Forensic Terms


The diameter of the bore of a rifled firearm, usually expressed in hundredths of an inch.

Bullet Track

The path of a bullet or projectile as it passes through matter, such as a body or a wall.


The scientific study of plants. Plant matter found at crime scenes is organic material and, like bodily fluids, has unique DNA sequences.

Bloodstain Interpretation

The interpretation of size, shape, orientation, and distribution of bloodstains on various surfaces, and what information can be derived from the proper interpretation of the stains.

Blood Volume Test

A test designed to show the quantity of blood shed in a particular area. Also designed to show how much blood was shed to create a given stain or blood spatter pattern, and the amount of time needed to create that stain.

Blood Spatter

The impact of spilled blood on surfaces. The pattern of the impact can provide vital information about the source of the blood. Blood spatter can help determine the size and type of wounds, the direction and speed with which the perpetrator or victim was moving, and the type of weapons used to create the blood spill.


The science of the motion of projectiles. When a bullet is fired, it will have distinctive characteristics caused by the gun from which it is fired. Examiners can use this evidence to match bullets or bullet fragments to specific weapons.


Common term for “Autoradiograph,” the final product in a DNA analysis. Autorads, which look very much like bar-codes, are formed by the reaction of electricity with genetic material (DNA). This reaction is unique to each sample of genetic material, providing an invaluable tool for identification. The reaction takes place on a nylon membrane which is photographed against x-ray film.


The internal examination of a body after death; performed to confirm or determine the cause of death.


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Forensic Files® is a pioneer in the field of fact-based, high-tech, dramatic storytelling. This series of television programs delves into the world of forensic science, profiling intriguing crimes, accidents and outbreaks of disease from around the world. is the official source for information about the program — and the premier online destination for video and information on Forensic Science.

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