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DNA recovery from fired hollow point ammunition

Booth, Nicholas (2018) DNA recovery from fired hollow point ammunition. Masters by Research thesis, Murdoch University.

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Crime involving firearms are a concern to police departments worldwide. In the event that a firearm is used, a projectile and a cartridge case are likely to be expelled. Current methods for identification of cartridges and bullets from crime scenes involve the use of comparison microscopes for class and individual characteristics generated by the firearm. With the use of recent genetic profiling technology, identifying persons that have come into contact with ammunition before and after firing has become a possibility. Results for identification of those who have handled cartridge cases through DNA profiling has been found to be consistently reliable in controlled laboratory settings if appropriate and thorough recovery techniques are utilised. DNA from cartridges, casings and bullets from real life crime scenes have also been found to provide reproducible and reliable profiles in a quarter of the exhibits that were involved in the study. Due to the nature of this study, the environments were not controlled, and understanding of the downfalls were not fully understood. Furthermore, little analysis has been conducted regarding recovery of DNA from the projectile rather than the cartridge. This review aims to establish the factors that may influence the recovery of DNA from fired ammunition. These include the loading of the ammunition, the temperatures and pressure involved in the combustion process, the by-products of the combustion process and methodology used to remove DNA from the bullet. This discussion will aid in the resulting methodology for use in a pilot study, as proof of concept in this area has yet to be conducted.

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