Senior Seminar Research Proposal Essay

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Forensic entomology is used to determine such crimes as murder, suicide, and other criminal acts by examining various insects instead of using human tissues. This forensic tool is used to determine the postmortem interval of a corpse and the cause of death of a corpse when all other forms of human evidence (human blood, tissues, hair, etc.) are not present at the scene. Forensic entomologists prefer using insects to determine these factors of death because the insects produce similar results as human test materials such as human blood or tissues which yield the best analytical results for the forensic entomologist. The use of forensic entomological evidence has been accepted and used in many courts around the world
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There is an increase in adult flies that are collected at this stage of decomposition. In the last stage of decomposition, remains, there is no continued change of the corpse and the presence of insects found decreases (Grisales, et al., 2010). The stages of decomposition and the insects present at these stages are also used to determine the postmortem interval (PMI) of a corpse.
PMI, or postmortem interval, provides important detail of situations that occurred before time of death in cases of homicide and untimely death (Byrd and Castner, 2001). Arthropods that are found on the corpse can determine the length of egg to fly transformation then to the recovered developmental stage (Gennard, 2007). The best arthropods to use are the oldest ones that were yielded from eggs when the larvae were first deposited on the corpse because they have the longest feeding time on the corpse which allows them to fully develop and retain any evidence from the corpse much longer; this will produce a more accurate PMI. Such information can help to identify both the criminal and the victim by eliminating the suspects and connecting the deceased with other individuals. The predictable physical and chemical consequences of death are usually the most reliable PMI indicators, which means knowing what an insect should look like at which developmental level to determine when a dead body
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