Science Thursday – August 16, 2012


Texas reviews previous arson cases and a prosecutor in New York City launches a cybercrime lab in his office. Here’s this week’s round up of forensic news:


An ongoing Texas arson review has revealed a number of cases where

flawed forensic science may have lead to wrongful arson convictions



The Manhattan District Attorney has announced

the construction of a cybercrime lab

to be housed in the district attorney’s office and staffed by computer forensic staff members, specialized prosecutors, analysts and investigators. The lab is scheduled to be up and running by late 2013.


Researchers in China have developed an electrochemiluminesence (ECL) technique to

reveal fingerprints on items of evidence

. Unlike current techniques of gathering fingerprints, the ECL technique will not affect the integrity of the print.


The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has

developed a new reference standard for ballistics

that can help lab technicians verify that their equipment is calibrated and functioning properly, validate their methodology, and demonstrate that their work is traceable to an authoritative national standard.

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