Our forensic toolkit, most importantly, puts science first. Through the use of synthetic biology technologies, our project has aimed to lay the foundations for the development of a set of new and improved forensic methods.
In order to gain a deeper insight into the field of forensics, we liaised with a diverse mix of professionals, from criminal lawyers to crime writers, who kindly shared with us their advice and expertise.
Distinction between different body fluids at a crime scene currently requires the use of numerous time consuming methods. Our BioSpray aims to provide an efficient, all in one solution that can be used to detect and distinguish between body fluids based on fluorescent microsphere technology in combination with synthetic biology.
One of the biggest challenges currently facing forensic scientists is the ability to determine the age of fingerprints left at crime scenes. This is due to the extensive range of factors which affect fingerprint composition therefore, through the use of complex mathematical modelling, we hope to identify a potential target within fingerprints that could be reliably targeted using synthetic biology and correlated to an appropriate time scale.
Crime cases which involve cut marks being left on bones are, at present, examined solely by visual methods such as microscopy. Although these methods provide powerful evidence, there is no chemical test currently in place which is used to detect residue deposited on bone by implements used during a crime. Such information may prove useful in establishing the nature of the weapon used as well as locating fine cuts that may go unnoticed during post mortem examination.
WHO DID WE MEET?
We have been lucky enough to have held several fantastic interviews throughout the summer with a range of professionals who helped give invaluable insight into the field of forensic science in many different contexts.
WHAT DID WE LEARN?
It became apparent from our early meetings that Forensic Science is a field which is largely founded on the basis of expert interpretation rather being subject to robust scientific scrutiny. Our science first approach offers an exciting alternative in terms of how investigative forensic tools are developed. Our hope is that this can help to improve the efficiency of existing techniques as well as lead to the production of brand new methods.