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See detailAssociative learning of Nasonia vitripennis Walker (Hymenoptera: Pteromalidae) to methyldisulfanylmethane
Frederickx, Christine ULg; Verheggen, François ULg; Brostaux, Yves ULg et al

in Journal of Forensic Sciences (2014)

Traditional methods of volatile detection used by police typically consist of reliance on canine olfaction. However, dogs have some limitations such as cost of training and time of conditioning. The ... [more ▼]

Traditional methods of volatile detection used by police typically consist of reliance on canine olfaction. However, dogs have some limitations such as cost of training and time of conditioning. The possibility of using parasitic wasps for detecting explosives and narcotics has been developed. Moreover, wasps are cheap to produce and can be conditioned with impressive speed for a specific chemical-detection task. We examined the ability of Nasonia vitripennis Walker to learn and respond to methydisulfanylmethane (DMDS), a volatile discriminator of cadaver. The training aimed to form an association between an unconditioned stimulus (pupae) and the conditioned stimulus (odor source). After the training, the time spent of conditioned wasps in the DMDS chamber was measured. Statistical analysis showed that the increasing concentrations involved an increase in the time spent in the chamber containing DMDS. This study indicates that N. vitripennis can respond to DMDS, which provide further support for its development as a biological sensor. [less ▲]

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See detailHost-habitat location by the parasitoid, Nasonia vitripennis Walker (Hymenoptera: Pteromalidae).
Frederickx, Christine ULg; Dekeirsschieter, Jessica ULg; Verheggen, François ULg et al

in Journal of Forensic Sciences (2014), 59

This study investigated the role of odorant cues used during host-habitat location by the generalist parasitoid, Nasonia vitripennis Walker. N vitripennis is a common parasitoid of Dipteran pupae found in ... [more ▼]

This study investigated the role of odorant cues used during host-habitat location by the generalist parasitoid, Nasonia vitripennis Walker. N vitripennis is a common parasitoid of Dipteran pupae found in association with decaying carrion. Behavioral assays were used to investigate the host-habitat searching behavior under different scenarios. First, we demonstrated N. vitripennis to be significantly attracted toward odorant cues associated with decaying meat. The biological activity of nine of the volatile molecules constituting the odor of decaying meat were tested on the searching behavior of parasitoid females through two complementary chemoecological approaches: electronantennography (EAG) and olfactometry bioassays. Butanoic acid and butan-1-ol elicited high olfactory responses, but no attraction was induced by these two chemicals. Behavioral assays showed that, among the VOCs tested, methyldisulfanylmethane (DMDS) was the only volatile chemical to induce attraction in N. vitripennis. [less ▲]

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See detailDiversity of forensic rove beetles (Coleoptera, Staphylinidae) associated with decaying pig carcass in a forest biotope
Dekeirsschieter, Jessica ULg; Frederickx, Christine ULg; Verheggen, François ULg et al

in Journal of Forensic Sciences (2013)

Most forensic studies are focused on Diptera pattern colonization while neglecting Coleoptera succession. So far, little information is available on the postmortem colonization by beetles and the ... [more ▼]

Most forensic studies are focused on Diptera pattern colonization while neglecting Coleoptera succession. So far, little information is available on the postmortem colonization by beetles and the decomposition process they initiate under temperate biogeoclimatic countries. These beetles have however been referred to as being part of the entomofaunal colonization of a dead body. Forensic entomologists need increased databases detailing the distribution, ecology and phenology of necrophagous insects, including staphylinids (Coleoptera, Staphylinidae). While pig carcasses are commonly used in forensic entomology studies to surrogate human decomposition and to investigate the entomofaunal succession, very few works have been conducted in Europe on large carcasses. Our work reports the monitoring of the presence of adult rove beetles (Coleoptera, Staphylinidae) on decaying pig carcasses in a forest biotope during four seasons (spring, summer, fall and winter). A total of 23 genera comprising 60 species of rove beetles were collected from pig carcasses. [less ▲]

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See detailElectrophysiological and behavioural responses of Thanatophilus sinuatus F. (Coleoptera: Silphidae) to selected cadaveric volatile organic compounds
Dekeirsschieter, Jessica ULg; Frederickx, Christine ULg; Lognay, Georges ULg et al

in Journal of Forensic Sciences (2013)

Soon after death, carcasses release volatile chemicals that attract carrion insects including Silphidae. Nevertheless, it is not known which chemical cues are involved in the attractiveness of the carcass ... [more ▼]

Soon after death, carcasses release volatile chemicals that attract carrion insects including Silphidae. Nevertheless, it is not known which chemical cues are involved in the attractiveness of the carcass. So far, little information is available on the chemical ecology of carrion beetles, particularly concerning the subfamily of Silphinae. The biological role of selected cadaveric volatile organic compounds including: dimethyldisulfide (DMDS), butan-1-ol, n-butanoic acid, indole, phenol, p-cresol, putrescine, and cadaverine on the silphine species, Thanatophilus sinuatus Fabricius, was investigated by using both electrophysiological and behavioural techniques. Among the tested cadaveric compounds, butan-1-ol and DMDS elicited the strongest EAG from both T. sinuatus male and female antennae. In a two-arm olfactometer, males and females were significantly attracted to dimethyldisulfide (DMDS) for both tested doses, whereas only males were attracted to p-cresol at 100 ng. Putrescine was repellent to males at the dose of 1 µg [less ▲]

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See detailEvolution of the content of THC and other major cannabinoids in drug-type cannabis cuttings and seedlings during growth of plants
DE BACKER, Benjamin ULg; Maebe, Kevin; Verstraete, Alain G. et al

in Journal of Forensic Sciences (2012), 57(4), 918-922

In Europe, authorities frequently ask forensic laboratories to analyze seized cannabis plants to prove that cultivation was illegal (drug type and not fiber type). This is generally done with mature and ... [more ▼]

In Europe, authorities frequently ask forensic laboratories to analyze seized cannabis plants to prove that cultivation was illegal (drug type and not fiber type). This is generally done with mature and flowering plants. However, authorities are often confronted with very young specimens. The aim of our study was to evaluate when the chemotype of cannabis plantlets can be surely determined through analysis of eight major cannabinoids content during growth. Drug-type seedlings and cuttings were cultivated, sampled each week, and analyzed by high-performance liquid chromatography with diode array detection. The chemotype of clones was recognizable at any developmental stage because of high total Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) concentrations even at the start of the cultivation. Conversely, right after germination seedlings contained a low total THC content, but it increased quickly with plant age up, allowing chemotype determination after 3 weeks. In conclusion, it is not necessary to wait for plants’ flowering to identify drug-type cannabis generally cultivated in Europe. [less ▲]

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