What is Forensic Science?
Today, science and technology have become vital tools in the fight against crime.
Definition of Forensic Science
Forensic science is a science that is used for the purposes of the law, and therefore provides unbiased scientific evidence for use in the courts of law to solve a crime and to expose the real criminal. The vital information provided by the Forensic science helps justice take its rightful course. Forensic science uses a range of sciences, right from Biology and Chemistry to Physics, Psychology, Social Science, Geology and so on, to answer questions related to legal situations.
Forensic Science in Movies
The famous fictional character Sherlock Holmes used forensic science as one of his methods for investigating crimes. Forensic science investigations are an integral part of some very popular serials based on crime such as CSI, Bones and C.I.D that use forensic science as part of their story lines. Imagine how boring would your favourite serial C.I.D become if there was no Forensic Science laboratory, no Dr. Salunke or no Dr. Tarika!
In a typical criminal investigation, crime scene investigators gather material evidence from the crime scene, victim and/or suspect. These samples are then analyzed in a laboratory by the forensic science specialists to provide scientific evidence to aid in leading the investigation in the right direction. All forensic science investigators work in close liaison with the crime scene investigators and police officers.
Did you know that even the smallest of things found at the scene of a crime like leftover stumps of cigarette butts, lipsticks marks on cups, chewing gums thrown in dustbins or motorcycle marks left in the mud, can also provide invaluable forensic evidence?
In most of the cases, deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) profiling technology and finger prints analysis are used to investigate crimes. DNA is the genetic code found in every cell in our bodies. Each person’s DNA and finger prints are unique and this information can therefore be used to help identify the real criminals. DNA and finger print samples collected from the crime scenes or from individuals held in police custody can be searched against the records held in the national DNA database. These are highly sophisticated technologies that can help in identifying the offender and solving the most intricate of the cases.
What do Forensic Scientists do?
Forensic scientists also examine contact trace materials associated with crimes in order to provide evidence for criminal investigations. Forensic science work is usually done under three sections: biology, chemistry and drugs or toxicology. The scientists study different parts of victim’s body, especially the bones, to identify the cause of death, gender, ethnicity, age and the time of death. While some forensic tests can be completed in as little as an hour, others may take months altogether.
Till date, forensic science has had a significant contribution in saving thousands of innocent people from unnecessarily getting sentenced to imprisonment or even getting capital punishment. Forensic science is truly a lifesaver and embodiment of justice!
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