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Forensic Magazine

Development of an Innovative DNA Quantification and Assessment System: Streamlining Workflow Using Intelligent Tools

August 28, 2013 2:27 am | by Wiljo De Leeuw, Sheri Olson, Robert Green, Allison Holt, and Lisa Lane Schade | Comments

In the last several years, highly sensitive, more robust NG STR PCR amplification kits have shown improved performance especially in compromised DNA samples, recovered from minimal and complex evidentiary samples with low amounts of DNA (low template DNA), PCR inhibitors, and degraded DNA.


New Fingerprint Analysis Models Are At Hand

August 28, 2013 2:03 am | by Douglas Page | Comments

Fingerprint examiners have historically been required to claim absolute certainty that a specific print belongs to a specific suspect. Less-than-certain fingerprint evidence is, therefore, not reported at all, no matter its potential importance to the case. Statistical models offer a way to use less-than-certain print evidence in court.  


Proper Ventilation is Essential to Safe Formaldehyde Use

August 26, 2013 8:00 pm | Comments

Formaldehyde is ubiquitous, yet essential to successful forensic pathology. It is potentially hazardous and if used carelessly can produce serious harm. But, with properly designed and adequately maintained ventilation systems safe use is possible.


8 Common Misconceptions Plague Bone and Tool Mark Trauma Analysis

August 22, 2013 8:00 pm | Comments

Saw mark research is focused on collecting data on variation found in microscopic features of cut bone. The narrowing of the field of possible tools that could have potentially been used in a crime makes saw mark characteristics a valuable tool for the forensic examiner. Unfortunately, a standard methodology for saw mark analysis is lacking, and the field is hindered by numerous misconceptions.


Common Manager Mistakes: Being too Undemanding

August 22, 2013 7:34 am | Comments

Fearful of not having their authority respected, some managers hesitate to ask their employees to do what they're supposed to and fail to require them to perform up to snuff. Rather than require a high level of performance, such managers accept poorly executed operations and, ironically, lose the respect so badly wanted.


Understand the Risks of Blood-Borne Pathogens

August 20, 2013 4:24 am | by Vince McLeod | Comments

It is paramount that every employee has a solid understanding of which fluids present infection hazards and which do not. First and foremost, all blood and OPIM are always considered infectious. Therefore, you must prevent contact through the use of appropriate personal protective equipment. 


Continuously Coach to Improve Performance

August 15, 2013 3:49 am | Comments

Encourage employees to try new things and take calculated risks. Many employees do not perform the way they should because they do not know what they are supposed to do, don't know how to do it, don't know why they should do it, or face obstacles beyond their control. 


Fingerprint Brushes Can Contaminate DNA Evidence

August 14, 2013 9:08 pm | Comments

Fingerprint brushes can become easily contaminated. Brushes can retain the DNA picked up. To make sure you don’t transfer DNA from a brush used at one scene to the next, use a new one at each scene. The brush used in a homicide case should become part of the evidence.


Allocate a Portion of the Departmental Budget to Safety

August 12, 2013 7:45 pm | Comments

The establishment of a separate accounting line for safety and health related purchases is essential. This allows you to clearly track monies expended for this purpose. It also reduces the likelihood that budget reductions in other areas will occur. 


Documenting a Vehicle Death Scene

August 8, 2013 8:00 pm | Comments

If a body is found in a vehicle, document as much as possible about the location, the vehicle, and its condition. Be specific as to the location of the body. Is it in the front seat, back seat, driver’s side, passenger side, floor, trunk, etc?


Dealing with Employees that Drive You Crazy

August 8, 2013 7:27 am | Comments

As managers and supervisors you sometimes must deal with employees who get under your skin. It seems that regardless of what you do, you end up feeling frustrated and ineffective. It’s a major challenge to continue to feel excited and enthusiastic when facing these employees.


Entomotoxicology: Alternative Matrices for Forensic Toxicology

August 6, 2013 9:26 am | by Lata Gautam, Rahul Pathak, Haruna S Danlami, and Michael D Cole | Comments

Entomotoxicology, a relatively new branch of forensic entomology, deals with the use of insects in detecting drugs and other toxins in decomposing tissues. This also examines the application of analytical techniques to carrion feeding insects in order to identify drugs and toxins present in any intoxicated tissues.


No Single Glove Will Protect against All Harmful Substances

August 5, 2013 8:00 pm | by Vince McLeod | Comments

Given the myriad glove types and materials, it is imperative that both employees and supervisors know which gloves are suitable for the task at hand. No single glove will protect against all harmful substances. Nor will one glove suit all applications. 


5 Step Solution to Correcting Poor Work Habits

August 1, 2013 8:58 am | Comments

In dealing with employee work habits it is especially important to focus on observable behavior. A supervisor’s descriptions of employee behavior should be clear and specific, and quantifiable whenever possible. Here are the five specific steps to follow when attempting to correct poor work habits.


Know When to Call in the Experts

July 31, 2013 8:09 pm | Comments

In order to take advantage of the latest advances in technology and science, a crime scene officer needn't acquire the same level of knowledge as the experts, but must have enough knowledge to recognize what the experts can accomplish with the right evidence.



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