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Erasmus Darwin Building

The Erasmus Darwin Building is a versatile building at Clifton Campus that hours laboratories, classrooms, lecture halls and study areas. We hold resources and conduct activities that support comprehensive investigation of forensic cases to help contribute to the scientific analysis of evidence – highly relevant to our Forensic Science, Physics, Sport Science and Bioscience courses.

Forensics Labs

This to our main forensic examination laboratory. Here, we have an array of specialized equipment and tools specifically designed to support students in their learning and practical exploration of investigative techniques. Here's a list of some of the equipment and activities students conduct in this lab:

  • Cyanoacrylate Fuming Chamber: used to develop latent finger-marks on non-porous surfaces.
  • Ninhydrin and Indanedione Development Ovens: utilized for developing latent finger-marks on porous surfaces.
  • Russell Comparators: used to enlarge small finger-marks for comparison with others.
  • Electrostatic Lifting Apparatus (ESLA): enables lifting footwear marks made in dust.
  • Digital Capturing System (DCS-5): used to view treated finger-marks under different wavelengths, including ultraviolet light.
  • FORAM Raman Spectrometer: utilized for the analysis of unknown powders and pen inks using a laser.
  • Glass Refraction Index Measurement (GRIM-3): allows the analysis of glass found at crime scenes.
  • GL-Scanner: used to photograph dust prints that have been lifted with a gel.
  • Crime-Lite torches and goggles: used to visualize exhibits under different wavelengths to observe their fluorescent properties.
  • 30x DSLR camera and tripods: utilized for the "CSI and Photography" course.
  • Fibre lifting and examination.
  • Blood/saliva/semen presumptive testing and visualization.
  • Analysis of bones and bodies found at outdoor crime scenes that have been excavated.
  • Osteology: the study of bones.
  • Toolmark and footwear mark casting.
  • Acid dyes for finger-marks left in blood.
  • Blood pattern analysis.

In our Ballistic Lab students have the opportunity to work with a range of specialized equipment such as the Chronoscope, which allows for the measurement of the force produced by a pellet fired from an air rifle. Our lab is also equipped to handle firearms and bullets that have been recovered from crime scenes. As part of the examination process, students learn how to package and unpackage rifles, pistols, and other types of ammunition and ensure that these items are safe and declared ready for examination. In addition, this is a place where we utilise specialized techniques to extract DNA samples from the firearms and ammunition, which can provide crucial evidence that can aid in determining the source, ownership, and usage of firearms and ammunition in criminal activities. Furthermore, we conduct presumptive testing to identify potential traces of biological substances like blood, saliva, or other bodily fluids.

In our Forensic Bioarchaeology Lab, we have specialized kits designed for outdoor scenes. These kits contain essential tools such as trowels, digging equipment, survey pegs, Mason's line, brushes and tape measures, crucial for excavating various types of skeletal remains in different burial conditions. Whether it's surface skeletal remains or those buried in shallow graves, our equipment allows students to carefully uncover and document these valuable pieces of evidence. To ensure full integrity of our forensic investigations, we provide a range of personal protective equipment in the lab. This includes SOCO suits (Scene Of Crime Officer), shoe covers, masks, hair nets, gloves, and body bags.

This space serves as a platform for theoretical exploration and intriguing investigations. Using Meta Virtual Reality headsets, students can investigate if viewing crime scenes through virtual reality improves memory compared to physical visits. We also analyse finger-marks to determine gender distinctions. Through this and other various research, students gain insights into cognitive processes in crime scene perception and assess virtual reality's potential for forensics.

In this dedicated space, students meticulously examine and authenticate documents, aiming to uncover hidden information, detect forgeries, and contribute to complex investigations. Equipped with advanced tools, we utilize the Video Spectral Comparator (VSC) to examine pen ink, banknotes, driver's licenses, and passports. By studying distinct responses under different light wavelengths, we determine authenticity of various documents. Our Electrostatic Detection Apparatus (ESDA2) non-destructively visualizes indentations on crime scene letters using static charge, providing valuable evidence.

  • Students examining the scull and skeleton
    Forensic Evidence Examination Laboratory
  • Forensic LED Light Device
    High Intensity LED Forensic Light - Forensic Evidence Examination Laboratory
  • Ballistic lab with riffles and bullets
    Ballistic Laboratory
  • Equipment in instrumental lab forensics
    Mass Selective Detector - Analytical Instrumentation Laboratory
  • Gas Chromatograph equipmentaph
    Gas Chromatograph - Analytical Instrumentation Laboratory
  • Instrumental Lab - Chemistry and Forensic Science
    Analytical Instrumentation Laboratory - (Chemistry and Forensic Science)

Sport Science Labs

Erasmus Darwin is a main hub for our Sport Science facilities that are designed to cover various aspects of the field, including physiological and psychological research as well as bio-analysis. As a student, you will have the opportunity to immerse yourself in learning these resources, enabling you to advance your knowledge and develop a deep understanding of the subject matter.

A vital space for collecting and analysing blood samples. The lab is equipped with advanced tools such as a centrifuge and microplate reader specifically designed for conducting ELISA plate analysis, which helps in studying various aspects of sports biochemistry. The lab is actively involved in conducting research on asthma using spirometry and investigating cell cultures to advance our knowledge of sports biochemistry.

