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This Essay Is On Forensic Science And All That It Compiles In Direct Relation To Biology

2395 words - 10 pages

A crime has been committed. The perpetrator thinks that it is the perfect crime. He walks away believing that there were no witnesses and that no evidence has been left behind. However, he is wrong. Forensic science is a silent witness to every crime. It is impossible for a criminal to act without leaving behind some sort of trace evidence, even if it is so minute that the most modern technology is necessary in order to find it. This is where forensic science comes into play.Forensic science is a very diverse field, involving the work of pathologists, anthropologists, entomologists, toxicologists, mathematicians, artists, engineers, psychologists, etc. Forensic science can be defined simply ...view middle of the document...

" (5) A technique often used by crime scene investigators is to shine a flashlight at an angle towards the ground in order to help reveal trace evidence such as footprints, fingerprints, stains, drag marks, glass shards, and anything else substantial to the search. Another technique made popular by television is the use of luminol. Luminol is a compound used to detect bloodstains at a crime scene. It can ascertain any amount of blood by reacting with the blood's iron, even if the area has been wiped clean, and glows in the dark due to it's fluorescent nature (2). All of the evidence or potential evidence is then noted, bagged and preserved for use later on.When investigators reach the body they pay close attention to wounds on extremities that could show evidence of a struggle, as well as looking under the fingernails for any visible skin or blood. If a weapon or any harmful object is found near the body or anywhere at the scene it is preserved for later use as well. Generally an investigator tries to determine the cause of death only by a visual examination of the body. Even after one investigator has completed his/her search the crime scene remains blocked off for further investigation, if necessary (5).The initial position of the body is noted, and then the body is extremely carefully transported to a coroner or medical examiner. The medical examiner is key in the success or failure of a forensic investigation. It is the medical examiner, a physician specializing in forensic pathology, who performs the autopsy on the corpse in the event that the victim has died in order to determine whether the death was natural, a suicide, or a homicide (1). An autopsy is done to examine the internal organs of a dead body (6).The body is first tagged and photographed, then x-rayed, weighed and measured. Coroners always pay close attention to external wounds and injuries. It is extremely crucial that all trace evidence is collected off of the body before it is cleaned, such as hair, fibers, and any substances found underneath the fingernails (before the nails are clipped), which could be incriminating. Everything found on the surface of the body along with the cloth in which the body was wrapped in is sent off for further analysis. Fingerprints are taken off of the body if possible and in some instances a rape kit is used to test for seminal fluids or traces of latex. All of this must be done prior to the cleaning of the body (6).To examine the inside of the body the coroner makes a Y incision, a cut from shoulder to shoulder meeting at the chest and "down the abdomen into the pelvis" (6). The collarbone and rib cage are cut open and lifted away from the organs, and using an x-ray to guide away from bullet trajectories, etc., the coroner removes and opens organs and intestines to examine their contents. Finally the head is cut open, the skin peeled away from the bone, and the bone is chiseled open so that the brain can be removed and weighed. All of the...

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