Forensics

  • 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.​
  • ​In police work, it's important to be able to prove that what you suspect is a narcotic really IS a narcotic. It is with this in mind that Spectral Engines is creating a portable drug-screening device. It's described as "the first re-usable pocket-sized scanner for police patrols."
  • Science
    Despite what we see on TV and in movies, analyzing and matching latent prints is a difficult business and still the province of experts. But now scientists from NIST and Michigan State University are using algorithms and machine learning as a way to automate the process and make it more efficient.
  • Science
    ​Gamma hydroxybutyric acid – aka GHB – is a popular "date rape" drug. Unfortunately for law enforcement officials, it can only be detected in the body for a few hours after being ingested. Thanks to new research, however, there may soon be another way of proving that someone has been given GHB.
  • Science
    Scientists may soon have a new tool to work with, when it comes to determining the age of deceased children based on their remains. Researchers have found that the skull's frontal sinus undergoes distinct changes throughout childhood, and those changes can be matched up to approximate ages.​
  • Science
    Luminol is a chemical used by forensic investigators, which glows blue when exposed to blood. It's typically combined with hydrogen peroxide as a coreactant, although this can produce false positives. Scientists have recently had better luck by instead mixing it with an antimalarial compound.​
  • Science
    By analyzing the molecular traces left behind on smartphone displays, scientists have worked out a way to paint pictures of user lifestyles – information that may one day help crime scene investigators close in on a suspect.​​​