NIST Study Will Help Labs Distinguish Hemp and Marijuana

January 14, 2021 — Hemp and marijuana both come from the Cannabis plant. But legally, they are very different. If cannabis has less than 0.3% THC (tetrahydrocannabinol, the chemical that produces a high), it is considered hemp and legal throughout the United States. Otherwise, it’s marijuana and currently treated as a controlled substance by the federal government and many states.

Two Proposed Forensic Science Standards Under Development

February 16, 2021 — ASTM International's forensic sciences committee (E30) is currently developing two proposed standards: one related to explosives analysis, and another focusing on polymetric materials such as fiber, paint, or tape forensic evidence.

New Awards from ASCLD's Research Committee

February 4, 2021 — The Forensic Research Committee of the American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors recently announced three awards for 2021: the 2nd Annual Innovation Award, the Outstanding Evaluation/Validation Award, and the LEAP Collaboration Award. The deadline for all three awards has been extended until March 1, 2021.

Webinar: Structural Characterization of Emerging Synthetic Drugs by Mass Spec

February 16, 2021 — The Forensic Technology Center of Excellence has scheduled a webinar for Friday, March 5 titled "Structural Characterization of Emerging Synthetic Drugs by Mass Spectrometry".

The Effect of UV Radiation on Microspectrophotometry of Dyed Fibers

January 18, 2021 — How can artificial UV radiation and natural sunlight affect fibers intended for forensic comparison? An NIJ-sponsored grant report written by Gary J. Laughlin, Ph.D. discusses the findings and methodology of a research project that looked at the effect of ultraviolet (UV) radiation on the color of various types of dyed fibers.

Webinar: Utility of Microbes in Forensic Science

January 18, 2021 — An upcoming webinar, presented by the Forensic Technology Center of Excellence on January 20 at 1 p.m. EST, will examine the application of microbiology to several subfields of forensic science.

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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.