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Outline of forensic science

The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to forensic science:

Forensic science – application of a broad spectrum of sciences to answer questions of interest to a legal system. This may be in matters relating to criminal law, civil law and regulatory laws. it may also relate to non-litigious matters. The term is often shortened to forensics.

Nature of forensic science

General forensics topics include:

  • Crime – breach of rules or laws for which some governing authority (via mechanisms such as legal systems) can ultimately prescribe a conviction.
  • Crime scene – location where an illegal act took place, and comprises the area from which most of the physical evidence is retrieved by trained law enforcement personnel, crime scene investigators (CSIs) or in rare circumstances, forensic scientists.
  • Mortuary investigations
  • laboratory examinations
  • CSI effect – phenomenon of popular television shows such as the CSI franchise raising the public's expectations of forensic science,[1] stemming from the "dramatic license" taken by the shows' writers in which they exaggerate the abilities of forensic science,[2] [3] and this is of particular concern in the courtroom setting, where many prosecutors feel pressured to deliver more forensic evidence.[4] [5]
Forensic methodologies
  • Crime Scene Investigation: crime scene is the most fruitful source to gather forensic evidence (19)
  • Forensic accounting – study and interpretation of accounting evidence.
  • Forensic animation
  • Forensic anthropology – application of physical anthropology for personnel identification in a legal setting, usually for the recovery and identification of skeletonized human remains.
  • Forensic archaeology – application of a combination of archaeological techniques and forensic science, typically in law enforcement.
  • Forensic arts – artistic techniques used in the identification, apprehension, or conviction of wanted persons.
  • Forensic astronomy – determines past celestial constellations for forensic purposes, using methods from astronomy.
  • Bloodstain pattern analysis – draws on the scientific disciplines of biology, chemistry, mathematics and physics to ascertain the details and sequence of events of a crime, including the area of origin of an impact pattern, and movement of persons or objects after bloodshed, etc.
  • Forensic botany – study of plant life in order to gain information regarding possible crimes.
  • Forensic chemistry – study of detection and identification of illicit drugs, accelerants used in arson cases, explosive and gunshot residue.
  • Computational forensics – quantitative approach involving computer-based modeling, computer simulation, analysis, and recognition in studying and solving problems posed in various forensic disciplines. Concerns the development of algorithms and software to assist forensic examination.
  • Criminalistics – analysis of physical evidence in criminal investigations. Applies various sciences to answer questions relating to examination and comparison of biological evidence, trace evidence, impression evidence (such as fingerprints, footwear impressions, and tire tracks), controlled substances, ballistics, firearm and toolmark examination, and other evidence in criminal investigations. In typical circumstances, evidence is processed in a crime lab.
  • Digital forensics – application of proven scientific methods and techniques in order to recover or investigate data from electronic or digital media, often in relation to computer crime.
    • Mobile device forensics – scientific examination, and evaluation of evidences found in Mobile Phone, e.g. Call History, Deleted SMS etc., also include SIM Card Forensics
  • Forensic document examination or questioned document examination answers questions about a disputed document using a variety of scientific processes and methods. Many examinations involve a comparison of the questioned document, or components of the document, to a set of known standards. The most common type of examination involves handwriting wherein the examiner tries to address concerns about potential authorship.
  • Forensic economics – the study and interpretation of economic damage evidence to include present day calculations of lost earnings and benefits, lost earnings and profits, etc.
  • Forensic engineering – investigation of materials, products, structures or components that fail or do not operate or function as intended, causing personal injury or damage to property. Also deals with retracing processes and procedures leading to accidents in operation of vehicles or machinery.
    • Forensic materials engineering – focuses on the material evidence from crime or accident scenes, seeking defects in those materials which might explain why an accident occurred, or the source of a specific material to identify a criminal.
  • Forensic entomology – examination of insects in, on, and around human remains to assist in determination of time or location of death. It is also possible to determine if the body was moved after death.
  • Forensic geology – examination and analysis of trace evidence in the form of soils, minerals and petroleum.
  • Forensic identification – technology and procedures to identify specific objects from the trace evidence they leave, often at a crime scene or the scene of an accident.
  • Forensic limnology – analysis of evidence collected from crime scenes in or around fresh water sources. Examination of biological organisms, in particular, diatoms, can be useful in connecting suspects with victims.
  • Forensic linguistics – deals with issues in the legal system that requires linguistic expertise.
  • Forensic meteorology – site specific analysis of past weather conditions for a point of loss.
  • Forensic odontology – study of the uniqueness of teeth, mainly for the purpose of corpse identification
  • Forensic optometry – study of glasses and other eyewear relating to crime scenes and criminal investigations
  • Forensic pathology is a field in which the principles of medicine and pathology are applied to determine a cause of death or injury in the context of a legal inquiry.
  • Forensic photography – the art of producing an accurate photographic reproduction of a crime scene to aid investigations and court proceedings.
  • Forensic profiling
  • Forensic psychiatry – the two main areas of criminal evaluations in forensic psychiatry are evaluating a defendant's competency to stand trial (CST) and determining a defendant's mental state at the time of the offense (MSO).
  • Forensic psychology – study of the mind of an individual, using forensic methods. Usually it determines the circumstances behind a criminal's behavior.
  • Forensic seismology – study of techniques to distinguish the seismic signals generated by underground nuclear explosions from those generated by earthquakes.
  • Forensic serology – study of the body fluids.[7]
  • Forensic video analysis – scientific examination, comparison, and evaluation of video in legal matters.
  • Questioned document examination – the study and interpretation of evidence that takes the form of document.
  • DNA in forensic entomology
  • Retrospective diagnosis
  • Statement analysis
  • Digital Autopsy
  • Lip Forensics- identifying suspects(terrorists) by studying the macro-structure of lips, namely, upper vermillion border, oral fissure and lower vermillion border#
History of forensic science
By period
  • Forensics in antiquity – ancient sources contain several accounts of techniques that foreshadow the concepts of forensic science that were made possible by the Scientific Revolution centuries later. Predating the scientific method, these techniques were not based on a scientific understanding of the world in the modern sense, but rather on common sense and practical experience.
By subject
  • History of autopsies – Autopsies that opened the body to determine the cause of death were attested at least in the early third millennium BC, although they were opposed in many ancient societies where it was believed that the outward disfigurement of dead persons prevented them from entering the afterlife.[8]
  • History of dissection – During ancient times, investigators appeared to largely limit themselves to non-human animals.[9] Roman law forbade dissection and autopsy of the human body,[10] so physicians such as Galen were unable to work on cadavers. Galen for example dissected the Barbary macaque and other primates, assuming their anatomy was basically the same as that of humans.[11] [12] [13]
Evidence
  • Ballistic impact – high velocity impact by small mass simulation analogous to runway debris or small arms fire.[14]
  • Calling card – particular object sometimes left behind by a criminal at a scene of a crime, often as a way of taunting police or obliquely claiming responsibility.
  • Fingerprint – an impression left by the friction ridges of a human finger.[15] In a wider use of the term, fingerprints are the traces of an impression from the friction ridges of any part of a human or other primate hand.
  • Footprints – impressions or images left behind by a person walking. Shoes have many different prints based on the sole design and the wear that it has received – this can help to identify suspects.[16]
  • Skid mark – mark a tire makes when a vehicle wheel stops rolling and slides or spins on the surface of the road. Skid marks are important for finding the maximum and minimum vehicle speed prior to the impact or incident.
  • Trace evidence – evidence that occurs when different objects contact one another. Such materials are often transferred by heat induced by contact friction.
Forensic tools
Organizations
Forensic practitioners
Forensic science in popular culture
See also
References
  1. N. J. Schweitzer and Michael J. Saks The CSI Effect: Popular Fiction About Forensic Science Affects Public Expectations About Real Forensic Science. Jurimetrics, Spring 2007
  2. Justis, Gregory G. (2006). Images of Legitimacy: Presentation of Forensics Programming in Contemporary News Publications. Michigan State University
  3. Simon Cole and Rachel Dioso-Villa CSI and its Effects: Media, Juries and the Burden of Proof New England Law Review, Vol. 41, No. 3, 2007.
  4. Mann, Michael D. (2006). "The 'CSI Effect': Better Jurors through Television and Science?". Buffalo Public Interest Law Journal.
  5. Donald E. Sheldon, Young S. Kim and Gregg Barak A Study of Juror Expectations and Demands Concerning Scientific Evidence: Does the 'CSI Effect' Exist? Vanderbilt Journal of Entertainment & Technology Law
  6. Kopel, David B. (2008). "Ballistic fingerprints". In Ayn Embar-seddon, Allan D. Pass (eds.). Forensic Science. Salem Press. p. 109. ISBN 978-1-58765-423-7.
  7. "Forensic serology". Forensic-medecine.info. Retrieved 2010-06-08.
  8. Schafer, Elizabeth D. (2008). "Ancient science and forensics". In Ayn Embar-seddon, Allan D. Pass (eds.). Forensic Science. Salem Press. p. 43. ISBN 978-1-58765-423-7.
  9. P Prioreschi, Determinants of the revival of dissection of the human body in the Middle Ages', Medical Hypotheses (2001) 56(2), 229–234
  10. 'Tragically, the prohibition of human dissection by Rome in 150 BC arrested this progress and few of their findings survived', Arthur Aufderheide, 'The Scientific Study of Mummies' (2003), page 5
  11. Vivian Nutton, 'The Unknown Galen', (2002), page 89
  12. Heinrich von Staden, 'Herophilus' (1989), page 140
  13. Philip Lutgendorf, 'Hanuman's Tale: The Messages of a Divine Monkey' (2007), page 348
  14. WJ Cantwell, J Morton (1991). "The impact resistance of composite materials -- a review". Composites. 22 (5): 347–62. doi:10.1016/0010-4361(91)90549-V.
  15. Peer Reviewed Glossary of the Scientific Working Group on Friction Ridge Analysis, Study and Technology (SWGFAST)
  16. BBC News, 2 March 1998. "Footprints help to track down criminals". Accessed 28 July 2006.
  17. Ask Dr. Baden. HBO. URL: http://www.hbo.com/autopsy/baden/bio.html. Accessed on: April 8, 2008.

