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Experiment 10. Sample Preparation for Microscopic Examination

Microscopic-size items of trace evidence in the form of hairs, synthetic fibers, natural fibers, and small particles are frequently encountered in forensic investigations. These types of minuscule items of trace evidence are easily transferred during the commission of a crime. Thus these items are frequently used to associate the people, places, and things involved in crimes. Most, if not all, of these specimens must be examined with a light microscope. However, prior to examination with the light microscope, these specimens must be properly prepared. The following exercise is designed to teach the novice forensic scientist several of the methods used in the preparation of microscope specimens prior to microscopic examination.