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samples from crime scenes.

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) operates the International Forensic Automotive Paint Data Query (PDQ) database. This is a searchable database of chemical and colour information about automotive paints. Developed by Forensic Laboratory Services of the RCMP, the database represents 30 years of accumulated information provided by automotive companies and samples of vehicles submitted by other forensic laboratories or police. The PDQ contains information about the make, model, year, and assembly plant for many vehicles.

The PDQ is used to assist with criminal investigations

requiring vehicle identification.The PDQ contains information on more than 13,000 vehicles, with a library of more than 50,000 layers of paint. An automotive paint job usually consists of four layers. These known paint samples are then available for comparison against samples taken from a

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Spectroscopy software fights vehicle crime

ar crimes will become easier to solve as the world’s largest database of automotive paints standardises on Bio-Rad’s KnowItAll spectroscopy software for analysis of

crime scene or from suspect vehicles. The PDQ team samples each paint layer with scalpels and microscopes to determine the spectra and chemical composition of the paint chips. Once unknown vehicles are matched in the database, police can use the possible make, model and year information to search for the vehicle involved in the criminal activity.

Now access to the PDQ will be standardised using

Bio-Rad’s KnowItAll spectroscopy software which will match the infrared spectra of the distinct layers in the paint sample with the reference spectra in the PDQ database. This infrared spectral analysis can provide forensic scientists with the corroboration necessary to support their hypotheses in the courtroom. First, an infrared spectrometer measures the sample

to produce a spectrum that is expressed as a graph showing a series of peaks and valleys specific to the compound in the sample. The software then compares the spectrum with the

reference database of measured spectra of known substances. If a matching spectrum is found, the material in question can be identified.

New products

Accelrys Notebook 5.0 Accelrys, a provider of scientific innovation lifecycle management solutions, has announced the release of Accelrys Notebook 5.0, a flexible, multi-discipline electronic laboratory notebook (ELN) with new capabilities for customising work environments and connecting to existing laboratory software without complex integration and advanced programming support.

Accelrys Notebook 5.0 is an easy- to-use ELN that deploys out of the box on premises or in the cloud. Designed to enhance the way

researchers capture, share, and reuse experimental information, the l

software eases the transition to a digital lab environment.

Aimed at meeting meeting the

requirements of laboratories needing to manage an increasing amount of data with low total-cost-of-ownership, Accelrys Notebook 5.0 is easy to configure – organisations can easily configure Accelrys Notebook to support their workflows, applications and environment without enlisting additional services support. Researchers with little or no software experience can create, test and publish scientific protocols that make it easier to access, analyse and report data.


Thermo Fisher Scientific has launched an all-inclusive informatics solution that gives customers complete control over their methods and standard operating procedures (SOPs) without having to purchase, integrate, and validate software from multiple vendors.

The new Thermo Scientific Lab Execution System (LES) is web- based, built on, and fully integrated with the Thermo Scientific enterprise- level lab information management system (LIMS), allowing the LES to be accessed from the LIMS or from

any web browser.

Combined with the instrument integration capabilities of Thermo Scientific Integration Manager, and the raw data storage and retrieval capabilities of the company’s SDMS (Data Manager), the new LES expands Thermo Fisher Scientific’s informatics platform.

The LES enables lab managers and scientists across all industries to achieve full instrument integration, including managing their own methods and workflow.

APRIL/MAY 2014 13


Scientists at the Institution of Plant Protection Biology within the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences have been researching how to reduce the dependence on chemical fungicides in farming, assisted by Qlucore Omics Explorer.

The scientists used Qlucore Omics Explorer to aid their research which focused on understanding plant defence mechanisms and so produce plants that are more resistant to disease, which will lessen pesticide use, and ultimately benefit the environment. The research is focused on how plants defend themselves against oomycetes and fungi. Oomycetes, also known as ‘water moulds’, are a group of several hundred organisms that include some of the most devastating plant pathogens. The scientists have been studying biochemical components of plant defense and the interactions with pathogens and trying to identify resistance factors that can be used in future breeding for disease-resistance crops.

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Lab Execution System

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