevetia nerifolia, Types of plants yielding drugs of abuse – opium, cannabis, coco, tobacco, dhatura, Psilocybin mushrooms.

d) Forensic Entomology- History, significance, determination of time since death- Dipterean larval development, Life cycles of Blowfly, Flash fly and Housefly, successional colonization of body, Entomology as an evidentiary tool in child and senior abuse cases and animal abuse cases, collection of entomological evidence, Rearing of insects.

e) Introduction and importance of wild life. Protected and endangered species of animals and plants. Sanctuaries and their importance. Relevant provision of wild life and environmental act. Types of wildlife crimes, different methods of killing and poaching of wildlife animals.

f) Microorganism encountered in biological warfare


a) Elements of human genetics: Introduction, heritability, human genetic variations, human chromosomes (Normal chromosome set, chromosomal abbration, recent advances), Mendelian inheritances: Dominant inheritance, recessive inheritance, sex-linked inheritances, polymorphic traits. Heritable human diseases. Metabolic/molecular basis and detection of inherited disease, gene mapping and genetic risk assessment.

b) Mendelian Population, gene pool, Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium, deviation from H-W equilibrium, statistical assessment of deviation from H-W equilibrium, consanguinity, inbreeding, inbreeding coefficient, genotypes, phenotypes, mutation, multiple alleles, genetic variants, biochemical genetics, gene structure, its frequency determination, gene mapping and gene Expression. Genetic markers and their forensic significance. Mutations and their causes, types of mutation, mutation rate, genetic load. Method of mutation detection, population structure and gene flow. Mutation – Classification, mechanism, repair, role of genetic analysis and evolution.

c) Introduction, theory and practice of database searching, integrated information retrieval, internet access, searching for sequence homology and alignment. Concept of UNIX database and programming, computing, concepts of the UNIX operating systems. Basic theory of probability and statistics. Bayesian analysis. Likelihood ratio. Population and statistical aspect of genetics. Statistical issues in paternity testing and mixtures, presenting evidence. Use of common software in molecular genetics. Data analysis like- Dispan, Popgene, Arliquene, Sequence editing tool.

d) Gene identification and prediction- Introduction Basics of gene prediction, pattern recognition, gene prediction tools, Tools for microarray analysis and application, FASTA and BLAST Algorithm. Major data basis in bioinformatics.


a) Immune system, immune response, innate and acquired immunity, antigens, antibodies, haptenes and adjuvants, immunoglobulin- types, physico-chemical properties and function, raising of anti-sera, Lectins – their forensic significance.

Buffers and serological reagents, methods of sterilization employed for serological work.

b) Composition of blood, Formation of blood, Blood groups – history, biochemistry and genetics of ABO, Rh, Mn and other systems. Methods of ABO blood grouping (absorption-inhibition, mixed agglutination and absorption elution) from blood stains and other body fluids/stains viz. menstrual blood, semen, saliva, sweat, tear, pus, vomit, hair, bone, nail etc., blood group specific ABH substances. Secretors and non- secretors. Blood groups that make racial distinctions. Lewis antigen, Bombay Blood groups. HLA antigens and HLA typing. Role of sero-genetic markers in individualization and paternity disputes. Pitfalls in red cell typing, Antibody profiling in Forensic testing

c) Determination of human and animal origin from bones, hair, flesh, nails, skin, teeth body tissue, fluids/ stains viz. blood, menstrual blood, semen, saliva, sweat, tear, pus, vomit, etc., through immunodiffusion and immuno – electrophoresis, cross reactivity among closely related species. Individualization of blood stains: Determination of blood groups, sex age and racial origin from dried bloodstains.

Red cell enzymes: Genetics, polymorphism and typing of PGM, GLO-I, ESD, EAP, AK, ADA etc. and their forensic significance. Serum proteins: Genetics, polymorphism and typing of – Hb, HP, Tf, Bf, C3 etc. and their forensic significance

d) Presumptive and confirmatory test for body fluids (Blood, Semen, Saliva, Urine, faecal matter), Blood stain pattern analysis and its forensic significance, Collection, preservation and packaging of Biological exhibits.


a) Outline of genetic manipulations, enzymes in genetic manipulation, basic molecular cloning procedures, isolation of specific nucleic acid sequences – complementary DNA, genomic library construction, preparation of plasmid DNA, sub cloning, colony hybridization, Nick translation, Oligo nucleotide probes, expression of genes. Nucleic acid hybridization and DNA sequencing.

