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You are here: Archive 2017

Archive 2017

Participation in the V International Conference on ‘’Novel Psychoactive Substances’’

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In 2017 October 23 to 24 our representative Hayk Kasparyan, the head of Drugs, Psychoactive Substances and Poisons Examinations Unit of Physical Technical Examinations and Chemical Expertises Department, took part in the V International Conference on Novel Psychoactive Substances (NPS) was held on 23-24 October 2017 at the United Nation Office in Vienna, Austria.

The conference was opened by Jean-Luc Lemahieu, Director, Division for Policy Analysis and Public Affairs, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). Welcome speeches were made as well by Ornella Corazza, University of Hertfordshire, Olivier Rabin, World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), Roumen Sedefov, European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA), Justice Tettey, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).

In the course of the conference two parallel sessions took place. Particularly, The main objectives of this fifth event are to share evidence-based information on NPS and latest trends of misuse; improve the understanding of clinical treatment and management of NPS use; explore policy and legislative responses to NPS; develop innovative prevention measures for vulnerable individuals; identify public health implications of NPS and explore motivations and socio-cultural factors underlying NPS use.

On the second day of the conference, on October 24, H. Kasparyan made a presentation entitled "Forensic examination of synthetic drugs discovered in the Republic of Armenia in 2013-2016, including synthetic cannabinoids contained in herbal cigarette blends, which was of great interest to listeners.

Generally, there were 110 reports from 36 countries.

H.Kasparyan reinforced the ties acquired during the previous scientific events, established new contacts with the aim of further cooperation with the leaders of European and world leading forensic institutes, researchers and experts.

NEW POSSIBILITIES OF DNA SEQUENCING WORKSHOP WITH INTERNATIONAL PARTICIPATION

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A three-day scientific workshop entitled “DNA sequencing technologies and their application in practice” took place In Yerevan. It’s worth mentioning that this outstanding event, organized by the National Bureau of Expertises and Center of Medical Genetics and Primary Health Care, was held in Armenia for the first time.

This workshop brought together genetics from Japan, Sweden, Denmark and Georgia who together with our scientists discussed problems of development of DNA technologies sharing their best practice at the same time. Among the main topics were discussed the application of DNA sequencing technologies for diagnosis of hereditary diseases, bioinformation development of sequencing results and application of DNA sequencing technologies in forensic genetic examinations.

Representatives of the Ministry of Health and law enforcement agencies of Armenia, scientists of scientific and research institutes of the National Academy of Sciences of Armenia also took an active part in the workshop. The event was opened by Kh.Muradyan, the acting director of the National Bureau of Expertises of the RA with a welcoming speech. Noting the importance of the implementation and development of DNA sequencing technologies in the Republic of Armenia, he wished the participants of the seminar fruitful and successful work.

In his opening speech at the workshop, the head of the Department of Medical Genetics of the Yerevan State University, the director of Center of Medical Genetics and Primary Health Care professor T. Sargsyan mentioned that application of DNA sequencing technologies will lead to a new level of diagnosis, prevention and treatment of hereditary diseases.

A.Hovhannisyan, the Head of DNA identification department of National Bureau of Expertises of the RA, emphasized that in addition to medical sphere DNA sequencing technologies can be used in the justice system, which allows you to reach a new level of forensic medical examination.

One of the Japanese guests of the workshop, Satoru Miyano, whose report was on “Challenging Big Cancer Sequence Data by Supercomputer and Artificial Intelligence” noted not only the importance of DNA technology, but also the role of supercomputer and artificial intelligence, which will help better understand the genome. He also mentioned that the workshop will serve as a bridge for further cooperation between Armenian and international leading scientists in this field of science.

Nino Kochiashvili, head of Department of Forensic Biology, Levan Samkharauli National Forensic Bureau (Georgia), noted the importance of exchanging experience between scientists from different countries. She said that currently, 250 examinations are carried out monthly in her department and 10 years ago about 250 examinations were conducted in the department in a year. N. Kochiashvili drew attention to the paramount importance of the development of DNA technology in the investigation of criminal cases. In particular, when identifying human biological material at crime scene, and also for identifying missing people during disasters.

