Science Thursday


This is our weekly roundup of forensic news from around the world. For more on forensic science reform, visit



The Government Accountability Office

is investigating the FBI’s handling of the anthrax inquiry

due to the unanswered scientific questions uncovered by the National Academy of Sciences’ evaluation of the investigation.


A Missouri forensic chemist is

suing the St. Louis Police Department

for terminating her as punishment for reporting mistakes in the lab’s drug analysis.


The Nassau County (NY) Police

knew about its crime lab’s deficiencies since 2003

, years before the laboratory was put on probation by its accreditation board in 2010.


The Supreme Court

declined to review a military case

involving what may be

systemic forensic problems

at the Army Criminal Investigation Laboratory.


The coroner’s office in New Orleans, the city with the nation’s highest murder rate,

operates on less than half the budget

of other parishes because its leadership does not advocate for resources. The office also handles autopsies for other parishes without full compensation, creating a

tremendous burden

for its forensic pathologists.


An appointed medical examiner

may be cheaper than an elected coroner’s office

in an Illinois county.


A team of Russian digital forensic security experts

cracked Apple’s iOS 4

on-device data protection and backup file encryption.


The FBI believes that it

recovered the fingerprint

of a Yemeni al-Qaida master bomb maker from the device found on the 2009 Underwear Bomber.



exhumed the body of the late President Salvador Allende

to settle the debate on his manner of death.


Scientists at the University of Sussex are in the preliminary stages of developing a

new technique

to detect fingerprints at a crime scene using electrostatic sensors which could possibly also be used in the future to determine the age of a fingerprint.


A newly developed device, using cameras tuned to different planes of polarized light,

can read fingerprints from up to six feet away


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