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Have you ever had to work with the police to solve a scientific crime?
Question Date: 2020-04-02
Answer 1:

Hi Adissyn- Yes as a forensic scientist I work with law enforcement. Law enforcement submits evidence they believe was involved in a crime. Then as scientists we ask specific questions about the evidence. For example, say someone breaks into a house. The police get called in and they search the crime scene for evidence. Perhaps someone broke a window and cut themselves leaving blood when climbing through the window. The police officer can collect a little bit of the blood. Say that someone also left their gloves (you’d be surprised how often criminal leave behind their own stuff at the crime scene!). The police officer might question the home owner to see if the gloves are theirs. If the gloves don’t belong to the home owner, the police officer might submit the gloves as evidence. We can then test the blood to say that “yes, it is blood” and then analyze the DNA for its genetic profile. We can also swab the gloves for DNA of whomever has worn the gloves. We then ask whose DNA is it? Sometimes there are suspects so we can compare their DNA with the DNA from the crime scene.

We often rely on information given to us by the police officer to make decisions on how to process the evidence in the best way possible. All of our results are then given as a report to the law enforcement officer who submitted the evidence. They can then take that information and use it to arrest someone or let someone go that was wrongly accused.

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