In the course of the workshop more than 15 preliminary reports were presented. is The following are particularly noteworthy: Marie Allen (Sweden) “Massive Parallelle Sequencing of challenging forensic and historical DNA samples”, Masaki Hashiyada (Japan) “Various sequencing technologies, including NGS in forensic DNA profiling”, Yu-ichi Goto – “Systematic DNA analyses for the mitochondrial diseases in Japan”, Niels Tommerup (Denmark) “Mapping translocation breakpoints by next-generation sequencing”.

The participants of the workshop mentioned that this important scientific event provided opportunity to establish professional ties with colleagues from similar international institutions and in future will allow to realize in practice international scientific and technical achievements in DNA sequencing not only in scientific but also in forensic examinations realized in the Republic of Armenia. The workshop also allowed to identify the fundamental professional and organizational and legal tasks, as well as to outline the ways of their implementation.

The American delegation visit to NBE within INL program

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September 11-15, 2017 with the assistance of the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) in the Republic of Armenia, the National Bureau of Expertises of the Republic of Armenia (NBE), was attended by Mark Mogle, Deputy Assistant Director for Special Operations International Criminal Investigative Training Program (ICITAP), U.S. Department of Justice) and Ashraf Mozayani, a professor at the South Texas University in Houston.

During the visit, the American colleagues were given the opportunity to familiarize themselves with the scientific and technical means of forensic expertise currently used in NBE departments, methodological materials for the realization of forensic expertise and training programs for expert specialties.

In order to improve the expert's conclusions, during the visit special attention was paid to the experience gained in NBE in the practical implementation of methodological materials for implementing forensic expertise. In general American experts positively commented upon the performance of the quality assurance department and its work carried out over the past five years to implement the quality control system, as well as the cycle started in 2017 to test the skills of forensic experts through participating in inter-laboratory comparative tests.

In the course of the visits to a number of NBE leading departments, taking into account the requirements of international accreditation of forensic institutions in accordance with ISO / IEC-17025 standard, American colleagues, on specific examples, conducted an express SWOT-analysis of methods and methodologies for performing examinations in our organization. At the same time, а special attention was paid to 4.15 point of ISO / IEC-17025 "Analysis by management" and NBE Quality Assurance department  presented  the results of the analysis and a list of follow-up actions on the part of the management documented at the meeting held in 2016.

Mark Mogle and Ashraf Mozayani suggested to continue the performance of separate accreditation in conducting specific type of examinations.

Mentioning the importance of issues on accreditation procedure in forensic expertise, the American specialists also offered to the validation process of forensic expertise methods, which are already applied in our organization during the examinations.

Summarizing the visit, the American side expressed appreciation on the results of INL program achieved in the National Bureau of Expertises of the Republic of Armenia for 12 years.

Participation in the scientific and technical research work within NATO Science for Peace Project

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From August 20 to 26, 2017, Hayk Kasparyan- head of narcotic, psychotropic, superpotent substances and toxicants of the department of physical technical examinations and chemical expertises department of National Bureau of Expertises (NBE) was sent to Prague, capital of the Czech Republic. The purpose of the trip was to conduct joint research work within NATO  ‘’Science for Peace Project.

During his stay our participant H.Kasparyan met Vice-Rector for External Relations and Communication prof. Pavel Matejka, the head of the International Relations Department Iva Zhulikova  and the employee of the same department Helena Pekarkova and others.

In the course of the meeting issues related to the researches to be held within the framework of the project were discussed, and the future work schedule was agreed until November of the current year (the end of the project).

During the trip, quantitative and qualitative research and studies of the chemical compositions of the sensors of polyperoxide nanotubes were carried out using modern analytical equipment, in particular, SEM (Scanning Elektron Microskopy) and XRM (X-Ray Microanalysis), (Gas Shromatografhy with Ion-mobility Spektrometry), and other similar objects created by Czech colleagues using the organic base and the mentioned objects on an inorganic basis developed at the Radiophysics Faculty of  the Yerevan State University.

At the same time, a preliminary agreement has been reached between the National Bureau of Expertises and the Department of Physics and Measurements of Prague Chemical and Technological University.

