Age Determination Techniques - The Hindu - 10/01/23

In November 2022, over four years after the gang rape and murder of an eight-year-old girl in Kathua, the Supreme Court held that one of the accused persons, who claimed to be a juvenile at the time of the commission of the offence, be tried as an adult.
->Different Age Determination Techniques:
1. Ossification Test:
-The most popular test for determining age is the ossification test. The extent of ossification (i.e., calcification) and the union of epiphysis (rounded end of a long bone) in bones, particularly long bones such as radius and ulna, humerus, tibia and fibula, and femur, are helpful in estimating age.

2. Wisdom Teeth:
-The presence, absence, and eruption of wisdom teeth can be used as a method of estimating the age of an individual.
Wisdom teeth, also known as third molars, are the last teeth to emerge in the mouth and they usually appear in the late teenage years or early adulthood.
-This method is based on the fact that the eruption of wisdom teeth follows a predictable pattern and can be used to determine the age of an individual within a range of a few years.

3. Epigenetic Clock Technique:
-It measures DNA methylation levels to estimate the chronological age of the subject.
DNA methylation is a process by which methyl groups are added to the DNA molecule, typically to the promoter region of a gene, resulting in the repression of gene transcription.
-This primarily occurs on cytosine that precedes a guanine nucleotide (CpG sites).
However, the use of this technique is yet to be explored by Indian forensic scientists.

4. Radiographic Techniques:
X-ray and CT scans can be used to assess the maturity of bones, as well as to look for signs of degeneration or disease.

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