Monthly Archives: September 2012

Genetic Traces of Extinct Human Species Discovered

DNA collected from modern hunter-gatherers — the Pygmies of Cameroon, the Sandawe and Hadza of Tanzania, and the Khoe-San of southern Africa — is suggesting a new narrative of our human roots. This more complicated scenario traces our roots to a fractured collection of ethnic groups who periodically interbred across the lines.

Oldest DNA Match in History Links Dead American Convict to Highway of Tears Victim

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) have linked the DNA of a deceased American convict who had a history of violent offences against women to at least one victim from British Columbia’s notorious Highway of Tears.

Government bill aims to build pool of DNA samples of ‘offenders’; experts fear possible misuse

NEW DELHI: The government plans to introduce a bill in Parliament that aims to create a pool of “DNA profiles” of “offenders” as part of efforts to make crime detection more effective in the country. However, many experts warn of likely misuse of such sweeping powers.

Police use new powers to store DNA

Police forces are to add the profiles of thousands of criminals to a DNA database with the aim solving more crimes, it has been reported. But campaigners are confused as to why scare resources are being spent on the activity.

Bill May Eliminate Rape Kit Backlog

A Fort Worth, Texas science center may play a major role in reducing the huge backlog of untested rape kits across the country.

Louisiana death row inmate 300th prisoner freed by DNA evidence

A Louisiana man was released from death row on Friday after serving 15 years for a crime that DNA evidence shows he did not commit.
Damon Thibodeaux, 38, was the 300th prisoner nationwide to see his conviction overturned based on DNA evidence, according to lawyers who represented him from the New York-based Innocence Project. He was the 18th death row prisoner freed based on such evidence.

DNA from maggot guts used to identify corpse in criminal case

A team of pathologists has published a paper revealing how, for the first time, crime investigators identified the body of a burn victim by conducting a DNA analysis of the gastrointestinal contents of the maggots feeding on the remains.

NIJ Funded Software Tools, Apps and Databases

NIJ has funded a number of free or low cost software tools, apps and databases to assist with investigations or research.

Promega PowerPlex® Fusion Delivers More Information for Challenging Forensic Casework, Databasing and Paternity Cases

Promega announces the launch of the PowerPlex® Fusion System, a 24-locus multiplex that incorporates common and informative loci used throughout the world.

Indiana State Police crime labs earn international accreditation

The four crime labs run by the Indiana State Police, including the facility in Lowell, have achieved international accreditation, Indiana State Police announced Wednesday.

Retired Highway of Tears investigator in awe of DNA science that traced suspected killer

Investigators knew to secure the scene for evidence when they found Colleen Rae MacMillen’s body on a logging road about 25 kilometres south of 100 Mile House about a month after she went missing in 1974. They bagged the 16-year-old’s clothes, which were found in the bushes nearby, and sent them to the forensics lab to test for fingerprints, hair and fibres.

Grant Will Help Find DNA Evidence In Old NYC Cases

NEW YORK (AP) — The NYPD and the Innocence Project have been awarded a joint federal grant to overhaul how police store evidence in old cases.
The $1.25 million money comes from the National Institute of Justice, an agency of the U.S. Justice Department.

DNA fingerprinting pioneer announces retirement from University of Leicester

Professor Sir Alec Jeffreys, who invented the technique of DNA fingerprinting, has announced his retirement.
The technique of DNA finger printing has transformed forensic science and identity testing. It was developed by Professor Jeffreys at the University of Leicester back in 1984. It has since been used in criminal investigations, paternity and immigration disputes, and even conservation biology.

FBI Reduces DNA Backlog

The Federal Bureau of Investigation’s crime lab has whittled its backlog of DNA cases down to 403 — from more than 3,200 in 2010, according to a new report by the Justice Department’s watchdog.

Judiciary Committee Approves SAFER Act

WASHINGTON—U.S. Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee and former Texas Attorney General, released the following statement upon his bipartisan Sexual Assault Forensic Evidence Registry (SAFER) Act being reported out of the Senate Judiciary Committee:

“Today we took a large step toward ensuring justice for victims of sexual assault. I’m encouraged by the bipartisan support the SAFER Act received in the Judiciary Committee and look forward to a vote on the Senate floor.”