Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show

Forensics

3D image of a shoe print with a color-based depth gauge produced using a new 3D mapping de...

Using an enhanced LADAR (Laser Detection And Ranging) system, researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have created a long-range, laser-based imaging device that can generate high-definition 3D maps of objects at distances of up to 10.5 m (35 ft). The technology could find applications in precision machining and assembly, as well as in forensics where it could map evidence non-destructively.  Read More

The 'magic' marker helps determine whether a receipt potentially containing fingerprint de...

A "magic" marker pen developed at the University of Leicester enables forensic experts, police and criminal investigators to quickly determine whether a receipt potentially containing fingerprint deposits is made of thermal paper, with another device then used to reveal the presence of any fingerprints. The devices come thanks to the work of the suitably-named Dr Bond, John Bond, from the University's Department of Criminology.  Read More

Prof. Diane Beauchemin analyzes hair in her lab (Photo: Anne Craig)

If you watch any cop shows, then you know that a person's race and gender can be determined by doing a DNA analysis of one of their hairs. Now, however, Canadian scientists at Queen's University have developed a method of obtaining that same information from hair samples, that's quicker than DNA testing and is 100 percent accurate.  Read More

It may someday be possible to ascertain someone's appearance by analyzing their DNA

As any fan of just about any TV cop show will tell you, it's possible to determine someone's sex and race based on a sample of their DNA. In the future, however, such samples may provide police with even more valuable information ... they might allow investigators to construct an image of the person's face.  Read More

The scanner scans a cloud comprising millions of points

3D imaging company Faro has a new client that will be using its 3D scanning technology to help solve crimes. The Roswell Police Department has purchased a Faro Focus3D Scanner which allows them to create 3D maps of crime scenes that they can then navigate and study using a computer or mobile device.  Read More

A new test is able to genetically discriminate between 'identical' twins (Photo: Shutterst...

Although they only account for around three in every thousand deliveries, monozygotic, or "identical" twins are fertile fodder for crime writers and cop shows. This isn't surprising considering that DNA fingerprint testing is not able to genetically differentiate between the good and evil twin. But now German-based company Eurofins MWG Operon says it has found a way to do just that.  Read More

A Lumicyano-treated fingerprint on a plastic bag

If you regularly watch any police forensics TV shows, then the word "Luminol" is probably already part of your vocabulary. Now, however, you might also want to add the word "Lumicyano." That's the name of a new product that is said to reveal latent fingerprints faster, cheaper and better than other methods.  Read More

A fingerprint obtained from a stainless steel surface, using the new technique

Here’s something that they don’t tell you in the TV cop shows: although fingerprints may be present at a crime scene, only about 10 percent of the prints found are of good enough quality for use in court. A group of scientists are working on boosting that percentage, however, through the use of a color-changing film.  Read More

EPFL's system in use at the Lausanne Cathedral in Switzerland

Creating a 3D map of a room could someday be as simple as randomly placing four microphones within the space, then snapping your fingers. Researchers from Switzerland’s EPFL (École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne/Swiss Federal Institute of Technology) have recently done so on a limited scale, and are now excited about the technology’s possible applications.  Read More

A fingerprint image obtained using the new method

Nick Stokes, Sarah Sidle and the gang on CSI should be glad to hear this – Israeli scientists have developed a new method for getting fingerprints from paper surfaces, that is claimed to get better results than existing technology.  Read More

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