Identifying wildfire dead: DNA, and likely older methods too

NEW YORK (AP) — Authorities doing the somber work of identifying the victims of California’s deadliest wildfire are drawing on leading-edge DNA technology, but older scientific techniques and deduction could also come into play, experts say.
With the death toll from the Northern California blaze topping 40 and expected to rise, officials said they were setting up a rapid DNA-analysis system, among other steps.

He or She? Remains Tell the Whole Tooth

A team led by UC Davis researchers have come up with a new way to estimate the biological sex of human skeletal remains based on protein traces from teeth.

DNA Identifies Origins of World’s Oldest Natural Mummy

Scientists discovered the ancient human skeleton known as the “Spirit Cave Mummy” back in 1940, hidden in a small rocky cave in the Great Basin Desert in northwest Nevada. But it wouldn’t be until the 1990s that radiocarbon dating techniques revealed the skeleton was some 10,600 years old, making it the oldest natural mummy ever found.

DNA evidence could soon tell cops your age, whether you smoke, and what you ate for breakfast

That was the case in a murder trial that Bruce McCord, a forensic chemist at Florida International University, served as an expert witness in. A woman was murdered shortly after she went through a divorce, and DNA from her ex-husband was found on her body. But it was hard to tell if the DNA was the result of innocent contact between the two, or if it was incriminating, and came from blood.

It is with deep regret that we announce the loss of our colleague, Art Eisenberg, PhD.

It is with deep regret that we announce the loss of our colleague, Art Eisenberg, PhD. Prior to his retirement in 2017, Dr. Eisenberg served as Professor of Molecular and Medical Genetics and Co-Director of the Center for Human identification at the University of North Texas Health Science Center.

In a career that spanned more than three decades, Dr. Eisenberg worked on cases involving serial killers, mass graves, hurricanes, terrorist attacks and all manner of violent crimes. Under his leadership, the UNT Center for Human Identification processed more than 5,200 human remains, making more than 1,500 DNA associations that led to identifications. Perhaps his greatest legacy, however, is the establishment of the Master of Science program in Forensic Genetics, ensuring that the science he pioneered will carry on for generations to come.

Information on funeral arrangements will be shared when available. Our thoughts and prayers are with Dr. Eisenberg’s family during this difficult time.

Cold case expert tells court how he found ‘one-in-a-billion DNA match’ to murder suspect Russell Bishop on the arm of one of two girls found dead in woodland 32 years ago

Mr Green told jurors the results found DNA ‘in excess of one billion times more likely’ to belong to the defendant and an unknown person than two unknown people.

New bones found on Vatican property as others go for testing

ROME – Two days after bones found on Vatican property last week were sent for DNA testing and comparisons, more remains were uncovered in the same area, and are believed to belong to the same individual.

‘Dead’ man shocks family, returns home two months after his funeral

A grieving family was left reeling when their “dead” uncle re-appeared two months after his funeral.

Life on Earth to have its DNA analysed in the name of conservation

An ambitious project launched last week aims to slow the decline in biodiversity by sampling and decoding the DNA of every species of plant and animal on Earth. Called the Earth BioGenome Project, the effort is seeking funding to help it get off the ground. It is asking for US$4.7 billion to sequence all 1.35 million known eukaryotic species — those with a cell nucleus enclosed by a membrane — over the next 10 years.

New Study: DNA Molecular Tagging is an Effective Tool to Authenticate Denim, One of the Toughest Fabrics

STONY BROOK, N.Y.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Results of a new study published in the September/October 2018 issue of the AATCC Review confirmed that DNA molecular tagging is an effective tool to authenticate denim and maintains its integrity even after exposed to the rigors of bleaching and abrasion.

DNA match from genealogy site leads to arrest in 2001 murder of UCF student

ORLANDO, Fla. – A match from a genealogy website helped Orlando police detectives make in an arrest in a 2001 slaying of a University of Central Florida student.
Case marks 15th instance of arrest through genealogy evidence.

FBI forensics hits Hollywood speed, researcher says

If you believe everything you see on TV, forensic scientists can wrap up a case in an hour.
That doesn’t happen in real life. Until it does, said professor Steven Lee of FIU’s International Forensic Research Institute.

Are bones found at Vatican Embassy missing schoolgirl Emanuela Orlandi?

Human remains have been discovered at a Vatican property in Rome, offering a potential breakthrough in a missing persons case dating back 35 years.
The remains, which are mostly bone fragments, were unearthed during construction work at the Vatican’s Embassy to Italy, near the Villa Borghese museum.

DNA testing begins to identify Lion Air crash victims

The police have begun DNA testing to identify victims of Lion Air flight JT610, which crashed into the Java Sea on Monday morning, and had gathered DNA samples from 152 relatives at Bhayangkara Police Hospital in Kramat Jati, East Jakarta.
National Police deputy chief Comr. Gen. Ari Dono Sukamto said that at least 15 forensic doctors and DNA experts were working to identify the body parts that the National Search and Rescue Agency (Basarnas) had recovered from the Java Sea.

OSP captain describes Oregon’s DNA backlog like ‘Whac-a-Mole’ game

SALEM, Ore. — As property crimes soar in Oregon, local law enforcement agencies are short one crime-fighting tool that’s considered crucial in solving property crimes: DNA testing.
Oregon State Police (OSP) decided to suspend DNA analysis for property crime evidence in December 2015, including the highly successful High Throughput Property Crimes (HTPC) pilot program.