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DNA identifies ‘our boys’
Forensics
How do you identify bodies that are 90 years old when it is unlikely
they have any direct descendents? Familial DNA matching and police
forensics were used as never before when 96 bodies were identified as
Australian soldiers buried by the Germans in the First World War.
Serena Lander reports.

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Forensic science in the 2010s How to survive a difficult decade
Forensics
To inaugurate the establishment of the Northumbria University Centre
for Forensic Science (NUCFS), a one-day conference is being held  on
June 8 which will be addressed by speakers with an international
reputation, drawn from the police service, forensic science and
academia.

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The new face of forensic ID
Forensics
New research in the US is giving forensic scientists a tool that can be
used to identify the remains of children and could help to resolve
missing-persons cases.

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Strengthening forensic science
Forensics
Following a damning report of the science supporting forensic work, the
US is beginning to fund a considerable amount of research in the field,
one aspect of which is expected to lead to a scientifically backed
profile of the cognitive skills needed to perform forensics analysis.

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CSI competency: An international perspective
Forensics
In early 2009, Hazel Biggs was awarded a Winston Churchill Travelling
Fellowship to undertake research into crime scene investigator (CSI)
training and subsequent competency testing from an international
perspective. Describing her seven-week fellowship, which entailed
travelling to the US, Australia and New Zealand, she compares the
training and development provided in these countries with that
available in the UK.

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Infrared identification
Forensics
Derby University is trialling a method of identification that could help identify assailants by their distinguishing tattoos, even if they have tried to cover them up.
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Hot rocks
Forensics
A terrorist case provided the impetus for sequential experiments carried out by forensic geoscientists to determine whether an examination of the surface texture of quartz grains recovered from the remains of vehicles subjected to fire can be used as a forensic indicator, helping investigators to link suspects to a scene of a crime. Police Professional reports.
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Spacing Out Crime
Forensics
On an afternoon in October 2008, two 14-year-old boys playing in a park in Motherwell, Strathclyde, discovered the dead body of 29-year-old James Taylor. The police investigation team arrived and quickly concluded that the cause of death was murder. The victim had sustained a series of injuries, including burns to the groin and stomach, stab wounds and the top of his ear was missing.
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A mark of crime
FORENSIC FUTURE
After fingerprints, DNA and footwear, gloves and glove marks are the next most retrieved exhibits at crime scenes in Derbyshire. Historically, however, very little has been done with this type of evidence, with most glove marks obtained from a scene being put to one side and later destroyed. That was until Derbyshire Constabulary began utilising this valuable form of evidence, developing a glove mark database that has proved its worth in helping to identify and bring to justice repeat offenders. Damian Small reports.
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A successful lift
FORENSIC FUTURE
Not every crime scene is straightforward. Sometimes a crime scene officer is required to lift a fingerprint from surfaces that can’t be taken back to the laboratory, so ensuring the best technique is applied is key to recovering evidence and solving the crime.
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