Forensic Examination Of Hair Samples Biology Lab Report Template


Forensics Lab
Name ________________________
Partner ______________________
Per ___ Due Date ______________
Forensic Examination of Hair Samples
I. Objectives
Hair is a common form of physical evidence that is associated with a variety of crimes. In this
laboratory activity, the structure of hair will be studied to determine whether or not the hair is
human or animal using various morphological characteristics as points of comparison.
II. Guide to the Identification of Hair Samples
Hair is not the best type of physical evidence for establishing identity. It is not possible to show
with any certainty that two hairs came from the same person or animal. This makes hair class
evidence. However, hair can be used to rule out certain suspects or scenarios. It can also be
used to corroborate (support) other physical evidence if it is consistent with the rest of the
evidence collected and observed at a crime scene.
There are several methods used to analyze hair samples. The simplest method of identification
is visual observation with the naked eye, which can indicate color, length, and amount of curl in
the hair. Hair samples can also be examined microscopically to reveal characteristics of its
physical structure. Hair is composed of three principal parts:
cuticle – outer coating composed of overlapping scales
medulla – central core, which may be absent
cortex – protein-rich structure surrounding the medulla; contains pigment
The structure of hair has been compared to that of a pencil with the medulla being the lead, the
cortex being the wood and the cuticle being the paint on the


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