b) An overview of molecules involved in the flow of genetic information, double helical structure of DNA, alternate forms of DNA double helix, denaturation and renaturation of DNA, DNA binding proteins, factors affecting DNA stability, types and structure of RNA, RNA-DNA hybrid helices, DNA repair, direct and indirect evidences for DNA and RNA as the genetic material. Chemical nature of DNA and RNA. Replication of DNA in prokaryotes and eukaryotes, genetic code, degeneracy and universality of genetic code, transcription and translation machinery. Nature and structure of human genome and its diversity. mt-DNA, Y-Chromosomes and the peopling, migration, of modern humans. Concept of gene – Conventional and modern views. Fine structure of gene, split gene, pseudogene, non-coding gene, overlapping genes and multiple gene families.

c) Concept of sequence variation – VNTRs, STRs, Mini STRs, SNPs. Detection techniques – RFLP, PCR amplifications, PCR inhibitors, Primer Designing, Amp-FLP, sequence polymorphism, Y-STR, Mitochondrial DNA. Evaluation of results, frequency estimate calculations and interpretation, Allele frequency determination, Match probability – Database, Quality control, Certification and Accreditation. X-STR, Microbial DNA testing, Non-Human DNA testing, Plant DNA testing, STR kits, STR typing – Manual and Capillary electrophoresis (principle and instrumentation), RNA and its application in forensics.

d) History of DNA profiling applications in disputed paternity cases, child swapping, missing person’s identity, civil immigration, veterinary, wild life and agriculture cases. legal perspectives – legal standards for admissibility of DNA profiling – procedural & ethical concerns, status of development of DNA profiling in India & abroad. limitations of DNA profiling. Population databases of DNA markers –STRs, Mini STRs, SNPs. New & Future technologies: Analysis of SNP, DNA chip technology- Microarrays Cell-free DNA, Synthetic DNA, Touch DNA, LCN DNA.

Isolation, quantification and quality assessment of DNA from hard and soft tissues, Touch and /trace DNA. Collection, preservation and packaging of exhibits for DNA analysis.

Suggested Readings

1. Alan Gunn. Essential Forensic Biology, 2nd Edition, 2nd edition, Wiley-Blackwell 2009

2. Barris, H. and Hopkinson, D. A. (1976): Handbook of Enzyme, Electrophoresis, Elsevier, North, Holland, New York.

3. Boorman, K. E: Blood Group Serology, Churchill, and Lincolin, P. J. (1988)

4. Chatterjee, C. C- (1975): Human Physiology.

5. Chowdhuri, S. (1971): Forensic Biology, B P R & D, Govt. of India.

6. Culliford, B. E. (1971), The examination and Typing of Blood Stains, US Deptt. of Justice, Washington.

7. Dunsford, I. and Bowley, C. (1967): Blood Grouping Techniques, Oliver & Boyd, London.

8. Eckert, W. G. & James, S.H. (1989): Interpretation of Blood Stain, Evidence, Elsevaier, New York.

9. Fraser, Roberts J.A (1965): An introduction to Medical Genetics.

10. Gilblet, E. (1969): Marker’s in Human Blood, Davis, Pennsylvania.

11. Modi, J.K. (1988): Medical Jurisprudence and Toxicology, N.M. Tripathi Pvt. Ltd.

12. Race, R. R. and Sangar, R. (1975): Blood Groups in Man. Blackwell Scientific, Oxford.

13. Richard Li. Forensic Biology, 2nd edition, CRC Press 2015

14. Robertson, J. (1996): Forensic Examination of Hair. Taylor and Francis, USA.

15. Saferstein, R. (1982): Science Handbook, Vol. I, II and III, Prentice Hall, New Jersey.

Forensic Physical Anthropology including Forensic Medicine:

16. Beals, R.L. and Hozier, H. (1985), An Introduction to Anthropology, Macmillan, New Delhi.

17. Comas, J.A. (1960), Manual of Physical Anthropology, Charles C. Thomas U.S.A.

18. Cummins, H. and Midlo, C. (1961), Finger Prints, Palms and Soles, Dover Publications, U.S.A.

19. David R. Senn and Paul G. Stimson (2nd Edition) (1999), Forensic Dentisty, CRC Press, LLC.

20. Fraser, Roberts, J.A. (1965), An Introduction to Medical Genetics.

21. Glaister (Ed)-Rentoul and Smith (1973), Forensic Medicine & Toxicology, Churchill Livingston, Edinburgh.

22. Gray’s Anatomy (1987): Churchill Livingston, Edinburgh.

23. Hooton, E.A. (1946), Up from the Ape, Macmillan, New York.

24. John. G Clement and David. L. Ranso (1998), Craniofacial Identification in forensic Medicine, Oxiford University, Press.