18. # P.Chandra Sekharan, 'LIP FORENSICS' (2011), ISBN 978-81-8465-769-2; Anand Publications, 143, SFS407, Yelahanka New Town, Bangalore 560 106; India

19. P.Chandra Sekharan, " The First Human Bomb; ISBN 81-8395-035-3 ALT Publications, Hyderabad -2

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Outline of forensic science

topic

The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to forensic science: Forensic science – application of a broad spectrum of sciences to answer questions of interest to a legal system. This may be in matters relating to criminal law, civil law and regulatory laws. it may also relate to non-litigious matters. The term is often shortened to forensics . Nature of forensic science General forensics topics include: Crime – breach of rules or laws for which some governing authority (via mechanisms such as legal systems ) can ultimately prescribe a conviction . Crime scene – location where an illegal act took place, and comprises the area from which most of the physical evidence is retrieved by trained law enforcement personnel, crime scene investigators (CSIs) or in rare circumstances, forensic scientists. Mortuary investigations laboratory examinations CSI effect – phenomenon of popular television shows such as the CSI franchise raising the public's expectations of forensic science , stemming ...more...



Forensic science

topic

Forensic science is the application of science to criminal and civil laws , mainly—on the criminal side—during criminal investigation , as governed by the legal standards of admissible evidence and criminal procedure . Forensic scientists collect, preserve, and analyze scientific evidence during the course of an investigation. While some forensic scientists travel to the scene of the crime to collect the evidence themselves, others occupy a laboratory role, performing analysis on objects brought to them by other individuals. In addition to their laboratory role, forensic scientists testify as expert witnesses in both criminal and civil cases and can work for either the prosecution or the defense. While any field could technically be forensic, certain sections have developed over time to encompass the majority of forensically related cases. Forensic science is the combination of two different Latin words: forensis and science. The former, forensic, relates to a discussion or examination performed in public. B ...more...



