Forensic Biology is that branch of forensic science which involves application of knowledge of biological sciences in the court of Law for the administration of Justice.
Forensic Biology mainly deals with the materials that are biological in nature such as blood, hair, pollen etc found at the crime scenes , with suspects and victims. Forensic Biology is one of the core branches of forensic science and core divisions of forensic labs. The Number of cases solved using forensic biology is significant worldwide and in India as well. In most of the labs, the Forensic DNA profiling division is combined with the forensic biology division.
Biological evidences are those substances that are related with life and living materials both human and non human ( animals and plants). Forensic biology mainly deals with the following types of evidence materials.
Blood ( wet or dry) , blood stain patterns, semen ( wet or dry) , saliva, urine, milk, hair, tissues, bones, teeth, pollen, leaves, diatoms, entomological evidence such as larvae , flies, beetles,and DNA Analysis.
Biological evidence is one of the most fragile pieces of evidence and could be contaminated or destroyed very easily. Ergo, they should be collected with utter precision and safety. Gloves, mask , shoe cover, apron, and hair mask should be worn compulsorily. The evidence should be preserved well and should be considered first to send it to the forensic science labs. A proper chain of custody should be maintained.
Cases taken under Forensic Biology
The following type of cases are mainly dealt with under forensic biology division:
- Homicide or murder.
- Sexual assault or rape.
- Establishment of identity or missing person.
- Mass murder
- Blood grouping
- Forensic DNA typing
- Parentage testing
- Antemortem or postmortem death
Some famous cases that were solved using Forensic Biology
- Brittany Norwood Murder case
Brittany Norwood framed and constructed a cover-up just moments after she brutally murdered one of her coworkers at a yoga store where she used to work. She tied herself up to make it look like someone else tied her and that person was the killer. After Norwood was caught she agreed to plead guilty, but her attorneys defended her and claimed that she committed the crime in a fit of rage. The most important pieces of evidence was provided by a forensic expert in blood spatter analysis who also testified that the murderer beat her victim as she lay unconscious on the ground.
Blood was found on the underside of a nearby bookshelf that couldn’t have gotten there from anywhere but from the position on the floor where the body lay unconscious. It was concluded that the victim suffered more than 300 injuries antemortem. She was found guilty of murder, and she’s serving a life sentence.
- Tandoor murder case
The very famous case of Murder of Naina Sahni who was shot dead by her fiance and Youth congress president Sushil sharma. He then chopped her body into pieces and stuffed it in the tandoor of his friend’s restaurant . Police patrolling in the nearby area saw flames and smoke arising from the restaurant and thought of checking until they found pieces of body burning. Sharma fled but police recovered the partially burnt body parts and tissue of the victim. The case was solved using DNA evidence and autopsy. Sharma pleaded guilty.
- Nirbhaya Murder case
The horrific and inhuman rape and murder case of nirbhaya that just did not shook the nation but also shook the delhi police to their core was solved using biological evidences such as semen stains, tissue trapped under nails, hair evidence etc.
- Shraddha Walker Murder case
The spine chilling case of shraddha walker that got all the limelight lately was solved using skeletal remains and DNA profiling. This horrendous case wherein the culprit chopped off the body of the victim into 35 pieces and dumped it at different locations around south Delhi could only be solved because of the forensic biological evidence which was bone in this case.
Forensic Biology is one of the most significant and archaic branches of forensic science that has helped to solve millions of cases. Nowadays with advancement of science and technology forensic biology is widening its scope through its new branches. Some of the novel sub-branches of forensic biology that are yet to be explored more by the forensic fraternity are Forensic Entomology (insects), Forensic limnology( diatoms), forensic palynology( pollen grain), and Forensic microbiology ( microorganism).