Daily Archives: July 14, 2014

Testing gives clues in John Doe case

John-Doe-mapThe Smithsonian assisted the Rock County Coroner’s office by conducting what’s called stable isotope analysis on a piece of bone fragment from the remains. The testing looks for chemical components in bone that come from the water a person drinks. That chemical makeup is matched with the chemical signature of drinking water in other areas of North America to help identify where the boy was from.

Present-Day Tibetans Inherited Genetic Gifts from Paleolithic-Era Ancestors

TibetanPlateauThe world had been awash in news about how we can see the evidence in our DNA of ancient humans mating with Neanderthals and their close relatives, the Denisovans. Now in a new study out in the journal Nature, a group of researchers has found the strongest evidence to date that this mating mattered.
Modern Tibetans are incredibly well adapted to the harsh environment of the Tibetan plateau. This place is cold, doesn’t have a lot of resources and has about 40% lower levels of oxygen than at sea level. It turns out that a big reason Tibetans do so well compared to everyone else is because of a version of the EPAS1 gene their ancestors got from the now extinct Denisovans. Most every Tibetan who is well adapted to this environment has the Denisovan version of the EPAS1 gene.

Continue the Conversation on Familial DNA Searching

Familial On Thursday, July 17, RTI International will hold the third of a four-part NIJ-funded online discussion about familial DNA searching. Join this panel discussion to learn more about current processes and procedures as well as the legal challenges and implementation ramifications of familial DNA searching. In this session, the discussion will focus on the process of investigative follow-up, including costs and resources, methods of communication and the release of information.
This panel series will generate a report to educate practitioners at the state and local levels on current issues and approaches to familial DNA searching, as they vary by state.
Registration is free and open to all.

New State Police Forensics Lab Director appointed

Maryland State policeMaryland State Police Superintendent Colonel Marcus L. Brown today announced a veteran forensic scientist with a broad range of expertise including DNA technology has been appointed as the new crime laboratory director.
Daniel E. Katz has been appointed director of the Maryland State Police Forensic Sciences Division. Katz has worked in the Forensic Sciences Division since May 2007. Since January 2014, he has served as Acting Director of the Forensic Sciences Division, following the retirement of former Director Teresa Long.