A study on the discrimination of human skeletons using X-ray fluorescence and chemometric tools in chemical anthropology

Gonzalez-Rodriguez, Jose and Fowler, Gillian (2013) A study on the discrimination of human skeletons using X-ray fluorescence and chemometric tools in chemical anthropology. Forensic Science International, 231 (1-3). 407.e1-407.e6. ISSN 0379-0738

Full content URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.forsciint.2013.04.035

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Item Type:Article
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Forensic anthropological investigations are often restricted in their outcomes by the resources allocated to them, especially in terms of positively identifying the victims exhumed from commingled mass graves. Commingled mass graves can be defined as those graves that contain a number of disarticulated human remains from different individuals that have been mixed by either natural processes or human interventions. The research developed aimed to apply the technique of non-destructive XRF analysis to test whether there is substantial differentiation within the trace elemental composition and their ratios of individuals to separate them using chemometric analysis. The results of the different atomic spectroscopic analyses combined with the use of multivariate analysis on a set of 5 skeletons produced a series of plots using Principal Component Analysis that helped to separate them with a high percentage of accuracy when two, three or four skeletons needed to be separated. Also, two new elemental ratios, Zn/Fe related to metabolic activities and K/Fe related to blood flow into the bone, have been defined for their use in forensic anthropology for the first time to aid in the separation. © 2013 Elsevier Ireland Ltd.

Keywords:Forensic anthropology, X-ray fluorescence, Chemiometrics, Commingled mass graves, Bone analysis, Chemical anthropology
Subjects:F Physical Sciences > F170 Physical Chemistry
F Physical Sciences > F400 Forensic and Archaeological Science
F Physical Sciences > F180 Analytical Chemistry
Divisions:College of Science > School of Life Sciences
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ID Code:11613
Deposited On:12 Aug 2013 12:35

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