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Forensic Science

May 28, 2006 | Julie Bykowicz, Baltimore Sun
The FBI is no longer analyzing gunshot residue in its investigations, a blow to the once-highly regarded evidence used to suggest that a suspected criminal had fired a weapon. Lawyers, scientists and law enforcement officials across the country said that they were astonished by the decision and that it could sound the death knell for the evidence. It also could become a weapon for defense lawyers in pending cases and in efforts to overturn convictions.
October 8, 2013 | By Anne Harnagel
It's elementary--or is it? Sherlock Holmes and his investigative powers are the subject of an interactive exhibition opening Thursday at the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry in Portland. Visitors will learn about Holmes and his methods, the world that inspired Holmes' creator, Arthur Conan Doyle, and the history of forensic science. Expect footprints and splatter patterns too.  Museum-goers also will have a chance to develop their detective powers by using a book of clues instead of the museum map while trying to crack a Sherlock Holmes mystery written especially for the show by Conan Doyle biographer Daniel Stashower.
A few years ago, when deoxyribonucleic acid was the latest and hottest tongue-twister to hit the forensic community, Keith Inman recalls that there might have been a single session on the topic at the annual forensics convention.
May 16, 2004 | Wayne Parry, Associated Press Writer
Near the tennis courts at Centenary College, a student is itching to set something on fire, and only too happy to oblige when asked to toss a lighted match into a plastic garbage can filled with newspaper. A thin wisp of smoke appears after a few seconds and flames curl lazily upward. Another trash pail, this one filled with paper doused in gasoline, is set ablaze.
January 26, 1989 | STEVEN R. CHURM, Times Staff Writer
Bone fragments found near the desert campsite where Laura Bradbury was last seen more than four years ago apparently are the remains of the missing Huntington Beach child, authorities said for the first time Wednesday. Acknowledging that a sophisticated DNA analysis, known as "genetic fingerprinting," had been performed on the skull fragments, the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department said that the genetic composition of the fragments was "consistent with Laura Bradbury."
November 13, 1997 | From Times Wire Services
DNA evidence, used for years to bolster criminal cases, now is technologically advanced enough to specifically identify murderers, rapists and other criminals, the FBI said Wednesday. The improvement in technology has spawned a change in FBI policy that has already helped convict a Wisconsin rapist, even though he had four alibi witnesses that distanced him from the crime, FBI officials said at a news conference.
March 25, 1994 | KAY HWANGBO
Magnum the dog has a nose for narcotics. The golden retriever--a seven-year veteran of the Port of Los Angeles police department--showed how keen his olfactory senses were at a demonstration put on by detectives at James Monroe High School in North Hills. After containers of marijuana, heroin, cocaine and methamphetamine were hidden in a music classroom, Detective Leo Stekkinger led Magnum on a search of the room.
February 16, 1990 | GEORGE FRANK
Orange County's new genetic testing laboratory, with its computers, radioactive incubators, freezers and cameras, was officially opened Thursday with authorities saying it will be ready for its first case in two weeks.
August 4, 2012 | By L.J. Williamson
Eli Cirino's high school science project was quite literally an overnight success. Students in the 10th-grader's honors chemistry class at Granada Hills Charter High School were asked to make a video illustrating a scientific concept, so Eli chose ionic bonds. After finishing his project - a combination of music, live action romance and animation titled "Good Chemistry" - and uploading it to YouTube, Eli told a few friends and posted the link to Reddit. The video began to rack up a respectable number of hits - when he went to bed that night, it was at 300. The next morning, Eli received an excited text from his co-star: Their project had shot up to 62,000 hits.
Dead men can too tell tales. At least, James E. Starrs, a George Washington University professor who specializes in forensic science, insists they can. And to prove it, he plans to exhume the body of Carl Weiss, suspected of murdering Louisiana Gov. Huey Long in 1935. Starrs points out that controversy has long surrounded the deaths of Long and his alleged assassin, since Weiss apparently had no motive for the murder.
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