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Forensic Science

the use of scientific knowledge and methods to answer legal questions


breaking into a house or building to steal an object


using one or more of your senses to gather information


something that can be presented in a trial to make a point during a trial


offering a reasoned opinion based on observations and experience


stating an opinion about what will happen in the future


a possible explanation for a set of observations

Crime Scene Investigator (CSI)

are trained to record, collect, and test evidence from a crime scene

Medical Examiners

when a sudden or suspicious death occurs, these people observe the body


a detailed exam of a dead body


a rough drawing that is done quickly and without much detail


the ratio of the model to the actual size of the object


when people share their ideas with other team members


the addition of unwanted material to an object

Chain of custody

a written record of who had control over a piece of evidence from the time it was collected

A brush, powder and tape

for collecting fingerprints

A hand lens

for a closer view of a small objects

Tweezers and forceps

for picking up small objects


for collecting evidence from a victim

A small vacuum cleaner (with a filter and screen)

for sweeping a rug or a cars interior

A screwdriver

for removing a doorknob or a door to be sent to the crime lab

Trace Evidence

tiny amounts of physical evidence that are transferred at a crime scene

To collect trace evidence

investigators need to know where to look. They must also have the right tools

Five major types of of trace evidence

hair, fibers, paint, glass and soil


the amount of a substance in a given mass or volume of a mixture


a person who directly observers an event

Direct Evidence

this evidence can be used in court to prove a fact

Modus Operandi

means "mode of operation" in Latin. A persons MO describes the way he or she approaches a task

Surveillance Cameras

the cameras in banks, stores and other public places

Physical Evidence

any object that can be used prove a fact is true


the molecule that distributes oxygen to the body


can find blood when sprayed on a place that contains blood


molecules that bind to marker molecules


series of raised lines

Three typical patterns of ridge lines

whorls loops and arches

Visible Print

a print that can be seen

Plastic Print

happen when a soft material is touched

Latent Print

when sweat or oil is transferred to another object and is hidden

DNA (Deoxyribonucleic Acid)

carries characteristics from parents to offspring


molecules that your body uses to build tissues and organs


a section of DNA that contains information your cells need to make protein

DNA Profile

A distinctive pattern of DNA fragments


how a DNA molecule makes a copy of itself


a measure of the chance that an event will happen

Cold Case

old, unsolved cases

Endangered Species

a species whose numbers are so small that the species is at risk of extinction

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