MS Method Makes Fiber Evidence Even More Revealing
A new grant from the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) will enable St. Olaf College students to conduct the type of forensic research seen on CSI or Law and Order in labs on campus. Associate Prof. Doug Beussman received a $114,000 grant from the institute that he will use to work with at least six students over the next three years on research involving the analysis of trace forensic evidence using isotope ratio mass spectrometry. The research aims to develop new ways to analyze fibers found in crime scene investigations.
Currently, when fiber or thread is found at a crime scene, only the color and the kind of fabric can be determined — neither of which is specific to a given shirt. However, the atoms in the molecules of the fabric can relate to where the material is from because the environment affects the pattern of isotopes. Different white cotton t-shirts have different isotope patterns and can be distinguished from one another. Connecting the t-shirt fibers found at the scene of a crime to the t-shirt of a suspect brings investigators one step closer to justice.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2012/10/ms-method-makes-fiber-evidence-even-more-revealing