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Research & Education

01 Forensic DNA

The Forensic DNA Division of NFS is a leading DNA profiling organization in South Korea, which has been trusted internationally, and has played a role in providing definite clues to various incidents and accidents including identity confirmation. Additionally, it carries out research in various fields with the introduction of the latest forensic scientific techniques in line with the status of the world's best DNA profiling organization.

Research Details

  • Development and research on DNA analysis method using next generation sequencing (NGS)
  • Research on species identification and object identification of organisms (animals, plants, microorganisms)
  • Development of optimal analysis technique for various genotypes (sex chromosomes, mitochondrial DNA, Y chromosome, etc.)
  • Analysis research on DNA information for investigation support (hair color, pupil color, skin color, biogeographic origin estimation, DNA montage, age estimation, human body secretion identification, etc.) and review of forensic scientific efficacy of high-tech analysis devices such as NGS, etc.

Major Project

A study on DNA analysis for long-term storage samples

  • A study on the optimal analysis and storage methods for long-term storage samples for settlement of unsolved violent cases
  • Establishment of 'Korean long-term storage sample analysis and storage system’ by applying the cases of developed countries such as Innocence Project in Korea
  • Establishment of microhaplotype analysis system based on next-generation sequencing method and evaluation of forensic genetic usefulness

Establishment of NGS (Next-Generation Sequencing) platform for analysis of human mitochondria and mutation sites and for forensic biological applications

  • Establishment of a rapid analysis system for major accidents by building a simultaneous analysis method for mtDNA and mutation sites (HV1, HV2) in large samples based on Next Generation Sequencing (NGS)
  • Construction of forensic biological genotyping method for non-human samples (animals, plants, microorganisms) [Example]
    • -A study on the analysis of microbial colonies in soil using NGS and its forensic scientific applications
    • -A study on the identification of hybrid fish (Ingbungeo vs. Hyangbungeo, which are carp hybrids) by gene sequencing
    • -Development of a discrimination technique between foreign rays and domestic thornback rays

Establishment of DNA database for missing persons and identification system

  • Preparation for establishment and operation of a national DNA database for missing persons
  • Excavation of various DNA information which can contribute to the identity verification of unidentified persons and investigation of unsolved cases and forensic scientific applications
  • SMART SNP-TS panel production and forensic scientific applications

Research Achievement

  • Development of a female-specific bloodstain identification technique using Aptasensor
  • Review on the efficacy of new STR and Y-STR assay kits and Korean population genetics study
  • Multi-center efficacy assessment for human body fluid identification using epigenetic markers
  • A case study of body fluid identification in sex offenses using DNA methylation analysis
  • An Observational study for Korean 17 Y-STR haplotype atypical alleles
  • A Study on the analysis of sibling DNA using 15 Korean STR genotypes
  • Development of a rapid analysis method for ABO genotypes
  • Development of a discrimination technique between foreign rays and domestic thornback rays

Expected Effects

  • Systematization of forensic scientific analysis through development and introduction of the latest genotype analysis method
  • Improvement of the reliability of genetic analysis results by utilizing research achievements of various fields (people, animals, plants, microorganisms, etc.)
  • Contribution to the development of domestic forensic science industry by developing research results as commercial products
02 Forensic Toxicology

Due to changes in the domestic and international social environment and the development of the Internet, types of toxic substances, substances of abuse and foods are becoming diverse, and the need for safety management is gradually increasing. In order to efficiently cope with constantly changing analysis demands, not only reliable analysis techniques should be developed, but new technologies should also be applied to existing analysis techniques to make them more sophisticated. For this purpose, the Forensic Toxicology Division is carrying out various research projects.

