By the same authors

From the same journal

A review of the methodological aspects of aspartic acid racemization analysis for use in forensic science

Research output: Contribution to journalLiterature reviewpeer-review


  • E R Waite
  • M J Collins
  • S Ritz-Timme
  • H W Schutz
  • C Cattaneo
  • H I M Borrman


Publication details

JournalForensic Science International
DatePublished - 26 Jul 1999
Issue number2
Number of pages12
Pages (from-to)113-124
Original languageEnglish


Accurate age determination of adult cadavers and human remains is a key requirement in forensic practice. The current morphological methods lack accuracy and precision, require specialist training and are costly. The use of aspartic acid racemization (AAR) in human dentine provides a simple, cost-effective solution and the method can achieve accuracies of +/-3 years at best. Currently, there are differences in AAR methodology between laboratories which produce different results on the rate of racemization in teeth. These inconsistencies must be resolved if the technique is to be successfully applied to age determinations in forensic cases. This paper reviews the differences in protocol which have been used, discusses how each method will affect the results obtained from AAR analysis and gives recommendations for optimization of the methological protocol as a first step towards international standardization. (C) 1999 Elsevier Science Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

    Research areas

  • aspartic acid racemization, age at death determination, dentine, methodology, AMINO-ACID, AGE ESTIMATION, HUMAN-DENTIN, DEATH, PROTEINS, RATIOS, TOOTH, TEETH, ODONTOLOGY, CEMENTUM

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