LABORATORY NEWS
Improving Forensic DNA Efficiency

A report shows that a 2009 NIJ program, aimed to improve forensic DNA unit efficiency, delivered positive results. Utilizing a funding opportunity from the NIJ, three law enforcement agencies within Palm Beach County (Florida) established an interagency, centralized biological pre-screening laboratory for DNA evidence prior to submission to the county's forensic laboratory for DNA testing.

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Center for Media Forensics Celebrates 10 Year Anniversary

In November, the National Center for Media Forensics celebrated its 10-year anniversary of becoming a formally-recognized entity of the University of Colorado Denver. In this time, the center has worked on Department of Justice and Department of Defense awards and contracts, hosted dozens of graduate students, hundreds of continuing education students, and published scores of research studies.

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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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Recovering Latent Fingerprints from Cadavers

IN A HOMICIDE CASE, the recovery of latent impressions from a body is just one more step that should be taken in the process of completing a thorough search. This article is directed at crime-scene technicians and the supervisors who support and direct evidence-recovery operations both in the field and in the controlled settings of the medical examiner’s office or the morgue under the coroner’s direction.

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