Forensic science

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Adam Broomberg & Oliver Chanarin, Trace fiber from Freud’s couch under crossed polars with Quartz wedge compensator (#1), 2015, unique jacquard woven tapestry, 2.9m x 2m. © Adam Broomberg & Oliver Chanarin

Forensic analysis of skin dust from Freud’s couch leaves much to be desired

In the middle of a rose garden, on a leafy road in northwest London, nestles the Freud Museum – though the petals, in October, are tumbling. The house, at 20 Maresfield Gardens, is the proud bearer of…
First bodies of victims in the Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 crash arrive at Eindhoven Airbase, the Netherlands. AAP/Dan Himbrechts

How dental records will help identify bodies from MH17

The first of the bodies from Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 have arrived in the Netherlands ready for forensic investigation into the remains of the 298 passengers and crew. Identifying the victims is…
Vital forensic evidence could be lost as bodies from Malaysia Airlines MH17 are moved. EPA/Anastasia Vlasova

Identifying bodies from MH17 is a challenge for forensics

Returning the 298 victims from Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 to their families with dignity and respect is a major priority for each nation involved. Disaster victim identification (DVI) is a difficult…
The physiological stress of the heat accumulates and takes its toll after two or three days. AAP Image/Joe Castro

Death in a hot climate: southern heatwave to take its toll

Hopefully the southern Australian heatwave is coming to an end – for now. But for health-care providers and death investigators, such as me, the fallout will continue for some time to come. It’s unclear…
An international team of forensic scientists from all disciplines is investigating Kenya’s mall attack. EPA/Dai Kurokawa

Can forensic science unravel the chaos of Westgate mall?

The entire world witnessed last month’s horrifying terrorist attack on the Westgate mall in Nairobi, Kenya. Now forensic experts from Interpol, US, UK, Germany, and Canada have joined Kenyan law enforcement…
Is it reasonable to expect juries to spend the time needed to check police transcripts against the audio when lawyers themselves do not? Shutterstock/Everett Collection

Covert recordings as evidence in court: the return of police ‘verballing’?

Today, we take it for granted that police interviews with suspects will be electronically recorded and independently transcribed. That hasn’t always been the case. Police were once allowed to testify…
TV portrayals of forensic science sometimes border on the criminal. Derek Bridges

Get real, forensic scientists: the CSI effect is waning

You’ve heard of the so-called CSI effect – the manner in which the exaggerated portrayal of forensic science on crime television shows such as CSI: Crime Scene Investigation influences public perception…

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