DNA links Wisconsin cab driver to assaults in Green Bay, Chicago

DUNN COUNTY (WBAY) – A 56-year-old cab driver charged with sexual assault in western Wisconsin is linked by DNA to a sexual assault in Green Bay, police say.
On Tuesday, Edward Woodbery was charged with second-degree sexual assault of an intoxicated victim in Dunn County. The victim told police she called for a cab after drinking in a bar on a night in Oct. 2017 and was picked up by Woodberry. She said he raped her inside the cab and then at his apartment.

Delaware finally begins to tackle its backlog of untested rape kits

Any day now, a Delaware rape suspect will be arrested because long-untested rape kit evidence has linked him to the sexual assault.
Delaware now is reviewing 640 kits, which long languished in Delaware police evidence rooms, and have now been tested and are being compared to DNA records on file in the state and the national CODIS data base.

In Germany, controversial law gives Bavarian police new power to use DNA

Police in the German state of Bavaria will have new powers to use forensic DNA profiling after a controversial law passed today in the Landtag, the state parliament in Munich. The law is the first in Germany that allows authorities to use DNA to help determine the physical characteristics, such as eye color, of an unknown culprit.
The new DNA rules are part of a broader law which has drawn criticism of the wide surveillance powers it gives the state’s police to investigate people they deem an “imminent danger,” people who haven’t necessarily committed any crimes but might be planning to do so.

23AndMe Sues Ancestry.com Over DNA Genetic Testing Kits

On Friday, May 11th, Mountain View, CA-based personal genetics testing company 23AndMe filed a lawsuit alleging patent infringement claims against Lehi, UT-based genealogy firm Ancestry.com. The suit, filed in the Northern District of California, targets Ancestry’s use of a DNA testing kit, which allegedly infringes upon a genetic testing patent held by 23AndMe.

May 25 Is Landmark Day For Bills That Target Backlog of Untested Rape Kits

On May 25, the state Senate Appropriations Committee will decide if two bills that would demand the speedy testing of California’s large backlog of rape kits and the timely testing of all newly-collected rape kits will move forward.
AB3118 requires the first-ever statewide inventory of untested rape kits in California. At present, state officials have no idea how many kits are sitting on shelves across the state.

A New Law Would Give More Money For Prosecuting Cold Cases Like The Golden State Killer

On the heels of the arrest of the Golden State Killer suspect through cold case DNA evidence, a proposed federal law would provide more money to prosecutors to investigate such violent crimes.

2018 International Symposium on Human Identification Keynote Announced: Andrew Hessel, The Golden Age of Genomics

MADISON, Wis.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–#DNA–Explore the latest developments in forensic DNA research, process andtechniques alongside scientists, law enforcement professionals andforensic experts from around the world at the 29thInternational Symposium on Human Identification (ISHI), September24–27, 2018, in Phoenix, Arizona.

DNA connects driver to hit-and-run two years after pedestrian struck and killed

CITRUS COUNTY, Fla. — A mother said she never gave up hope that someone would be arrested for hitting and killing her son as he walked along a Citrus County roadway.
April 24, 2016 is a day Cheri Robertson will never forget. It is the day her son, Matthew Howell, 22, was hit and killed while walking along U.S. 19 in Citrus County.

Rape victims in Washington can now track status of rape kits online

SEATTLE — Up to 10,000 rape kits in Washington state have yet to be tested and it’s left a lot of survivors in limbo.
“It is impossible to navigate this system,” said Leah Griffin, who was raped in 2014.
“I assumed that when I went through the six-hour procedure to have a rape kit done that it would result in an investigation, that police would test that kit and look at the evidence,” she said. “I didn’t find out until months later that they had no intention of testing my rape kit.”
Griffin spent those months futilely waiting by the phone for investigators to follow up. A year later, she helped pass state legislation that mandated testing rape kits.
Now it’s her hope that a new website tracking rape kits will give victims information that she never had.

A 14th human foot washes ashore in Canada

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police say someone found a human foot inside a hiking boot along the shores of British Columbia, the 14th such discovery since 2007.
Canadian authorities say a man was walking the beach on Gabriola Island, on the west coast of the country, when he found a “disarticulated” human foot inside a boot wedged between logs last week

New tool predicts eye, hair and skin color from a DNA sample of an unidentified individual

INDIANAPOLIS – An international team, led by scientists from the School of Science at IUPUI and Erasmus MC University Medical Center Rotterdam in the Netherlands, has developed a novel tool to accurately predict eye, hair and skin color from human biological material — even a small DNA sample — left, for example, at a crime scene or obtained from archeological remains. This all-in-one pigmentation profile tool provides a physical description of the person in a way that has not previously been possible by generating all three pigment traits together using a freely available webtool.

What is CRISPR and could it be used by criminals to alter their DNA?

CRISPR is a revolutionary genetic editing technique that’s been hailed a game-changer in science.

In Ancient Skeletons, Scientists Discover a Modern Foe: Hepatitis B

From 15 sets of skeletal remains, researchers have recovered DNA from the oldest viruses known to have infected humans— and have resurrected some strains in the laboratory.

Police are using DNA testing to track down a fetus’s mother

The search could have serious implications for how police investigate abortions

Hun migrations ‘linked to deadly Justinian Plague’

The Justinian Plague, which struck in 541 AD, may have killed as many as 25 million.
Now, scientists say the outbreak probably originated in Asia, not Egypt as contemporary and more recent chroniclers had thought.
The finding comes from analysis of DNA found in 137 human skeletons unearthed on the Eurasian steppe.
The steppe region covers a vast area, spanning some 8,000km from Hungary to north-eastern China. The large sample of individuals covers a date range of 2,500 BC – 1,500 AD.