Read & Win: Forensic Science
Forensic Science is known to many people mainly through the representation of the field in crime shows on TV. The reality of forensic science is that it is an interdisciplinary field, in which a whole arsenal of scientific methods need to be applied to solve the problem (here: crime). This book provides the background needed to understand the state of the art in forensic science with a focus on biological, chemical, biochemical, and physical methods. The topics covered by an expert team from international universities range from spectroscopic analysis techniques in various wavelength regimes, gas chromatography, mass spectrometry, to advanced biochemical, DNA-based identification methods. You can win this book on page 49.
Prof. Jan Halámek
originally from the Czech Republic, graduated from the Masaryk University in 2003 where he received his Ph.D. in Biochemistry. From 2003 to 2006, he worked as a Postdoctoral Fellow, earning the Marie Curie Individual Fellowship at Potsdam University in Germany. In 2008 he joined the Department of Chemistry at Clarkson University in Potsdam, NY, as a Research Associate, and in 2011, he became a Research Assistant Professor. Dr. Halámek joined the Department of Chemistry at the University at Albany, SUNY in 2013 as an Assistant Professor. Since joining the department, he has contributed more than 80 scientific publications and holds three patents. Currently, Dr. Halámek’s research focuses on identifying originator attributes from fingerprints and blood.
Prof. Evgeny Katz
received his Ph.D. in Chemistry from Frumkin Institute of Electrochemistry (Moscow), Russian Academy of Sciences. He has (co)authored over 430 papers in peer-reviewed journals/books with more than 25,000 citations (Hirsch-index 84), and holds more than 20 international patents. He edited four books on different topics, including bioelectronics, molecular, and biomolecular computing, implantable bioelectronics, and forensic science. He was an Editor-in-Chief for IEEE Sensors Journal (2009-2012) and he is a member of editorial boards of many other journals. His scientific interests are in the broad areas of bioelectronics, biosensors, biofuel cells, biomolecular information processing (biocomputing), and recently in forensic science.
G.I.T.: What is your main focus in research, what is your main scientific interest?
Halámek: Currently, the focus of our lab is the development of new concepts in forensic science based on the analysis of markers in body fluids.
G.I.T.: What was the reason to write the book?
J. Halámek: We edited this book in order to provide information about the current methods and technology used in forensic science to aid those with an interest in the field.
G.I.T.: What is the target audience for the book?
J. Halámek: This book was written as a reference for a broad audience that encompasses the general public as well as more technical groups such as students, scientists, law enforcement, lawyers, etc.
G.I.T.: What knowledge is prerequisite for the book?
J. Halámek : There is no knowledge prerequisite for this book. We targeted a broader audience and explained concepts in an understandable way for the general public to comprehend.
G.I.T.: What is the structure of the book?
J. Halámek : This book consists of a compilation of various topics within the growing field of forensic science.
G.I.T.: Which analytical method has – in your opinion – made the biggest progress in the last years?
J. Halámek : Personally, I view the recent advancements in portable devices for on-site forensic determinations to be the biggest progress in the last year. This technology now for example allows portable DNA analysis and portable Raman analysis, both of which have inspired our lab to develop more on-site forensic methods to increase investigation speeds.
G.I.T.: How important are Databases and Laboratory Information Management Systems in Forensic Science?
J. Halámek : Database systems are essential in many DNA cases because they allow an unknown sample at a crime scene to be identified. However, if the offender’s profile is already entered into the system, the database is not as useful. Other databases used in forensic science contain known profiles of various drugs to allow for the identification of drugs in a sample. The problem with these databases are that new drugs are constantly being created. The LIMS are also essential in streamlining forensic laboratory processes.
G.I.T.: What is your favorite error made in crime series when it comes to forensic science?
J. Halámek : In crime series, the testing methods are always depicted as fast and accurate, however, in real life the same processes could take months and are never without fault.
G.I.T.: What will be – in your opinion - the ‘next big thing’ in Forensic Science?
J. Halámek : Again, I feel that there is a shift to portable technology that can be used by investigators at the crime scene.
Evgeny Katz/Jan Halámek
A Multidisciplinary Approach
Also available in electronic formats.
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This code is valid until 4th of April 2018.