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August/September 2013AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2013 DIGITAL EDITION

Features:

New Fingerprint Analysis Models Are At Hand
By Douglas Page
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.  

Development of an Innovative DNA Quantification and Assessment System: Streamlining Workflow Using Intelligent Tools
By Wiljo De Leeuw, Sheri Olson, Robert Green, Allison Holt, and Lisa Lane Schade 
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.

The Most Common Questions asked about Expert Witness Testimony
By Elaine M. Pagliaro
A relatively small but critical part of the forensic expert’s responsibilities involves testifying about the scientific basis of analyses, findings, and conclusions in court or during deposition. Credible experts must prepare thoroughly, demonstrating a command of the scientific knowledge associated with their areas of expertise.

DNA Fingerprinting Comes Of Age
By Bobby Chavli, Annette Summers, and Mary Napier 
DNA fingerprinting has quickly advanced from an isolated, manual laboratory technique to a core element within a cluster of technologies, including sampling chemistry, biobanking, automated handling processes, and DNA databases. This technology has tremendous potential to further revolutionize crime fighting.

Columns:

DNA and Human Trafficking
By Chris Asplen 
Given its history, the time has come for an aggressive commitment to leverage DNA technology in the context of human trafficking. A scourge unrivaled in the world in its scope, heinousness, and complexity, human trafficking is getting worse, not better.

Solid State Drives: Part 2
By John J. Barbara
One commonality between a typical hard drive and an SSD is that they both store data. However, the way in which they do so is totally different. To fully comprehend how SSDs function, it is necessary to understand SSD terminology. Doing so will also provide insight into the “pitfalls” of their forensic examination.

The Lighting Balancing Act for Laboratories
By John Kosniewski, Jr. and Brian Fiander
Light—it’s the difference between a bright and airy space and a shadowy, dull, and uninviting work environment. In designing modern criminal laboratories, one issue to be solved is providing adequate lighting so that scientists can perform the very intricate tasks at hand while adhering to the energy usage codes. 

Tools of the Trade: Dealing with Unusual Surfaces
By Dick Warrington 
For the past several years, I’ve taught a class on developing and lifting prints off unusual surfaces. This class is very popular because it shows Crime Scene Officers that the only “surfaces” where you can’t get prints are air and water.

Emerging DNA Technologies
By Rebecca Waters
DNA evidence has been the gold standard in crime solving since Sir Alec Jeffreys first reported his DNA profiling technique in 1984. Since then the use of DNA in forensic investigations has been steadily expanding and evolving. New technologies will allow more DNA evidence to be processed more efficiently, reduce backlogs, and help process more complex samples.

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