Outline of science

topic

The following outline is provided as a topical overview of science: Science – the systematic effort of acquiring knowledge—through observation and experimentation coupled with logic and reasoning to find out what can be proved or not proved—and the knowledge thus acquired. The word "science" comes from the Latin word "scientia" meaning knowledge . A practitioner of science is called a " scientist ". Modern science respects objective logical reasoning , and follows a set of core procedures or rules in order to determine the nature and underlying natural laws of the universe and everything in it. Some scientists do not know of the rules themselves, but follow them through research policies. These procedures are known as the scientific method . Essence of science Research – systematic investigation into existing or new knowledge. Scientific discovery – observation of new phenomena, new actions, or new events and providing new reasoning to explain the knowledge gathered through such observations with previously a ...more...



Outline of space science

topic

Space science encompasses all of the scientific disciplines that involve space exploration and study natural phenomena and physical bodies occurring in outer space , such as space medicine and astrobiology . The following outline is an overview of and topical guide to space science: Branches of space science One proposed timeline of the origin of space, from physical cosmology Astronomy Outline of astronomy Fields of astronomy defined by approach Observational astronomy – Observatories on the ground as well as space observatories take measurements of celestial entities and phenomena Astrometry – studies the position and movements of celestial objects Amateur astronomy Theoretical astronomy – mathematical modelling of celestial entities and phenomena Fields of astronomy defined by scope Astrophysics – study of the physics of the universe; of extraterrestrial objects and interstitial spaces Space plasma physics Orbital mechanics or astrodynamics, which also has applications to spacecraft Stellar astronomy – the ...more...



Outline of social science

topic

The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to social science: Social science – branch of science concerned with society and human behaviors. What type of thing is social science? Social science can be described as all of the following: Branch of science – systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge in the form of testable explanations and predictions about the universe . Major category of academic disciplines – an academic discipline is focused study in one academic field or profession. A discipline incorporates expertise, people, projects, communities, challenges, studies, inquiry, and research areas that are strongly associated with academic areas of study or areas of professional practice. For example, the branches of science are commonly referred to as the scientific disciplines. For instance, gravitation is strongly associated with the discipline of physics, and is considered to be part of that disciplinary knowledge. Branches of social science Anthropology - stud ...more...



Outline of health sciences

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The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to health sciences: Health sciences – are applied sciences that address the use of science , technology , engineering or mathematics in the delivery of healthcare to human beings. Branches of health sciences Conventional Western Disciplines Addiction Medicine Allergic Disease Anatomy Anesthesiology Angiology Audiology Cardiology Cardiovascular surgery Clinical laboratory sciences Dentistry Dermatology Emergency medicine Endocrinology Family medicine Forensic medicine Genetic Counselling Gastroenterology Geriatrics Gynecology Hematology Hepatology Histology Immunology Infectious Disease , including Virology Intensive care medicine Kinesiology , including Exercise Physiology Medical genetics Medical Physics Medical Technology Medicine Midwifery Nephrology Neuroscience Neurology Neuropsychology Neurosurgery Nursing Nutrition , including Dietetics Obstetrics Occupational Therapy Oncology Ophthalmology Optometry Oral and maxillofacial surgery Or ...more...



Outline of physical science

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Physical science is a branch of natural science that studies non-living systems, in contrast to life science . It in turn has many branches, each referred to as a "physical science", together called the "physical sciences". However, the term "physical" creates an unintended, somewhat arbitrary distinction, since many branches of physical science also study biological phenomena and branches of chemistry such as organic chemistry . Definition Physical science can be described as all of the following: A branch of science (a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge in the form of testable explanations and predictions about the universe ). A branch of natural science – natural science is a major branch of science that tries to explain and predict nature's phenomena, based on empirical evidence . In natural science, hypotheses must be verified scientifically to be regarded as scientific theory. Validity, accuracy, and social mechanisms ensuring quality control, such as peer review and repeatability ...more...



Digital forensics

topic

Digital forensics (sometimes known as digital forensic science ) is a branch of forensic science encompassing the recovery and investigation of material found in digital devices, often in relation to computer crime . The term digital forensics was originally used as a synonym for computer forensics but has expanded to cover investigation of all devices capable of storing digital data . With roots in the personal computing revolution of the late 1970s and early 1980s, the discipline evolved in a haphazard manner during the 1990s, and it was not until the early 21st century that national policies emerged. Digital forensics investigations have a variety of applications. The most common is to support or refute a hypothesis before criminal or civil (as part of the electronic discovery process) courts. Forensics may also feature in the private sector; such as during internal corporate investigations or intrusion investigation (a specialist probe into the nature and extent of an unauthorized network intrusion ). ...more...



Forensic anthropology

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Forensic anthropology is the application of the anatomical science of anthropology and its various subfields, including forensic archaeology and forensic taphonomy , in a legal setting. A forensic anthropologist can assist in the identification of deceased individuals whose remains are decomposed, burned, mutilated or otherwise unrecognizable, as might happen in a plane crash. Forensic anthropologists are also instrumental to the investigation and documentation of genocide and mass graves . Along with forensic pathologists , forensic dentists , and homicide investigators, forensic anthropologists commonly testify in court as expert witnesses . Using physical markers present on a skeleton, a forensic anthropologist can potentially determine a victim's age, sex , stature , and ancestry . In addition to identifying physical characteristics of the individual, forensic anthropologists can use skeletal abnormalities to potentially determine cause of death , past trauma such as broken bones or medical procedures, a ...more...



Outline of academic disciplines

topic

Collage of images representing different academic disciplines An academic discipline or field of study is a branch of knowledge that is taught and researched as part of higher education . A scholar's discipline is commonly defined by the university faculties and learned societies to which he or she belongs and the academic journals in which he or she publishes research . Disciplines vary between well-established ones that exist in almost all universities and have well-defined rosters of journal s and conferences and nascent ones supported by only a few universities and publications. A discipline may have branches, and these are often called sub-disciplines. There is no consensus on how some academic disciplines should be classified, for example whether anthropology and linguistics are disciplines of the social sciences or of the humanities . The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to academic disciplines. Humanities Arts Performing arts Music ( outline ) Accompanying Chamber musi ...more...



