Isotope Analysis

Manila Bulletin, December 2, 2012 | Go to article overview

Isotope Analysis


This one is a new tool in forensic medicine - isotope analysis. Police in a small county in Florida, United States, are now using the method in solving difficult, forgotten criminal cases.

Essentially, isotope analysis is used by geologists, archeologists, and paleontologists in determining the age, nature, and physical structure of their fossilized subjects.

Now, how in the world can isotope analysis help law enforcers write finis to old, unsolved murder cases?

A five-column news feature in The New York Times weekend supplement in the Manila Bulletin, November 24, 2012, tells readers how. But first, what is an isotope?

It is a species of chemical atoms of the same number and position but differing in mass and physical properties, according to the Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary.

The unusual police approach to crime solution was triggered by the discovery of a woman's body, with a man's belt wrapped around her neck, in Lake Panasoffkee on February 19, 1971. What the police knew at that time, aided by an old forensic laboratory analysis, was that she was 17 to 24 years old, that was all.

But even that crude deduction was only partly correct. After 41 years since the body's discovery, it would have been ripe to archive the case to the "Unsolved Crime" department.

But early this year, Sumter County Detective Darren Norris, obviously, a crack and persevering investigator, took the woman's skeleton to Dr. Erin Kimmerle, a forensic anthropologist at the University of South Florida.

The scientist immediately went to work. He "reconstructed the woman's face, and clothing, took shavings of her tooth enamel and bones." He also recruited Dr. George Kamenov, a geochemist at the University of Florida.

The latter also analyzed chemical traces in those shavings of lead, carbon, and other elements, giving a detailed history of diet and environment of the victim, said the article.

All of the above now constitutes what isotope analysis is all about, and the role it plays in solving murder cases.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Isotope Analysis
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.