Forensic Science

By: Matthew Simms

Scope of Forensic Science

Forensic Science is the application of scientific principles and techniques to matters of criminal justice, and involves evidence collection, examination, and analysis of physical evidence.

Forensic scientist's collects, and analyzes evidence, and gives expert testimony in court.

There are many forensic databases that are used to store evidence, some examples of forensic databases are CODIS, IBIS, PDQ, and IAFIS.

Crime Scene and Physical Evidence

Physical evidence is any object that can establish that a crime has or has not been committed, physical evidence can also link a crime and its victim or its perpetrator.

Some common examples of physical evidence found at a crime scene are blood, hair, fibers, drugs, weapons, fingerprints, and bullets.

In order for crime scenes to be preserved, and recorded, the crime scene and the evidence must stay uncontaminated, and be collected safely.

Role of FBI & CSI

The CSi investigates how, when, and where someone was murdered, and who all was involved.

The FBI investigates specific crimes or criminals that pose a possible threat.

Careers in Forensic Science

The most common types of disciplines in Forensic Science are drug chemistry, forensic biology, forensic toxicology, latent fingerprints, microscopy, polygraph analysis, and questioned documents.

Drug chemistry involves identifying evidence thought to be a controlled substance.

Forensic biology is the analysis of bodily fluids, stains, and other bodily materials to help solve a crime.

Forensic toxicology is the use of scientific techniques to aid medical or legal investigation of death, involving poisoning, and drug use.

Latent fingerprints is the analysis of fingerprints at a crime scene in order to trace it to a single individual.

Microscopy involves a forensic scientist that analyzes hairs, fibers, and debris.

Polygraph analysis is the testing of the truthfulness of a subject.

Questioned documents usually work cases involving alleged forgery, blackmail, kidnapping, and death threats.

What is Forensic Science?

Forensic science is the application of scientific principles and techniques to matters of criminal justice especially relating to the collection, examination, and analysis of physical evidence.

Forensic science is not done as fast as shown in television shows. As the television shows, try to make people believe that testing can be done that quickly.

Fun Facts

  • The term "forensic" is derived from the Latin word "forensis", which comes from the word "forum". A forum was a public place in Rome where the courts heard trials and orations were delivered.
  • The best source of DNA is the cell nucleus. Red blood cells do not have a nucleus, so they are not a good source of DNA.
  • Alec Jeffreys was the first to develop a technique to use DNA for identification purposes.
  • Henry Jackson was a burglar in Great Britain. During a robbery in 1902, he placed his hand in wet paint, leaving his fingerprints. His case was the first in which an individual was convicted of a crime based on print evidence.
  • The FBI originated from a force of special agents, and was created in 1908.