Monday, April 21, 2008

The Secret of CSI: Miami’s Lab

CSI: Miami Cast CSI:Miami draws its viewers to the edge of their seats by spinning out scenarios which catch a criminal and all involved during a day’s work. But how do they do it week after week?

First - you start with a crime lab that would make most real-life crime scene investigators green with envy. The lab boasts modern day tools like mass spectrometry and DNA analysis. The equipment portrayed on the series is very real, but at a cost prohibitive price for most crime labs’ budgets.

Add to the superior equipment, the almost super hero ability to complete tests before the end of day and sometimes within hours. One of these super technicians is Eva LaRue, who plays DNA expert Natalia Boa Vista on the show. She can even extract a single drop of perspiration from a leaf and tell you who was at the crime scene.

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The reality is lab tests are not completed instantaneously. Once a sample is submitted, it could take weeks for the results to be returned. It is for this reason, screening tests are helpful. These are generally less expensive than outsourcing to an analytical lab and less time consuming.

One industry looking for more efficient screening methods is the pharmaceutical industry. Guarding itself against counterfeits and adulterated medicine is an ever increasing task. They use a variety of security measures currently, but most are focused on the packaging rather than the material itself; such as holograms or special inks.

A viable material screening solution is the XT250 System, which can identify the crystalline structure of a substance by matching it against its standard. By rapidly testing products such as pharmaceuticals in their sealed packages, wholesalers can quickly determine what “passes” and what “fails” industry standards.

CSI: Miami may have the best equipment on T.V., but in real life, the XT250 System is as close as we get to rapid drug authentication.

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