By Rebecca Stefoff
Forensic technology Investigated takes younger readers within this fast-growing box, displaying them how crime scene investigators and forensic experts assemble facts, resolve crimes, or even unencumber blameless those that were mistakenly imprisoned.
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Extra resources for Crime Labs (Forensic Science Investigated)
To develop prints, a forensic examiner may use physical methods, such as brushing the 47 48 CRIME LABS print area with a fine powder that sticks to the oil; chemical methods, such as exposing the prints to gases that will react with the oil; or visual methods, such as using ultraviolet photography to highlight the prints. Not all prints are developed in the crime lab, though. If a print is on something that cannot be moved to the lab, such as a wall, criminalists will develop it at the scene, using the same methods that fingerprint technicians use in the lab.
In reality, however, investigation and evidence analysis are—or should be— completely separate. Criminalists and crime lab staff do INSIDE THE CRIME LAB not take part in investigations. Their role is not to solve crimes. It is to collect, preserve, and analyze the evidence without regard for the outcome of the case. u SECTIONS OF A FORENSIC LAB Large labs usually have separate areas or departments for different kinds of forensic analysis. Smaller labs may have a single work area that is used for a variety of testing procedures, or the labs may perform only a few basic tests and send other work to larger facilities.
This type of microscope is especially useful for viewing and sorting an array of trace evidence specimens at the same time. To compare two pieces of evidence side by side, the analyst may use a comparison microscope—the same tool used by firearms specialists to compare striations on two bullets. One of the key tools in trace evidence analysis is the polarized-light microscope, which has a light source to illuminate the specimen, a polarizing filter to highlight extremely tiny features of the specimen, and a rotating platform that lets the analyst turn the specimen and examine it from all angles.