Although I have been interested in forensics for many years, the cost of textbooks, for student use for a part of a course, was too prohibitive. In May 1993, there were 5 excellent short articles printed in Chemistry in Britain (the monthly journal from the Royal Society of Chemistry). Using the 5 articles for class text material, I started teaching hands-on forensics in the classroom in the Fall of 1993, writing the hands-on activities/experiments myself. Currently, the forensics portion of my course contains the following activities and information along with articles from a number of sources which are provided to my students on a CD-ROM.
If you are enrolled in CHM 128IN, do not download experiments from this page. Go to the CHM 128 page under Pima Chem Courses.
Chemistry in Britain articles Five short articles from the May 1993 issue of Chemistry in Britain:
Traces of poison , by Bill Wilson
Material evidence , by Martin Salter and Ken Wiggins
Size is no object , by Robin H. Keeley
High and dry , by Bill Wilson
A low profile , by Stephen T. Jones
Intro and Physical Evidence
Intro and Physical Evidence This is the information for the initial class on forensics.
Blood drop studies
Bloodstain patterns . An activity investigating bloodstains with fake, home-made blood.
Bloodstain Pattern Analysis Tutorial This is a link to the main BPA page by J. Slemko Forensic Consulting Inc. Click on Bloodstain Resources on the main page to get to the Bloodstain Tutorial or to Analyze a Case Click on the Links for other sites for Bloodstain pattern analysis.
truTV (formerly Court TV) Projects
truTV has produced Forensics in the Classroom - five investigations for the classroom. These files are available on the tru TV website.
We use the BioRad Forensic DNA Fingerprinting Kit for class. This is an excellent introduction to DNA analysis. You will need micropipettes, a constant temperature bath, a microcentrifuge, and electrophoresis apparatus for this laboratory experiment. The kit description is on the BioRad Life Science Education web site under Classroom Kits.
The Forensic DNA Fingerprinting Kit Instruction Manual is available on the BioRad Life Science Education web site under the Kit Instruction Manuals link.
DNA Isolation Instructions on isolating DNA using household materials.
Toxicology basics This is a PDF of a PowerPoint presentation Principles of Toxicology by Elizabeth Casarez of the Southwest Environmental Health Sciences Center at the University of Arizona College of Pharmacy.
Notes on Toxicology basics This is a PDF file of the Principles of Toxicology (BIOC 597c) by Elizabeth Casarez of the Southwest Environmental Health Sciences Center at the University of Arizona College of Pharmacy.
NIH/NLM Toxicology Tutor (also called Tox Tutors) from the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.
Forensic Toxicology An article by Andrea Grippo from Forensic biology, 2001
Drug Testing Testing over-the-counter drugs. Similar to laboratory drug testing, but using non-controlled substances. A complete kit for this investigation is available from Flinn Scientific (Catalog no. AP5603)
Charts of Commonly Abused Drugs can be found at the NIDA (National Institute on Drug Abuse) web siites.
DEA Drug Information This is a link to the DEA site for fact sheets on a range of drugs.
Commonly Abused Drugs This is a link to the Onsite Drug Testing web site. The chart has a listing of the period of detection for each drug
Diet Soda and Alcohol This is a short article from Smithsonian Magazine, January 16, 2014, titled Diet Soda Makes Breathalizers Think You're Drunk. This is not an in-depth study, but it contains some interesting information about alcohol and sugar.
Consumer Reports magazine published an excellent book Licit and Illicit Drugs. This is a link to that book online.
Fingerprinting This is the classroom investigation.
Fingerprints and Minutiae Common fingerprint patterns and fine points of fingerprints provided by the San Jose , CA , forensic laboratory.
Forensic Medicine Lecture Notes, by Dr. Derrick Pounder, University of Dundee This is a link to the forensic medicine web site of the University of Dundee, Dundee, Scotland.
Hair and Fibers
Burning Tests for Fibers Summary of burning tests.
Hair Analysis This is the classroom investigation. .
Fiber Analysis This is the classroom investigation.
Major generic fibers A table listing fiber information.
Handwriting and Ink Analysis
Handwriting Analysis This is the classroom investigation.
Ink analysis This is the classroom investigation.
Bureau of Engraving and Printing of the U.S. Department of the Treasury. This is a link to their web site. Go to the Authenicate Currency section to see how money is being redesigned to prevent counterfeiting.
Know your money This is a link to the U.S. Secret Service web page about U.S. currency.
Microscopic Analysis This is the classroom investigation.
Identification of Polymers This is the classroom investigation.
UV Detection Methods This is the classroom investigation.
References This is a list of additional references and a source for forensics supplies.