List of life sciences

topic

'> Simulations of the fluorescence of different fluorescent proteins . The life sciences comprise the branches of science that involve the scientific study of living organisms – such as microorganisms , plants , animals , and human beings – as well as related considerations like bioethics . While biology remains the centerpiece of the life sciences, technological advances in molecular biology and biotechnology have led to a burgeoning of specializations and interdisciplinary fields. Some life sciences focus on a specific type of life. For example, zoology is the study of animals , while botany is the study of plants. Other life sciences focus on aspects common to all or many life forms, such as anatomy and genetics . Yet other fields are interested in technological advances involving living things, such as bio-engineering . Another major, though more specific, branch of life sciences involves understanding the mind  – neuroscience . The life sciences are helpful in improving the quality and standard of life. ...more...



Outline of applied science

topic

The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to applied science , which is the branch of science that applies existing scientific knowledge to develop more practical applications, including inventions and other technological advancements. Science itself is the systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge in the form of testable explanations and predictions about the universe . Branches of applied science Applied science – application of scientific knowledge transferred into a physical environment. Agronomy – science and technology of producing and using plants for food, fuel, feed, fiber, and reclamation. Animal husbandry – agricultural practice of breeding and raising livestock. Aquaculture – also known as aquafarming , is the farming of aquatic organisms such as fish, crustaceans , molluscs and aquatic plants . Algaculture – form of aquaculture involving the farming of species of algae. Mariculture – cultivation of marine organisms for food and other products in the ope ...more...



Computer forensics

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Computer forensics (also known as computer forensic science ) is a branch of digital forensic science pertaining to evidence found in computers and digital storage media . The goal of computer forensics is to examine digital media in a forensically sound manner with the aim of identifying, preserving, recovering, analyzing and presenting facts and opinions about the digital information. Although it is most often associated with the investigation of a wide variety of computer crime , computer forensics may also be used in civil proceedings. The discipline involves similar techniques and principles to data recovery , but with additional guidelines and practices designed to create a legal audit trail . Evidence from computer forensics investigations is usually subjected to the same guidelines and practices of other digital evidence. It has been used in a number of high-profile cases and is becoming widely accepted as reliable within U.S. and European court systems . Overview In the early 1980s personal computers ...more...



Forensic psychology

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Forensic psychology is the intersection between psychology and the justice system . It involves understanding fundamental legal principles, particularly with regard to expert witness testimony and the specific content area of concern (e.g., competence to stand trial , child custody and visitation, or workplace discrimination), as well as relevant jurisdictional considerations (e.g., in the United States, the definition of insanity in criminal trials differs from state to state) in order to be able to interact appropriately with judges , attorneys , and other legal professionals . An important aspect of forensic psychology is the ability to testify in court as an expert witness, reformulating psychological findings into the legal language of the courtroom, providing information to legal personnel in a way that can be understood. Further, in order to be a credible witness , the forensic psychologist must understand the philosophy, rules, and standards of the judicial system. Primarily, they must understand the ...more...



Forensic engineering

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Forensic engineering is the investigation of materials , products , structures or components that fail or do not operate or function as intended, causing personal injury or damage to property. The consequences of failure are dealt with by the law of product liability . The field also deals with retracing processes and procedures leading to accidents in operation of vehicles or machinery. The subject is applied most commonly in civil law cases, although it may be of use in criminal law cases. Generally, the purpose of a forensic engineering investigation is to locate cause or causes of failure with a view to improve performance or life of a component, or to assist a court in determining the facts of an accident . It can also involve investigation of intellectual property claims, especially patents . History As the field of engineering has evolved over time, so has the field of forensic engineering. Early examples include investigation of bridge failures such as the Tay rail bridge disaster of 1879 and the Dee ...more...



Forensic pathology

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Forensic pathology is pathology that focuses on determining the cause of death by examining a corpse. A post mortem is performed by a medical examiner , usually during the investigation of criminal law cases and civil law cases in some jurisdictions . Coroners and medical examiners are also frequently asked to confirm the identity of a corpse. Also see forensic medicine . Duties Forensic pathology is an application of medical jurisprudence . A forensic pathologist is a medical doctor who has completed training in anatomical pathology and has subsequently specialized in forensic pathology. The requirements for becoming a "fully qualified" forensic pathologist vary from country to country. Some of the different requirements are discussed below . The forensic pathologist performs autopsies/postmortem examinations to determine the cause of death . The autopsy report contains an opinion about the following: The pathologic process, injury, or disease that directly results in or initiates a series of events that lea ...more...



Questioned document examination

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In forensic science , questioned document examination ( QDE ) is the examination of documents potentially disputed in a court of law . Its primary purpose is to provide evidence about a suspicious or questionable document using scientific processes and methods. Evidence might include alterations, the chain of possession, damage to the document, forgery, origin, authenticity, or other questions that come up when a document is challenged in court. Overviews Many QD examinations involve a comparison of the questioned document, or components of the document, to a set of known standards. The most common type of examination involves handwriting wherein the examiner tries to address concerns about potential authorship. A document examiner is often asked to determine if a questioned item originated from the same source as the known item(s), then present their opinion on the matter in court as an expert witness. Other common tasks include determining what has happened to a document, determining when a document was pro ...more...



Outline of engineering

topic

The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to engineering: Engineering is the discipline and profession that applies scientific theories, mathematical methods, and empirical evidence to design, create, and analyze technological solutions cognizant of safety, human factors, physical laws, regulations, practicality, and cost. Branches of Engineering Aerospace engineering – branch of engineering behind the design, construction and science of aircraft and spacecraft. It is broken into two major and overlapping branches: Aeronautical engineering – deals with craft that stay within Earth's atmosphere Astronautical engineering – deals with craft that operates outside of Earth's atmosphere Applied engineering – application of management, design, and technical skills for the design and integration of systems, the execution of new product designs, the improvement of manufacturing processes, and the management and direction of physical and/or technical functions of a firm or organization. Biol ...more...



Forensic linguistics

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Forensic linguistics , legal linguistics , or language and the law , is the application of linguistic knowledge, methods and insights to the forensic context of law, language, crime investigation, trial, and judicial procedure. It is a branch of applied linguistics . There are principally three areas of application for linguists working in forensic contexts: understanding language of the written law, understanding language use in forensic and judicial processes, and the provision of linguistic evidence. The discipline of forensic linguistics is not homogenous; it involves a range of experts and researchers in different areas of the field. History The phrase forensic linguistics first appeared in 1968 when Jan Svartvik, a professor of linguistics, used it in an analysis of statements by Timothy John Evans . During the early days of forensic linguistics in the United Kingdom, the legal defense for many criminal cases questioned the authenticity of police statements. At the time, customary police procedure for t ...more...



