New Research on Differentiating Fibers

A grant report, "The Analysis of Trace Forensic Evidence Using Isotope Ratio Mass Spectrometry: Differentiating Fibers," written by Douglas J. Beussman, was recently funded and released by the National Institute of Justice.


From the report's description:

"The purpose of this research was to determine if isotope ratio mass spectrometry (IRMS) can be used to add an additional level of information about a fiber, potentially allowing two fibers to be compared for common characteristics.

"Both natural and synthetic fibers were shown to be differentiable from chemically similar fibers using a combination of isotope ratio measurements. Exposure to other conditions, such as blood, bleach, DNA extraction chemicals and the elements can affect the isotope ratios.

"Although fiber analysis by IRMS cannot conclusively indicate that two fibers came from the same source, it has the ability to exclude a common source for two fibers."

You can download the full report here.

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Forensic Podiatry (Part Two of Two)

THE DISCIPLINE of forensic podiatry—or, in other words, the examination of pedal evidence—has progressed significantly over the past ten years. It is no longer a question of “What can you do with a footprint?” but rather, “Who can we use to evaluate the footprint?” Cases involving pedal evidence, especially bloody footprints and issues of determining shoe sizing or fit issues compared to questioned footwear, have become more common over the past two or three years.