Research Details

  • A study on advancement of poisonous drug analysis techniques
  • Development of narcotics analysis techniques and DB construction project
  • Development of food analysis techniques and DB construction project

Major Project

Advancement of poisonous drug analysis techniques

  • Development of hypertension-inducing drug analysis technique in psychiatric drugs and biological samples related to military service exemption.
  • Joint research with hospital emergency medical team to develop a response model for poisoning of emergency patients.
  • Domestic status analysis for mushroom poisons and natural poisons and development of analysis techniques

Development of narcotics analysis techniques and DB construction project

  • Development of analysis techniques for new/variant narcotics, which are recently increasing, and research on metabolic pathway.
  • Establishment of a DB system for tracing trafficking pathways based on the narcotics profiling technique and monitoring the trend of narcotics distributed in South Korea.
  • Morphological classification and chemical composition profiling to establish faster and more reliable identification criteria for narcotic plant species.

Development of food analysis techniques and DB construction project

  • A study on the identification of forged sea salt by comparison of components of domestic and Chinese sea salts.
  • Development of an analysis method to identify the place of origin for domestically produced agricultural products.
  • Completion of the origin map for domestic agricultural, livestock and marine products through the advancement of the DB system linking the information of materials to be requested for analysis with a statistics program.

Research Achievement

  • More than 20 articles were submitted to SCI and KSCI journals over the past five years, and achievements also include numerous academic presentations and patent applications.
  • Research achievements have been presented in domestic and international media, and many SCI papers have been chosen as the Selected References by the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).
  • Maximization of the utilization of research achievements by sharing the information with investigators and related researchers by summarizing the research outcomes in various types of documents.

Expected Effect

  • Contribution to the realization of a safe society by utilizing the poisonous drug analysis technique not only for analysis of biological samples but also for the treatment of emergency poisoning patients, doping test for government officials. etc.
  • By contributing to the suppression of drug abuse through advanced analysis techniques and DB construction, it is possible to save huge socio-economic costs caused by the abuse of drugs.
  • Contribution to food safety and protection of property rights of people by establishing a discrimination test method for the origin of domestic agricultural, livestock and fishery products
03 Forensic Chemistry

The Forensic Chemistry Division conducts tasks to provide important clues for the identification of the cause of an incident or the cause of death by reviewing the results analyzed with the latest precise instruments from various aspects, and at the same time, performs research to construct a database for establishment of new precise analysis methods to analyze on-site evidence rapidly and accurately and interpretation of results.

Research Details

  • Standardization of alcohol kinetics for Korean drinkers
  • Tracking of the source of pollution and personal identification using stable isotopes
  • A study on the implementation of field analysis system using portable devices
  • A study on the analysis method for micro-evidence using nondestructive analysis

Major Project

Standardization of alcohol kinetics for Korean drinkers

  • Research on kinetics of alcohol metabolism in Koreans with regard to drinking
  • Estimation of drinking timing by tracking changes in alcohol and metabolite concentrations after drinking

Tracking of the source of pollution and personal identification using stable isotopes

  • Stable isotopes are used, which do not undergo radioactive decay and have a different mass number
  • Stable isotopes are used to determine the coidentity of industrial products, agricultural and livestock products, environmental substances, etc. and to trace the origin

A study on the implementation of field analysis system using portable devices

  • The necessity for a rapid response system has emerged as safety accidents and chemical accidents frequently occur
  • Establishment of a mobile lab analysis system using various mobile devices

A study on the analysis method for micro-evidence using nondestructive analysis

  • Utilization of various nondestructive analysis methods for efficient analysis of trace samples
  • Exploration of optimal micro-trace displaying materials and development of chemical enhancement method for improving personal identification capability

Research Achievement

  • Development of europium (III) fluorescent complex for collection of micro-traces
  • Application to the analysis of major cases
    • -The stable isotope analysis method was used to examine the manufacturer in the Cheongsong pesticide soju case
    • -Provision of the result by on-site analysis of the causative substance of the Yangsan plant explosion accident

