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"Open to Dispute": CODIS STR Loci as Private Medical Information

May 28, 2014 8:27 am | by David Kaye, J.D., M.A. | Comments

For nearly 25 years, advocacy groups and legal scholars have been predicting that the day when the DNA features used in forensic identification will reveal predispositions to diseases or behavioral traits is just around the corner. Questions such as these were mooted by a panel at ISHI last October. Although I cannot presume to speak for the other panelists, I can offer three recommendations of my own.

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Dealing with Beastly Employees: Mocking Birds

May 27, 2014 8:06 am | Comments

For the next few weeks, we'll present you with a list of commonly found “beastly” employees, with descriptions of their behavior and suggested strategies for coping with them. Mocking Birds will speak authoritatively on any subject— whether or not they know anything about it. They have an overwhelming need to be admired and respected and may not know they’re not experts.

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Lifting Fingerprints from Wet Surfaces

May 23, 2014 12:07 pm | Comments

Most people think you can’t get prints from a wet surface, but you can if you use Small Particle Reagent (SPR).                                       

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Crime Scene Measuring Tools

May 21, 2014 8:18 am | by Kent E. Boots | FactualDiagrams.com | Comments

I often ask my students which device is more accurate, a Rolatape, a steel tape, a handheld electronic measuring device, a total station, or a laser scanner. Ultimately that is a trick question. It is not that one device is more accurate than another. They all have the potential to measure accurately. This article is going to discuss a review of the various measuring tools used when “hand” measuring a scene.

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Meeting Lighting Requirements in the Lab

May 20, 2014 9:07 am | Comments

To determine the amount of light needed in a space, designers turn to the standards developed by the Illuminating Engineering Society (IES).                               

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The DNA Lab and Contamination

May 15, 2014 4:46 pm | by Joe Minor | Comments

Once evidence is received into the DNA laboratory, how is contamination minimized and what are the potential sources of epithelial cells?                                

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Sometimes Leave Well Enough Alone

May 15, 2014 12:43 pm | Comments

Sometimes managers feel that people can perform better and can produce more, but if employees have found a comfortable and satisfactory balance it is best not to disturb it. Resist the temptation to over mange them.         

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Paternity DNA testing on a Deceased Father: Post-Mortem Analysis of Samples

May 14, 2014 8:01 am | by Karl M. McDonald | Comments

It is not unusual for a paternity test to be carried out following the death of the alleged father. Paternity DNA testing is the only way of scientifically establishing whether a given man has biologically fathered a child.         

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BSL-1 Safety Tips

May 13, 2014 5:57 am | Comments

Standard microbiology practices are usually enough to protect laboratory workers and other employees in the building. These include mechanical pipetting only (no mouth pipetting allowed), safe sharps handling, avoidance of splashes or aerosols, and decontamination of all work surfaces when work is complete. 

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Measuring with Lasers

May 9, 2014 8:24 am | Comments

A laser device allows you to measure in almost any unit and resolution. The use of this type of device makes taking scene measurements a one-person job.                            

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Office Politics: Bad and Good

May 8, 2014 8:50 am | by Martin Seidenfeld, Ph.D. | Comments

Staying away from office politics isn’t easy. Love it or hate it, it’s real, it’s present, and it isn’t going away any time soon. Get used to it, understand it, accept it, and learn to play. Your job, even your long term career, may depend on it.

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Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. Leads with E-Discovery: Part 2

May 7, 2014 8:08 am | by Ken Mohr and Larry Depew | Crime Lab Design | Comments

During the development time of this article and publishing “Part One”; Walmart’s E-Discovery and Forensic Services Laboratory has achieved ASCLD/LAB accreditation. Ken Mohr, a principal at Crime Lab Design, will now continue to explore some of the physical space needs that attributed to the project’s success with Larry Depew whose company, Digital Forensics.US, LLC consulted on the project.

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Store Hazardous Substances

May 6, 2014 8:59 am | Comments

If there is anything that all laboratories have it is bottles and bottles of chemicals. Forensic laboratories are no exception. If we are not diligent in properly handling and storing these hazardous substances, problems are sure to arise. Potential problems run the gamut from minor inconvenience to life threateningly serious.

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Creating a Field Sketch

May 2, 2014 8:24 am | by Kent E. Boots | FactualDiagrams.com | Comments

Proper scene documentation starts with creating a field sketch; one of the most important pieces of the puzzle. A sketch is a rough drawing of the layout of the street or floor plan of the building. The sketch should include roadway widths, etc. or dimensional room data when hand measuring a scene.

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Classify and Manage Appropriately

April 30, 2014 5:03 pm | Comments

Even when you do everything right during the hiring process, you may still be surprised once the employee comes on board. Team dynamics or changing personal circumstances can affect individual behavior and performance.         

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