Entomotoxicology: A New Area for Forensic Investigation

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Insects and other arthropods can be valuable tools in death investigations. In addition to their use in the estimation of postmortem intervals, insects may serve as reliable alternate specimens for toxicological analyses in the absence of tissues and fluids normally taken for such purposes. Recent research has also demonstrated that the presence of drugs and/or toxins in decomposing tissues may alter the rate and patterns of development in arthropods using such tissues as food, thus potentially altering estimates of the postmortem interval. Current advances in the use of arthropods as alternate toxicological specimens and the effects of various drugs and toxins on arthropod development are reviewed here.

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