Monthly Archives: April 2016

Forensic Analysis of Human DNA Conference

Blue Helix2
Advancing Fundamental Technologies from the Crime Lab to the Crime Scene
June 19-24, 2016 in Waterville Valley, NH

This meeting addresses the challenges facing forensic scientists and technology development scientists focused on sensitive STR profiling from DNA extracted from a broader range of sample types and with increasingly lower copy number. The focus will be on current forensic DNA analysis chemistries and instrumentation used for STR profiling, as well as next gen sequencing platforms that potentially offer enhanced capabilities for generating data for human ID. This will be an attractive discussion environment for stimulating discussions between the scientists and molecular biologists developing the technology, and the analysts using it in the criminal justice system. These discussions will be critical in synchronizing the needs of the analyst with the development capabilities of those in the research and development sector.

Touch DNA forensic technology used to nab gas station skimmer crook

touch DNA1LARGO, Fla. (WFLA) — Using incredible technology to track invisible DNA, the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office and Largo Police Department were able to catch an alleged crook accused of installing skimming devices at Largo gas pumps.
A simple touch of the hand proved to be the exact road map Pinellas County authorities needed to link skimmers found at a 7/11 gas station in Largo to 35-year-old Rafael De Los Rios, accused of trying to cheat customers out of cash.

New OK Law Requires DNA Samples Upon Felony Arrest

sample analysisOKLAHOMA CITY – Gov. Mary Fallin signed a bill into law Tuesday that requires DNA samples to be taken upon booking of a felony arrest.
The bill was brought up the last four years in a row by Rep. Lee Denney, R-District 33 out of Cushing, and failed before making it to the governor’s desk.

DNA Database Helping Solve More Crimes In South Dakota

Helix6PIERRE, S.D. -Since the late 1980s, law enforcement have known the power DNA evidence holds in the courtroom and the role it plays in getting a conviction. But in the last few years, South Dakota authorities are learning that collecting and holding onto that evidence is just as valuable.

OC DNA database closing cases

old DNAIn 2008, an unknown man approached a theater manager using a fake business card to identify himself as a police detective, claiming he was investigating a crime. He then pulled a gun and forced the manager to give him $15,000 from the safe. He fled, but left a rubber glove behind which was analyzed for DNA.

Twelve questions with Keith Bedford

Dr. Keith BedfordESR Forensics boss Dr Keith Bedford has had oversight of the forensic evidence in virtually every high-profile court case in New Zealand in recent decades, some of which are illuminated in Prime TV’s new show Forensics.

How to End an Enormous Backlog of Untested Rape Kits

Sexual assualt backlogAfter years of gathering dust in a Detroit warehouse, thousands of rape kits were finally tested in 2009 and revealed a chilling truth: Of 2,500 DNA hits, 650 turned out to be repeat offenders.
Findings like that raise concerns that there are serial rapists who haven’t been caught because of a backlog of roughly 400,000 untested rape kits sitting in crime labs across the United States, said Julie Smolyansky, an executive producer of The Hunting Ground, an award-winning documentary about campus sexual assault.

New Database Stores DNA for Use in Criminal Investigations

Database1SEOUL, April 26 (Korea Bizwire) — Vast amounts of genetic information from animals, plants, and microorganisms will soon be used in criminal investigations, primarily for crimes related to food and narcotics.
The forensic science division of the supreme prosecutor’s office (director Young-dae Kim) revealed Monday that it launched what is being called a ‘Barcode of Life Database’, which contains DNA information of over 180 million animals, plants, and other microorganisms.

From Fiction to Forensics: An Inspired Story for National DNA Day

DNA sequence examined under a magnifying glassNancy Drew and Kay Scarpetta — two names that will always put a smile on my face. I spent much of my youth reading about these two strong female characters. What do they have in common? They are fictional detectives that had an early influence on the career in DNA forensics that I have today at NIST.
As a young, avid reader, I remember always being at the bookstore when the latest Nancy Drew book was released, and I would devour it as fast as I could. These mysteries made me think, solve analytical problems, and simply want the “bad guys” to be caught and punished. I wanted to figure it out and actually be Nancy Drew.

Kuwait Becomes First Country To Collect DNA Samples From All Citizens And Visitors: Report

KuwaitKuwait is set to become the first country in the world to require all its citizens, visitors and expatriates to provide DNA samples for the government’s database, according to a report.
In July 2015, the Kuwaiti government passed the DNA testing law, which is set to go into effect later this year, according to the Kuwait Times. The DNA samples of at least 3.3 million people—gotten from saliva or few drops of blood—will be stored in a lab at the General Department of Criminal Evidence in Dajeej, a suburb about 12 miles south of Kuwait City.

Deadline Extended for Paul Coverdell Forensic Science Improvement Grants Program

Justice DeptNIJ is seeking proposals for the Paul Coverdell Forensic Science Improvement Grants Program, which awards grants to States and units of local government to help improve the quality and timeliness of forensic science and medical examiner/coroner’s office services. Among other things, funds may be used to eliminate a backlog in the analysis of forensic evidence and to train and employ forensic laboratory personnel, as needed, to eliminate such a backlog. State Administering Agencies (SAAs) may apply for both “base” (formula) and competitive funds. Units of local government may apply for competitive funds.
The deadline for applications under this funding opportunity has been extended to April 22.

Man abducted 19 years ago reunites with family

Man renunited with familyA 22-year-old man that was abducted when he was only 3 finally reunited with his biological parents on April 11, thanks to a DNA database that tries to link abducted people with their families, in Ankang city, Northwest China’s Shaanxi province.

15th Annual DNA Conference – Bode East 2016

DNA HelixRegister Today for The 15th Annual DNA Conference – Bode East
May 16-19, 2016 in Orlando, FL
Room Block ends on April 27th for Bode East – Annual DNA Conference

How the CIA helped get women’s skin ‘glowing’

CIAUSA Today- Call it the case of “The Spy Who Scrubbed Me.”
In an odd twist on spycraft, the Central Intelligence Agency has funded a company that makes a “skin resurfacing” beauty product called Clearista – a version of which also can be used to collect DNA and biomarkers, an investigative website reports.

Case is first before N.C. appellate courts involving ‘touch DNA’

Touch DNAWhen Mark Carver’s case went before North Carolina’s appellate courts, legal scholars hoped the judges would rule on the credibility of “touch DNA.” His was the first appellate case involving the technique.
But neither court ruled on that issue.