john simpson

New device in the works for forensics?

Blog Post created by john simpson on Nov 15, 2010

Taken from New Scientist
"Blood  camera to spot invisible stains at crime scenes"



Call it CSI: Abracadabra. A camera that can make invisible  substances reappear as if by magic could allow forensics teams to quickly scan a  crime scene for blood stains without tampering with valuable evidence. The  prototype camera, developed by Stephen Morgan, Michael Myrick and colleagues at  the University of South Carolina in Columbia, can detect blood stains even when  the sample has been diluted to one part per 100. At present, blood stains are  detected using the chemical luminol, which is sprayed around the crime scene and  reacts with the iron in any blood present to emit a blue glow that can be seen  in the dark. However, luminol is toxic, can dilute blood samples to a level at  which DNA is difficult to recover, and can smear blood spatter patterns that  forensic experts use to help determine how the victim died. Luminol can also  react with substances like bleach, rust, fizzy drink and coffee, causing it to  produce false positives. The research appeared in Analytical  Chemistry.