RSS

Blue-eyed Mesolithic Caveman?

Was there an ancient Marlboro Man? Cool, swarthy. handsome?

DNA obtained from the wisdom tooth of the 7000-year-old remains of an European Mesolithic (Middle Stone Age) hunter-gather has been analyzed and suggests that the man had dark skin and hair, blue eyes, and was likely lactose intolerant.

Artist Impression of Mesolithic Hunter-gatherer

Artist Impression of Mesolithic Hunter-gatherer

We are all familiar with DNA’s use in solving crimes by matching a suspect to a crime scene and, particularly mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA), in ancestry investigations. DNA analysis can also often reveal sex, race, and hair and eye color.

Mesolithic Skull

Mesolithic Skull

Mesolithic Life in Europe Before the Curse of Farming: http://archaeology.about.com/od/mesolithicarchaic/qt/Mesolithic.htm

Historic Timeline: http://www.historiclandscape.co.uk/exploring_time.html

Stone Age Timelines: http://www.historiclandscape.co.uk/exploring_time.html

 
 

Crime and Science Radio: Improving Forensic Science With Kevin Lothridge Of The NFSTC

Saturday, November 15, 2014, at 10 a.m. Pacific: Crime and Science Radio: Improving Forensic Science: An Interview With Kevin Lothridge Of The NFSTC

KevinL 500X627

Join Jan Burke and I as we welcome Kevin Lothridge, CEO of the National Forensic Science Technology Center, an organization that has developed protocols for educating forensic science professionals and improving and standardizing the varied fields of forensic investigation.

BIO: Kevin Lothridge, Chief Executive Officer – NFSTC’s principal investigator, Mr. Lothridge is an accomplished forensic scientist and business leader with 28 years of experience in the international forensics industry. He has held positions as a forensic chemist, chief forensic chemist, and laboratory director for the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Department and the Pinellas County Forensic Laboratory. Mr. Lothridge has testified in court more than 50 times as an expert in controlled substances and fire debris analysis. He speaks at numerous professional conferences, and he co-authored the GC-MS Guide to Ignitable Liquids. In 2006-07, he led the development of the Expeditionary Analysis Center project for the Department of Defense, now used for training and tactical field forensics.

Mr. Lothridge holds a bachelor’s degree in Forensic Science from Eastern Kentucky University and a master’s degree in Management from National Louis University. He has served as president of the American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors (ASCLD) and as acting chief of the Investigative and Forensic division of the National Institute of Justice (NIJ).

General NFSTC description:

The National Forensic Science Technology Center (NFSTC) is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation headquartered in Largo, Florida. Founded in 1995, NFSTC provides quality forensic services including biometrics and forensic science training, assessment, test and evaluation services, instructional design and support to the military, justice and forensic science communities.

LISTEN:

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/suspensemagazine/2014/10/16/crime-and-science-radio-with-special-guest-kevin-lothridge

LINKS:

National Forensic Science Technology Center: http://www.nfstc.org

Forensic Science Simplified: http://www.forensicsciencesimplified.org

NFSTC on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/nfstc

NFSTC on Twitter: https://twitter.com/nfstc

NFSTC on LinkedIN: https://www.linkedin.com/company/national-forensic-science-technology-center—nfstc

NFSTC Instructional Videos on Youtube: www.youtube.com/thenfstc

NamUs, the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System: http://www.namus.gov

 

ITW’s 1000 Thriller Giveaway

1000books_banner_large_new

Want to win a great thriller every week for a year?

It’s easy to do.

Enter ITW’s 1000 Thriller Giveaway:  http://www.thebigthrill.org/1000-thrillers/

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on November 10, 2014 in Writing

 

Military Book Fair Pictures

Yesterday was the first-ever Military Book Fair to benefit our warriors. It was held on the hangar deck of the aircraft carrier USS Midway.

Here are a few pictures from the event:

Panel in Session

Panel in Session

Signing Books For Our Warriors:

Dale Brown

Dale Brown

James Rollions and Andrew Peterson

James Rollions and Andrew Peterson

Jan Burke

Jan Burke

Philip Donlay

Philip Donlay

Kathleen Antrim and DP Lyle

Kathleen Antrim and DP Lyle

Hanging with T. Jefferson Parker:

DP Lyle and T. Jefferson Parker

DP Lyle and T. Jefferson Parker

 
3 Comments

Posted by on November 9, 2014 in Writing

 

ITW’s Thriller School Returns in March, 2015

TSchool

ITW’s highly successful Thriller School will be presented yet again, beginning March 2, 2015 and running for 7 weeks. Like last year, the school will likely fill up very quickly, so register soon.

The school is a series of podcasts with appropriate handouts and further study guides from each instructor. During the week of each class, the instructor will be available on line to answer questions from students.

Instructors are:

Gayle Lynds: Plot

Robert Dugoni: Character

Heather Graham: Setting

Andrew Gross: Point Of View

Linwood Barclay: Dialog

Steven James: Storytelling

DP Lyle: Voice

Take your writing to the next level.

Register Now: http://thrillerwriters.org/thrillerschool/

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on November 6, 2014 in Writing

 

Crime and Science Radio: What Bones Can Tell Us: An Interview with Forensic Anthropologist Marilyn London, Saturday 11-1-14, 10 a.m. Pacific

Join DP Lyle and Jan Burke for an entertaining and informative interview with forensic anthropologist Marilyn London.  She’ll tell us what we can learn from skeletal remains, what forensic anthropologists do at the scene where remains are found, and more!

