Chapter 7 : Soil Microbial Forensics

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The term “soil forensics” was first coined about 40 years ago, and it may be defined as the study of soil as part of criminal investigations. It includes the study of soil as a material transferred on suspects, victims or objects associated with a crime, with the objective of finding suspects and resolve the crime ( ). Although the term was introduced relatively recently, the examination of sediment for forensic investigations can be traced to the middle 1800s, with Christian Ehrenberg. Ehrenberg analyzed sand to solve the disappearance of coins, ultimately resulting in the resolution of the mystery. An increased interest towards soil forensics was noted with the release of Arthur Conan Doyle stories, but it was Oscar Heinrich and Edmond Locard who proposed the use of soil and sediment in the field of forensic science ( ).

Citation: Santiago-Rodriguez T, Cano R. 2018. Soil Microbial Forensics, p 143-171. In Cano R, Toranzos G (ed), Environmental Microbial Forensics. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/microbiolspec.EMF-0007-2015
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