What Tools Do Forensic Scientists Use?

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Forensic scientists use various tools to accomplish their tasks including rubber gloves, a head rest, dissection scissors, ropes, and goggles, including arterial and jugular tubes. They also have an autopsy table, autopsy saws, blades and a dissecting knife. Other tools include X-ray boxes, a fingerprint set, an osteometric board, a water bath and post-mortem needles.

Forensic scientists use the autopsy table for holding and fixing the corpse. They use carbon dioxide to preserve the corpse to prevent it from decomposing. Dissection scissors are used for holding or moving structures. Ropes are used for tying the corpse in fixed position during dissection. Forensic scientists use autopsy saws and blades to cut the skin or hard parts such as bones. A speculum is used for vaginal and rectal examinations. A fingerprint set is used to collect fingerprints.

Forensic scientists deploy various technologies to achieve their objectives, such as: alternative light photography; laser ablation; inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry; forensic carbon; link analysis software for forensic accountants; high-speed ballistic photography; and a video spectra comparator. Other technologies include: an XFT Device; 3D forensic facial reconstruction; magnetic fingerprinting; automated fingerprint identification; and a DNA sequencer.

Forensic scientists use principles of science–including biology, chemistry and math–to present evidence for use in courts of law to support the prosecution or defense in civil and criminal investigations. They find and analyze evidence from various sources–such as blood, fluids, hairs, glass fragments, textile fibers and tire marks.