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Forensic Science

Forensic Science utilizes scientific principles to support or negate theories surrounding physical evidence found at a crime scene. As such, Forensic scientists analyze evidence gathered or received from crime scenes and present their findings based the results of their analyses.

A forensic science job description may appear distinctly different depending on the area of forensic science being practiced. This is because forensic science is a rather broad field and thus encompasses a number of specialties, all of which are rooted in the natural sciences.

Forensic science work generally involves one or more areas of science:

Chemistry: Involves the study of paint, chemicals, and similar substances and compounds
Biology: Involves trace and DNA evidence, including blood, hair, fibers, etc.
Drugs/toxicology: Involves testing for the presence or absence of drugs, alcohol and poisons in blood, urine, and tissues samples
It may also involve specific subspecialties of forensic science, such as botany, anthropology, and odontology (dentistry).

A forensic scientist may therefore take on one or more of the following forensic science jobs:

Forensic toxicologist
Forensic pathologist
Forensic anthropologist
Forensic odontologist
Forensic botanist
Forensic biologist
Forensic chemist
Questioned documents examiner
Fingerprint examiner
DNA analyst
Trace evidence analyst
Medical examiner
The job duties of a forensic scientist may vary according to the field of interest or specialty, but they all have one thing in common: they identify and interpret physical evidence collected from a crime scene.

Forensic scientists generally perform their work inside the forensic or crime laboratory, where they are responsible for comparing and interpreting the physical evidence that was retrieved by crime scene investigators at the scene of the crime. In specific circumstances, forensic scientists may be required at the scene of a crime, usually when the methods or techniques surrounding the collection or preservation of the physical evidence are in question.

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Forensic Science


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