Forensic palynology strikes again

If anyone had any doubts about the use or application of forensic palynology then surely they should be dispelled by now.  Work completed by Dr Dallas Mildenhall, based here in sunny New Zealand, helped Interpol arrest and charge three Chinese man in relation to production and distribution of counterfeit drugs.  The pollen content of samples …

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US Forensics: seems to be a bit of a mess…

I have been surprised at the lack of continuity in the forensic science profession in the United States.  I assumed (apparently incorrectly) that with all those scientists, forensic labs and cutting edge research institutes that they would be ahead of the game in terms of accreditation and recognition of forensic scientists and the associated techniques.  …

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Cannabis case, South Wales

Forensic science always seems so glamorous on the TV.  I love my job but sometimes I have to wonder why I do it because it is so far from CSI.  I gave a talk to the Auckland Executive Club last week and I put up a photo of some fragments of cannabis resin, to provide …

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An interesting read: For Great Justice!

This article was written by Michael Oliver of Salient (Victoria University of Wellington’s student  magazine, salient.co.nz) and posted on scoop.co.nz on 17 August 2009 It’s a very interesting article about the New Zealand justice system and I find many things for consideration within it…..: “The Supreme Court building currently sits in bits on Lambton Quay’s …

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Active oxygen washing powder and pollen

It seems there has been some concern in forensic science circles about the effect of active oxygen washing powder, particularly in relation to removal of blood.  Apparently, use of such washing powder can cause a negative result to presumptive blood testing such as Luminol.  The question was asked about whether the washing powder will have …

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Job losses at the UK Forensic Science Service

Well, it looks like the rumours were true – the UK Forensic Science Service is going to be making people redundant, with up to 800 jobs set to go throughout England and Wales and three of the labs being closed or reduced.  The FSS is apparently trying to change the way it does business and …

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Fabrication of DNA evidence

This is interesting…. DNA Evidence Can Be Fabricated, Scientists Show By ANDREW POLLACK Published: August 17, 2009, NYTimes.com Scientists in Israel have demonstrated that it is possible to fabricate DNA evidence, undermining the credibility of what has been considered the gold standard of proof in criminal cases. The scientists fabricated blood and saliva samples containing …

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The CSI effect

Here is an extract from the IrishTimes.com (19 August 2009, article by Bernice Harrison): “It’s thanks to CSI that millions of us fancy ourselves as forensics experts. DNA profiling, blood spatter patterns, latent prints – who couldn’t throw a bit of forensic banter into a conversation and, after nine years of the mega-hit TV series, …

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Mobile phones and driving in New Zealand

I wholeheartedly agree that it should be against the law to use a mobile phone whilst driving – additional divided attention when driving is not safe: and I can say that having worked on many road traffic incident cases where mobile phones were contributory to crashes. Who thinks that the penalties as they stand (the …

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How to get a job in forensic science

This is a question that I am frequently asked by students or people who want a career change. The first thing to say is that it’s not the same as CSI or Bones. Don’t get me wrong: it’s certainly full of variety, intrigue and laboratories, but it’s also full of paperwork, frustration and being on-call. …

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