An international team of scholars has just unveiled plans to science the shit out of Leonardo da Vinci, the man who gave us the Mona Lisa and envisioned futuristic technologies like helicopters and tanks 500 years ago. Goals of the fledgling “Leonardo Project” include recovering the famous Renaissance figure’s remains…
Bad news, hypochondriacs: You’re walking in a massive cloud of bacteria. In fact, it’s kinda an extension of your body, and no amount of showering will rid you of it. Even better: It grew out of your mouth, poop and skin.
In September 1935, two women were found buried at the spot marked on this photograph of a grassy ditch next to a Scottish road. To find their killer, investigators would need to identify the women first—a task that would require piecing together their scattered, dismembered bodies.
Some crime scenes don’t have bodies. What they have is a place where a body was, and a suspiciously large amount of maggots. Up until recently, the maggots could only have been a very bad sign. Now, it seems that maggots can help genetically identify their last meals.
Stand back behind the yellow tape, everyone! The CSI techs are on their way and they are coming to science—and it’s driving the real forensics experts crazy.
How do forensics experts know what they know? A lot of it is due to research done on body farms, research facilities that examine how bodies decompose. Today, forensic anthropologist Dawnie Steadman, the director of the nation’s oldest body farm, is here to answer all your questions.
California is in its fire season again, and drier than usual, so many of us have spent days watching the devastation that a fire can cause. Few things survive it, even in bits and pieces. Often, though, the matches that began the fire are the most recognizable things left behind. Why is that?
Carbon emissions aren’t just changing the climate — they’re making it harder to solve crimes. As our atmosphere fills with fossil carbon, scientists will have a tougher time using radiocarbon dating, a standard forensic technique, to analyze human remains and wildlife tissues.
Fingerprints were used for identification in ancient China and Babylonia to mark business deals and correspondence. Though they were studied extensively since then, their value as a crime-solving tool wasn’t embraced until the 1880s — and it wasn’t until 1892, in Argentina, that they nailed their first murderer.
Oh the things we learn when we skim through forensic medicine textbooks for a living. Apparently, there is a phenomenon called “postmortem luminescence.” And it should make zombie movies both less and more frightening.
Earlier this week, the ongoing FBI forensics scandal — in which it was determined that hundreds of convictions were handed down based on flawed hair analysis — made headlines. But this sort of thing is nothing new, as evidenced by a case that gripped Australia in 1921.
The FBI and the Justice Department admitted that flawed forensic testimony over more than 20 years — particularly pertaining to hair analysis — may have led to wrongful convictions in hundreds of cases, including 14 instances where a possibly innocent defendant was executed or died in prison.
Forensic photographer Nick Marsh discusses his 20-year career in David Beazley's five-minute documentary. Among the revelations: lighting, composition, and keeping an open mind are of utmost importance — and technology has actually harmed his profession by flooding the field with undertrained shutterbugs.
On April 9, 1984, Margaret Backhouse's car wouldn't start. Her husband, hairstylist-turned-sheep farmer Graham, quickly offered up his vehicle instead. But as soon as she turned the ignition, a bomb rocked the English countryside. Scandal — and impressive feats of forensic science — soon followed.
The remains of Richard III were recently reinterred after the Plantagenet king was discovered beneath a car park. And this year, researcher announced that they may have discovered the remains of Don Quixote author Miguel de Cervantes. But when a corpse has been missing so long, how do you identify the remains?
While many historical whodunnits were solved not long after the supposed crime was committed, sometimes it's up to modern science and history to determine how and why a person died. Here are cases where murders were revealed or refuted decades or even centuries after the fact.
Researchers at the University of Leicester have found a wound in the interior surface of the cranium belonging to King Richard III. Analysis suggests this was likely the fatal blow that killed the monarch, one delivered by a sword or the top spike of a bill or halberd.
Using modern forensic techniques, a team of archaeologists have conducted an autopsy on the naturally preserved mummy of Cangrande della Scala. As suspected, the researchers have confirmed that the medieval Italian warlord was in fact assassinated.
Earlier this year, a family in Florida rushed to the hospital with bizarre symptoms. After eating broiled steak from Walmart, they had all started hallucinating and feeling sick. It turned out that their meat had been tainted with LSD. But where did it come from?
What you're looking at is me, being blasted by a fog machine. It's not a prop for a rave or a haunted house; it's vapor laced with custom DNA particles that could prove I was at the scene of a crime. And it's just one way a cutting-edge security firm is using life's building blocks to detect counterfeits and bust…