When detectives in a Phoenix suburb arrested a warehouse worker in a murder investigation last December, they credited a new technique with breaking open the case after other leads went cold. The police told the suspect, Jorge Molina, they had data tracking his phone to the site where a man was shot nine months earlier. They had made the discovery after obtaining a search warrant that required Google to provide information on all devices it recorded near the killing, potentially capturing the whereabouts of anyone in the area. Investigators also had other circumstantial evidence, including security video of someone firing a gun from a white Honda Civic, the same model that Mr. Molina owned, though they could not see the license plate or attacker.
An Introduction to Seriation
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Chronological dating , or simply dating , is the process of attributing to an object or event a date in the past, allowing such object or event to be located in a previously established chronology. This usually requires what is commonly known as a "dating method". Several dating methods exist, depending on different criteria and techniques, and some very well known examples of disciplines using such techniques are, for example, history , archaeology , geology , paleontology , astronomy and even forensic science , since in the latter it is sometimes necessary to investigate the moment in the past during which the death of a cadaver occurred. Dating methods are most commonly classified following two criteria: relative dating and absolute dating. Relative dating methods are unable to determine the absolute age of an object or event, but can determine the impossibility of a particular event happening before or after another event of which the absolute date is well known. In this relative dating method, Latin terms ante quem and post quem are usually used to indicate both the most recent and the oldest possible moments when an event occurred or an artifact was left in a stratum , respectively. But this method is also useful in many other disciplines.
Radiocarbon dating also referred to as carbon dating or carbon dating is a method for determining the age of an object containing organic material by using the properties of radiocarbon , a radioactive isotope of carbon. The method was developed in the late s at the University of Chicago by Willard Libby , who received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his work in It is based on the fact that radiocarbon 14 C is constantly being created in the atmosphere by the interaction of cosmic rays with atmospheric nitrogen.
For the past 40 years, evolutionary biologists have been investigating the possibility that some evolutionary changes occur in a clock-like fashion. Over the course of millions of years, mutations may build up in any given stretch of DNA at a reliable rate. For example,the gene that codes for the protein alpha-globin a component of hemoglobin experiences base changes at a rate of. If this rate is reliable, the gene could be used as a molecular clock. When a stretch of DNA does indeed behave like a molecular clock, it becomes a powerful tool for estimating the dates of lineage-splitting events.