Marilyn 2

BIO: Marilyn London has worked as a forensic anthropologist for more than three decades. She serves on the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services D-MORT Team, responding to mass fatality incidents including the recovery and identification of remains after the crash of Flight 93 in the 9/11 terrorist attacks. She has worked on the human skeletal collections of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History and has lectured internationally on the subject of forensic anthropology. She co-edited the book from Smithsonian Press. She is a Fellow of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences, Anthropology Section, and served as Chair of the Section in 2004-2005. Her specialty is the human skeleton and she has taught human osteology and related subjects at several universities. She has analyzed human skeletal remains for medical examiners in New Mexico, Iowa, and Rhode Island. She has worked on a variety of field projects, analyzing human skeletal remains from prehistoric sites and historic cemeteries in New Mexico, Maryland, and New York City. She currently also serves as a Lecturer in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Maryland.

LISTEN:

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/suspensemagazine/2014/10/15/crime-and-science-radio-with-special-guest-marilyn-london

LINKS:

American Board of Forensic http://www.theabfa.org

American Academy of Forensic Sciences: Career Guide for Anthropology http://aafs.org/students/student-career/anthropology

ABFA advice for students who want to pursue careers in forensic anthropology http://www.theabfa.org/forstudents.html

The Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History Department of Anthropology http://anthropology.si.edu/archives_collections.html

Ellis R Kerley Forensic Sciences Foundation http://kerleyfoundation.org

Disaster Mortuary Operational Response Teams http://www.phe.gov/preparedness/responders/ndms/teams/pages/dmort.aspx

PBS: History Detectives: Forensic Anthropology  http://www.pbs.org/opb/historydetectives/technique/forensic-anthropology/

Simon Fraser Museum: Forensic Anthropology Resources  http://www.sfu.museum/forensics/eng/pg_media-media_pg/anthropologie-anthropology/

 

Q and A: Could Death From Bleeding Be Delayed For Several Days After a Frontier Wagon Wheel Accident?

Q: My story takes place in a wagon train in the late 1800’s. My character is dragged by a horse while crossing a river. He hits rocks and is bounced off the back wheel of a wagon. Of course the horse’s hooves do damage as well. Three days later he dies from massive bleeding from his internal injuries. This three day delay followed by the sudden loss of blood is important to the story’s timing, but is it realistic?

wagon_train-2

A: The answer to your question is yes.

This type of accident could, as you can imagine, result in all types of injuries. Broken bones, skull fractures, neck fractures, cracked ribs, punctured lungs, and intra-abdominal injuries (injuries inside the abdominal cavity). This last type of injury might serve you well.

A ruptured spleen or lacerated liver or fractured kidney would bleed into the abdominal cavity. Death could be quick or take days if the bleed was slow. There would be great pain, especially with movement or breathing, and the abdomen would swell. Also a bluish, bruise like discoloration could appear around the umbilicus (belly button) and along the flanks. This usually takes 24 to 48 hours or more to appear. This occurs as the blood seeps between the “fascial planes.” The fascia are the tough white tissues that separate muscles from one another. The blood seeps along these divisions and reaches the deeper layers of the skin causing the discoloration. But, these injuries wouldn’t lead to external bleeding since the blood has no exit from the abdominal cavity.

However, if the injury was to the bowel, then external bleeding could occur. For blood to pass from the bowel, the bleeding would have to be within the bowel itself and not just in the abdomen somewhere. If the bowel were ruptured or torn so that bleeding occurred within the bowel, the blood would flow out rectally. But, blood in the bowel acts like a laxative so the bleeding would likely occur almost immediately and continue off and on until death, which in this situation would be minutes to hours to a day, two at the most. It would be less realistic for the bleeding to wait three days before appearing in this case. With one exception.

The bowel could bruised and not ruptured or torn, and a hematoma (blood mass or clot) could form in the bowel wall. As the hematoma expanded it could compromise the blood supply to that section of the bowel. Over a day or two the bowel segment might die. We call this an “ischemic bowel.” Ischemia is a term that means interruption of blood flow to an organ. If the bowel segment dies, bleeding would follow. This could allow a 3 day delay in the appearance of blood.

In your scenario, the injuries would likely be multiple and so abdominal swelling, the discolorations I described, great pain, fevers, chills, even delirium toward the end, and finally bleeding could all occur. Not a pleasant way to die, but I would imagine this happened not infrequently in frontier days.

The victim would be placed in the bed of one of the wagons and comforted as best they could. He might be sponged with water to ease his fevers, offered water or soup, which he would likely vomit, and prayers would be said. They could have tincture of opium (a liquid) available and give him some. This would lessen the pain since it is a narcotic and would also slow the motility (movement) of the bowel and thus lessen the pain and maybe the bleeding.

Of course, during the time period of your story, your characters wouldn’t know any of the internal workings of the injury as I have described. They would only know that he was severely injured and in danger of dying. Some members of the wagon train may have seen similar injuries in the past and may know just how serious the victim’s condition is, but they wouldn’t understand the physiology behind it. They might even believe that after he survived the first two days that he was going live and then be very shocked when he eventually bleed to death. Or they might understand that the bouncing of the wagon over the rough terrain was not only painful but also dangerous for someone in his condition. They train may be halted for the three days he lived or several wagons might stay behind to tend to him while the rest of the column moved on.

 
 
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 2,564 other followers