Blood Types

The first question to ask and indeed to answer when looking into the area of blood types is: what is blood? What is Blood? Blood is – for the most part – the liquid part of the human body, which is called Plasma; and this Plasma contains proteins, clotting factors, …

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External Examination

An external examination of a corpse is essential at two stages in the forensic science process. The first time an external examination is carried out is upon discovery of a corpse. At this point the body should be checked for visible signs of injury and those injuries that are most …

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What is a Pathologist?

A pathologist is the senior doctor responsible for the performance of autopsies and for the determining as to how an individual died. This particular role within the forensic science sector is a demanding and sometimes harrowing job, which is not for those faint of heart. What a Pathologist Does Indeed …

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Understanding Trace Evidence

Trace evidence is best described as any small piece of evidence that has to be collected by Scenes of Crime Officers (SOCO) and places a suspect at the scene of a crime. What is Trace Evidence? Trace evidence normally takes on the form of one of the following: Hair Fibres …

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Toxic Gases

Many people throughout the Western world die every year as a result of breathing in toxic gases, which cause their lungs to fail or their hearts to go into cardiac arrest. These gases, which are found not only in industrial environments but also in nature, can be odourless, colourless and …

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Ligature Marks

Ligature marks are those marks made by an item of cord, rope, silk or some such material that has been used for the purposes of strangulation. Ligature marks come in many different patterns and sizes and can be unique to certain fabrics and materials and this is why they are …

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Electrocution

Electrocution is the sudden and involuntary introduction of large – or persistent – amounts of electricity into the human body. Electrocution is something that kills many people every year and normally it is simply the result of an accident. Many do it yourself enthusiasts have been the unfortunate victims of …

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Measuring Body Temperature

Although body temperature can vary between us as human beings, the average body temperature is around 37oC (or 98 Fahrenheit). Measuring Temperature Some people have varying temperatures as a result of variances in their metabolism: the higher the rate of metabolism the higher the temperature and likewise the lower the …

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Stomach Contents as a Means of Evidence

In most autopsies the contents of the stomach are an important piece of evidence, which can sometimes prove to be the difference between accidental death and foul play. We have all seen the television and cinema autopsies played out where the pathologist will empty the contents of the deceased’s stomach …

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Drowning and Forensics

Drowning almost always occurs as a result of an accident. It is quite a staggering and sobering thought that many of those people who drown each year in the United Kingdom do so because they have never been taught how to swim or simply have a morbid fear of water …

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