Procedures and Innovations

When I flip through this issue of the magazine, a combined theme jumps out at me: procedures and innovations. Standard procedures—such as choosing between RAW or JPG image files (page 10) or following safety guidelines when dealing with biological materials (page 25)—make up the foundation of your everyday tasks. At the crime scene and in the forensic lab, your world is built around SOPs. Indeed, where would science be without the scientific method, the greatest SOP of all?

But, then again, where would science be without innovation? Pushing the boundaries and reaching to answer new questions is at the heart of science, as well. In this issue, those kinds of questions include “Is Rapid DNA really ready to be applied to case work?” (page 8) or “How can we integrate our evidence tracking, our laboratory information, and our digital assets into one management system?” (page 20) or “What if I collected a DNA sample from the house pet that we found at the scene of that homicide?” (page 16)

Finding sound answers to those questions will help make the innovation of today become the standard operating procedures of tomorrow.

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Evidence Technology Magazine

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Digital-Image Management at Mass Gravesites

SKELETONIZED REMAINS that were carefully unearthed from the desert sands of Iraq tell their own story: the bones of an adult, still dressed in a woman’s apparel, lie supine. The skull is perforated by a bullet hole. Tucked in the space between the ribs and the left humerus is a much smaller skeleton, bones in the skull un-fused, and the fully clothed body partially swaddled in a blanket.