Science Thursday


The Department of Homeland Security launches technology to measure “malintent,” a North Carolina research organization wins a $6M grant from the National Institute of Justice, and blow flies are a key to death investigations. Here’s a roundup of this week’s forensics news:

The Department of Homeland Security has been testing its

Future Attribute Screen Technology (FAST)

at northeastern airports. The system, which includes thermal cameras, microphones and a laser radar that can measure heart rate and perspiration, is designed to measure the possible intent to commit a crime. A DHS spokesperson claims FAST was 78 percent successful on detection of “malintent” and 80 percent successful at detecting deception.

Veterinary forensics

is a growing field



Forensic paint sampling

led New Zealand authorities to identify a boat that was illegally dumping fish.

The Research Triangle Institute in North Carolina was awarded a $6M grant from the National Institute of Justice

to form a new Forensic Science Technology Center of Excellence


An Arizona medical examiner’s office

may begin to charge a fee for bodies left in storage for too long.

Blow fly life cycles

can determine approximately when the insects find a corpse based on their stage of development.

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