Segments in this Video

The Science of Crime: Introduction (01:07)


The introduction orients the viewers to the upcoming video of the role nature plays in a crime.

Forensic Science (03:10)

A Disease Detective, Dr. Jennifer Gardy, gives a description of her job and Professor Gail Anderson, an Entomologist, explains the process of studying the bugs found on a crime scene. A pig carcass is examined as a study for human decomposition.

An Odd Clock (02:27)

The first insects found on the pig are identified as maggots and Professor Anderson collects them for further study. Experts can estimate the number of days a body has been decomposing based on the stage of development of the maggots.

VENUS Laboratory (02:00)

At the Victoria Experimental Network Under the Sea a unique underwater study is underway. By remote camera, experts can watch a carcass decompose in real time.

Forensic Botany (02:05)

Forensic Botanist Professor Gerard Courtin, explains how vegetation may reveal the amount of time a skull has been in that area.

Realistic Simulations (02:53)

Professor Gerard Courtin explains what he looks for when viewing a crime scene. Forensic botanists determine the place of a murder in different ways.

Microscopic Plant Evidence (03:06)

Forensic botanist Rolph Matthews collects soil samples around a grave site. He explains two broad components of forensic botany and demonstrates how easily pollen can transfer from a flower on to a person and how the type of flower is determined.

Applying Pollen Evidence to a Crime Scene (02:25)

Forensic botanist Rolph Matthews says plants around the body can get on the person who committed the murder and he details the process of matching pollen from a shoe to the pollen found on the crime scene.

Determining the Identity of Human Remains (02:05)

At Simon Fraser University's biological containment level 3 lab, workers are protected from toxins that may be introduced on cadavers.

Inventorying Unidentified Human Remains (02:05)

Professor Skinner describes how he determines the age, gender, and height by examining the bones of a person.

Identifying a Victim from Skeltal Remains (01:51)

Professor Lynne Bell's uses tooth enamel to determine where a person grew up. Isotopes in the water supply vary by region.

Chemicals in the Bones (01:23)

Professor Lynn Bell hopes to pinpoint a corpse's geographical information by identifying the pollutants in the person's teeth, bones, hair, and nails.

Cause of Death (03:11)

Professor Mark Skinner explains that burning a body actually preserves the bones and injury to the body before the burning is not necessarily hidden. Forensic toxicologist James Watterson discusses what information can be gleaned from a decomposed body when only bones are left.

Extracting Toxins from Bone Tissue (01:29)

Professor James Watterson details the study he is conducting regarding drugs and toxins found in bones and explains his desire to be able to determine if they played a key role in the death of the person.

DNA Evidence (02:56)

Professor Karen Kester has been working with unlikely detectives--insects. These creatures collect materials they come in contact with. The U.S. governement financed her work to see if insects could be used to find biothreats.

Bugs as DNA Collectors (04:14)

Professor Karen Kester demonstrates how an insect picks up dust, around 80% of which is composed of human skin. To extract useful DNA from dust, she returns to Professor Bonnie Brown, and expert in ecological genetics.

Unraveling the Results (01:53)

Professor Bonnie Brown was surprised by the outcome of the insect study. Professor Tracy Dawson Cruise attempts to separate the many DNA samples collected by the insects.

Insect Detectives (02:39)

Professor Tracy Dawson Cruise explains that the insect study may prove beneficial forensic investigators. Although individuals have not been identified with the DNA found on bugs, it may happen in the near future.

The Science of Crime: Credits (01:28)

The Science of Crime: Credits

For additional digital leasing and purchase options contact a media consultant at 800-257-5126
(press option 3) or

Bugs, Bones, and Botany: The Science of Crime

DVD (Chaptered) Price: $169.95
DVD + 3-Year Streaming Price: $254.93
3-Year Streaming Price: $169.95



In an empty warehouse, a dispute between two shady characters leads to murder. The only witnesses: a half-dozen houseflies, a few blades of grass tracked in from outside, and a nearly invisible coating of dust. With the expertise of Dr. Jennifer Gardy, a molecular epidemiologist at British Columbia’s Centre for Disease Control, this program sifts through the science, sleuthing, and strangeness that make up the world of forensic investigation. Dr. Gardy shows how the latest technologies can partner with nature’s own detection devices to help law enforcement track down the truth. But the film also emphasizes another secret of crime solving that must be implemented alongside high-tech laboratory work: careful, patient observation. (45 minutes)

Length: 45 minutes

Item#: BVL47973

ISBN: 978-1-62102-660-0

Copyright date: ©2010

Closed Captioned

Performance Rights

Prices include public performance rights.

Not available to Home Video and Publisher customers.

Only available in USA.