Forensics

  • 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.​
  • ​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.