Articles on Forensic science

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Maggots are a major part of the puzzle when it comes to collecting forensic evidence. Shutterstock

Trust Me, I’m An Expert: forensic entomology, or what bugs can tell police about when someone died

Trust Me, I’m An Expert: forensic entomology, or what bugs can tell police about when someone died. The Conversation, CC BY58.8 MB (download)
James Wallman is one of Australia's few forensic entomologists. It’s his job to unpack the tiny clues left behind by insects that can help police solve crimes.
Red Cross forensic specialist Stephen Fonseca, right, searches for bodies in a field of ruined maize in Magaru, Mozambique, after Cyclone Idai, April 4, 2019. AP Photo/Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi

Humanitarian forensic scientists trace the missing, identify the dead and comfort the living

Meet the unsung aid workers who put their lives on the line during war and natural disaster to make sure the dead are treated with respect – and that their grieving families get closure.
Research underway at the University of Technology, Sydney’s AFTER facility is yielding some surprising new findings about how bodies decompose in the Australian bush. Supplied by UTS

‘This is going to affect how we determine time since death’: how studying body donors in the bush is changing forensic science

‘This is going to affect how we determine time since death’: how studying body donors in the bush is changing forensic science. The Conversation, CC BY77.2 MB (download)
On the outskirts of Sydney, in a secret bushland location, lies what's officially known as the Australian Facility for Taphonomic Experimental Research. In books or movies, it'd be called a body farm.
Home DNA testing has made it easy and affordable for millions of people to learn about their ancestry. Now, police are using this genetic information to identify suspects in unsolved crimes. Shutterstock

Privacy concerns don’t stop people from putting their DNA on the internet to help solve crimes

Despite privacy concerns over police use of DNA uploaded to ancestry websites, many people are just excited that their genetic material could get a killer off the streets.
Annie Dookhan, center, pictured with her family in a Boston courtroom Nov. 22, 2013, after she pleaded guilty to tampering with evidence. Dookhan was a state chemist. David L. Ryan/AP/The Boston Globe

How corruption in forensic science is harming the criminal justice system

Forensic science is only as good as the equipment and the people who calibrate it, some high-profile cases indicate. Thousands of innocent people have been harmed. Here's how.
The remains of an Ixil man emerge from the ground, one of the countless victims of the civil war in Guatemala. Tristan Brand/FAFG Fundacion de Antropologia Forense de Guatemala

‘It is the job of the living to save the dead from drowning’

The Ixil people of Guatemala dream of the places where their dead, massacred during the country's armed conflict might be located.
Does your body give away if you’re lying or not? AP Photo/Edward Kitch

Is a polygraph a reliable lie detector?

It would be great to know for sure when someone is lying and when someone is telling the truth. But no technology that purports to do so is foolproof.

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