News 11.24.11

Science Thursday: Thanksgiving Edition

While families across the United States focus today on the chemistry and art of cooking, we have plenty to report from the world of forensics. Here’s this week’s roundup:

 

The New York State Inspector General’s investigation of the Nassau County Crime Laboratory

found errors

in more than 10% of the cases that underwent retesting and systemic failure at all levels of the laboratory’s management and oversight.

 

A study in the journal Psychological Science revealed that

false confessions corrupt other evidence in a trial

, namely forensic evidence and the use of government informants.

 

Forensic Anthropology students at Indiana University — South Bend conducted a

field study

by exhuming the body of a pig to study decomposition and identification techniques.

 

The New York City Chief Forensic Anthropologist determined that remains of what appeared to be a child’s limb

was actually a bear paw

.

 

Fire investigation techniques

have changed

from an experiential process to having a basis in research science. Experts continue to worry about the innocent people who have been convicted on faulty fire investigation techniques because it is

taking such a long time for the science to be accepted

.

A New York county

has approved funds

to build a new crime lab under the medical examiner in a new facility.

A U.K. company is marketing

a device

that simultaneously scans the fingerprint of a person and detects the  presence of a wide range of drugs using dyed antibodies  that stick to drug metabolites in the sweat of the fingerprints.

 

Mississippi and Arizona crime labs are

training community volunteers

to collect evidence at property crime scenes.

 

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