Crime scene chemistry – Analyst articles on Chemistry World 2013

What discoveries caused the biggest buzz in chemistry labs in 2013? With the help of an expert panel of journal editors Chemistry World reviews the ground breaking research and important trends in this year’s crop of chemical science papers.

Find out which Analyst articles have been featured in Chemistry World this year:

Crime scene chemistry Graphical abstract: Solid-state Forensic Finger sensor for integrated sampling and detection of gunshot residue and explosives: towards ‘Lab-on-a-finger’

Improvements in forensic techniques have also featured on our pages this year. A team in the US developed a device that investigators can wear on their fingertips to rapidly identify traces of explosives and gunshot residue. The sensor consists of an electrode screen-printed onto a stretchable sheath worn on the index finder, and a sheath for the thumb coated with a solid-state ionogel electrolyte. To analyse a sample the investigator simply squeezes their finger and thumb together after swiping a surface, completing the electrochemical cell. A portable analyser then reads the voltammetric signal, identifying distinct peaks for explosives or gunshot residue. The process takes just a few minutes, cutting down the lengthy practice of sample collection and lab analysis.

Another group has developed a bioassay that can be used to analyse blood samples on-site to give investigators an early indication of a suspect’s ethnicity. Evgeny Katz at Clarkson University, US, in collaboration with Jan Halámek, now at the State University of New York at Albany, analysed levels of two biomarkers – creatine kinase and lactate dehydrogenase – in the blood of people of Caucasian and African American ethnicity. They then developed a bioassay to amplify the differences in these levels. The test could successfully distinguish between ethnicities in real human blood samples, as well as samples a day old, as could well be the case at a crime scene.

To find out more, read the full article on Chemistry World.

Solid-state Forensic Finger sensor for integrated sampling and detection of gunshot residue and explosives: towards ‘Lab-on-a-finger’
Amay J. Bandodkar, Aoife M. O’Mahony, Julian Ramírez, Izabela A. Samek, Sean M. Anderson, Joshua R. Windmiller and Joseph Wang
Analyst, 2013,138, 5288-5295
DOI: 10.1039/C3AN01179H, Paper

Biocatalytic analysis of biomarkers for forensic identification of ethnicity between Caucasian and African American groups
Friederike Kramer, Lenka Halámková, Arshak Poghossian, Michael J. Schöning, Evgeny Katz and Jan Halámek
Analyst, 2013,138, 6251-6257
DOI: 10.1039/C3AN01062G, Communication

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