Forensic dentistry

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Forensic dentistry or forensic odontology is the application of dental knowledge to those criminal and civil laws that are enforced by police agencies in a criminal justice system . Forensic dentists are involved in assisting investigative agencies to identify recovered human remains in addition to the identification of whole or fragmented bodies; forensic dentists may also be asked to assist in determining age, race , occupation , previous dental history and socioeconomic status of unidentified human beings. Forensic dentistry is the proper handling, examination and evaluation of dental evidence , which will be then presented in the interest of justice . The evidence that may be derived from teeth is the age (in children) and identification of the person to whom the teeth belong. This is done using dental records including radiographs , ante-mortem (prior to death) and post-mortem (after death) photographs and DNA . Forensic odontology is derived from Latin , meaning a forum or where legal matters are discus ...more...



Forensic psychiatry

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Forensic psychiatry is a sub-speciality of psychiatry and is related to criminology . It encompasses the interface between law and psychiatry. A forensic psychiatrist provides services – such as determination of competency to stand trial – to a court of law to facilitate the adjudicative process and provide treatment like medications and psychotherapy to criminals. Court work Forensic psychiatrists work with courts in evaluating an individual's competency to stand trial , defenses based on mental disorders (e.g., the insanity defense), and sentencing recommendations. There are two major areas of criminal evaluations in forensic psychiatry. These are Competency to Stand trial (CST) and Mental State at the Time of the Offense (MSO). Competency to stand trial (CST) This is the competency evaluation to determine that a defendant has the mental capacity to understand the charges and assist their attorney. In the United States, this is seated in the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution , which ensures ...more...



Forensic entomology

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Forensic entomology is the scientific study of the invasion of the succession pattern of arthropods with their developmental stages of different species found on the decomposed cadavers during legal investigations. It is the application and study of insect and other arthropod biology to criminal matters. It also involves the application of the study of arthropods, including insects, arachnids, centipedes, millipedes, and crustaceans to criminal or legal cases. It is primarily associated with death investigations; however, it may also be used to detect drugs and poisons, determine the location of an incident, and find the presence and time of the infliction of wounds. Forensic entomology can be divided into three subfields: urban , stored-product and medico-legal/medico-criminal entomology. History Historically, there have been several accounts of applications for, and experimentation with, forensic entomology. The concept of forensic entomology dates back to at least the 13th century. However, only in the la ...more...



Forensic toxicology

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Forensic toxicology is the use of toxicology and other disciplines such as analytical chemistry , pharmacology and clinical chemistry to aid medical or legal investigation of death, poisoning, and drug use. The primary concern for forensic toxicology is not the legal outcome of the toxicological investigation or the technology utilized, but rather the obtainment and interpretation of results. A toxicological analysis can be done to various kinds of samples. A forensic toxicologist must consider the context of an investigation, in particular any physical symptoms recorded, and any evidence collected at a crime scene that may narrow the search, such as pill bottles, powders, trace residue, and any available chemicals. Provided with this information and samples with which to work, the forensic toxicologist must determine which toxic substances are present, in what concentrations, and the probable effect of those chemicals on the person. Determining the substance ingested is often complicated by the body's natura ...more...



Outline of psychology

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The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to psychology: Psychology is the science of behavior and mental processes . Its immediate goal is to understand individuals and groups by both establishing general principles and researching specific cases. Branches of psychology Subdisciplines of psychology List of psychology disciplines Basic psychological science Abnormal psychology Applied psychology Asian psychology Behavioral genetics Biological psychology Black psychology Clinical neuropsychology Critical psychology Cognitive psychology Comparative psychology Conservation psychology Criminal psychology Cultural psychology Developmental psychology Differential psychology Evolutionary psychology Experimental psychology Forensic developmental psychology Group psychology Health psychology Indigenous psychology Mathematical psychology Medical psychology Music psychology Neuropsychology Parapsychology Pediatric psychology Personality psychology Positive psychology Psychopharmacology Quant ...more...

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Forensic biology

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Forensic biology is the application of biology to law enforcement. It includes the subdisciplines of forensic anthropology , forensic botany , forensic entomology , forensic odontology , forensic toxicology and various DNA or protein based techniques. Applications Forensic biology has been used to prove a suspect was at a crime scene, identify illegal products from endangered species, solve crimes by matching crime scene evidence to suspects, investigate airplane bird strikes , and investigate bird collisions with wind turbines . Disciplines Forensic anthropology Forensic anthropology is for identification and recovery of remains. In extreme cases where conventional techniques are unable to determine the identity of the remains, anthropologists are sometimes able to deduce certain characteristics based on the skeletal remains. Race, sex, age and stature can often be determined by both measuring the remains and looking for structural clues in the bones. Forensic botany A Forensic botanist looks to plant li ...more...



Forensic chemistry

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Forensic chemistry is the application of chemistry and its subfield, forensic toxicology , in a legal setting. A forensic chemist can assist in the identification of unknown materials found at a crime scene . Specialists in this field have a wide array of methods and instruments to help identify unknown substances. These include high-performance liquid chromatography , gas chromatography-mass spectrometry , atomic absorption spectroscopy , Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy , and thin layer chromatography . The range of different methods is important due to the destructive nature of some instruments and the number of possible unknown substances that can be found at a scene. Forensic chemists prefer using nondestructive methods first, to preserve evidence and to determine which destructive methods will produce the best results. Along with other forensic specialists, forensic chemists commonly testify in court as expert witnesses regarding their findings. Forensic chemists follow a set of standards that h ...more...



Bachelor of Arts in Forensic Psychology

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A Bachelor of Forensic Psychology (also referred to as Industrial Psychology) is a type of postgraduate academic Bachelor's degree awarded by universities in many countries. This degree is typically studied for in Forensic psychology . Curriculum structure A Bachelor of Arts or Science in Forensic Psychology is a four year bachelor's degree , depending on the program, forensic psychology may be offered as a concentration to a traditional bachelor's degree in psychology. Topics of study may include: Adversarial system Competency evaluation (law) Criminal law Criminal responsibility Element (criminal law) Forensic Science Forensic psychiatry Hearsay evidence Justice system Mitigating factors Settled insanity Ultimate issue Institutions with forensic psychology degree programs Institutions in the United States that have a Bachelor's in Forensic Psychology Degree Program include: Barry University Florida Institute of Technology St. John's University Arizona State University Southern New Hampshire University Unive ...more...



