News 12.02.10

Science Thursday: Forensics Around the World

This week, a UK judge raised concerns about fingerprint evidence, India is focused on revamping and modernizing forensics nationwide and new technology from New Zealand promised faster DNA test results. Here’s a roundup of forensic news:

A UK judge called the practice of fingerprint analysis

“fundamentally subjective”

and said that it was therefore “inherently capable of misidentifications” in a speech to the Forensic Science Society in London.

A UK Police Chief is receiving criticism for

training unpaid volunteers

to recover forensic evidence from crime scenes.

UK researchers using forensic techniques

restored handwritten records

of the 1851 Manchester census documents that were damaged in a flood.

Sri Lankan police

sent 24 bags full of ashes

for forensic testing from what they believe to be a mass grave. In India, officials are observing

2010 as the “Forensic Year”

to revamp and modernize the organizational structure of various forensic laboratories, personnel policies and training needs.

Indian officials are setting up a bulletproof testing facility in the state forensic laboratory to test whether vehicles and protective gear

can actually resist gunfire

.

New Zealand is demonstrating new technology that

reduces the processing time

for DNA from 28 days to five.

The ASPCA’s forensic veterinarian co-founded a first-of-its-kind

veterinary forensic training program

at the University of Florida.

The

scientific reliability of bloodstain pattern analysis

was questioned in a Connecticut murder case.

The Orange County Board of Supervisors is exploring the cost of

separating the county’s forensic services from law enforcement

.

A panel of law enforcement officials, defense attorneys, prosecutors, a judge and a professor convened in NC as part of the

state’s national search for a new director for the State Bureau of Investigations

.

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