25. Krishan Vij (2001), Text book of Forensic Medicine, B.I. Churchill Livingstone Pvt. Ltd.

26. Krogman, W.M. And Iscan, M. (1987), Human Skeleton in Forensic Medicine, Charles & Thomas, U.S.A.

27. Modi, J.K. (1988), Medical Jurisprudence & Toxicology, N.M. Tripathi Pvt. Ltd.

28. Mukherjee, J.B. (1981), Forensic Medicine & Forensic Toxicology, Academic Publisher.

29. Najjar, and Macwilliams (1979), Forensic Anthropology.

30. Robert A. Jensen (2000), Mass Falality and Casuality Incidents- A field guide, CRC Press.

31. Singh, I.P. and Bhasin M. K. (1968), Anthropometery, Kamla-Raj Publications, Delhi.

32. Steward T.D. (1978), Essentials of Forensic Anthropology, Charles C. Thomas Publisher, Limited, 1979.

33. Taylor (2000), Forensic Art and Illustrations, CRC Press.

34. Whitaker, D.K. and MacDonald, D.U. (1989), Forensic Dentistry, Wolfe Medical Publications Ltd.

35. William D. Haglernd, Marculla H. Sorg (1997), Forensic Taphonomy, CRC Press, LLC.

Specialization in Forensic Biology And Serology

36. Alan Gunn, (2nd Edition) (2009), Essential Forensic Biology, John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

37. Bruce Budowle, Roger G. Breeze, Steven E. Schutzer (2011), Microbial Forensics, Academic Press.

38. David B. Rivers and Gregory A. Dahlem (2014), The Science of Forensic Entomology, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

39. David Hall, Jason Byrd (2012), Forensic Botany: A Practical Guide, John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

40. Dorothy E. Gennard, (2007), Forensic Entomology: An Introduction, John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

41. Heather Miller Coyle, (2nd Edition) (2012), Forensic Botany, CRC Press INC.

42. Jane E. Huffman, John R. Wallace (2012), Wildlife Forensics: Methods and Applications, John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

43. Jason H. Byrd, James L. Castner (2nd Edition) (2012), Forensic Entomology: The Utility of Arthropods in Legal Investigation, CRC Press INC.

44. Jens Amendt, (2010), Current Concepts in Forensic Entomology, John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

45. Julie Roberts, Nicholas Marquez-Grant, (2012), Forensic Ecology: From Crime Scene to Court, John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

46. Richard Saferstein (Vol. I,II&III) (1982), Forensic Science Hand book, Prentice Hall, Publications.

47. Robertson, J. (1999), Forensic and microscopic examination of human hair, Taylor & Francis

Advanced Forensic Serology Including DNA Forensics

48. Angel Carracedo, (2004), Forensic DNA Typing Protocols, Humana Press.

49. Barris, H. and Hopkinson, D.A., (1976), Handbook of Enzyme, Electrophoresis, Elesvier Publications

50. Chowdhari, S., (1971), Forensic Biology, BPR & D, Govt, of India.

51. Culliford, B.E., (1971), The Examination and Typing of Blood Stains, US Deptt. of Justice, Washington

52. Dunsford, I and Bowley, C., (1967), Blood Grouping Techniques , Oliver and Boyd, London

53. Henry C. Lee and R.E. Gaensslen; (1990), DNA and other Polymorphism in Forensic Science, Year book Medical Publishers, Inc.

54. John Buckleton, Christopher M. Triggs, Simon J. Walsh, (2005), Forensic DNA Evidence Interpretation, CRC Press.

55. John M. Butler, (2010), Fundamentals of Forensic DNA Typing, Elsevier (USA).

56. John M. Butler, (2012), Advanced Topics in Forensic DNA Typing: Methodology, Elsevier (USA).

57. John M. Butler, (2nd Edition) (2005), Forensic DNA Typing: Biology, Technology, and Genetics of STR Markers , Elsevier (USA).

58. Lawrence Kobilinsky, L., Liotti, T.F and Sweat, J.O., (2005), DNA: Forensic and Legal Applications, John Wiley and Sons, Inc.

59. Race, R.R, and Sanger, R., (1975), Blood Groups in Man, Blackwell Scientific, Oxford.

60. Richard Saferstein (Vol. I,II&III) (1982), Forensic Science Hand book, Prentice Hall New Jersey.

61. Rudin, N. and Inman, K. (2nd Edition) (2002), An Introduction to Forensic DNA Analysis, CRC Press.

62. William Goodwin, Adrian Linacre, Sibte Hadi, (2007), An Introduction to Forensic Genetics, John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

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