Post List

All posts; Tags Include "Forensic Science"

(Modify Search »)

  • April 7, 2016
  • 08:28 AM

Some fungi are into dead bodies and waste piles

by Rosin Cerate in Rosin Cerate

For the past couple of years now, a fungus called Xylaria polymorpha has been munching on the buried roots of a beheaded tree on my parents' front lawn. In the grass surrounding the stump, X. polymorpha sends up a thicket of charcoal club-like mushrooms every summer. They look kinda like a dead man's fingers, which not coincidentally happens to be a common name for the fungus.... Read more »

  • March 31, 2016
  • 11:40 AM

Extracting goo from corpses to better understand them

by Rosin Cerate in Rosin Cerate

It's goo week here at Rosin Cerate. So far we've looked at forms of natural springtime goo. For today's post, it's on to a much darker and less life-affirming goo. We're going to take a peek at the viscous fluids you can extract from a corpse to determine where/when/how it became a corpse and other useful forensic information.... Read more »

Deking J, Hargrove VM, & Molina DK. (2014) Synovial fluid: An alternative toxicologic specimen?. The American Journal of Forensic Medicine and Pathology, 35(2), 154-6. PMID: 24781403  

  • March 3, 2016
  • 09:32 AM

Identifying a shooter by their snot

by Rosin Cerate in Rosin Cerate

I'm Canadian and didn't grow up on a farm or anywhere particularly rural, so it shouldn't be surprising to learn I've never fired a gun. Furthermore, guns are very far down on the list of things I'm interested in learning more about. Yet sometimes tooling around the scientific literature leads to unexpected topics, such as the forensic analysis of gunshot residue. Turns out there's a neat bit of biology involved, and thus we've got ourselves a quick blog post.... Read more »

  • November 16, 2012
  • 11:09 AM

Sweaty Criminals Beware

by Arielle D. Ross in Salamander Hours

Sweaty Criminals BewareA new way to lift fingerprints left behind by sweat-laden paws. Continue reading →Salamander Hours - A Science Blog with a Mighty Name... Read more »

  • March 13, 2012
  • 07:56 PM

5 things CSI gets right

by Stuart Farrimond in Guru: Science Blog

For Brits, this week sees the return of everybody’s favourite team of armed Police/crime scene/forensic scientist hybrids: the night shift of the Las Vegas Crime Scene Investigation dpt. (UK Channel 5, Tuesdays 9PM). Now entering its 12th season – it’s even been around since ‘seasons’ were called ‘series’ – CSI is the most watched TV [...]... Read more »

Durnal, E. (2010) Crime scene investigation (as seen on TV). Forensic Science International, 199(1-3), 1-5. DOI: 10.1016/j.forsciint.2010.02.015  

  • January 27, 2012
  • 02:50 PM

Forensics to the Rescue: Prosecuting Endangered Snake Poachers

by Arielle D. Ross in Salamander Hours

This week, I was lucky enough to handle a few live Ontario snakes during my herpetology course. This was quite a treat for me because, for as long as I can remember, I have held a fierce fascination for all … Continue reading →... Read more »

Singh, C., Gaur, A., Sreenivas, A., & Singh, L. (2012) Species Identification from Dried Snake Venom*. Journal of Forensic Sciences. DOI: 10.1111/j.1556-4029.2011.02049.x  

  • December 31, 2011
  • 02:19 PM

New Year’s Special: How Soon is Too Soon for an Alcohol Breath Test?

by Arielle D. Ross in Salamander Hours

As I mentioned in the latest “Top 3 Science links” post, for most of North America, New Year’s Eve signifies two things: a fresh start and/or alcohol. Sadly, the latter means that some of us will make bad decisions tonight, … Continue reading →... Read more »

  • December 20, 2011
  • 09:21 AM

Fingerprint evidence: not exactly what CSI showed you

by EE Giorgi in CHIMERAS

Every scientific type of analysis has an error rate. I've mentioned it before: science is not about certainty, it's about accurately measuring the uncertainties. Unfortunately, when it comes to forensic sciences, this causes a logical problem: scientists like to talk about being 90% sure about something, but in trials there's only two outcomes: innocent or guilty. You can't do 90% guilty and 10% innocent.It occurred to me that this was an issue when I heard somebody talk about how fingerprint an........ Read more »

  • July 1, 2010
  • 01:08 PM

What's eating you? - Bugs, bacteria, and zombies

by Laelaps in Laelaps

The trailer for Shaun of the Dead.

Not all zombies are created equal. The most popular zombie archetype is a shambling, brain-eating member of the recently deceased, but, in recent films from 28 Days Later to Zombieland, the definition of what a zombie is or isn't has become more complicated. Does a zombie have to be a cannibal corpse, or can a zombie be someone infected with a virus which turns them into a blood-crazed, fast-running monster?

For my own part, I have always preferred the cla........ Read more »

  • April 8, 2010
  • 07:04 AM

8-OHdG: Entity of the Month

by Duncan Hull in O'Really?

Chemical Entities of Biological Interest (ChEBI) release 67 is now available, containing 548,850 total entities, of which 20,565 are annotated entities and 720 were submitted via the ChEBI submission tool. New in this release, the ChEBI ontology is now available in Web Ontology Language (OWL), which is part of an ongoing research project to automate [...]... Read more »

Wishart, D., Knox, C., Guo, A., Eisner, R., Young, N., Gautam, B., Hau, D., Psychogios, N., Dong, E., Bouatra, S.... (2009) HMDB: a knowledgebase for the human metabolome. Nucleic Acids Research, 37(Database). DOI: 10.1093/nar/gkn810  

Tarng DC, Huang TP, Wei YH, Liu TY, Chen HW, Wen Chen T, & Yang WC. (2000) 8-hydroxy-2'-deoxyguanosine of leukocyte DNA as a marker of oxidative stress in chronic hemodialysis patients. American journal of kidney diseases : the official journal of the National Kidney Foundation, 36(5), 934-44. PMID: 11054349  

join us!

Do you write about peer-reviewed research in your blog? Use to make it easy for your readers — and others from around the world — to find your serious posts about academic research.

If you don't have a blog, you can still use our site to learn about fascinating developments in cutting-edge research from around the world.

Register Now

Research Blogging is powered by SRI Technology.

To learn more, visit