When I was nineteen, I spent the entire summer working for the state bureau of investigation as a biology intern in the forensic lab.  For the first few weeks, this translated into being the donut girl for the agents at least once a week, observing polygraphs, helping with filing, helping with the chemistry intern with her GHB verification assignment*, observing the scientists when they went to court, and reading tons of forensic science texts.  I know more about Gacy & Dahmer’s victims than you’d ever care to know.

In July, I got my own project.  Very exciting.  My very own project.  I was thrilled.  What was it?  Detection of acid phosphatase in seminal fluid.   I spent the rest of the summer running little cassette tests with all sorts of fluids (seminal fluid with and without sperm from a variety of sources, including my coworkers – ew, blood, sweat, tears, vaginal fluids, all sorts of things.)  It turned out to work entirely as described (+ in any semen, whether sperm are there or not, and negative on everything else.)  And I looked at enough slides of sperm that I had no trouble with finding them on wet mounts in PA school.

The coworkers part was undeniably gross, but not as gross as helping the director of the lab replicate a sneeze blood spatter pattern by shooting blood (his own) mixed with pepper up his nose.

*Any new test has to be verified, to show that it works the way it’s supposed to.  She was using GC/MS to detect GHB, which was a new thing then.  It worked, and I’m sure has been used ever since by our crime labs.

Explore posts in the same categories: 30X30

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: