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Stable Isotope Analysis: Hair and Nails

  1. Wolfram Meier-Augenstein1,
  2. Helen F Kemp2

Published Online: 15 MAR 2012

DOI: 10.1002/9780470061589.fsa1043

Wiley Encyclopedia of Forensic Science

Wiley Encyclopedia of Forensic Science

How to Cite

Meier-Augenstein, W. and Kemp, H. F. 2012. Stable Isotope Analysis: Hair and Nails. Wiley Encyclopedia of Forensic Science. .

Author Information

  1. 1

    Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen, UK

  2. 2

    The James Hutton Institute, Invergowrie, Dundee, UK

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 MAR 2012

Abstract

While bone and teeth provide a long-term stable isotope record of a person's life history measured in years (see Stabel Isotope Analysis: Bone and Teeth), stable isotope profiles of hair and nail can yield information on a person's recent life circumstance up to 15 months into a person's past. Since hair and nail samples can be collected noninvasively, stable isotope profiles of these tissues may also be used to reveal information on recent geographic movement in living people. This information may prove useful to check on the veracity of a suspect's statement about their recent geographic movements.

Keywords:

  • diet;
  • forensic intelligence;
  • geographic movement;
  • geographic origin;
  • human provenance;
  • keratin;
  • isotope ratio;
  • people trafficking;
  • victim identification;
  • stable isotope profile