Feeds

CSI boffins: You can't ID crims from bitemarks on victims

Corpse-chomp research discredits gnasherprinting

3 Big data security analytics techniques

Topflight CSI boffins have cast doubt on the apparently "commonly held belief" in forensics that criminals can be positively identified from the bite marks they leave on their victims.

"Bitemark identification is not as reliable as DNA identification," explains the study's lead author, Prof Raymond G Miller of the University of Buffalo.

"With DNA, the probability of an individual not matching another can be calculated," he says. "In bitemark analysis, there have been few studies that looked at how many people's teeth could have made the bite."

Miller and his colleagues teamed up with Robert Dorion, author of Bitemark Evidence: A Color Atlas, which is apparently "the only comprehensive textbook on the subject of bitemarks". The boffins embarked on a probing analysis of the subject.

According to UBuff:

The study investigated three main questions: is it possible to determine biter identity among people with similarly aligned teeth; is it possible to determine how many individuals from a larger sample might also be considered as the biter; and, if there is bite pattern distortion, is it enough to rule out a specific biter while still including a non-biter?

These knotty issues were investigated by a complex procedure involving a hundred sets of model teeth made of stone, which were used to make bite marks in skin taken from dead human bodies. (The UBuff report notes regretfully that "current human subject restrictions limit experimentation on living subjects".)

The result? "Bitemark evidence should be approached with caution", apparently. There is more from UBuff here. Our moderating staff look forward keenly to a volley of comments along the lines of "there's a subject you can really get your teeth into". ®

Top three mobile application threats

More from The Register

next story
So, just how do you say 'the mutt's nuts' in French?
Vital linguistic question interrupts LOHAN spaceplane mission
95 floors in 43 SECONDS: Hitachi's new ultra-high-speed lift
Guangzhou skyscraper denizens to hold on to hats
Most Americans doubt Big Bang, not too sure about evolution, climate change – survey
Science no match for religion, politics, business interests
KILLER SPONGES menacing California coastline
Surfers are safe, crustaceans less so
Discovery time for 200m WONDER MATERIALS shaved from 4 MILLENNIA... to 4 years
Alloy, Alloy: Boffins in speed-classification breakthrough
LOHAN and the amazing technicolor spaceplane
Our Vulture 2 livery is wrapped, and it's les noix du mutt
Liftoff! SpaceX Falcon 9 lifts Dragon on third resupply mission to ISS
SpaceX snaps smartly into one-second launch window
STEALTHY NANOROBOTS dress up as viruses, prepare to sneak into YOUR BODY
Cloaking techniques nicked from viruses tackle roadblocks on way to medical frontier
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.