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Chemistry at the Crime Scene

I know that a lot of people today are passionate about crime scenes and investigations. But did you know that there is also an area where chemistry is involved? If you did not, keep reading this article to learn new information.

Forensic chemistry deals with the connection between chemistry and society through the legal system. Chemistry is often used in this field to analyse fingerprints,drugs,blood samples, DNA, and other substances. Forensic chemistry was created to deal with the chemical side of criminal investigations and the analysis of materials that may give rise to legal proceedings. It also overlaps with allied sciences such as ballistics, document examination, and fingerprint identification.

But how do criminal laboratories actually work? As well, how has chemistry already helped authorities solve crimes? To start with, latent fingerprints are important for personal identification and evidence. Inside the laboratory, they also do an analysis of stains. Stains on the body can be identified, examined, and reported to the police. When talking about saving the clues and potential proof, physical evidence is immediately photographed and preserved for examination. Beside all this “usual” work, labs are also used for weapon examination. Experts analyse firearms, ammunition, and bullet casings to determine if they were used in a crime. They examine characteristics like bullet trajectory, firearm markings, and gunshot residue. But what about the trial and court afterwards? Crime lab experts may be called upon to provide expert testimony in court. They present their findings, interpretations, and scientific opinions to assist the legal process.

Finally, putting an emphasis on cases when chemistry revolutionised solving crimes, I must point out some situations from the past:

1. In 1984, Sir Alec Jeffreys introduced a groundbreaking advancement in forensic science known as DNA profiling or DNA fingerprinting. This incredible technique harnesses the distinctive patterns embedded within an individual's DNA, enabling investigators to connect suspects directly to crime scenes. This revolutionary tool has since played a pivotal role in resolving an incalculable number of criminal cases, providing an unparalleled level of precision when determining guilt or innocence.

2. The study of forensic ballistics changed the face of crime-solving in the late 19th century. This fascinating field focuses on the close inspection of guns, ammunition, and cartridge cases. It provides a potent way to link these items to specific crimes and identify the weapon used. Investigators have solved several cases by using strategies like bullet comparison, close examination of firearm markings, and residue analysis from gunshots. They have also brought criminals to jail by deftly creating vital connections between other crimes. Thus, the complex field of forensic ballistics has been essential in solving puzzles and illuminating the complex web of criminal activity.

3. Chemistry also made an enormous impact in forensic toxicology, which involves the analysis of drugs, poisons, and other toxic substances in biological samples. Experts used various techniques, like chromatography, to identify drugs or other toxins in the bodies of criminals. This information helps determine the cause of death or intoxication and helps to understand whether this person is a liar or not.

To conclude the whole information I have written here, forensic chemistry involves the analysis of various things, such as fingerprints, drugs, blood samples, DNA, and more. Chemistry had not just helped with building thousands of laboratories all around the world, but it also revolutionised the criminal field as well.


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