forensic science

Optography: Image in a Dead Man's Eye

Pseudoscience often enters our world where magic fails us, seeming to make the impossible possible via the invocation of actual scientific and technological marvels. In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert and Christian explore the unmistakably necromantic world of optography, a 19th century notion that the last images seen by the dead might be retrieved from the flesh and fluid of the eye.

The Failings of Forensic Science, Part II

What if bad science put you in prison for a crime you didn't commit? How many guilty offenders are still out there because of pseudoscience, fraud or disorganized laboratories? In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, join Joe and Christian for part two of our review of forensic science in the courtroom. How accurate is the analysis of fingerprints, ballistics, hair, bite marks, fire and DNA?

The Failings of Forensic Science, Part I

What if bad science put you in prison for a crime you didn't commit? How many guilty offenders are still out there because of pseudoscience, fraud or disorganized laboratories? In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Joe and Christian review the use of forensic science in law enforcement. Scientific evidence is prevalent in both courtrooms and popular culture. But why are we only recently questioning its validity?

DNA Evidence can be Fabricated

We've largely come to hold DNA evidence as the ultimate weapon in criminal investigation, as well as one killer obstacle on the road to the perfect crime. Humans are constantly spurting fluids, shedding skin flakes and dropping hairs. Just one genetic sample left in the wrong place is enough to cinch it. At least it's been that way till now.

TV Forensic Science Good; Real Forensic Science Not So Good

If our TV-watching habits are any indication, people love forensic science. I'm not sure how many "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation" shows have been spawned, but people undoubtedly dig a diet of grisly crime-scene dramas and cheesy David Caruso one-liners. Nothing like a fortuitously obtained DNA sample to right the miscarriage of justice and send a show straight to successful syndication.