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A comparative microscopic study of human and non-human long bone histology.

By Faridah M. Nor

Abstract

Identification of human or nonhuman skeletal remains is important in assisting the police\ud and law enforcement officers for the investigation of forensic cases. Identification of bone\ud can be difficult, especially in fragmented remains. It has been reported that 25 to 30% of\ud medicolegal cases, which involved nonhuman skeletal remains have been mistaken for\ud human. In such cases, histomorphometric method was used to identify human and\ud nonhuman skeletal remains. However, literature has shown that histomorphometric data for\ud human and nonhuman bone were insufficient. Additionally, age estimation in bone may\ud help in the identification of human individual, which can be done by using a\ud histomorphometric method. Age estimation is based on bone remodeling process, where\ud microstructural parameters have strong correlations with age. Literature showed that age\ud estimation has been done on the American and European populations. However, little work\ud has been done in the Asian population. The aims of this project were thus, to identify\ud human and nonhuman bone, and to estimate age in human bones by using\ud histomorphometric analysis. In this project, 64 human bones and 65 animal bones were\ud collected from the mortuary of the Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia Medical Centre and the\ud Zoos in Malaysia, respectively. A standard bone preparation was used to prepare human\ud and nonhuman bone thin sections for histomorphometric assessment. Assessments were\ud made on the microstructural parameters such as cortical thickness, medullary cavity\ud diameter, osteon count, osteon diameter, osteon area, osteon perimeter, Haversian canal\ud diameter, Haversian canal area, Haversian canal perimeter, and Haversian lamella count per\ud osteon by using image analysis, and viewed under a transmitted light microscope. The\ud microstructural measurements showed significant differences between human and\ud nonhuman samples. The discriminant functions showed correct classification rates for\ud 81.4% of cases, and the accuracy of identification was 96.9% for human and 66.2% for\ud animal. Human age estimation showed a standard error of estimate of 10.41 years,\ud comparable with those in the literature. This study project offers distinct advantages over\ud currently available histomorphometric methods for human and nonhuman identification and\ud human age estimation. This will have significant implications in the assessment of\ud fragmentary skeletal and forensic population samples for identification purposes

Topics: Histomorphometric method, Haversian canal area, Cortical thickness, Image analysis, Human long bones, Human skeleton remains, Non-human skeletal remains, Bone analysis, Human age estimation, Malaysia, Asian populations
Publisher: Department of Archaeological Sciences
Year: 2009
OAI identifier: oai:bradscholars.brad.ac.uk:10454/4463
Provided by: Bradford Scholars

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