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Forensic Magazine

Crime-Solving Clues Can Be Found in Fungi

October 24, 2013 8:00 pm | by Douglas Page | Comments

Recent research has shown how forensic mycology can aid investigators by connecting a victim and suspect, determining a location, helping define cause of death, deducing interval since death, and discovering whether a body has been moved.


What Great Managers Do Differently

October 23, 2013 8:00 pm | Comments

Great managers break every rule perceived as "conventional wisdom" when dealing with the selection, motivation, and development of staff. Most powerful about these findings about successful management is that each “great” manager was identified based upon the performance results he produced in his organization.


Crime Scene Documentation: The Death Scene Checklist

October 22, 2013 6:12 pm | by Dick Warrington | Lynn Peavey Company | Comments

Keeping a checklist reminds you to look at everything. It’s insurance that even if you get distracted, you’ll go back and finish the job. You’ll be glad you did it if your case goes to court and you’re questioned about the crime scene.


Rape Kit Backlogs: Coming or Going?

October 22, 2013 6:06 pm | by Chris Asplen | Comments

For the first time in its history the Houston crime lab does not have a backlog of sexual assault kits. Thanks to a combination of federal and city funding and a private partner laboratory, 6,600 rape kits have been processed and no longer sit on shelves. Now here’s the scary part. The authorization for Debbie Smith comes to an end next year at a time when it is at the greatest risk of deep cuts in federal funding for backlog elimination.


Solid State Drives: Part 3

October 22, 2013 5:55 pm | by John J. Barbara | Comments

Understand the architecture of a typical Flash Memory Controller. The Flash File System is firmware designed specifically to enable files to be stored in flash memory with each sub-layer performing a specific function. Typical functions include wear-leveling, garbage collection, bad block management, error checking and correction, over-provisioning, reading and writing, erasing, and encryption.


Awareness All Around

October 22, 2013 5:43 pm | by Vince McLeod, CIH | Comments

Forensic laboratories are challenging places to work. This month the Safety Guys alert you to significant physical hazards potentially present in your workplace. What do we mean when we say “physical hazards?” This includes conditions and situations that might lead to slips, trips, and falls as well as the not so obvious hazards such as electrical safety hazards and high noise areas.


Under the Microscope

October 22, 2013 5:35 pm | by Susan Halla | Crime Lab Design | Comments

This article will examine the impact of the two largest accreditation programs—ASCLD/LAB International for the accreditation of forensic laboratories and the NAME Inspection and Accreditation Checklist for coroner and medical examiner facilities. If you are not currently accredited or are planning a new facility, this will help to address matters to communicate with your design team in order to design with accreditation in mind.


Reviewing and Comprehending Autopsy Reports

October 22, 2013 5:13 pm | by Dean A. Beers, CLI, CCDI and Karen S. Beers, BSW, CCDI | Comments

Understanding the value of the autopsy report and the information accompanying it is a valuable asset to all investigators. In order to understand the importance of the autopsy report, and how to interpret it, you should understand how other factors influence the report and why you cannot rely on the autopsy report alone.


Scratching the Surface of Paper Currency with FT-IR Microscopy

October 22, 2013 5:02 pm | by Forrest Weesner, Ph.D. | Thermo Scientific | Comments

Questioned document specialists use a wide array of analytical techniques to assist in their investigations ranging from first-line visual inspection tools to advanced chemical-specific analysis instrumentation. Visible light microscopy techniques are well suited for characterizing the printing techniques of individual characters and to look for evidence of alteration.


Forensic Inspection for Firearms: Comparison Techniques in Optical Profilometry

October 22, 2013 3:56 pm | by Cristina Cadevall and Niels Schwarz | Sensofar USA, LLC | Comments

In an effort to move the comparison to a more technically reliable validation basis, researchers at the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences (ADFS) have developed a method for comparing land impressions. The measurement system used in the investigation was an optical profilometry system.


Forbid Smoking, Eating, and Drinking in the Laboratory

October 21, 2013 8:00 pm | Comments

The practice of forbidding smoking, eating, and drinking in laboratories is one of the basic good hygiene practices. Unfortunately, it is often one of the most frequently disregarded. Too many people seem to have a "good reason" for continuing these bad habits. 


When All Else Fails, Improvise

October 17, 2013 8:00 pm | Comments

Even with great training and a well-stocked crime kit, most of us will eventually end up at a scene where we run into a problem that we can’t easily solve with the knowledge and equipment we have at hand. When you’re in a tough situation, try to find your own tool of the trade.


Five Tips to Being a Better Manager

October 17, 2013 5:05 pm | Comments

Follow these suggestions to be a better and more relaxed manager. Being open to new ideas, available for questions, and able to laugh at yourself go a long way in keeping things in perspecetive and earning your employee's respect. 


Planning for Emergencies

October 14, 2013 8:00 pm | Comments

It's important to develop plans and conduct drills for dealing with emergencies such as fire, explosion, poisoning, chemical spill, vapor release, and personal contamination. The list is incomplete. Let's add bleeding, burns, medical situations, electric shock, and weather emergencies.


Environmental Toxicology: Detection of Pharmaceuticals and Personal Care Products in Water Sources

October 3, 2013 2:59 pm | by Lata Gautam, Sarah W Hall, Moses Banyeh, and Michael D Cole | Comments

The forensic community requires a paradigm shift to include environmental analysis and monitoring of pharmaceuticals and personal care products to prevent serious health and environmental consequences. The risk that these chemical pollutants pose to the environment and human health has been a major concern for environmental scientists and other researchers.



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