Use of forensic methods under exigent circumstances without full validation

Steven E. Schutzer, Paul Keim, Ken Czerwinski, Bruce Budowle

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debatepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Forensic science can be instrumental in providing investigative leads or clues to help identify the perpetrators, and those who are innocent, of a chemical, biological, radiological, or nuclear terrorist attack, as well as identify leads during infectious outbreaks or other public health threats. Because of a need to react quickly in exigent circumstances during which the threat of continued attack persists, methods may be used that are not fully validated. A preliminary validation should be performed to evaluate the acquisition of limited test data to ensure that the interpretation of results remains within the limitations of known performance of the method. If results from a preliminarily validated method are used beyond developing an investigative lead, further validation should be considered to support its reliability for adjudication purposes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number8cm7
JournalScience Translational Medicine
Issue number8
StatePublished - Nov 25 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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