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Trial application of oxygen and carbon isotope analysis in tooth enamel for identification of past-war victims for discriminating between Japanese and US soldiers

Someda, Hidetoshi, Gakuhari, Takashi, Akai, Junko, Araki, Yoshiyuki, Kodera, Tsutomu, Tsumatori, Gentaro, Kobayashi, Yasushi, Matsunaga, Satoru, Abe, Shinichi, Hashimoto, Masatsugu, Saito, Megumi, Yoneda, Minoru, Ishida, Hajime
Forensic science international 2016 v.261 pp. 166.e1
DNA, Japanese people, carbon, forensic sciences, humans, oxygen, regression analysis, stable isotopes, tooth enamel, Alaska, Hawaii
Stable isotope analysis has undergone rapid development in recent years and yielded significant results in the field of forensic sciences. In particular, carbon and oxygen isotopic ratios in tooth enamel obtained from human remains can provide useful information for the crosschecking of morphological and DNA analyses and facilitate rapid on-site prescreening for the identification of remains. This study analyzes carbon and oxygen isotopic ratios in the tooth enamel of Japanese people born between 1878 and 1930, in order to obtain data for methodological differentiation of Japanese and American remains from the Second World War. The carbon and oxygen isotopic ratios in the tooth enamel of the examined Japanese individuals are compared to previously reported data for American individuals (born post WWII), and statistical analysis is conducted using a discrimination method based on a logistic regression analysis. The discrimination between the Japanese and US populations, including Alaska and Hawaii, is found to be highly accurate. Thus, the present method has potential as a discrimination technique for both populations for use in the examination of mixed remains comprising Japanese and American fallen soldiers.