Research we did in spring 2012 is:
Honor Forensic Research: New discoveries in chemistry, biology and other scientific disciplines continue to bring innovative methods and technology into the ever-advancing field of forensic science. This project centers around a new approach to forensic analysis: analyzing the chemical composition of latent fingerprints, lip marks and forehead skin residues left at crime scenes. Analytical techniques of thin layer chromatography (TLC), UV/visible spectrophotometric analysis (UV/vis), high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), and gas chromatography-mass spectrometer (GC/MS) are used to identify the chemical components, to obtain quantitative information of several species of interest such as squalene, a major component of sebaceous secretion, in different samples. We are also interested in knowing the difference in chemical compositions from the skin secretions of smokers versus non-smokers. Having this information can potentially put researchers one step closer to narrowing down criminal suspects. Students learn to collaborate with different instruments in qualitative and quantitative analysis for a research project.