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Experts in forensic medicine are in short supply in Brazil — a legacy of the police state that prevailed from 1964 to 1985. Under military rule, forensic labs were directly controlled by police chiefs, and independent work in the field was almost impossible.

But the discipline is now starting to bounce back. In this article, David Adam reports from a new centre for forensic medicine in Brazil that is giving a new lease of life to forensic science.

Located on the fringes of the University of São Paulo's campus, the institute allows forensic pathologists to work relatively independently and in partnership with university researchers. But some politicians are still suspicious of the idea of setting forensic experts free from police control.

Link to Nature article

Source: Nature 423, 13 (2003)

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