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
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.
Forensic anthropologists, who analyse skeletal remains, can give us clues to how someone lived and died.
While forensic scientists mostly use fingerprints, dental records and DNA to identify human remains, they have many other techniques in their forensic toolkit. How many have you heard of?
DNA profiling is one of the most reliable techniques we have, but it can be misused.
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.
The Conversation, CC BY 77.2 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.
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.
A failure to introduce robust science means forensic science has reached crisis point. The UK has to act now to address this threat to justice.
UK forensic science and technology is lurching from crisis to crisis. A fundamental reform of governance and policy making is needed.
Nope, not a real news report from Hurricane Irma.
It's easier than ever to create a fake image and spread it far and wide online. But there are steps that you can take to protect yourself from fishy photos.
The issues surrounding the use of genetic data are complex.
image created by James Hereward and Caitlin Curtis
Police have powerful new genetic tools. How are we going to regulate their use? A Genetic Data Protection Act is one solution to ensure confidence in the way DNA is accessed and used.
One way to tackle this violent crime is through DNA profiling.
Self-examination DNA collection techniques can help women bring the perpetrators of sexual violence to justice.
Yellow mongoose probably don’t come to mind when thinking of scavengers - but they have been found to scavenge and scatter body parts.
Scavengers play an important but often poorly understood role in how fast bodies decompose.
Analysing the words used to place blame or give evidence can change how we see a situation.
Mephisto after its capture in France by the Australian 26th Battalion.
One hundred years after its capture from the battle fields of France, the last German battle tank of its kind is giving up its secrets to archeologists and forensic analysis.
Lifting fingermarks from a crime scene often destroys the DNA they can contain.
Your hair can reveal how much you drink, whether you smoke or take drugs, and perhaps even how stressed you are.
Teeth and bones can tell something about age – but not someone’s birthday.
Journal of Forensic Dental Sciences
If an undocumented migrant is a minor or an adult can have far-reaching implications. A forensic anthropologist explains why relying solely on dental X-rays to determine age doesn't work.
You’re knicked - and so is your DNA.
A bit of advice for any criminals inspired to try and edit their own genes – it's unlikely to work, and it may present health risks.
The science of DNA facial reconstruction is advancing rapidly.
Composite from Parabon and PNAS
Our ability to reconstruct physical features from DNA is advancing, but can we ensure the privacy of "anonymised" genetic data if we can predict the face of its owner?
Females who remain unidentified at the time of burial are named ‘Jane Doe’.
We're at the point in DNA technology where individuals who – having parted with $99 and a small vial of saliva – may suddenly find themselves in a criminal investigation.
Research is increasingly proving fingerprints can be used for much more than identifying people.