List of academic fields

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Mind map of top level disciplines and professions The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to academic disciplines: An academic discipline or field of study is a branch of knowledge that is taught and researched as part of higher education . A scholar's discipline is commonly defined and recognized by the university faculties and learned societies to which he or she belongs and the academic journals in which he or she publishes research . However, no formal criteria exist for defining an academic discipline. Disciplines vary between well-established ones that exist in almost all universities and have well-defined rosters of journals and conferences and nascent ones supported by only a few universities and publications. A discipline may have branches, and these are often called sub-disciplines. There is no consensus on how some academic disciplines should be classified (e.g., whether anthropology and linguistics are disciplines of social sciences or fields within the humanities ). ...more...



Forensic firearm examination

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Forensic firearm examination is the forensic process of examining the characteristics of firearms as well as any cartridges or bullets left behind at a crime scene . Specialists in this field are tasked with linking bullets and cartridges to weapons and weapons to individuals. Obliterated serial numbers can be raised and recorded in an attempt to find the registered owner of the weapon. Examiners can also look for fingerprints on the weapon and cartridges, and then viable prints can be processed through fingerprint databases for a potential match. By examining unique striations, or markings, left behind on the bullet as it passes through the barrel and on the cartridge as it is hit by the firing pin, individual spent rounds can be linked back to a specific weapon. Known exemplars taken from a seized weapon can be directly compared to samples recovered from the scene using a comparison microscope . Striation images can also be uploaded to any existing national databases. Furthermore, these markings can be comp ...more...



Forensic profiling

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Forensic profiling is the study of trace evidence in order to develop information which can be used by police authorities . This information can be used to identify suspects and convict them in a court of law. The term " forensic " in this context refers to "information that is used in court as evidence" ( Geradts & Sommer 2006 , p. 10). The traces originate from criminal or litigious activities themselves. However traces are information that is not strictly dedicated to the court. They may increase knowledge in broader domains linked to security that deal with investigation, intelligence, surveillance, or risk analysis ( Geradts & Sommer 2008 , p. 26). Forensic profiling is different than offender profiling , which only refers to the identification of an offender to the psychological profile of a criminal. In particular, forensic profiling should refer to profiling in the information sciences sense, i.e., to "The process of 'discovering' correlations between data in data bases that can be used to i ...more...



Forensic podiatry

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Forensic Podiatry  is a subdiscipline of  forensic science  in which specialized podiatric knowledge including foot and lower limb anatomy, musculoskeletal function, deformities and  diseases of the foot ,  ankle , lower extremities, and at times, the entire human body is used in the examination of foot-related evidence in the context of a criminal investigation. Forensic Podiatry has been defined as:  "The application of sound and researched podiatry knowledge and experience in forensic investigations, to show the association of an individual with a scene of crime, or to answer any other legal question concerned with the foot or footwear that requires knowledge of the functioning foot" (Vernon & McCourt, 1999) Those who specialize in this field need to have gained knowledge and experience in podiatry and also in forensic science and practice (Vernon et al., 2009). Forensic Podiatry is usually used to assist in the process of human identification, but can also be employed to help address issues relating ...more...



Bloodstain pattern analysis

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Bloodstain pattern analysis ( BPA ), one of several specialties in the field of forensic science , involves the study and analysis of bloodstains at a known or suspected violent crime scene with the goal of helping investigators draw conclusions about the nature, timing and other details of the crime. The use of bloodstains as evidence is not new; however, the application of modern science has brought it to a higher level since the 1970s and '80s. New technologies, especially advances in DNA analysis , are available for detectives and criminologists to use in solving crimes and apprehending offenders. The science of bloodstain pattern analysis applies scientific knowledge from other fields to solve practical problems. Bloodstain pattern analysis draws on the scientific disciplines of biology , chemistry , mathematics and physics . If an analyst follows a scientific process, this applied science can produce strong, solid evidence, making it an effective tool for investigators, although care does need to be tak ...more...



Forensic psychotherapy

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Forensic psychotherapy is the application of psychological knowledge to the treatment of patients who have mental illnesses who commit violent acts against others or themselves involving both the conscious and unconscious motivations. Commonly applied diagnoses would include personality disorder and psychosis . The link between personality disorder and offending is not firmly established although many of those who commit offences have one or more personality disorders. The term forensic psychotherapy is usually associated with Psychodynamic psychotherapy , including group psychotherapy and the therapeutic community approach. Cognitive behavioral therapy is more commonly associated with the field of psychology, particularly Forensic Psychology . Forensic psychotherapists may collaborate with other professionals, such as physicians, social workers, and other psychologists to best serve the client's needs and may work in various settings including prisons, inpatient settings, and outpatient settings. Forensic ps ...more...



Edmond Locard

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Dr. Edmond Locard (13 December 1877 – 4 April 1966) was a pioneer in forensic science who became known as the " Sherlock Holmes of France ". He formulated the basic principle of forensic science: "Every contact leaves a trace ". This became known as Locard's exchange principle . Biography Locard studied medicine and law at Lyon , France, eventually becoming the assistant of Alexandre Lacassagne , a criminologist and professor. He held this post until 1910, when he began the foundation of his criminal laboratory. At one point, Locard met with Sir Arthur Conan Doyle while the latter was visiting France. In 1910, Locard succeeded in persuading the Police Department of Lyon to give him two attic rooms and two assistants, to start what became the first police laboratory . He produced a monumental, seven-volume work, Traité de Criminalistique. He continued with his research until his death in 1966. In November 2012, he is nominated to the French Forensic Science Hall of Fame of the Association Québécoise de Crimina ...more...