It is well-known that from September 25 to 29, the Czech side will arrive in Yerevan to summarize the results of the project and discuss the possibilities for further cooperation with the Armenian side (YSU Radiophysics Department and National Bureau of Expertises).

Criminological research in the Republic of Artsakh

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The cooperation with the competent bodies of the Republic of Artsakh initiated last year continues also in 2017 in frames of the analysis of general crime in the Republic and the identification of the causes and conditions that give rise to its separate types.

The ultimate goal of the cooperation is to clarify and prepare a list of necessary preventive measures. For this purpose in August 2016 the employees of the Scientific Research Center of Applied problems in Criminology of the National Bureau of Expertises were sent to the Republic of Artsakh for cooperation with competent authorities in the field of general crime analysis, the reasons for its particular types and the conditions, clarification of the scope of research activities for conduction of criminal investigations and preparation of future plans related to them.

During this business trip meetings were held with Deputy Chief of the Republic of Artsakh Police, Chief of the Police Information Center and the Prosecutor General of the Republic of Artsakh. In the course of the meetings the actual issues related to the types of crime, their causes and conditions were discussed, the scope of work related to the criminal investigation were determined, the process of conducting criminal investigations in the country was started. Particularly, an agreement was reached to conduct criminal investigations on the causes and the conditions of burglaries in the Republic of Artsakh, as well as to reveal their criminological and vicimological factors. In order to carry out the research work in the above mentioned directions, in July 2017, 2 specialists of Scientific Research Center of Applied problems in Criminology of the National Bureau of Expertises were sent to Artsakh to investigate the causes of theft (burglary) and the criminal investigations aimed at revealing their criminological and cyber-physics factors in the archive of Artsakh Judicial Department on theft (burglaries) in 2008-2016.

The cooperation with the competent bodies of the Republic of Artsakh initiated last year continues also in 2017 in frames of the analysis of general crime in the Republic and the identification of the causes and conditions that give rise to its separate types. The ultimate goal of the cooperation is to clarify and prepare a list of necessary preventive measures. For this purpose in August 2016 the employees of the Scientific Research Center of Applied problems in Criminology of the National Bureau of Expertises were sent to the Republic of Artsakh for cooperation with competent authorities in the field of general crime analysis, the reasons for its particular types and the conditions, clarification of the scope of research activities for conduction of criminal investigations and preparation of future plans related to them. During this business trip meetings were held with Deputy Chief of the Republic of Artsakh Police, Chief of the Police Information Center and the Prosecutor General of the Republic of Artsakh. In the course of the meetings the actual issues related to the types of crime, their causes and conditions were discussed, the scope of work related to the criminal investigation were determined, the process of conducting criminal investigations in the country was started. Particularly, an agreement was reached to conduct criminal investigations on the causes and the conditions of thefts in the Republic of Artsakh, as well as to reveal their criminological and vicimological factors. In order to carry out the research work in the above mentioned directions, in July 2017, 2 specialists of Scientific Research Center of Applied problems in Criminology of the National Bureau of Expertises were sent to Artsakh to investigate the causes of theft and the criminal investigations aimed at revealing their criminological and cyber-physics factors in the archive of Artsakh Judicial Department on theft in 2008-2016.

In particular, with the help of a specially developed questionnaire, the studies of the submitted criminal cases, directly related to thefts, were started in a focused and purposeful manner. In the course of research, special attention is paid to the situational situation of the crime under investigation, the place and time of its commission, the personality characteristics of the offender, his socio-demographic characteristics and other data important from the criminological point of view. It is important to note that the personal characteristics of victims of thefts, their behavior before, during and after a crime, their social and demographic characteristics, the specific nature of victim behavior, and in case of becoming a victim of a crime the fact of applying to law enforcement agencies, etc. are also studied in detail. The above described format of research with the help of a special questionnaire for criminal cases developed for this case, being a generally accepted methodological approach for studying the criminological features of the crime, will enable us to solve the task set for the researchers, namely, to develop a list of preventive measures, the implementation of which will, in our view, reduce the number of offenses in the Republic of Artsakh on thefts, including apartment theft.

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