Category Archives: Laboratory

NFSTC wants to hear from you!

Three years ago, NFSTC surveyed forensic service professionals across the country about their needs and their understanding of NFSTC services. Thanks to the feedback of the participants we were able to provide additional projects and services.

With the evolving nature of the forensic science industry, NFSTC would like to invite stakeholders and practitioners to once more make suggestions and provide feedback that can help broaden services and target the most pressing needs of the community. We encourage you to take a few minutes to complete a brief survey. Your input is highly valued.

Click on the link below to access the survey.

If you have questions at any time about the survey, please contact Chris Vivian at 727-549-6067 ext. 187 or by email at

This survey will close Friday, December 9, 2011.

Thank you very much for your time and support. We look forward to serving you in the future!

Changes in the Forensic Technology Center of Excellence (FTCoE)

As you may have heard, the National Forensic Science Technology Center (NFSTC) will be handing over the operation of the FTCoE system to Research Triangle Institute (RTI) at the end of this calendar year. It has been a long journey since NFSTC developed and launched the Center in 2007. During that time, it has been an honor for our team to serve communities large and small, provide forensic technical support, strengthen our crime laboratory system, evaluate the most innovative technology and provide training opportunities and workshops on a wide variety of topics. The variety of the questions we fielded and the innovativeness of the criminal justice professionals we have served across the country has made this time of service a fantastic and rewarding experience.

Thank you for your continued dedication to the truth, justice and the safety of our communities. NFSTC continues to serve the criminal justice community with a wide variety of forensic training, service and forensic expertise and consulting. We look forward to working with you.

To keep up with the latest in NFSTC services and opportunities, register to review the news via our RSS feed at, or join us at

Free forensic anthropology workshop now available online

Presentations and videos from the Advances in Forensic Anthropology Technology Transition Workshop conducted by NFSTC in August are now available free online. This two-and-a-half-day workshop, hosted by the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at North Carolina State University, brought together several of the most respected anthropology professors from around the country including:

  • Dr. Ann H. Ross, North Carolina State University
  • Dr. Mohamed Mahfouz, University of Tennessee
  • Dr. Kenneth Kidd, Yale University
  • Dr. Bruce Anderson, Pima County Office of the ME and The University of Arizona

This workshop presented advances made in anthropology technologies as they relate to the identification of human remains. Critical topics include determination of sex and ancestry using the 3D-ID software, improving facial reproduction using empirical modeling; determining ancestry using analysis of single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) DNA data; and use of the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NamUs). NFSTC captured each session, including the hand-on components, on video and has made it available free at

Funding for this workshop was provided by the National Institute of Justice through a cooperative agreement.

Free Drug and Explosive Detection Workshop Available Online

Presentations and videos from last month’s Field Detection of Drugs and Explosive Odor Signatures Using Planar Solid Phase Microextraction Ion Mobility Spectrometry (PSPME-IMS) Technology Transition Workshop are now available online free at

The three-day PSPME-IMS workshop provided law enforcement professionals with an introduction to PSPME-IMS as a sampling and detection strategy for illicit drugs and explosives. Topics covered included:

  • applications of the PSPME-IMS technology, as well as sampling and detection protocols
  • an overview of the PSPME sampling and pre-concentration device, including its maintenance
  • use of ion mobility and differential ion mobility spectrometers (benchtop explosives trace detectors (ETD)), coupled with the PSPME device to allow for detection and presumptive identification of threat agents relevant to first responders
  • basic hands-on instruction on IMS analysis and use of instrument software
  • hands-on detection, analysis and interpretation of drug and explosive odor signatures
  • sampling of a vehicle for suspected contraband
  • future directions of PSPME-IMS technology
Testing the PSPME collection device developed at Florida International University. The material provides for a new method of targeting volatiles associated with the presence of drugs and explosives using the existing infrastructure of explosives detectors.

For more information on the PSPME-IMS workshop, visit the project page at For more information on NFSTC’s technology evaluation and transition services, visit the Forensic Technology page at

The National Institute of Justice (NIJ), in conjunction with the National Forensic Science Technology Center (NFSTC), sponsored this event under a cooperative agreement to help facilitate the transition of novel technologies into practice by operational forensic facilities.