UAlbany chemist finds faster way to crack crime scene code

July 13, 2018 04:00 PM

ALBANY - Testing of blood or other bodily fluids takes precious time during an investigation. A chemist at the University at Albany has discovered a faster way. The device could soon be joining the arsenal of forensic investigators working behind that yellow crime scene tape.

UAlbany's Dr. Igor Lednev says it can determine a lot of information and determine it quickly, from blood or other bodily fluids at a crime scene.


"Age, sex, and race based on small traces of body fluids, including blood," explained Lednev.

With a spectroscopic signature, no two samples produce the same Raman spectrum, making each measurement as unique as a fingerprint.

"It applies light in order to vibrate the molecules within the materials," noted PhD student Ewelina Mistek.

She explained the technique. They shine laser light on a sample and then measure the intensity of the scattered light.

Lednev collected blood samples from 45 people. Using the technique, he determined their age range with greater than 99 percent accuracy.

"It will help eliminate the backlogs, which all crime laboratories in the United States have at the moment," pointed out Lednev.

However, we'll have to wait for this faster technique. Lednev says it's still two to three years from being ready for testing at a real crime scene.


WNYT Staff

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