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The effects of a detonation explosion on the recovery of DNA from fragments of an improvised explosive device

Rampant, Sharonne (2017) The effects of a detonation explosion on the recovery of DNA from fragments of an improvised explosive device. Masters by Coursework thesis, Murdoch University.

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Terrorist related crimes have increased over the last 15 years and have recently become more common in western countries. With the rising rate of these attacks, many of which employ the use of improvised explosive devices (IED’s), the need for quick resolution of these crimes is pertinent. The priority of identifying those responsible for these attacks is enhanced if the perpetrator is killed during the explosion or is absent from the scene due to decamping after the explosion. In these cases, identifying, capturing and prosecuting those involved is of great importance to law enforcement and the surrounding communities to ensure further attacks do not occur.

A process commonly used in crime resolution is forensic DNA analysis. This technique has been used for many years and is widely accepted by the scientific community and therefore the criminal justice courts. DNA analysis has the ability to uniquely identify persons whom have been in contact with objects leaving traces of themselves behind. This type of analysis has vastly improved over recent years increasing its sensitivity and specificity and hence allowing people to be identified from simple tasks such as touching an object.

With the use of this forensic technique in investigations involving IED’s, a person of interest may be able to be linked to the construction or detonation of the device in question. This information would be useful during the investigation as well as prosecution of the perpetrator in a court of law.

The aim of the review is to assess the methodologies used in similar studies and discuss factors that may hinder the results of the experimental component of this study.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters by Coursework)
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Veterinary and Life Sciences
Supervisor(s): Coumbaros, John and Chapman, Brendan
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