LABORATORY NEWS
A New Standard Bullet

In September 2018, NIST announced the update of its standard bullet for forensic science use.

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Analyzing Video Analytics

A recent grant report, titled "Studying the Impact of Video Analytics for Pre, Live and Post Event Analysis of Outcomes of Criminal Justice," looks at how the growing ubiquity of surveillance cameras—and the resulting glut of video evidence—might be addressed using computer vision analytics.

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2019 NIJ Forensic Science R&D Symposium Announced

The annual NIJ Forensic Science Research and Development (R&D) Symposium will be held February 19, 2019 at the 71st Annual American Academy of Forensic Sciences (AAFS) meeting in Baltimore, MD. The symposium will be a joint effort of the Forensic Technology Center of Excellence and the National Institute of Justice.

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New Protocol for Measuring Background Levels of Drugs in Crime Labs

When crime lab chemists handle evidence that contains illegal drugs, trace amounts of those drugs are inevitably released into the laboratory environment. When chemists scoop a bit of powder to test it, for instance, microscopic particles can become airborne and later settle on nearby surfaces. Particles can also be spread by touch. To some degree, this is an unavoidable byproduct of the testing process, and it can result in detectable background levels of drugs in the lab.

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An Integrated, Holistic Analytical Response to the Opioid Epidemic

In the USA, the escalation of deaths due to drug toxicity has been driven largely by rising numbers of overdoses involving synthetic opioids other than methadone, such as fentanyl. In 2016, synthetic opioids (other than methadone) were involved in 19,413 overdose deaths representing 30.5% of total drug deaths; 3.5 times the number observed in 2014.

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New Standard Helps Organizations Create Forensic Audio Lab Space

A new ASTM International standard will help any organization that needs to create a forensic audio laboratory space. The standard (E3150), developed by ASTM’s committee on forensic sciences (E30), provides general guidance for laboratory setup and maintenance of equipment.

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Image Clarification Workflow

A FEW WEEKS AGO, I received a call from Ocean Systems asking if I would like to beta test their newest software—ClearID v2.0 Image Clarification Workflow. The new progam has filters that were designed for use with Adobe’s Photoshop graphics-editing program.

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