A “drug detection dog” is certainly not specific

A “drug detection dog” is certainly not specific

Who doesn’t love dogs? They are man’s best friend after all. But can we really trust “drug detection” dogs and their handlers? We have blogged about these dogs here before: What can David Letterman’s Stupid Animal Tricks Teach us About Forensic Science? Doggie sniffs are a poor substitute for meaningful analytical chemistry Here is a […]

This only makes sense in the bizzarro world of Texas DPS: No proof, but we prosecute!

This only makes sense in the bizzarro world of Texas DPS: No proof, but we prosecute!

One of the tenants of the criminal justice system is that everyone accused is presumed innocent. That means that everyone starts out in the courtroom with a not guilty. It remains a not guilty throughout the trial no matter how many witnesses come forward or what they say. It remains so even in the jury […]

The testing of unknowns-what is confirmatory testing?

The testing of unknowns-what is confirmatory testing?

When testing unknowns, we are doing precisely that. We will never know the true CONTENTS (in terms if a qualitative measure) of the sample, let alone the true value of the contents (in terms of the quantitative measure). By definition, all testing is about the tester’s willingness to accept the risk of being wrong most […]

Another thought about t0-olympic style

Another thought about t0-olympic style

We have blogged before about t0 and the importance of knowing when it is in terms of retention time when we go to evaluate forensic chromatography results. You can read it again here: The importance of t0 in forensic chromatography T0 (provided that the area reject-think of how Josh made those peaks disappear in front […]

Breaking news: The Forensic Science and Standards Act of 2012 is introduced

Breaking news: The Forensic Science and Standards Act of 2012 is introduced

The National Academy of Sciences authored an excoriating examination on the state of forensic science as presented in the courtroom today. It called forensic science “badly fragmented” and in need of major reform. It highlighted how many techniques currently employed including many traditional “sacred cows” are non-validated and perhaps even invalid as practiced currently. There […]

Justice be done: Frederic Whitehurst leads the way

Justice be done: Frederic Whitehurst leads the way

Our regular guest blogger here, Dr. Frederic Whitehurst, JD, PhD was featured for his courageous work in exposing invalid science with the FBI. He is a true American hero! Way to go Dr. Whtiehurst! Dr. Whitehurst will be presenting the Donald Gates case and his efforts at the American Chemical Society national meeting and the […]

Toxicology versus solid drug dose examination for controlled substances

Toxicology versus solid drug dose examination for controlled substances

When we use GC-MS for forensic science purposes for controlled substance detection, we can basically divide the world into two camps. First, is the world of solid drug dose in pre-consumption form. The second is in the world post-consumption form analysis in a biological matrix (blood, urine, or oral fluid) which is otherwise known as […]

More on Enzymatic Assay for Determination of BAC in a forensic context

More on Enzymatic Assay for Determination of BAC in a forensic context

Enzymatic Immunoassay (EIA) is a quick and indirect means of determining ethanol content. It’s original development was strictly for the purposes of a very quick determination of whether or not there was the possibility that there was ethanol in a patient. It was designed for the clinical emergency environment where we need a very quick […]

Why per se Driving Under the Influence of Drug Based Prosecution is Not Scientific and How Probation Violations for Marijuana Use May Be Wrong

Why per se Driving Under the Influence of Drug Based Prosecution is Not Scientific and How Probation Violations for Marijuana Use May Be Wrong

I cannot imagine that a single rational and sane person cares for drug impaired drivers to be on the road among us driving what amounts to a guided missile weighing about 3,000 to 5,500 pounds or more. As has been shown time and again, a drug intoxicated driver can be a weapon of mass destruction. […]

Guest Blog Post From Dr. Frederic Whitehurst PhD JD: Of moos and clucks-the myth of FTIR identification

Guest Blog Post From Dr. Frederic Whitehurst PhD JD: Of moos and clucks-the myth of FTIR identification

Of moos and clucks-the myth of FTIR identification By:  Frederic Whitehurst, J.D., Ph.D. [1] OK, so we will now discuss moos and clucks. Which is the basis for the problem with Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR) in forensic science. [2] If you close your eyes in a stock yard you can’t tell what moo came […]

Zero is not a valid data point for calibration purposes

Zero is not a valid data point for calibration purposes

When the quantitative measurement really matters to determine guilt, we have to understand how that measurement is achieved. In the case of the analysis of biological samples that are tested, quantitation of an unknown is derived from a calibration curve. The proper construction of the calibration curve is a crucial component of quality control. It […]