Ancient DNA from West Africa Adds to Picture of Humans’ Rise

The Shum Laka rock shelter in Cameroon, where the remains of two 8,000-year-old boys were discovered in 1994. Scientists recently recovered ancient DNA from the two individuals and from another pair of children buried 5,000 years later.

Ancient Proteins Reveal 6,000-year-old Ring Was Made From Deer Antler or Bone

Nearly 6,000 years ago, in what’s now Denmark, a Neolithic crafter fashioned a ring from a piece of deer antler or bone. During the process, or soon after, the piece broke in two. It was apparently dropped — perhaps discarded in frustration — near other items, including a wooden spear that was also broken.
And there the ring waited, over time buried by debris and dirt, and eventually submerged beneath the sea.

New London’s mystery bones to be tested again

NEW LONDON — The New London Police Department and Porchlight Project will work together in an attempt to discover the name of the young woman whose bones were found in an old garage in 2016.

Georgia Uses DNA Sample and Genealogy to Solve 1999 Rapes

MARIETTA, Ga. — Advanced genetic genealogy testing helped authorities solve three Georgia rape cases from 1999, a prosecutor said Tuesday.
The three rapes happened between June and October 1999 within a three-mile radius of each other, Cobb County District Attorney Joyette Holmes said in a press release. In each case, a woman awoke in the wee hours of the morning in her own bed to find an unknown man standing over her.

Lawmakers seek to block insurance companies from access to DNA tests

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (CNS) — More than 26 million Americans have voluntarily submitted their DNA for analysis, but a loophole in federal law could allow some insurance companies to get the genetic information.

NYS Sheriffs’ Association unveils new crime fighting initiative using synthetic DNA

The New York State Sheriffs’ Association unveiled a new statewide crime prevention program on Thursday aimed at using synthetic forensic technology to thwart crime and help with criminal investigations.

Genealogy helps crack Aurora cold case murder from 1996, police say

Aurora police on Wednesday announced that Wesley Backman, a truck driver who died in 2008 at the age of 53, was identified as the suspect through advancements in DNA testing, genealogical research, a relatively new technique for investigators that uses ancestry databases to identify relatives of suspected killers.

Las Vegas man arrested after DNA links him to 2015 rape

A Las Vegas man was arrested Thursday after his fingerprints linked him to a sexual assault from 2015.
Around 3:40 a.m. June 27, 2015, a 20-year-old woman called police and reported that a man had broken into her apartment and raped her, according to a recently released arrest report. Years later, the man was identified as Safari Summit, now 26.

Betty Pat Gatliff, forensic sculptor who put a face to John Does, dies at 89

The bones usually arrived by mail, a stream of anonymous packages bearing unknown remains. Sent from police departments, coroners and medical examiners across the country, they landed on the Oklahoma doorstep of Betty Pat Gatliff, a forensic sculptor who pioneered a new method for reconstructing faces, turning an avocation into her life’s work.

RCMP helping to identify Canadian victims killed in downing of Ukraine Flight 752

The RCMP is working to help identify the remains of Canadians killed in the shootdown of Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752 through the collection of DNA samples.

New DNA evidence links John Doe case to small American Indian tribe

The Kenosha County medical examiner is hopeful that new DNA evidence will help solve a 26-year-old mystery.
Medical Examiner Patrice Hall said new DNA testing shows an unidentified John Doe found in Pleasant Prairie in 1993 may have ties to a small American Indian tribe in South Carolina and to people in Sonora, Mexico.

Analyzing DNA in soil could be an effective way of tracking animals

It’s hard to protect something you can’t find. A new Stanford study reveals sampling soil for animals’ left-behind DNA can provide valuable information for conservation efforts—with significantly less cost and time—than currently used methods, such as camera traps.

Meriden police identify mother of newborn left to freeze to death 32 years ago

On Jan. 2 as a small group of Meriden police officers arrived at the Walnut Grove Cemetery to mark the 32nd anniversary of the discovery of a dead baby boy left bundled in a pink blanket, two other detectives were about to confront his mother.

Illinois officials ID killer of 16-year-old girl in 1976.

WHEATON, Ill. — An unsolved string of killings of young suburban Chicago women in the 1970s frustrated police for decades. Now authorities in DuPage County, Ill., believe that by cracking one of those cold cases, they may have uncovered the trail of a serial killer.

Thanks to a new DNA analysis, a man is exonerated of rape and freed from prison after 17 years

(CNN) — A Georgia man who served 17 years of a 20-year sentence has been exonerated from his rape conviction and released from prison, after a judge agreed that new analysis of DNA evidence clears him.
Kerry Robinson, 44, walked out of prison in southern Georgia on Wednesday and into the arms of his sister, his son and other supporters, hours after a Colquitt County judge vacated his 2002 conviction and sentence.