Wednesday, 2 May 2012

09:06 – Thirty days and counting to the deadline on the forensics book. As always, we’ll make the deadline, but we’ll be using every minute available before then to get the book ready to roll.

I finished work on the glass and plastic analysis group of lab sessions yesterday, and I’m well into the group on revealing latent fingerprints. I am going to drop one of the lab sessions that covers developing latent prints with silver nitrate. When I wrote the original draft, silver nitrate was selling for $0.70 to $0.80 per gram. Right now, it’s more like $3.50 to $4.00 per gram, and who knows where it’ll be a year or two from now. Given the amount needed, that’s simply too expensive to include in a kit. It’d be one thing if it was really needed, but silver nitrate development of latent prints is similar enough to other development methods that it’s an easy decision to leave it out.

13:30 – I just ordered 100 grams of ninhydrin crystals for $70. That’s enough ninhydrin to make up 15 to 20 liters of working solution, which is probably a year’s supply for a typical forensics lab, and enough for 150 or more forensics kits.