Forensic Scientist

Cunning radiocarbon and dating volcanic eruptions

Anna Sandiford May 19, 2010

It is excellent to see a new AMS radiocarbon dating set-up in New Zealand (NZ scientists fire up $3.4 million mass spectrometer).  When I was working on climate reconstruction I was hugely reliant on the previous 14C (radiocarbon) device to help put Before Present (BP) ages on volcanic ash layers (tephra) that occurred in sections [...] … Read More

You steal — you’re marked! Smearing DNA on your valuable items

Anna Sandiford May 11, 2010

Don’t want burglars stealing your gear?  Smear it with synthetic DNA and help reduce the burglary rate by more than 50%!  A recent product launch in New Zealand is something called SelectaDNA, which is a synthetic DNA material that can be put onto items you don’t want people to steal and then advertising the fact [...] … Read More

DNA v child trafficking

Anna Sandiford Apr 30, 2010

2.5 million = number of people at any one time in forced labour and sexual exploitation as a result of human trafficking (International Labor Organisation/UN.GIFT).  An estimated 1.2 million children are trafficked each year.  95% of victims experience sexual or physical violence. How to help combat this enormous problem?  DNA analysis. As the result of an initiative [...] … Read More

The science or the people who are dodgy?

Anna Sandiford Apr 14, 2010

Is there something wrong with forensic science or is there something wrong with some of the people doing the work?  Much is being made of fundamental issues with certain areas of forensic science (such as validation and incompetence, assessing DNA databases), so much so that some judges in the USA have said that science should [...] … Read More

Categories of ’drunk’

Anna Sandiford Apr 13, 2010

There has been much comment in the media and on Sciblogs about the effects (or not) of a lowering in drink driving “accidents” (although the Road traffic Police in England refer to them as ‘avoidable incidents’, because they are; there’s nothing accidental about them) as the result of a reduction in the NZ blood alcohol [...] … Read More

How we behave when we’re drunk

Anna Sandiford Apr 09, 2010

Talking about lowering the blood alcohol limit in New Zealand to 50 milligrams alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood is today’s big story. I’ve been asked by lots of people over the years about how much alcohol drivers have to consume in order to be over the legal limit. Quite rightly, the [...] … Read More

Drinking, driving and Maltese(rs)

Anna Sandiford Apr 09, 2010

Lowering the NZ drink drive limit to 50 milligrams alcohol/100 ml blood is big news this week. Will the government do it? Is that low enough? Should we do as the Maltese do (according to Google anyway) and have a zero blood alcohol level for driving? I’ve written reports for a couple of [...] … Read More