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The detection of spermatozoa on washed forensic exhibits

Nolan, Ashley-N'Dene (2016) The detection of spermatozoa on washed forensic exhibits. Masters by Coursework thesis, Murdoch University.

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Abstract

Occasionally, items of interest have been washed following an alleged sexual assault and analysts may be requested to comment on the effects of laundering on seminal fluid and the persistence of spermatozoa. It is scientifically accepted that when items have been washed resulting in the dilution of semen, Acid Phosphatase activity may be reduced to the point in which it cannot be detected by the Seminal Acid Phosphatase test or by alterative light sources such as the Polilight®. Results documented by Spector (1971), Kafarowski (1996), Farmen (2008) and Crowe (2000) all recorded negative results for Acid Phosphatase following the first wash cycle. However, these results are dependent on different variables such as washing procedures, fabric type and fabric absorbency. Other studies, however, have indicated that spermatozoa from seminal stains on cotton fabric persist even after the fabric has been washed; Spector (1971), Kafarowski (1996), Farmen (2008) and Crowe (2000) all documented a positive result for spermatozoa following the first wash cycle. All of these studies have failed to continue on with the washing process to examine the effects of washing and wash duration on the ability to detect seminal fluid and spermatozoa on different fabric types. The study proposal is to examine the effects of washing and wash duration on the ability to detect seminal fluid and spermatozoa on six different fabric types (cotton, nylon, satin, lace, polar fleece and towel) using an alternative light source (the Polilight-Flare®), the acid phosphatase test and microscopically.

Publication Type: Thesis (Masters by Coursework)
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Veterinary and Life Sciences
Supervisor: Chapman, Brendan and Murakami, J.
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/35017
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