Expected Effect

  • Contribution to the resolution of legal disputes related to the blood alcohol level by application of the Korean standard alcohol metabolism rate formula
  • Implementation of rapid investigation through introduction of on-site analysis system and contribution to elimination of anxiety among citizens
  • Improvement of personal identification capability by enhancing the efficiency of displaying potential fingerprints and extracting DNA samples without destroying the fingerprint
04 Forensic Safety

With the advancement of industrial technology, related facilities are becoming larger and larger and safety accidents are also becoming larger, threatening the lives and property of people. Crime cases are becoming more diverse and advanced, which requires advancement of analysis techniques.
Accordingly, the Forensic Safety Division performs research and development for safety accidents, fire investigations, firearms, explosives, tool marks, footprints, fingerprints, and bloodstain patterns.

Research Details

  • A study on morphological traces to improve the interpretation of physical evidence of criminal cases
  • Development of collapse accident interpretation model
  • Development of visualization material to reproduce safety accidents
  • Power evaluation and DB construction for homemade firearms using gunpowder

Major Project

Determination of coidentity of morphological evidence

  • Trace evidence (tool marks, footprints, fingerprints, bloodstain patterns, etc.) is important for examining the suspected tool and enables to solve cases through analysis for coidentity if the suspected object is presented.
  • Research is in progress for improvement of statistical techniques and reliability for coidentity of tool marks, footprints, and fingerprints as well as presumption of perpetrators based on the principles of generation of tool marks and bloodstain patterns

Research on collapse interpretation techniques by external force source (explosion, impact, etc.)

  • Recently, the investigation of collapse accidents necessitated not only the analysis on collapse phenomenon by breakage but also identification of design and construction defects, so that the demand for visual reproduction of the collapse process is increasing.
  • Establishment of a collapse interpretation model when there is an external force inside a building by applying the interpretation model* research method using AEM that has been developed.
    • -It was introduced for the first time in the world for the collapse accident at the Jongno 3-ga Hotel demolition site (January, 2017)

Power evaluation and DB construction for handmade firearms using gunpowder

  • Due to the Opaesan mountain shooting case in January, 2016, in which a police officer was killed in the pursuit of his duties, the need to establish a standard for evaluating the power of homemade guns objectively has emerged.
  • The standard to quantify the power according to the production material, size of bullet, type and amount of gunpowder used of a homemade gun has been prepared, and the database for the power according to the shape and type of the homemade gun has been established.
    • -Proofing-fire of a homemade gun using stainless steel pipe and firecracker powder and measurement of penetration power into the gelatin block

Research Achievement

  • Establishment of more reliable judgment methods for tool marks, footprints, fingerprints, and bloodstain patterns
  • Application of collapse interpretation technique to the examination of the Jongno collapse accident and the Yeoksam-dong collapse accident
  • Development of a manual that can objectively evaluate the power of homemade guns using firecracker powder in the market and construction of a DB for the power of homemade guns

Expected Effect

  • Contribution to the settlement of criminal cases by reconfiguring a site through tool marks, footprints, fingerprints, and bloodstain patterns and presumption of a perpetrator, and provision of forensic scientific judgment criteria for coidentity in the court
  • Systematization of analysis services for scientific investigation to identify the cause of safety accidents and provision of prevention plans for accidents
  • Contribution to the development of counter-terrorism tactics through sharing of homemade gun accident data with domestic counter-terrorism organizations
05 Digital Forensics

Digital forensics is a field to conduct research on digital data stored in various forms and information that can directly or indirectly confirm biometric information such as facial features, gait, voice, handwriting., etc.
It also performs research on forgery detection for various types of records, cultural assets, artworks, and data stored as digital information, including outputs and printed materials, and research on analysis techniques using artificial intelligence.

