Monthly Archives: January 2016

Bevin’s Budget to Address Kentucky’s Backlog of Untested Rape Kits

Backlog of sexual assault kitsIn his State of the Commonwealth Address Tuesday night, Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin announced that he had allocated $4.5 million in state funding to address the state’s backlog of untested rape kits. The kits are used in sexual assault investigations in hopes of collecting potentially valuable forensic and DNA evidence.
A state audit released in late 2015 found Kentucky has more than 3000 untested rape kits. The audit also found that, typically, there is an eight month delay from when the kit is sent to the state crime lab to when the kit is processed.

Henry Lee, UNH and China university collaborate to advance forensics with robots

Henry LeeWEST HAVEN >> Henry C. Lee, world-renowned criminologist and namesake of the University of New Haven’s Henry C. Lee Institute of Forensic Science, made the point himself Tuesday that he’s 78 now and can no longer run out to every single crime scene.
But a new joint U.S.-Chinese forensic technology research center that UNH and the Bejiing-based China University of Political Science and Law announced Tuesday aims to develop robots that can do what Lee does, among other things, Lee said.

Health Network Labs acquires two forensic labs, broadens DNA testing services

Blue and white helixHealth Network Laboratories, headquartered in Allentown, has acquired two State College-based forensic DNA laboratories that provide testing services for human identification, paternity and criminal investigation.
HNL now owns Fairfax Identity Laboratories and Mitotyping Technologies, which recently merged to also provide comprehensive DNA testing services for immigration, estate settlements, adoption and species lineage.

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Spectrum ImageDesigned for STR analysis, the Spectrum CE System is built to streamline and support forensic and paternity workflow needs. Spectrum combines state-of-the-art STR analysis functionality with increased run flexibility, auto-analysis, user-friendly software, and the service and support you’ve come to trust from Promega.
Spectrum CE System is expected to be available later in 2016.
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New FBI biometric tech facility speeds analysis

The FBI’s Criminal Justice Information Services Division began moving employees into its new Biometrics Technology Center in December just before Christmas, said Amy Hess, executive assistant director of the FBI’s Science and Technology branch.
The agency officially opened the center in August at its CJIS site in Clarksburg, W.Va.

England’s unclaimed dead and the people trying to give them a name

UK UnclaimedWithout a name, they are referred to by the clothes they died in or some other distinguishing feature. The lady in the Afghan coat and a woman who may have been a sex worker known as The Duchess are just two of the hundreds of unidentified body cases reported to the National Crime Agency (NCA) each year. Half will be identified and returned to their loved ones. But what happens to the rest?

Kuwait set to enforce DNA testing law on all

DNA Helix1KUWAIT: The DNA testing law that will go into effect this year is aimed at creating an integrated security database and does not include genealogical implications or affects personal freedoms and privacy. Senior officials told Kuwait Times that the law, the first of its kind in the world, will only be used for criminal security purposes. When the law (no. 78/2015) is applied, it will be binding on all citizens, expatriates and visitors too. A Kuwaiti security delegation had earlier visited Washington to study DNA testing systems there.

WVU teams up with New York City lab chief to offer Lean Six Sigma certification for forensic science professionals

WVUForensic science professionals can obtain a green belt in Lean Six Sigma certification from one of the foremost forensics professionals in the nation beginning in March. The certification will be taught though the West Virginia University Center for Executive Education in the College of Business and Economics.

Bill would require DNA swabs after some arrests

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Under a proposed law, anyone arrested for “crimes against persons” would have to surrender a DNA sample to the state’s crime lab.
Current state law requires DNA swabs upon conviction.

NIJ and the FBI Explore Ways to Improve the Testing of Sexual Assault Kits

dna_justiceThis 2.5-minute video explains what a sexual assault kit is and how investigators use it. The video is part of a series created by NIJ and the FBI Laboratory in Quantico to describe the NIJ-FBI partnership to test sexual assault kits that have not been submitted to a forensics laboratory. The partnership is helping to shed light on the complexities of sexual assault evidence processing. The team is using scientific methods to assess current practices and find new practices that improve the quality and speed of testing sexual assault kits.
Watch Video

DNA Confirms Headless Roman-Era ‘Gladiator’ Not From Britain – And Maybe Not A Gladiator

headless gladiatorThe “headless Romans” from Eboracum (modern York in England) made a splash when forensic analysis of the graveyard was first announced in 2010. Excavated between 2004-2005, the cemetery contained around 100 individuals, almost all of whom were male. This odd graveyard held more intrigue, though: many of the skeletons were decapitated, showed evidence of puncture wounds from animals, and had lopsided musculature. All of this was suggestive of their employment as gladiators. As the Roman Empire’s northernmost provincial capital, Eboracum flourished around 200 AD. But researchers have long wondered how cosmopolitan this remote outpost was.

DNA Evidence Is Next Frontier for Cambodia’s Crime Scene Investigators

Minister of Justice CambodiaDNA analysis has long been key to criminal investigations in the west, but until now it has not been available to Cambodian police. Now, a lower price tag for DNA analysis equipment has made it possible for the government to invest in this technology, said Minister of Justice Ang Vang Vathana yesterday.

Pre-register for Bode West and Save!

sheraton-san-diegoMarch 21 – March 24, 2016 at the Sheraton San Diego Hotel and Marina, San Diego, CA

Pre-register by January 16, 2016 to save $75 off of the general registration fee – click here to pre-register

The Annual DNA Technical Conferences are designed to provide DNA training on the latest techniques and technologies to the forensic scientific community as well as the opportunity for scientists to openly share experiences from their laboratories. Leaders from various law enforcement and federal agencies will provide lectures, demonstrations, and mini-workshops on new technologies, new concepts and challenges in the DNA identification field. This DNA forensic workshop includes a 2-day Technical Session comprised of technical presentations and mini-workshops.

Forensic Science Research and Development Symposium

Justice DeptNIJ 2016 Forensic Science R&D Symposium-OnSite
Tuesday, February 23, 2016 10:30:00 AM CST – 7:15:00 PM CST
Duration: 8 hour(s) 45 minute(s)
The NIJ Forensic Science Research and Development Symposium is a free, all day, open meeting being held in conjunction with the 68th Annual American Academy of Forensic Sciences Scientific Meeting at the Rio All-Suite Hotel, Las Vegas, NV.

Register Now!

Officials work to exhume body of ‘Baby Moses’ to help solve 1983 cold case

Baby MosesSTUART — Officials Monday worked on solving a homicide case that began in 1983 with the discovery of the body of an unidentified infant boy in a local waterway.
The probe led Martin County Sheriff’s Office investigators to Fernhill Memorial Garden on Kanner Highway, where three unidentified infants were buried separately in 1989, including the body of the infant sheriff’s investigators would refer to as “Baby Moses.”