Forensics

  • When it's determined that a boater is officially missing at sea, it helps very much to know when and where their vessel sank. According to new research, barnacles growing on flotsam could provide that information.
  • When a car hits something crossing a dark road, it can occasionally be difficult for the driver to later say if it was a person or an animal – that, or they may just lie. A new blood-analyzing device, however, could tell the difference on the spot.
  • It can be hard enough for search parties to find human remains on open ground, but in dense forests, it's even more difficult. That's why scientists are now proposing the use of aerial drones, which would look for telltale changes in trees' leaves.
  • When you're trying to establish who was present when a crime was committed, every little clue helps. That's where a newly repurposed forensic technique comes in, as it can determine if oral fluid comes from a smoker or non-smoker.
  • Ordinarily, when a body is found, the time of death is estimated via insect activity or body temperature. Unfortunately, that doesn't apply if the corpse is in the water. Now, a new study suggests that bone proteins could still provide at least part of the answer.
  • Finding a person's fingerprints at a crime scene isn't always enough to convict them, as they can claim that those prints were left before the crime took place. That may be about to change, as scientists have devised a method of dating fingerprints.
  • Science
    Scientists from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory's Forensic Science Center and Michigan State University have established that it's possible to identify a person from a single hair taken from anywhere on the human body​​.
  • Science
    A 70-year old mystery has come to an end after DNA analysis proved that the man called "Prisoner No. 7," who spent over 40 years in Berlin's Spandau prison, was really the Nazi Rudolf Hess and not an imposter, with a likelihood of 99.99 percent.
  • Science
    Blood analysis has long been one of the forensic scientist's most important tools. Now, a new blood test being developed by Igor Lednev and colleagues at the University of Albany promises to determine the age of a victim or suspect from samples taken from a crime scene within an hour.
  • Science
    ​When it comes to determining a person's eye, hair and skin color based on a DNA sample, scientists typically need to compare that evidence sample to an existing reference sample. That's reportedly no longer the case, however, if they're using the new HIrisPlex-S DNA test system.
  • Science
    ​Ever since she disappeared while attempting a round-the-world flight in 1937, people have wondered what became of American aviator Amelia Earhart. Now, a new forensic analysis of bones previously found on a South Pacific island is claimed to indicate that they were almost certainly hers.
  • ​​Hyperspectral cameras allow us to see what's invisible to the human eye, and even determine what things are made of. Unfortunately, the devices have tended to be big and cumbersome, limiting them to use in labs. Now, however, there's a portable model on the market.​