WASHINGTON (WUSA9) -- It's the stuff you see on CBS's CSI - cutting-edge crime solvers using the latest technology.
But we can show you the potential for real-life breakthroughs right here in our own backyard - inside a one-of-a-kind lab at George Washington University that could change the way crimes are solved.
The experiments there today may catch the criminals of tomorrow.
"We hope with this new lab and these new faculty that we can really probe the very deepest mysteries in forensic chemistry and bring these to actual applications to solve crimes," Dr. Victor Weedn, chair of the Forensic Sciences Department at GWU, told WUSA9.
It's a bold prediction from a department chair who's already kept the promise of science; his work was used in the Saddam Hussein trial, in anthrax detection equipment, and to identify the remains of service members from past wars.
"There's a revolution going on right now," Dr. Weedn explained, "in mass spectrometry."
GWU's new forensic sciences lab and chemists, unveiled at an open house Wednesday night, make up the largest academic team of its kind in the world," Weedn said, as they use experimental equipment from several companies to try and catch the undetectable, such as new, stealth synthetic drugs, for example.
"There are chemists out there specifically trying to manipulate those chemicals so that we won't detect it. some of our new instruments are really good at finding unknown drugs."
The $1.5 million dollars in new technology could one day re-write the rules for processing crime scenes, as innovative science of today leads to the discoveries of tomorrow.