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The term forensic refers generally to anything pertaining to the law or the courts of justice and encompasses both criminal and civil law. Consequently, forensic science is the scientific study of issues, incidents, and evidence in relation to legal principles and cases. Examples of forensic science include forensic engineering, forensic linguistics (language), forensic medicine, forensic pathology, forensic psychiatry, and forensic psychology. Forensic laboratories are usually maintained or sponsored by governmental agencies specifically to examine physical evidence in criminal and civil matters and are expected to provide testimony on the physical evidence in a court of law. These laboratories may be asked to examine latent fingerprints, firearms and ballistics, explosives and fire debris, toxic material, and other pertinent evidence found at or near the crime scene ...

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