American Academy of Forensic Sciences invites Dr. J. S. Sehrawat to present his research papers


Dr. J.S. Sehrawat.

Chandigarh, February 11, 2017: American Academy of Forensic Sciences has invited Dr.J.S.Sehrawat, Assistant Professor, Department of Anthropology, Panjab University (PU), Chandigarh, to present his research papers entitled “Bones and Teeth as Osteological Signatures of the Identity of Human Remains Excavated From a 160-Year-Old Abandoned Well: A Forensic Anthropological Case Report from India” at its 69th Annual Scientific Meeting to be held in New Orleans, Louisiana State (USA) from 13th-18th February, 2017. Highly distinguished forensic experts from all over the world are expected to attend this international conference of very high repute and share their research experiences about the current status and future possibilities in the discipline. Dr.Sehrawat has received partial financial support from University PURSE grant and partially from some other national funding agencies.
In his first paper, he will highlight the importance of bones and teeth as identity signatures of the victims killed in mass disasters or criminal acts; with special insights learnt from forensic anthropological examinations of unknown human skeletal remains excavated from an ancient well at Ajnala (Punjab) in early 2014.
Dr. Sehrawat is the principal investigator in this project of national importance funded by Punjab Government wherein he, along with Prof. RK Pathak, has been entrusted with a crucial responsibility of establishing the biological identity of these remains recovered from the well. Dr. Sehrawat has more than 7000 human teeth and thousands of badly damaged bones, allegedly belonging to hundreds of individuals. A number of hypotheses have been put forth about the origin history of
these remains; the scientific analyses from various angles are underway and very soon the mysterious presence of these remains in the questioned well at Ajnala, is expected to be solved by the experts involved in this project. Preliminary
anthropological, chemical and molecular analyses have found that majority of the victims were North Indian males in their late forties or early fifties. He further claimed to identify the age, sex, ethnicity, socio-economic status and hygienic
conditions of the victims from tooth only as the bones were seriously challenged and damaged. Tooth is the most significant forensic evidence which can have prolonged post-mortem longevity and capability to resist all decompositions, destructions and degradations. Keeping in mind the huge skeletal assemblage and limited funds available to them for scientific investigations, Dr. Sehrawat has collaborated with two Indian research institutes of high repute for their molecular and chemical identifications; though the forensic anthropological examinations are being done at his parent Department of Anthropology, PU, Chandigarh. He stressed that, though they had received badly damaged and commingled remains consequent upon their unscientific excavations, the advanced scientific techniques like mitochondrial DNA analysis,
carbon-dating and forensic radiological examinations will enable them to arrive at valid conclusions about their identity. The mtDNA haplogroup patterns of majority of samples were found to show their affinity to present day North Indian populations of Punjab and Uttar Pradesh states, while few of them also showed their similarity with present day Pakistani and Iranian populations, though the final results are in pipeline and are expected within next few months.
In his second paper, he will present importance of anatomical features of collarbone (clavicle) in forensic identifications and clinical interventions like orthopedicians, anatomists and surgeons. Human clavicle is the most frequently fractured bone of human skeleton, possessing high degree of variability in its anatomical, biomechanical and morphological features. He studied 13 anatomical features like diameter, weight, length, robustness, indices and angles of 263 pairs of clavicles collected from autopsied cadavers. He found significant differences in clavicles of two sexes and individuals of different occupations and said that in-depth knowledge of variations in clavicular shape, size and its dimensions is very important from both clinical (fixation of clavicular fractures using external or inter-medullary devices, designing orthopaedic fixation devices) as well as forensic anthropological perspectives.

Saturday, February 11, 2017