Forensic statistics

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Forensic statistics is the application of probability models and statistical techniques to scientific evidence, such as DNA evidence , and the law. In contrast to "everyday" statistics, to not engender bias or unduly draw conclusions, forensic statisticians report likelihoods as likelihood ratios (LR). This ratio of probabilities is then used by juries or judges to draw inferences or conclusions and decide legal matters. Computer programs have been implemented with forensic DNA statistics for assessing the biological relationships between two or more people. Forensic science uses several approaches for DNA statistics with computer programs such as; match probability, exclusion probability, likelihood ratios, Bayesian approaches, and paternity and kinship testing. Although the precise origin of this term remains unclear, it is apparent that the term was used in the 1980s and 1990s. Among the first forensic statistics conferences were two held in 1991 and 1993. Blood Stains Blood stains are an important part ...more...



Forensic palynology

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Forensic palynology is the study of pollen , spores and other acid-resistant microscopic plant bodies, including dinoflagellates, to prove or disprove a relationship between objects, people and places that pertain to both criminal and civil cases. Pollen can tell a lot about where a person or object has been, because regions of the world, countries, and even different parts of a garden will have a distinctive pollen assemblage. Pollen evidence can also reveal the season in which a particular object picked up the pollen. Pollen has been used to trace activity at mass graves in Bosnia , catch a burglar who brushed against a Hypericum bush during a crime, and has even been proposed as an additive for bullets to enable tracking them. For instance, a dead body may be found in a wood, and the clothes may contain pollen that was released after death (the time of death can be determined by forensic entomology ), but in a place other than where it was found. That indicates that the body was moved. Palynology Palyn ...more...



Forensic accounting

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Forensic accounting , forensic accountancy or financial forensics is the specialty practice area of accounting that describes engagements that result from actual or anticipated disputes or litigation . " Forensic " means "suitable for use in a court of law", and it is to that standard and potential outcome that forensic accountants generally have to work. Forensic accountants, also referred to as forensic auditors or investigative auditors, often have to give expert evidence at the eventual trial. All of the larger accounting firms, as well as many medium-sized and boutique firms and various police and government agencies have specialist forensic accounting departments. Within these groups, there may be further sub-specializations: some forensic accountants may, for example, just specialize in insurance claims , personal injury claims, fraud , anti-money-laundering , construction , or royalty audits . Financial forensic engagements may fall into several categories. For example: Economic damages calculations ...more...



Forensic Heroes (franchise)

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Forensic Heroes is a series of Hong Kong TVB police procedural television dramas written by Choi Ting-ting (I–III), Chan Ching-yee (I–II), Leung Man-wah (III) and produced by Mui Siu-ching . The series follows a group of Hong Kong forensic scientists working together with the Hong Kong police to solve murders through physical evidence left over from crime scenes. Currently, two serials and one reboot installment were produced. The series is said to be a contemporary version of the successful historical-fiction series Witness to a Prosecution (1999–2002), a drama that documents the life of Chinese forensic medical expert Song Ci . Forensic Heroes is also said to be loosely influenced by the ongoing American television series CSI: Crime Scene Investigation . However, unlike CSI, which uses significantly darker and bleaker lighting throughout its episodes, Forensic Heroes is presented in a brighter, more clinical atmosphere. The series first installment, Forensic Heroes , originally ran for 25 episodes on TVB Ja ...more...



Audio forensics

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Audio forensics is the field of forensic science relating to the acquisition, analysis, and evaluation of sound recordings that may ultimately be presented as admissible evidence in a court of law or some other official venue. Audio forensic evidence may come from a criminal investigation by law enforcement or as part of an official inquiry into an accident, fraud, accusation of slander, or some other civil incident. The primary aspects of audio forensics are establishing the authenticity of audio evidence, performing enhancement of audio recordings to improve speech intelligibility and the audibility of low-level sounds, and interpreting and documenting sonic evidence, such as identifying talkers, transcribing dialog, and reconstructing crime or accident scenes and timelines. Modern audio forensics makes extensive use of digital signal processing , with the former use of analog filters now being obsolete. Techniques such as adaptive filtering and discrete Fourier transforms are used extensively. Recent advan ...more...



Forensic facial reconstruction

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Forensic facial reconstruction (or forensic facial approximation ) is the process of recreating the face of an individual (whose identity is often not known) from their skeletal remains through an amalgamation of artistry, forensic science, anthropology , osteology , and anatomy . It is easily the most subjective—as well as one of the most controversial—techniques in the field of forensic anthropology . Despite this controversy, facial reconstruction has proved successful frequently enough that research and methodological developments continue to be advanced. In addition to remains involved in criminal investigations, facial reconstructions are created for remains believed to be of historical value and for remains of prehistoric hominids and humans . Legal admissibility In the U.S., the Daubert Standard is a legal precedent set in 1993 by the Supreme Court regarding the admissibility of expert witness testimony during legal proceedings, set in place to ensure that expert testimony is based on sufficient facts ...more...



Science

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The scale of the universe mapped to the branches of science and the hierarchy of science. Science (from Latin scientia, meaning "knowledge") is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge in the form of testable explanations and predictions about the universe . Contemporary science is typically subdivided into the natural sciences which study the material world , the social sciences which study people and societies, and the formal sciences like mathematics. The formal sciences are often distinguished from the empirical sciences as the former does not depend on empirical observations. Disciplines which use science like engineering and medicine may also be considered to be applied sciences . Science is related to research , and is normally organized by a university , a college , or a research institute . From classical antiquity through the 19th century, science as a type of knowledge was more closely linked to philosophy than it is now and, in fact, in the West the term " natural philosop ...more...

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Fingerprint

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A fingerprint in its narrow sense is an impression left by the friction ridges of a human finger . The recovery of fingerprints from a crime scene is an important method of forensic science . Fingerprints are easily deposited on suitable surfaces (such as glass or metal or polished stone) by the natural secretions of sweat from the eccrine glands that are present in epidermal ridges. These are sometimes referred to as "Chanced Impressions". In a wider use of the term, fingerprints are the traces of an impression from the friction ridges of any part of a human or other primate hand . A print from the sole of the foot can also leave an impression of friction ridges. Deliberate impressions of fingerprints may be formed by ink or other substances transferred from the peaks of friction ridges on the skin to a relatively smooth surface such as a fingerprint card. Fingerprint records normally contain impressions from the pad on the last joint of fingers and thumbs, although fingerprint cards also typically record ...more...