Research Details

  • ICT convergence digital forensic research
  • A study on the methods of collecting various data on the forgery of documents, cultural assets, and artworks and quantitatively and objectively deriving analysis results
  • A study on the development of feature analysis technology of suspect in 3D-based video
  • A study on the optimization method for verification of forensic identification with voice
  • A study on digital picture forgery reading method and system development

Major Project

ICT convergence digital forensic research

  • A study on securement of the integrity of digital evidence
  • Advanced facial recognition research
  • A study on objectively reliable forgery detection technique in response to advancement of forgery and modulation methods for digital data

A study on establishment of various data collection and analysis methods for appraisal of forgery

  • A study to derive quantitative analysis using quantified data on appraisal of forgery

Development of feature analysis technology of suspect in 3D-based video

  • Data acquisition and analysis for feature analysis of suspect in video
  • Development of feature measurement methods of suspect in video
  • Correlation analysis between gait and the wear of the bottom of shoes

A study on the optimization method for verification of forensic identification with voice

  • Development of automatic recognition engine using voice data reported as voice phishing
  • Performance testing for the automated recognizer based on channel and noise environments
  • Derivation of optimal parameters for forensic scientific voice analysis

Photo forgery reading techniques and system development

  • Learning and implementation of digital image forgery techniques
  • Implementation of a proficiency test for examiners
  • Identification of the status of related accidents and analysis status of domestic and international forensic scientific organizations

Research Achievement

  • Implementation of digital evidence accreditation service (2017.02.24.)
  • “Use of atomic force microscopy in the forensic application of chronological order of toners and stamping inks in questioned documents,” Forensic Science International, 261, 26-32 (2016)
  • KTV National Broadcasting on Air Korea, 'Find the clue from swaggering gait on CCTV!' Press release도
  • On July 2016, Financial Supervisory Service Workshop on the analysis of voice phishing data
  • Provision of the result of “Just this voice” in the voice phishing guard webpage (http://phishing-keeper.fss.or.kr/)

Expected Effect

  • Ensuring the reliability of investigative agencies by securing the integrity of digital evidence
  • Preparation of objective framework of document appraisal and improved appraisal methods by establishing objective judgment criteria
  • Strengthening of the forensic evidence capacity and improvement of the criminal arrest rate, and reduced crime rate
  • Expansion of the scope of personal identification
  • Appraisal for mass voice data
06 Traffic Accident Analysis

In order to clarify the causes of traffic accidents for national safety and traffic safety advancement, the traffic accident analysis division has been performing research to establish analysis techniques for the identification of the cause of death by analysis and interpretation of the data recorded at the time of a traffic accident of the vehicle with DTG and EDR installed in accordance with the mandatory installation of Digital Tacho Graph in Article 55 of the Traffic Safety Act and mandatory disclosure of information recorded in EDR (Event Data Recorder) in Article 30 (2) of the Enforcement Rule of Automobile Management Act.

Research Details

  • Analysis and research on input data recorded in an accident recorder (DTG, EDR, etc.) (speed, engine speed, steering wheel angle, brake pedal operation, accelerator pedal displacement amount, engine throttle opening amount, etc.)
  • Data analysis and research on an accident recorder in actual vehicle-to-wall and vehicle-to-vehicle collision experiments
  • Development of an integrated analysis program that can extract data from various accident recording devices

Major Project

Establishment of data interpretation method by multiple collision of vehicles equipped with accident recording devices

  • Establishment of multiple collision accident analysis method by comparing and analyzing driving and collision information obtained by an accident recorder and measuring equipment through multiple collision experiments

Research Achievement

  • Establishment of examination techniques by analyzing and researching EDR record information through experiments with actual cars for the first time in South Korea
  • Development of DTG data analysis and accident interpretation program through experiments with actual cars for the first time in South Korea

Expected Effect

  • Accurate analysis for the causes of traffic accidents
  • Leading role for scientific investigation through the establishment of new examination techniques
07 Psychological Forensic

Psychological forensic refers to performing examinations to provide assistance for solving cases by determining the authenticity of the statements of people involved in an incident with regard to the investigation, analyzing psychological characteristics and enhancing the memories of victims and witnesses. The psychological forensic division carries out research on development of analysis techniques and equipment to increase the accuracy of psychological forensic analysis.

