Biologists seek underwater perps

deadcoral_091004

When death strikes a coral reef, whether from an oil spill off Mexico or sediment unleashed by a dam bursting in Hawaii, marine biologists at the scene know what to look for, but not how to report and preserve their findings so they will hold up in court.

Not for long.

Biologists and criminalists are joining forces to develop specific crime scene investigation techniques that work under water, where almost nothing that is standard procedure on land works.

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