Category Archives: Technology

Live streaming begins Tuesday for Trace Evidence Symposium

The Trace Evidence Symposium is underway in Kansas City, Missouri.  Want to see how it’s going but can’t jump on a plane?  Major portions of this event will be available at no charge via online streaming; no registration is required.  Streaming sessions and breakouts can be viewed here beginning at 1:00 p.m. (CDT) on Tuesday, August 9 and run through Thursday, August 11.  This site also contains the agenda and other event information.

The symposium, Science, Significance, and Impact, is co-sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs’ National Institute of Justice (NIJ) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Laboratory Division.  The symposium is specifically designed to bring together practitioners and researchers to enhance information-sharing and promote collaboration among the trace evidence, law enforcement, and legal communities.  Many of the unique educational sessions will be included in the web event.

DNA Quantitation Comparison Study now available

The much talked-about Quantitation of DNA findings presented recently at the 63rd annual American Academy of Forensic Sciences symposium in Chicago have been compiled into a technology evaluation report that is now available on

It is imperative for laboratories to accurately quantify the amount of DNA in low copy number (LCN) samples in order to choose the best analysis method and thus avoid wasting valuable time and resources. There are also restrictions for entering LCN analysis results into the Combined DNA Index System (CODIS). This evaluation report describes how quantity of DNA can be over- or under-estimated and evaluates three popular quantitation standards by assessing the R2 value, slope, Y-intercept and resulting quantities of a serial dilution of blood samples.

To download the report, scientific poster or handout, visit the Technology Evaluation, Biology & DNA page.

Scientific posters and evaluation reports available

AAFS 2011 mock crime scene
NFSTC's mock crime scene drew a lot of attention in the 2011 AAFS symposium exhibit hall.

The scientific posters presented last month at the American Academy of Forensic Sciences (AAFS) symposium in Chicago are now available online.  You can find them on our Technology Evaluations pages for Chemistry, Biology/DNA and Crime Scene Investigation.

The Forensic Technology Center of Excellence, hosted and managed by NFSTC, now has an expanded presence on, the official site of the National Law Enforcement and Corrections Technology Center (NLECTC).  Check out the expanded offerings there as well as all the JustNet has to offer for the criminal justice community.

New Evaluation Report: Comparison of Four Raman Spectrometers

Hillary Markert, Sr. Forensic Specialist – Chemistry, today presented the findings of a comparison of four commercially available, portable Raman spectrometers at the 63rd annual American Academy of Forensic Sciences symposium in Chicago.

Raman spectrometers are designed to provide law enforcement, airport security, border patrol, military, emergency service personnel and other first responders with the ability to perform non-destructive analyses on unknown bulk powders and liquids.  The authors examined performance of the ICx Fido® Verdict™, DeltaNu® ReporteR™, Thermo Scientific® First Defender RM™, and the Smiths Detection RespondeR™ RCI. These instruments were assessed for strengths, areas for improvement, limitations, ease of use, safety and chemical characterization process requirements.

To download the scientific poster, click here. For additional evaluation reports of chemical identification and analysis tools, visit the Technology Evaluation, Chemistry page.

Four Raman Spectrometers Examined
NFSTC scientists compared the performance of four Raman spectrometers