New public-private partnership expected to double Wisconsin’s COVID-19 testing capacity

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers announced on Monday a new public-private partnership that is expected to double the state’s current COVID-19 testing capacity.
Under the partnership, labs operated by Madison-based Exact Sciences Corp., Marshfield Clinic Health System, Madison-based Promega Corp. and UW Health will join an existing network of labs to bolster the state’s testing capacity.

NIST Funding Manufacturing Institutes

GAITHERSBURG, Md. — The U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has opened a funding opportunity for rapid, high-impact projects that support the nation’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Using funds appropriated by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act signed by President Trump on March 27, 2020, NIST will award these grants through the NIST Manufacturing USA National Emergency Assistance Program with no requirements for cost matching.

UC Berkeley lab pivots from editing DNA to processing COVID-19 tests

What happens when you combine a viral pandemic, an empty laboratory and a bunch of biologists who’ve been forced to put their regular work on pause?
In a matter of days, a UC Berkeley science building has converted to a COVID-19 test processing center, with researchers hoping to enable up to thousands more coronavirus tests per day in the East Bay.

Convicted serial killer known as the ‘Grim Sleeper’ found dead in prison cell

(CNN)A convicted serial killer, who murdered and preyed on women in California over a span of three decades, died over the weekend at San Quentin State Prison.
Lonnie Franklin, known as the “Grim Sleeper,” was found unresponsive in his cell Saturday night, according to a statement from the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

Genealogy company MyHeritage donates 66,000 swabs to Israel

The shipment of swabs is expected to arrive in Israel Monday, said Gilad Japhet, CEO and founder of MyHeritage.

Calling All People Who Sew And Make: You Can Help Make Masks For 2020 Healthcare Worker PPE Shortage

Dear Readers,
For those of you who are looking to help the caregivers, I am posting a news article from Forbes that contains a pattern for making face masks.
Stay Safe!

“If you want to rally the world to your cause, think like a little bird and tweet. Hospitals and doctors are reaching out via social media to ask for mission-critical help in solving the shortage of N95-type masks during the current Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.You can help. Today, right now. Are you sitting in your apartment or house in some sort of state-wide lockdown? You can do something to help others. People of all ages and walks of life are diving in to make a difference. Check out some of these amazing initiatives, both small and large:”

9 Ancient Objects That Have Had DNA Tests

DNA contains the biological instructions that drive the existence of every living organism, shaping the world as we know it. With the help of advanced technologies, these complex molecules can also reveal the secrets of people and creatures that came long before us. Scientists have studied DNA preserved within an array of centuries-old relics, from human remains, to fossilized rodents’ nests, to the pages of medieval manuscripts. Here are eight objects that have undergone DNA testing and yielded fascinating revelations about the history of life on Earth.

Out of the gloom, a portable COVID-19 test from Ottawa

For most of us, the COVID-19 virus has been a malevolent force, destroying jobs, wealth and social mobility. But for some, this new epoch is also an opportunity to draw on a lifetime of work to do good.

MU Health Opens Drive-Through COVID-19 Testing

MU Health Care started drive-through testing for COVID-19 in the parking lot of the Mizzou softball stadium. The system announced the station will be open for testing from 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. daily, including on the weekend.
Anyone wanting to get a test will first need an order from a healthcare provider. MU Health is offering free virtual screenings for people who think they may have the disease on its website.

HSC Fort Worth to help identify missing and murdered American Indians

The University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth (HSC) and Montana State University Billings are collaborating to use forensics to address a national epidemic of missing or murdered American Indians, HSC said in a news release.
Through the agreement, the HSC-based UNT Center for Human Identification and MSU Billings will establish forensic capabilities to use DNA to resolve missing person cases, solve crimes and help prevent human trafficking.

Increase Samples, Reduce Waste

Laboratory expenses can add up quickly, so you want to avoid losing budget costs to excess consumables. With the Maxwell® Instruments, you can process the number of samples you need without wasting reagents. The Maxwell® FSC Instrument can process batch sizes up to 16 samples, while the Maxwell® RSC Instrument can process up to 48 samples simultaneously. This flexibility in throughput lets you take control of your samples—and your laboratory budget.

8 Biotechs With Coronavirus Vaccines In Development


Dear Readers,
This is not the usual forensic news, but of interest to us all and gratifying to find positive actions and thoughts. Be well and lets flatten the curve.”

“About 35 vaccine candidates with different modes of action are in development for COVID-19, according to the World Health Organization.
The following are coronavirus vaccine candidates in development along with the sponsor, vaccine type and stage of development:”

State lab stays open over weekend, ramps up testing for COVID-19 coronavirus

With hundreds of coronavirus test specimens now coming in daily to UW-Madison’s Wisconsin State Laboratory of Hygiene, the lab stayed open over the weekend and has more than tripled its capacity.

Promega ramping up production of testing materials to address COVID-19 outbreak

Fitchburg-based Promega Corp. is ramping up production of lab materials used in tests for the new coronavirus as the virus continues its global spread.
Promega manufactures reagents and other lab equipment and materials for companies around the world, including Utah-based Co-Diagnostics which developed a test for the coronavirus.

Wisconsin Crime Labs use new DNA analysis program

MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) – Starting this year, Wisconsin State Crime Labs are using software that untangles the web of DNA left at a crime scene.