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Murder Mystery Writers: How Metal Evaluation Software Functions In A Forensics Lab

If you are looking to write a murder mystery, and you are conducting research on methods of poisoning and death, you may be very interested in learning how forensics and pathology labs figure out what killed the deceased. Besides the various instruments that the forensics technicians use, they have the help of some metal evaluation software. While this type of software can be used for geological, geotechnical and even industrial/ metalworks applications, it has a very unique purpose in forensic pathology. If you intend to make your murder mystery as realistic as possible, here is how metal evaluation software functions in a forensics lab, should you need to include such information in your novel.

Samples of Blood Are Taken and Tested

When a possible murder victim enters a morgue, the pathologist takes samples of the victim’s blood. Different chemical agents are added to smaller samples to detect toxic metals. These samples are then run through a special scanner to confirm the presence of toxic metals, such as mercury or lead. The data taken from the scans is processed through the software, where measurable traces of metals are entered on a graph screen and recorded.

Interpreting the Scans and Graph Screen Data

The scans of the victim’s blood produce the data that appears on the graph screen in the software program. Spikes in the data suggest that there are higher concentrations of these metals in the blood, which may be indicative of metal poisoning. However, there are also data sheets that log the amount of metals in the environment in a given area where people live. In order to determine if a particular metal was indeed a toxic substance used to murder someone, the forensic pathologist has to rule out the possibility that the victim lived in these areas where these metals are naturally or artificially found at high levels. If the deceased never lived in these areas, and if the spikes on the graph screen are significantly high, then the pathologist may actually be able to rule the death as a murder based on the levels of these metals in the person’s blood.

The “Tox” Screen

The “tox” screen that you often hear about in crime dramas refers to a toxic screening for organic, alcoholic and drug toxins in the blood. This differs significantly from the software program used to test for and evaluate metals in the blood. Usually, a pathologist will not look for metal toxins in the blood unless there is some suspicious illness that indicates that type of poisoning and a high probability that the illness led to the victim’s death. This is important to know when you are writing your murder mystery so that you do not confuse the two types of software or the two types of testing and so your book sounds more authoritative and accurate. Contact a business, such as CTOME – Software & Consulting Inc., for more information.