Fact or fiction?
If you have been watching TV for the past two decades, then you are probably familiar with Detective Olivia Benson, FBI Agent Fox Mulder, or one of the many other fictional crime fighters we all grew up with.
And if you love this genre, then you have probably heard these crime fighters utter some version of this phrase: “Send it to the lab!”
But it’s rare that you get insight into what happens between that moment and when the results are delivered. I mean, what actually happens in the lab?
That’s where Thermo Fisher Scientific laboratory kits turn crime fiction into justice facts.
As the world leader in serving science, Thermo Fisher has played an instrumental role in driving innovation forward in the field of forensics and countless other scientific areas. Its employees are part of ground-breaking research and development and help solve real-world challenges.
Without them, the bad guys would get away with their crimes much more frequently. And it goes the other way, too. High-tech forensics tools have vindicated many wrongfully-convicted men and women.
Fictional forensic science has come a long way since the time of Sherlock Holmes. Crime shows now feature brightly-lit, space-age labs with holographic, touch screen displays and computers that seemingly run every test in the book.
And while the budget for the average police department probably isn’t that high, these depictions of forensic science’s new capabilities are not entirely inaccurate.
It turns out the real world has made quite a few strides as well.
Where TV Meets Reality
Nowadays, it’s about way more than just fingerprints.
Modern crime labs boast the ability to match miniscule samples of DNA with potential suspects. They can isolate single drugs and poisonous chemicals from among thousands of possibilities, find nearly invisible evidence at a scene, and even identify expertly forged documents or counterfeits.
Take Thermo Fisher Senior Staff Scientist Julio. He has seen his work with Thermo Fisher’s forensic products secure justice for people on both sides of the courtroom.
“I’ve had the chance to meet the people our technology has helped on both sides of that spectrum—victims’ families who have been given a measure of justice through an accurate conviction, and wrongfully imprisoned individuals who have been set free thanks to advancements in DNA testing. Our work has real impact, and I’ve seen the results with my own eyes,” he says. (You can learn more about Julio’s story here.)
Solving Crimes And Beyond
It’s not just detectives and prosecutors who rely on forensic technology.
So many elements of our world depend on the hard facts provided by forensic technology. Sports officials might be using drug testing or identification equipment to determine the future (or revise the history) of an athlete or a game. High-price art auctions might need verification of ownership and authenticity documents.
That means this technology can answer a ton of questions that were once a mystery. Did that world-class athlete really use illegal performance-enhancing drugs? Was that painting really bought in Paris in 1945, or was it stolen by the Nazis? Is there a map printed on the back of the Declaration of Independence?
While the answer to that last one is (probably) a definite “no,” people like Julio at Thermo Fisher work to advance a science with nearly endless capacity for improving the world.
Want to join Julio in the work he is doing in forensics research? You can. Learn more about Thermo Fisher and apply for open jobs and internships here. Who knows? You could be the next true crime hero.