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Investigating the effect of high temperatures and substrates on the detection of human blood using the ABAcard® Hematrace® kit

McDonald, Teaghan (2017) Investigating the effect of high temperatures and substrates on the detection of human blood using the ABAcard® Hematrace® kit. Masters by Coursework thesis, Murdoch University.

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Abstract

Blood is one of the most commonly encountered types of evidence at a crime scene. The first step to begin processing is observation and documentation, followed by presumptive testing which analyses if the substance is likely blood, and if the blood comes from human origin. This procedure ensures less time and resource wastage of items of evidence which have little or no forensic value. However this process can be hindered when the presumptive test in vulnerable to false negative results.

There are many degradative agents which blood can be exposed to at crime scenes. This ranges from high temperatures, UV light or chemicals such as bleach. This review will focus on how high temperatures affect blood and more specifically haemoglobin. The ABAcard® HemaTrace® Kit is an immunochromatographic assay test which relies on antibodies imbedded within a test strip to detect the presence of human haemoglobin. It is currently unknown in the literature to what degree haemoglobin is affected by high temperatures and how this affects the outcome of the HemaTrace® Kit. Denaturation of haemoglobin can cause structural damage to the protein making is unrecognisable to the antibodies within the test and therefore producing a false negative result.

The aim of this literature review is to determine the effects of high temperatures on human haemoglobin as a degradative agent and the effect on the outcome of the HemaTrace® Kit. The purpose is to assist in future research designing and should hopefully be able to answer questions regarding further investigations.

Publication Type: Thesis (Masters by Coursework)
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Veterinary and Life Sciences
Supervisor: Speers, James
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/37532
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