Nevada inmate linked to 1984 hammer killing cold cases in Colorado

A Nevada inmate who was convicted of attacking a couple with an ax handle is now linked to the 1984 killings of four people who were beaten with a hammer in two separate attacks in suburban Denver, authorities said.

Czech Priest Killed by Communist Regime ID’d by DNA, Before Beatification

During a holy Mass on the third Sunday of Advent, on Dec. 11, 1949, in the Church of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary in Číhošť southeast of Prague, a miracle was reported.
The half-meter iron crucifix on the main altar above the tabernacle was said to have moved on its own several times—and 19 parishioners said they saw it, reporting it to the parish priest, Josef Toufar. Toufar dutifully reported to the regime’s Communist State Security Service.

Under the Microscope – Sarah Dingle

DNA analysis is a powerful tool for researchers, scientists and law enforcement. But in the everyday lives of people across the globe, affordable access to DNA testing has brought about a seismic shift. For the first time, donor conceived people can find their biological fathers, mothers or siblings. Donor conception has exploded in the last three and a half decades, but around the world it faces little regulation. Fertility clinics public and private have operated without limits on the numbers of children created from individual donors, without health checks, and largely with impunity.

DNA testing crucial to identifying remains in unmarked graves in Sugar Land

The questions now are: Will these prisoners ever be identified, and are these century-old remains linked to the present day? Experts say the answer may lie in specialized DNA testing.

NIST Interlaboratory Studies Involving DNA Mixtures (MIX05 and MIX13): Variation Observed and Lessons Learned

Highlights
•Results from two interlaboratory studies, NIST MIX05 and MIX13, are described

•In the 2005 NIST MIX05 study, 69 laboratories interpreted data in the form of electropherograms of two-person DNA mixtures representing four different mock sexual assault cases with different contributor ratio

•In the 2013 NIST MIX13 study,108 laboratories interpreted electropherogram data for five different case scenarios involving two, three, or four contributors, with some of the contributors potentially related.

•This paper describes the design of these studies, the variations observed among laboratory results, and lessons learned.

Indonesia’s pygmies didn’t descend from hobbits, DNA analysis suggests

Rampasasa pygmies residing near a cave on Flores that previously yielded small-bodied hobbit fossils inherited DNA from Neandertals and Denisovans but not from any other now-extinct hominid, scientists say, an international team reports in the Aug. 3 Science. The finding provides genetic backup for a fossil-based argument portraying these controversial Stone Age hominids as a separate species, Homo floresiensis, not small-bodied Homo sapiens that could have represented ancestors of Rampasasa people.

DNA-testing company 23andMe signed a $300 million deal with a drug giant. Here are the other private ‘third parties’ that genetics companies share your data with.

Perhaps you didn’t intend for that spit sample you shipped off to be used for research on antacids. But that could be what happens with some of the data that genetics-testing companies like Ancestry, 23andMe, and Helix have collected from billions of customers and stored in their databases.

Korea Remains Could Be Army Troops Who Fell at ‘Frozen Chosin’

The remains returned by North Korea are possibly those of Army troops who fell in the brutal 1950 battle at the Chosin Reservoir, Pentagon POW/MIA officials said Thursday.
The returned remains are associated with the fight at what was called the “Frozen Chosin” for the sub-zero temperatures in which Marine and Army units fought their way out of encirclement by Chinese forces and were evacuated by sea, said Dr. John Byrd, a forensic anthropologist.

How the US military will identify remains from North Korea

HONOLULU — U.S. Vice President Mike Pence is flying to Hawaii on Wednesday to receive 55 boxes of bones recently handed over by North Korea. The remains are believed to belong to servicemen from the U.S. and other United Nations member countries who fought alongside the U.S. during the Korean War.
Here’s a look at what will happen next:

North Korea Provided Just 1 Dog Tag With 55 Sets Of War Remains

WASHINGTON (AP) — When North Korea handed over 55 boxes of bones that it said are remains of American war dead, it provided a single military dog tag but no other information that could help U.S. forensics experts determine their individual identities, a U.S. defense official said Tuesday.
The official, who discussed previously undisclosed aspects of the remains issue on condition of anonymity, said it probably will take months if not years to fully determine individual identities from the remains, which have not yet been confirmed by U.S. specialists to be those of American servicemen.

Solving the Somerton Man mystery, Australia’s most baffling cold case

It’s one of the oldest cold cases in Australia’s history: an unknown man found dead, slumped by a seawall, at a popular beach on the first day of summer, 1948.
He has come to be known as the Somerton Man.

You Can Run, but Your DNA Can’t Hide

Television writers portray DNA evidence as a slam dunk, sealing the fate of many a villain in a fast-paced game of cat and mouse. The reality, however, is that a single DNA sample requires days to analyze, and many samples never get processed at all. DNA profiling has come a long way since its debut in 1986, but in many ways, it’s still in its infancy. Here are four ways researchers are breaking new ground with forensic uses of genetic analysis.

Ancestry, 23andMe and others say they will follow these rules when giving DNA data to businesses or police

Ancestry, 23andMe and other popular companies that offer genetic testing pledged on Tuesday to be upfront when they share users’ DNA data with researchers, hand it over to police or transfer it to other companies, a move aimed at addressing consumers’ mounting privacy concerns.
Under the new guidelines, the companies said they would obtain consumers’ “separate express consent” before turning over their individual genetic information to businesses and other third parties, including insurers. They also said they would disclose the number of law-enforcement requests they receive each year.

After three decades in prison, man welcomed home after sentence commuted

Thirty-six years and ten days, that’s how long Rodney Lincoln was in prison before his sentence was commuted for a crime he still says he never committed.

Police probing whether suspect in NYC murder killed others

Officials are using DNA testing to determine whether Drayton’s DNA turns up in forensic evidence collected from any unsolved homicides.