Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Chemistry Researchers Create New Tool to Visualize Bloodstains

17.11.2010
Chemists at the University of South Carolina have developed a camera with the ability to see the invisible – and more.

The new technology, called multimode imaging in the thermal infrared, could eventually be used in crime-scene investigations, since it can capture blood stains that the human eye can’t see.

Drs. Stephen Morgan and Michael Myrick, professors in the department of chemistry and biochemistry in USC’s College of Arts and Sciences, published their work in a series of three reports in the American Chemical Society’s Analytical Chemistry, a semi-monthly journal. Graduate students Heather Brooke, Megan Baranowski and Jessica McCutcheon were also authors of the study.

“Detecting blood is like the holy grail of forensics,” Morgan said. “When you are able to detect blood at a crime scene, you know something bad has happened.”

Blood detection is important at a crime scene because blood can be typed and can provide DNA, and pattern analysis of blood spatter may be able to help determine the sequence of events, he said.

He said the luminol test, which is now widely used to detect blood stains and other body fluids at crime scenes, has several disadvantages. Luminol is potentially toxic; it can dilute blood solutions below levels where DNA can be retrieved; it can cause blood spatter patterns to smear, and it can produce false positive results.

Using the camera means that the surface doesn’t have to be changed in any way while it is being examined. “With this, we view the scene without touching it,” Morgan said.

Morgan and Myrick built and tested a camera that captures hundreds of images in a few seconds, while illuminating its subjects with pulses of invisible infrared light waves. Some of these photos are taken through special filters, which block out particular wavelengths, allowing certain chemical components to stand out from their surroundings. One of the chemicals it can identify is blood, even when it is diluted to as little as one part blood in 100 parts water.

The system they designed enables the camera to detect contrasts, thus making invisible stains and patterns emerge from a background of four different types of fabric. It can also distinguish whether the stain was made by substances such as blood, household bleach, rust, soda and coffee.

“This technique can be used to detect a contrast for any surface stain,” Morgan said, adding it would have other possible forensic and industrial applications.

“The advantage is we can identify a spot where there is blood and then do confirmatory tests and DNA tests,” he said.

Morgan said more tests are needed before the camera finds its way to crime scenes.

“This is not next week’s CSI tool,” he said. “We still have to do validation studies and real-world studies.”

Funding for the study came from the National Institute of Justice. The researchers have been working on the project since January 2008.

| Newswise Science News
Further information:
http://www.sc.edu

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Ion treatments for cardiac arrhythmia — Non-invasive alternative to catheter-based surgery
20.01.2017 | GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung GmbH

nachricht Seeking structure with metagenome sequences
20.01.2017 | DOE/Joint Genome Institute

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Traffic jam in empty space

New success for Konstanz physicists in studying the quantum vacuum

An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Sustainable Water use in Agriculture in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

19.01.2017 | Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Helmholtz International Fellow Award for Sarah Amalia Teichmann

20.01.2017 | Awards Funding

An innovative high-performance material: biofibers made from green lacewing silk

20.01.2017 | Materials Sciences

Ion treatments for cardiac arrhythmia — Non-invasive alternative to catheter-based surgery

20.01.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>