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Royal Canadian Mounted Police to Use Bio-Rad’s KnowItAll® Spectroscopy Software for Analysis of Automobile Crime Scene Samples

Published: Sunday, March 30, 2014
Last Updated: Sunday, March 30, 2014
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Using the KnowItAll software to search multiple automobile paint layers found at a crime scene against the PDQ database, forensic scientists can determine the make, model, year, and manufacturing origin of the samples.

Bio-Rad Laboratories, Inc. has announced that the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) will standardize access to its Paint Data Query (PDQ) database using Bio-Rad’s KnowItAll® spectroscopy software for analysis of automobile paint samples acquired at crime scenes.

The Paint Data Query (PDQ) is the world’s largest international automotive paint database with nearly 20,000 samples of paint systems, representing over 74,000 individual paint layers used on most domestic and foreign vehicles sold in North America and Australasia.

Using the KnowItAll software to search multiple automobile paint layers found at a crime scene against the PDQ database, forensic scientists can determine the make, model, year, and manufacturing origin of the samples by matching 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.

“Bio-Rad is proud to assist with the RCMP in helping forensic scientists worldwide identify unknown automobile paint samples by combining the power of Bio-Rad’s KnowItAll software with the unrivaled scope and quality of the RCMP’s PDQ database,” said Gregory M. Banik, Ph.D., Bio-Rad General Manager, Informatics.

About Infrared (IR) Spectral Analysis
First, an infrared spectrometer measures a substance and produce a spectrum, which is expressed as a graph showing a series of peaks and valleys that is specific to the sample compound. Software then compares a spectrum with a reference database of the measured spectra of known substances. If a matching spectrum is found, the material in question can be identified.

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