Forensic rhetoric

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Forensic rhetoric , as coined in Aristotle 's On Rhetoric , encompasses any discussion of past action including legal discourse—the primary setting for the emergence of rhetoric as a discipline and theory. This contrasts with deliberative rhetoric and epideictic rhetoric , which are reserved for discussions concerning future and present actions respectively. In contemporary times, the word forensic is commonly associated with criminal and civil law referring specifically to forensic science . It is important to note that the term forensic associated with criminal investigation exists because forensic (or judicial) rhetoric first existed. References in On Rhetoric An introduction of the three types of rhetoric (forensic, deliberative, and epideictic) occurs in Book I Chapter III of Aristotle's On Rhetoric. Discussion of forensic rhetoric is found in Book I Chapters X-XV, outlined as follows: Chapter 10: "Topics about Wrongdoing " asserts: "Let wrongdoing be defined as doing harm willingly in contravention of ...more...



Forensic data analysis

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Forensic Data Analysis (FDA) is a branch of Digital forensics . It examines structured data with regard to incidents of financial crime . The aim is to discover and analyse patterns of fraudulent activities. Data from application systems or from their underlying databases is referred to as structured data. Unstructured data in contrast is taken from communication and office applications or from mobile devices. This data has no overarching structure and analysis thereof means applying keywords or mapping communication patterns. Analysis of unstructured data is usually referred to as Computer forensics . Methodology The analysis of large volumes of data is typically performed in a separate database system run by the analysis team. Live systems are usually not dimensioned to run extensive individual analysis without affecting the regular users. On the other hand, it is methodically preferable to analyze data copies on separate systems and protect the analysis teams against the accusation of altering original dat ...more...



Forensic video analysis

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Forensic video analysis is the scientific examination, comparison and/or evaluation of video in legal matters. See also Forensic audio Scientific Working Group on Imaging Technologies (SWIGIT) References "Forensic Imaging And Multi-media Glossary Covering Computer Evidence Recovery (CER), Forensic Audio (FA), Forensic Photography (FP), And Forensic Video (FV)" (PDF) . International Association for Identification. External links American Academy of Forensic Science (AAFS) International Association for Identification (IAI) International Association for Pattern Recognition, Technical Committee on Computational Forensics (IAPR-TC6) Law Enforcement and Emergency Video Services Association (LEVA) National Technical Investigators’ Association (NATIA) Video analytics for forensic evidence collection - overview of latest trends The Evolution of Video Forensics: Finding People in Real Time Forensic video analysis is the scientific examination, comparison and/or evaluation of video in legal matters. See also Forensic au ...more...



Database forensics

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Database forensics is a branch of digital forensic science relating to the forensic study of databases and their related metadata. The discipline is similar to computer forensics , following the normal forensic process and applying investigative techniques to database contents and metadata. Cached information may also exist in a servers RAM requiring live analysis techniques. A forensic examination of a database may relate to the timestamps that apply to the update time of a row in a relational table being inspected and tested for validity in order to verify the actions of a database user. Alternatively, a forensic examination may focus on identifying transactions within a database system or application that indicate evidence of wrongdoing, such as fraud. Software tools can be used to manipulate and analyse data. These tools also provide audit logging capabilities which provide documented proof of what tasks or analysis a forensic examiner performed on the database. Currently many database software tools are ...more...



Outline of psychiatry

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The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to psychiatry: Psychiatry – medical specialty devoted to the study and treatment of mental disorders . These mental disorders include various affective , behavioural , cognitive , and perceptual abnormalities . What type of thing is psychiatry? Academic discipline – field of study with academic departments, curricula and degrees; national and international societies; and specialized journals. Scientific field (a branch of science ) – widely recognized category of specialized expertise within science, and typically embodies its own terminology and nomenclature. Such a field will usually be represented by one or more scientific journals, where peer reviewed research is published. A natural science – field that seeks to elucidate the rules that govern the natural world using empirical and scientific methods . A biological science – a branch of biology, which is concerned with the study of life and living organisms, including their structure, f ...more...



Network forensics

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Network forensics is a sub-branch of digital forensics relating to the monitoring and analysis of computer network traffic for the purposes of information gathering, legal evidence, or intrusion detection . Unlike other areas of digital forensics, network investigations deal with volatile and dynamic information. Network traffic is transmitted and then lost, so network forensics is often a pro-active investigation. Network forensics generally has two uses. The first, relating to security, involves monitoring a network for anomalous traffic and identifying intrusions. An attacker might be able to erase all log files on a compromised host; network-based evidence might therefore be the only evidence available for forensic analysis. The second form relates to law enforcement. In this case analysis of captured network traffic can include tasks such as reassembling transferred files, searching for keywords and parsing human communication such as emails or chat sessions. Two systems are commonly used to collect ne ...more...



CSI effect

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The CSI effect , also known as the CSI syndrome and the CSI infection , is any of several ways in which the exaggerated portrayal of forensic science on crime television shows such as CSI: Crime Scene Investigation influences public perception. The term was first reported in a 2004 USA Today article describing the effect being made on trial jurors by television programs featuring forensic science. It most often refers to the belief that jurors have come to demand more forensic evidence in criminal trials , thereby raising the effective standard of proof for prosecutors . While this belief is widely held among American legal professionals, some studies have suggested that crime shows are unlikely to cause such an effect, although frequent CSI viewers may place a lower value on circumstantial evidence . As technology improves and becomes more prevalent throughout society, people may also develop higher expectations for the capabilities of forensic technology. Background The CSI effect is named for CSI: Crime ...more...



Physiology

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Physiology ( ; from Ancient Greek φύσις (physis), meaning "nature, origin", and -λογία (-logia), meaning "study of" ) is the scientific study of normal mechanisms , and their interactions, which works within a living system . A sub-discipline of biology , its focus is in how organisms, organ systems, organs , cells , and biomolecules carry out the chemical or physical functions that exist in a living system. Given the size of the field, it is divided into, among others, animal physiology (including that of humans ), plant physiology , cellular physiology , microbial physiology ( microbial metabolism ), bacterial physiology, and viral physiology. Central to an understanding of physiological functioning is its integrated nature with other disciplines such as chemistry and physics, coordinated homeostatic control mechanisms, and continuous communication between cells. The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine is awarded to those who make significant achievements in this discipline by the Royal Swedish Academy ...more...




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