FORENSIC CHEMISTRY

Prof. Joseph Almog

Forensic chemistry is a new discipline in the Casali Institute. It deals with the use of chemical methods to resolve crimes and furnish courts of law with scientific evidence. The main research areas are:


Latent fingerprint visualization Chemical development of latent fingerprints is expressed by a visual chemical reaction between an appropriate reagent and one or more constituents of human secretion, to yield a colored, luminescent, or radioactive product, which can be visualized. The research concentrates on developing improved reagents and instrumentation for this purpose, particularly on more sensitive "mapping" of the amino acids and lipids that are present in small amounts in fingerprint deposits. The work is done in cooperation with the Latent Fingerprint Laboratory of the Division of Identification and Forensic Science (DIFS) of the Israel Police.


Advanced techniques for detection and identification of explosives Cutting-edge techniques for diagnostic determination of explosives are studied and compared. Another research direction is the preparation of novel color reagents for the chemical detection of explosives. The work is done in collaboration with the Explosives Identification Laboratory of the DIFS.

Field tests for crime-scene examination The goal is to provide forensic technicians with better tools for scientific examination of scenes of crime. Research problems include: Shooters' detection (color and fluorescence techniques) and enhancement of faint contact impressions (e.g. shoe-print, tire-prints, indented writing). The work is done in collaboration with the Toolmarks and Materials Laboratory and the Questioned Documents Laboratory of the DIFS.


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