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Forensic science is the marriage of natural science principles and the law. In this union, forensic professionals use their scientific backgrounds to help law enforcement personnel solve crimes.
Forensic science contributes to solving crimes through investigative activities like determining the cause of death, identifying suspects, finding missing persons and profiling criminals.
Determining Cause of Death
Forensic pathologists determine someone's cause of death by performing autopsies. During these procedures, they examine fluids and tissues from a body to find out the cause of death and the manner of death (for example, natural causes or homicide).
Forensic scientists can identify suspects by analyzing evidence found at the scene of a crime---such as fibers, hairs, blood and fingerprints. These methods are also used to exonerate the innocent.
Finding Missing Persons
Forensic artists can help find people who have been missing for long periods of time through the process of image modification. In this technique, a photograph is aged to illustrate what someone may look like years after last being seen. This is also a tool that is used to find criminals who have eluded justice.
Forensic psychologists use profiling to help find suspects. By analyzing a crime scene, they are able to determine a criminal's patterns and personality in an effort to narrow the suspect pool.