New Harris County Crime Lab Could Rival CSI's
by: Bill Stamps, April 11, 2012 2:04:00 am
You’ve probably never been inside a DNA crime lab, but you may have seen one on TV before.
['CSI' TV show theme music].
If you’re a CSI junky, you’ve no doubt seen the high tech, futurist-looking crime lab where investigators seem to get DNA results in a matter of minutes — well, Harris County’s Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Luis Sanchez says Houston’s lab won’t be that much different.
"I will tell you with DNA, we have that high tech technology in DNA and some of our testing is done through robotics. So what we do in the real world is not that far out from what you see on TV."
The new 16,000 sq ft lab will be located at the Texas Medical Center’s McGovern building on Holcombe. Workers and designers hope to transform the empty space by fall.
"This is going to be the best DNA lab in the world."
That’s Harris County District Attorney Pat Lykos, who has high hopes for the new lab.
"We can solve all sorts of offenses and we can prove guilt and prove innocence also."
In some cities DNA evidence must be sent to the FBI’s crime lab. That takes time and can slow down an investigation.
But Dr. Sanchez says even without the new lab, Houston is still capable of doing its own testing.
"We have all the technology. We have remained at the forefront in forensic DNA testing, so we pretty much can do everything right here in Harris County. We can identify nuclear DNA. We can identify the Y chromosome. We can handle not only evidence that comes from sexual assault, but evidence that comes from property crimes"
With all this technology maybe Harris County will get a new lab and a new show — CSI Houston.