Forensic Science: What’s Behind It?

Emery Jovel, Features Editor

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Forensic Science is the study of solving crimes using scientific methods that will apply to court and to investigate crimes. Forensic Science has evolved over the years, making it easier to uncover mysteries, solve crimes, and serve justice. This field requires a lot of scientific areas such as physics, chemistry, and biology. The great thing about forensic science is that it never lies. Once the forensics shows the facts and the evidence, you know that you’ve just solved a case.

Forensic recordings dates back in the 700’s, when the Chinese were able to use fingerprints to establish the identity of clay sculptures and documents. But as the years passed, forensic science evolved, using easier techniques to solve crimes. Some fields in forensics include Forensic Toxicology, Forensic DNA Analysis, Forensic Engineering, Digital Forensics, Forensic Psychology, & Forensic Linguistics.

During the 1980’s, tests for the presence of blood were developing during this period of time. The trace evidence of toxicology or in other words, arsenic detection was first used in a jury trial as well. The use of photography for the identification of criminals and to document from the evidence and crime scenes were also being developed. These are just some of the many other techniques that were becoming during the 1980’s.

Forensic scientist is testing a DNA sample.

As forensics entered the 1990’s, it became more advanced than it was in the 1980’s. During the 90’s the presumptive test for blood, chemiluminescent reagent luminol, meaning the emission of light that will glow when it makes contact with blood was developing. Headspace sampling was also becoming more useful during this time. It’s a technique used for the analysis of samples where the entire sample shouldn’t be injected into the GC (Gas Chromatography) instrument. During the 90’s, PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) was also being used for the first time. Now in the 21st century, forensic science has become a whole lot more advanced than it was a decade ago.

There are four techniques I would like to highlight. The first is the most popular forensic technique used to solve crimes, PCR. As I mentioned before, PCR testing started in the 1990’s and is now a well-known technique that made forensic history. PCR is basically where you copy a DNA sample whenever it’s too small for testing or has been degraded over a long period of time. Another technique is a process called Superglue Fuming, where it is used to get prints (palm, finger, etc). During this process, it allows the vapors to adhere to a fingerprint, making it so that the oils and perspiration from the pores of the finger visible.

The third technique is an identification technique for victims called Skull Photograph Superimposition. This technique is where scientists put a skull over a photograph of the victim and would then compare the facial characteristics. It is one of the many others used for identification on a victim. And the last technique highlighted is called Glass Refraction Analysis. It is basically used to compare the glass particles that are found in the crime scene or is involved in the case.

Investigators are confiscating evidence from the crime scene.

But why is forensic science important? “Well it shows how science is used in the real world,” Ms. Traylor stated. A reason as to why forensics is important is because the 7th grade STEAM magnet program will soon be working on an upcoming PBL, The Mock Trial.

Ms. Traylor elaborates, “7th grade STEAM teachers started mock trial last year where students learn about gun violence, bullying, and weapon use and what were the consequences.” She also mentions, “Students would write the script as a class, which is really cool and some of it is improvised. And that adds to the aspect that makes it fun for students.” So ever since the Mock Trial started as a PBL, students have really found it interesting learning about how to process evidence and have admitted it was their favorite project during their time in 7th grade. And honestly, I can’t wait to get started with the Mock Trial!

Furthermore, a lot of people in history have contributed to the development of forensic science that is used to convict and solve crimes today. So if you are interested in studying forensics and want to have this field as your future job, then hopefully this article would be a start.

 

About the Writer
Emery Jovel, Features Editor

Emery Jovel is a 7th grade Journalism student attending Dana Middle School. Before she came  to Dana Middle school she attended Point Fermin Elementary....

1 Comment

One Response to “Forensic Science: What’s Behind It?”

  1. mia on March 6th, 2019 9:55 am

    I think this article is so cool and informational, I would love to find out more about this and I think it would be cool for you to create a second article about what forensics were like back in the old days.

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