Illustrated Guide to Home Forensic Science Experiments: All Lab, No Lecture

Overview

Have you ever wondered whether the forensic science you’ve seen on TV is anything like the real thing? There’s no better way to find out than to roll up your sleeves and do it yourself. This full-color book offers advice for setting up an inexpensive home lab, and includes more than 50 hands-on lab sessions that deal with forensic science experiments in biology, chemistry, and physics. You’ll learn the practical skills and fundamental knowledge needed to pursue forensics as a ...

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Illustrated Guide to Home Forensic Science Experiments: All Lab, No Lecture

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Overview

Have you ever wondered whether the forensic science you’ve seen on TV is anything like the real thing? There’s no better way to find out than to roll up your sleeves and do it yourself. This full-color book offers advice for setting up an inexpensive home lab, and includes more than 50 hands-on lab sessions that deal with forensic science experiments in biology, chemistry, and physics. You’ll learn the practical skills and fundamental knowledge needed to pursue forensics as a lifelong hobby—or even a career.

The forensic science procedures in this book are not merely educational, they’re the real deal. Each chapter includes one or more lab sessions devoted to a particular topic. You’ll find a complete list of equipment and chemicals you need for each session.

  • Analyze soil, hair, and fibers
  • Match glass and plastic specimens
  • Develop latent fingerprints and reveal blood traces
  • Conduct drug and toxicology tests
  • Analyze gunshot and explosives residues
  • Detect forgeries and fakes
  • Analyze impressions, such as tool marks and footprints
  • Match pollen and diatom samples
  • Extract, isolate, and visualize DNA samples

Through their company, The Home Scientist, LLC (thehomescientist.com/forensics), the authors also offer inexpensive custom kits that provide specialized equipment and supplies you’ll need to complete the experiments. Add a microscope and some common household items and you’re good to go.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781449334512
  • Publisher: Maker Media, Inc
  • Publication date: 8/22/2012
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 448
  • Sales rank: 807,147
  • Product dimensions: 8.06 (w) x 9.75 (h) x 1.05 (d)

Meet the Author

Robert Bruce Thompson is a coauthor of Building the Perfect PC, Astronomy Hacks, and the Illustrated Guide to Astronomical Wonders. Thompson built his first computer in 1976 from discrete chips. It had 256 bytes of memory, used toggle switches and LEDs for I/O, ran at less than 1MHz, and had no operating system. Since then, he has bought, built, upgraded, and repaired hundreds of PCs for himself, employers, customers, friends, and clients. Robert spends most clear, moonless nights outdoors with his 10-inch Dobsonian reflector telescope, and is currently designing a larger, computerized, truss-tube Dobsonian that he plans to build.

Barbara Fritchman Thompson is, with her husband Robert, the co-author of numerous books about computers, science, and technology. With her Masters in Library Science and twenty years' experience as a public librarian, Barbara is the research half of our writing team.

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Table of Contents


  • Preface
  • Chapter 1: Laboratory Safety
  • Chapter 2: Equipping Your Forensics Laboratory
  • Soil Analysis
    • Chapter 3: Lab I-1 Gather and Prepare Soil Samples
    • Chapter 4: Lab I-2 Examine the Physical Characteristics of Soil
    • Chapter 5: Lab I-3 Examine the Microscopic Characteristics of Soil
    • Chapter 6: Lab I-4 Assay Phosphate Concentrations in Soil Specimens
    • Chapter 7: Lab I-5 Examine the Spectroscopic Characteristics of Soil


  • Hair and Fiber Analysis
    • Chapter 8: Lab II-1 Gathering Hair Specimens
    • Chapter 9: Lab II-2 Study the Morphology of Human Scalp Hair
    • Chapter 10: Lab II-3 Make Scale Casts of Hair Specimens
    • Chapter 11: Lab II-4 Study the Morphology of Animal Hair
    • Chapter 12: Lab II-5 Individualize Human Hair Specimens
    • Chapter 13: Lab II-6 Physical and Chemical Tests of Fibers
    • Chapter 14: Lab II-7 Study the Morphology of Fibers and Fabrics


  • Glass and Plastic Analysis
    • Chapter 15: Lab III-1 Determine Densities of Glass and Plastic Specimens
    • Chapter 16: Lab III-2 Compare Refractive Indices of Glass and Plastic Specimens
    • Chapter 17: Lab III-3 Observe Shatter Patterns


  • Revealing Latent Fingerprints
    • Chapter 18: Lab IV-1 Dusting and Lifting Latent Fingerprints
    • Chapter 19: Lab IV-2 Revealing Latent Fingerprints Using Iodine Fuming
    • Chapter 20: Lab IV-3 Revealing Latent Fingerprints Using Ninhydrin
    • Chapter 21: Lab IV-4 Revealing Latent Fingerprints Using Superglue Fuming
    • Chapter 22: Lab IV-5 Revealing Latent Fingerprints On Sticky Surfaces
    • Chapter 23: Lab IV-6 Revealing Latent Fingerprints On Brass Cartridge Cases


  • Detecting Blood
    • Chapter 24: Lab V-1 Testing the Sensitivity and Selectivity of Kastle-Meyer Reagent


  • Impression Analysis
    • Chapter 25: Lab VI-1 Tool Mark Analysis
    • Chapter 26: Lab VI-2 Matching Images to Cameras
    • Chapter 27: Lab VI-3 Perforation and Tear Analysis


  • Forensic Drug Testing
    • Chapter 28: Lab VII-1 Presumptive Drug Testing
    • Chapter 29: Lab VII-2 Detect Cocaine and Methamphetamine on Paper Currency
    • Chapter 30: Lab VII-3 Analysis of Drugs by Chromatography
    • Chapter 31: Lab VII-4 Observation of Drug Microcrystalline Structures and Precipitation Reactions
    • Chapter 32: Lab VII-5 Assay Vitamin C in Urine by Iodometric Titration


  • Forensic Toxicology
    • Chapter 33: Lab VIII-1 Salicylate Determination by Visual Colorimetry
    • Chapter 34: Lab VIII-2 Detect Alkaloid Poisons with Dragendorff’s Reagent


  • Gunshot and Explosive Residues Analysis
    • Chapter 35: Lab IX-1 Presumptive Color Tests for Gunshot Residue
    • Chapter 36: Lab IX-2 Presumptive Color Tests for Explosives Residues


  • Detecting Altered and Forged Documents
    • Chapter 37: Lab X-1 Revealing Alterations in Documents
    • Chapter 38: Lab X-2 Analysis of Inks by Chromatography
    • Chapter 39: Lab X-3 Forensic Analysis of Paper


  • Forensic Biology
    • Chapter 40: Lab XI-1 Pollen Analysis
    • Chapter 41: Lab XI-2 Diatom Analysis
    • Chapter 42: Lab XI-3 Extract, Isolate, and Visualize DNA
    • Chapter 43: Lab XI-4 DNA Analysis by Gel Electrophoresis



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