Within physiology labs, students have access to industry-leading equipment used to measure anatomical and physiological variables, as well as observe their responses and adaptations to sport and exercise. Respiratory analysis plays a crucial role in our physiology labs, and we offer an extensive range of equipment to support this process. This includes advanced tools like Douglas bags, Servomex gas analysers, and Cortex breath-by-breath Metalysers. Our labs are also equipped with Biosen machines, which provide valuable glucose and lactate values obtained from blood samples and ECG equipment available to monitor cardiac activity and portable spirometers for assessing pulmonary function.

In order to cater to different exercise modalities and testing requirements, we have multiple exercise machines at your disposal. These include Watt bikes, treadmills, and rowing machines. By offering this variety of equipment, you will be able to assess and conduct different forms of exercises and tests efficiently.

The Sport Nutrition lab is a specialised space specifically designed for preparing food, distinct from the near Physiology labs. This lab primarily serves undergraduate students who are studying Nutrition modules. It features a compact kitchen equipped with various appliances and precise scientific-level balance scales for accurately measuring food and drinks. Students will analyse and evaluate how the food impacts on different physiological factors like blood glucose levels, physical performance and cognitive abilities.

Approved by the British Olympic Association, the chamber is a specially designed space to help athletes prepare for competing in different climates. It enables students to control and adjust factors such as temperature, humidity, and altitude, allowing them to monitor how athletes respond physically in different environments. To cater to the specific requirements of research and athletes, we have an advanced H/P Pulsar Environmental automated treadmill that can be customized for individual speed protocols. Moreover, the chamber is spacious enough to accommodate bike and rowing setups as well.

The lab utilize cutting-edge tools like VR headsets, eye tracking technology, and cognitive function tests to delve into the intricate workings of an athlete's mind. Our lab is designed to concentrate on specific sports like golf and darts, allowing students to examine how an athlete's psychological state can influence their performance in various conditions. This space serves also as an ideal setting for both individual and group workshops, where students conduct thorough assessments of athletes' mental preparedness to compete. By utilizing this space, we gain valuable insights into the psychological factors that contribute to peak performance in sports.

The lab is specifically designed to cater to the research needs of PhD candidates and department studies. It is equipped with advanced tools, including the DEXA scan machine, used for both research and consultation purposes to accurately measure the density of bones and the composition of the body in study participants. The lab features an isokinetic dynamometer, Magstim TMS, and multiple isometric dynamometers. These devices are connected to various BIOPAC data acquisition systems, enabling the collection of synchronized data.

  • Students in Sport Physiology lab testing performance analysis
    Performance Analysis Lab - Erasmus Darwin
  • Exercise bikes in Physiology Lab
    Sport and Exercise Physiology Lab
  • Environmental Chamber with Equipment
    Environmental Chamber

Physics Labs

Our Physics labs are used by all our undergraduate physics students. Our well-equipped labs offer a comprehensive learning environment for students to explore and apply various concepts in physics.

Here we teach practical sessions encompassing diverse subjects like classical and quantum mechanics, laboratory interfaces, and medical imaging. These labs serve as venues for both undergraduate and master's projects, enabling students to engage with materials testing equipment, telescopes, sound booths, darkroom facilities, and other resources. In the realm of medical imaging, students gain hands-on experience using ultrasound equipment and C.T. scanners, enhancing their understanding of this field.

Bioscience Labs

Bioscience teaching labs facilitate hands-on lessons and projects for undergraduate and masters students in various fields of Bioscience, with a particular focus on Physiology, Pharmacology, Histology, Haematology, and Ecology.

The only laboratory that hold home office licence.

The Physiology Lab holds a home office license and histological equipment, making it a unique facility on campus. It houses a hospital-grade Thermo Scientific Tissue Processor, Wax Embedder, and Microtomes, allowing students to process tissue samples into thin sections for staining and observation on slides. Additionally, the lab provides two Cryostat machines that utilize freezing techniques to slice samples onto slides. These machines are particularly useful for handling delicate tissues like the brain. Furthermore, the lab is proud to host two hospital-standard Sysmex blood analysers, along with blood gas analysers and Phlebotomy practice arms. These resources are specifically beneficial for aspiring biomedical scientists to gain practical experience in blood analysis and phlebotomy techniques.

Equipped with a wide range of fieldwork equipment that is frequently utilized outside the lab. This includes a FluoroSense Handheld Fluorometer, enabling the measurement of chlorophyll and phycocyanin levels in bodies of water. Additionally, we have benchtop Photometers for assessing water chemistry, a Peat Corer for sample collection, and even a small motorized boat for field research. Moreover, our Ecology lab is equipped with essential analytical tools found in all of our teaching laboratories. This includes multiple PCR machines for DNA amplification, a QuantStudio qPCR system capable of quantitative DNA/RNA analysis, and a Biorad Chemi-Doc used for protein analysis. These resources are essential in supporting students research and practical studies.

  • Student with samples in physics teaching lab
    Physics Teaching Lab
  • Students using CT Scanner to determine breast cancer
    Physics Teaching Lab with CT Scanner
  • Students testing turbine in the physics lab
    Physics Teaching Lab with Turbine