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Friday, July 23, 2010

Forensic science braces for change

From Nature.com's Laura Spinney: "As the White House prepares its response to a damning report into the state of forensic science in the United States, the director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation laboratory, Chris Hassell, says that forensic scientists need to invest more in the validation of new technologies and work more closely with the crime labs that implement those technologies, if forensics is to shake off its poor public image.

Speaking at the 4th International Crime Science Conference in London last week, Hassell described the gap between basic research and its application in solving crimes as the "valley of death" because "nobody wants to pay for it, nobody really wants to do it". That gap needs to be filled by thorough testing of new techniques before they are released to crime labs, said Hassell, who is a chemist with a background in this sort of validation ..."

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