Research Details

  • Development of psychological forensic analysis equipment
  • Development of a psychological forensic assessment tool
  • Development of memory enhancement and memory accuracy evaluation technique

Major Project

Development of psychological forensic analysis equipment

  • Development of Korean psychophysiology test equipment used for the analysis of the authenticity of statements
  • Development of a hidden information test program using visual stimulation
  • Development of Korean penile change measurement system for objective discrimination of pedophilia

Development of psychological forensic assessment tool

  • Development of a crime risk assessment scale (Sexual Crime Recidivism Risk Scale: RSVP, Violence Risk Assessment Scale: HCR-20)
  • Development of psychological autopsy protocol to discriminate between suicide/homicide and death by accident and infer the cause of suicide

Development of memory enhancement and memory accuracy evaluation technique

  • Enhancement of memory of victims and witnesses using psychological forensic techniques in which forensic hypnosis and cognitive neuroscience are combined
  • Development of memory accuracy evaluation method using ERP appearing in the psychological forensic analysis process and near-infrared spectroscopy
  • Development of montage creation method using eye-tracker
  • Development of a recognition detection method for information related to a crime using fMRI

Research Achievement

  • 6 patents related to the development of Korean psychological forensic assessment devices
  • Development of Korean version of violence risk assessment and sexual offense recidivism assessment manual

Expected Effect

  • It is expected that development of the Korean penile change measurement device and psychophysiological examination equipment suitable for domestic situations will enable to make more accurate diagnosis and evaluation.
  • It is expected that development of the integrated protocol for assessing memory enhancement and memory accuracy of victims and witnesses will be helpful for rapidly solving incidents.
08 Forensic Medicine

With the advancement of industrial technology, advanced medical devices such as PMCT (Postmortem Computed Tomography) have been applied to autopsies and have provided a great help to diagnose the cause of death. As it is necessary to develop technologies that can apply rapidly developing radiology, molecular biology, etc. to diagnosis the cause of death, interpret level of damage, and confirm identity, the research to apply various fusion techniques to the identification of the cause of death and interpretation techniques for human injury is in progress.

Research Details

  • Development of forensic medical analysis techniques using PMCT (Postmortem Computed Tomography)
  • A study on facial restoration by 3D skull analysis
  • A study on qualitative improvement of the identification of the cause of death by standardization of field postmortem examination tasks

Major Project

Facial morphological analysis through 3D skull and skin PMCT image

  • Based on the results of a previous study, examinations for face-type restoration were performed in NFS (Oct. 2016), and therefore research on the facial morpheme estimation method to improve the accuracy of facial reconstruction and the average facial skin thickness of Koreans is necessary.
  • Establishment of a Korean morphological face database reflecting the average facial skin thickness measurement and whether face shape deformation is caused by gravity and postmortem changes.

Research on the non-invasive age estimation method using occlusal tooth wear

  • The occlusal tooth wear (degree of dental caries) can be immediately checked visually without any special tools compared to existing DNA or dental biopsy
  • Construction of Korean tooth wear - age atlas by measuring occlusal tooth wear by autopsy case

Identification of the cause of death through analysis of various human derivatives

  • Establishment of test methods for related factors in intraocular fluid and blood for the identification of the cause of death due to chronic diseases such as diabetes

Research Achievement

  • Improvement of external credibility and provision of services for people by applying cutting-edge medical technologies such as 3D image restoration to autopsy
  • Establishment of common analysis system with various forensic fields using various 3D human body basic data
  • Application of new analysis techniques to the mass victim identification system (MIM: Mass ID Manager)

Expected Effect

  • Improvement of credibility of the identification of the cause of death by applying cutting-edge medical technologies to autopsy
  • Establishment of cutting-edge body analysis techniques by building a common analysis system with various forensic science fields in order to identify body injury mechanism upon death due to various accidents, etc.
  • Rapid identification of victims and shortening of the ID confirmation time for major disasters through the Mass ID Manager (MIM)