Working in a forensic lab can be an extremely tense and exciting opportunity. You are able to study and analyze all kinds of things, but at the same time, you have to be extremely careful with how you go about conducting tests. With a forensic lab, it is important that you always preserve the integrity of the samples and even the smallest bit of contamination can ruin a test.
Fortunately, there are a few pieces of equipment that you can get to make your job that much easier. These are strongly recommended by professionals in the industry as you will not have to worry nearly as much while working. Here are some forensic lab equipment recommendations from the pros that you should look to install.
A Laminar Flow Cabinet
One of the first things that you are going to want to get for your forensic lab is a laminar flow cabinet. What are these used for? Oftentimes in a forensic lab, you are going to be working with samples that can very easily be contaminated by the smallest of particles. When you are doing your analysis on them, you have to ensure that your working space is completely sterile. A laminar flow cabinet helps to filter out all of the air entering it, allowing the sample to be put in as clean of an environment as possible. The experts at topairsystems.com recommend this whenever you are working with any DNA samples. If you do not have a laminar flow cabinet, you are greatly limiting the amount of work that you can do while also greatly affecting the results of your work.
A Fume Hood
The next thing you are going to want to look at when working in a forensic lab is a fume hood or a fume cupboard. If you are ever doing any chemical analysis that is dealing with toxic or hazardous fumes, you will have to be working under one of these. The hood will quickly vacuum up all of the fumes and properly ventilate it out so no one is at risk.
A question many people have is how do fume hoods differ from a laminar flow cabinet? While both have a similar concept, what they do is quite different. The goal of a laminar flow cabinet is to ensure that the sample inside of it stays completely sterile. A fume hood on the other hand works to ensure that everything outside of the cupboard stays safe from what is happening inside. Depending on what you are doing in the forensic lab, you will have to use one or the other so ensure that you have both on hand for when you need it.
A microscope is almost mandatory in a forensic lab. While there will be equipment that can analyze smaller substances for you, there will be times when you want to get in close for yourself. Having one or two will allow you to carefully observe what you need to and verify if the analysis provided by the equipment you own is in fact correct.
You will need a piece of equipment that will be able to take a look at the DNA you are inputting into it, analyze it, and then connect it to a database to verify whose it is. DNA identification is a huge revelation in forensic sciences and is one of the reasons why forensic labs have become mandatory. These DNA identification machines can help cross-reference alibis and help determine who was at the scene.
You will also need a machine that can analyze a substance to see whether or not it is a drug or harmful chemical. This can be useful if a substance is found on a person at the scene of a crime. This can give insight into what caused an issue or help provide context for the scene itself.
Body Fluid Evaluator
Finally, you will want to have equipment that can analyze the body fluid of a person to help determine what was going on at the moment. These machines will tell you if there were any drugs or alcohol present in the person at the time. Just like compound analysis, being able to determine what was present in a person’s body can help determine motive and reasoning. It is important for any forensic lab to have.
These are all important pieces of equipment that are recommended by the pros for your forensic lab. If you are just starting out, determine which ones you must have at the beginning as some of these can be quite expensive. With enough time and work, you will soon have a fully operational lab with all the equipment you need. What do you think you need for your forensic lab?