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Forensic Science Geek of the Week
Thanks to the combined inspiration of Christine Funk, Esquire and Chuck Ramsay, Esquire, a new twist of this blog is being introduced. A weekly fun forensic science challenge/trivia question. The winner will be affectionately dubbed “www.TheTruthAboutForensicScience.com Forensic Science Geek of the Week.”
- The challenge will be posted Sunday morning 12 noon EST.
- Answers to the challenge will be entered by responding to this blog post or the www.TheTruthAboutForensicScience.com FaceBook fan page.
- All comments that are answers to this blog will released after 9pm EST.
- The first complete and correct answer will be awarded the envious title of “www.TheTruthAboutForensicScience.com Forensic Science Geek of the Week”
- “www.TheTruthAboutForensicScience.com Forensic Science Geek of the Week” is entitled a one time post of his/her picture on this blog and the www.TheTruthAboutForensicScience.com FaceBook fan page. The coveted title will be his/her for that week. Additionally, a winner will be allowed one link to one webpage of his/her choice. Both the picture and the weblink is subject to the approval of Justin J McShane, Esquire and will only be screened for appropriate taste.
- The winner will be announced Sunday night.
- A winner may only repeat two times in a row, then will have to sit out a week to be eligible again. This person, who was the two time in a row winner, may answer the question, but will be disqualified from the honor so as to allow others to participate.
- This is for learning and for fun. EVERYONE IS ENCOURAGED TO TRY TO ANSWER THE WEEKLY QUESTION. So give it a shot.
Here it is:
The www.TheTruthAboutForensicScience.com “Forensic Science Geek of the Week” challenge question. Remember the first full and complete answer wins the honor and also gets his/her photo displayed, bragging rights for the week and finally website promotion.
1. What is in the pipette and in the flask?
2. What is it used for?
3. What are the limitations to this assay?
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4 Responses to “Week 43 Forensic Science Geek of the Week”
Ron moore says:
This is cobalt thoicyanate. It is a presumptive test for cocaine. It does cross react with other substances, and we would add hydrochloric acid to test cocaine base.
Ron moore says:
This is cobalt thoicyanate, a presumptive test for cocaine. It does cross react with other substances, so must be confirmed. We used to add HCl to test cocaine base.
David Benjamin, Ph.D. says:
This is a cobalt thiocyanate screening test for cocaine. Cobalt thicyanate is pink, and the crystals in the reaction vessel are cocaine powder.
It’s use is for the presumptive or preliminary qualitative analysis of cocaine HCl and, maybe cocaine base, which may require the addition of HCl to convert the cocaine base to HCl (hydrochloride) to obtain the “blue color” indicating the possible presence of cocaine.
It’s limitations are that it is a screening test and requires confirmation by either IR spectroscopy or GC/MS, and that both diphenhydramine (Benadryl), an antihistamine, and lidocaine, (Xylocaine), a local anesthetic, give “false positive” blue colors which can be misinterpreted as an indication of the presence of cocaine.
David M. Benjamin, Ph.D.
Clinical Pharmacologist and Forensic Toxicologist
Mehul B. Anjaria says:
Looks like the cobalt thiocyanate test for cocaine. This is a simple color test that is presumptive in nature. It therefore, is in no way is a chemical confirmation that the substance contains cocaine.
The reagent is added to suspected cocaine. Cocaine hydrochloride will then turn bright blue (with crack or cocaine base producing only a dull blue). The subsequent addition of hydrochloric acid will change the color back to pink.
Good test for the field and to guide the rest of the analytical process toward a suspected family of drugs, however it is solely a presumptive test as false positives will occur.