RESEARCH

Forensic Science

Research Summary

In the laboratory of Legal Medicine, forensic autopsies of suspected-criminal cases are performed daily, and, therefore, researches on the Forensic Genetics and the Forensic Toxicology are carried out, contributing to personal identification and drug test in the cases. Development or modification of the methods on the Forensic Genetics and the Forensic Toxicology are sometimes required to solve the cases.
In the Forensic Genetics, technologies and mathematical assessment of forensic DNA profiling using STRs (short tandem repeats), Y-STRs (Y chromosomal STRs) and SNPs (single nucleotide polymorphisms) are investigated. Recently, the Next Generation Sequencing technology, by which thousands or millions of nucleotide sequences can be analyzed concurrently, is applied to metagenomic analysis of microorganisms in the autopsied bodies and stress analysis before the deaths. 
In the Forensic Toxicology, microanalysis using LC-MS/MS (liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry) or simple test without expensive equipment are developed or improved to detect drugs, poisons and biological components in the bodies. Toxicity of illegal drugs is also studied. 
In addition, the possibility of false diagnosis of drowning by contamination of terrestrial diatoms during the plankton test is investigated.