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The Organization of Scientific Area Committees for Forensic Science, popularly known as OSAC, is asking for public comment on three new standards.

The data format for biometrics, the technique for comparing pieces of glass and a method to match pieces of tape are all up for public scrutiny and suggestions.

The three OSAC suggested standards sprung from the recent full meeting of the agency and its more than 500 members last month.

The three standards are:

  • The biometric data format, which includes how the information should be catalogued electronically to include fingerprints, palm prints, DNA, mugshots, scars, tattoos and body marks, and other distinguishing marks.
  • The glass comparison method that includes the use of mass spectrometry to make forensic comparisons between pieces of glass and the minutest traces of a litany of elements: lithium, magnesium, aluminum, potassium, calcium, iron, titanium, manganese, rubidium, strontium, zirconium, barium, lanthanum, cerium, neodymium, hafnium and lead.
  • The tape matching method, which instead relies on infrared spectroscopy.

OSAC, which was created out of the agenda set by the National Commission Forensic Sciences (NCFS), has continued to work on some 150 pending regulations, according to officials. The work continues apace, even with the announcement last month that the NCFS was being disbanded by the Trump administration.

OSAC received its full funding of $3 million when President Donald Trump signed full 2017 fiscal appropriations on May 5. The National Institute of Standards and Technology will receive the transfer in funds from the U.S. Department of Justice to fund the OSAC operations, according to Mark Stolorow, the OSAC affairs director. That funding will allow the organization’s meeting to proceed. The next set of major OSAC meetings will be held over two weeks in January, with each week hosting half of the volunteer-driven membership at a time.

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