Faculty Forum: Clark to discuss X-ray usage in age estimation

Faculty Forum: Clark to discuss X-ray usage in age estimation

In the television show CSI, forensic medicine played a big part in victim identification and solving crimes. The next Faculty Forum at Midwestern State University will have a touch of CSI as Kevin Clark, Assistant Professor of Radiologic Sciences, will present "Forensic Age Estimation Using the Medial Clavicular Epiphysis: A Study Review" at 7 p.m. Tuesday, March 20, in Legacy Hall's Multipurpose Room.

Clark says that forensic scientists often provide age estimations to court systems, usually related to juveniles and adolescents involved in civil and criminal proceedings who do not have valid birth date documents. Because the milestone ages of 18 and 21 can determine asylum status (seeking legal protection from persecution) or criminal accountability (deciding whether to prosecute as an adult), accurate assessment of age in these individuals is critical.

Health care providers, along with forensic science personnel, use a physical and dental examination and a hand X-ray to estimate a person's age. Often, teeth are missing or subject to disease, and the bones in the hand complete fusion in a person's early teens, leaving only a physical examination for professionals to estimate ages.

Medical imaging of the clavicle (collar bone) has increased in popularity in forensic age estimation practices, especially for those who do not have valid documentation of their birth date. The clavicle is the last bone in the human body to complete fusion, starting the process in a person's early teens and completing fusion in the late 20s. Because fusion of the clavicle spans the legally significant ages of 18 through 21, this practice is an important area of study.

For the final Faculty Forum of the semester, Dr. Andrew Allen will present "Bringing Music to Life: Commissioning Classical Music" at 7 p.m. April 17, also in Legacy Hall's Multipurpose Room. Allen is Assistant Professor of Music.

Faculty Forum is a monthly showcase for the research and creative endeavors of the Midwestern State University faculty. It is an opportunity for the campus and Wichita Falls communities to learn, engage, and sometimes discuss the novel ideas and explorations of the talented individuals who teach, discover, and create at MSU. Admission is free and open to all. Contact Price at jonathan.price@msutexas.edu or 940-397-4288 for more information.