Monthly Archives: May 2016

Meet Kristina Pearson, Operations Lead on the Spectrum Launch Team

Spectrum ImageryLate in 2016 Promega will introduce the Spectrum CE System for forensic and paternity analysis. Building this system requires of the efforts of many people from many disciplines–from our customers who have told us their needs to the engineers and scientists building the instrument and ensuring its performance. Periodically we will introduce our Promega Connections readers to a team member so that you can have a sneak peak and behind-the-scenes look at Spectrum CE System and the people who are creating it (of course if you truly want to be the first to know, sign up at to receive regular, exclusive updates about Spectrum CE).
Today we introduce Kristina Pearson, Operations Lead.

WWII sailor to get military burial after remains identified 70 years later

Anderson1HICKAM FIELD, HI. (WWBT) – -As Americans around the nation take time to honor those men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country, one man who died in combat during World War II will finally get a full military burial 70 years after his death.
The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency announced the remains a U.S. serviceman who had been unaccounted for since WWII has been identified and is being returned to his family where he will get a burial with full military honors Saturday afternoon in Minnesota during the Memorial Day weekend.

Decades later, two area servicemen laid to rest thanks to DNA advances

USS OklahomaBack then, the Navy identified fewer than three dozen killed on the Oklahoma. Two years later, salvage workers righted the crippled hulk and gathered skeletal remains from its hold. Bones from 388 still-missing crewmen were compiled in 61 caskets and, in 1950, buried together in the Punchbowl, the national military cemetery in Honolulu.

Bill Would Require Dna Samples From Americans When Sponsoring Family Visas

swabA new immigration bill under consideration by the House Judiciary Committee would impose unprecedented restrictions on U.S. citizens seeking to sponsor the immigration of their family members, requiring that all parties submit to mandatory DNA testing as part of their visa applications.

Tales of African-American History Found in DNA

African American MigrationIn a study published on Friday, a team of geneticists sought evidence for this history in the DNA of living African-Americans. The findings, published in PLOS Genetics, provide a map of African-American genetic diversity, shedding light on both their history and their health.

OCDA honors late pioneer, DNA evidence expert ADA Camille Hill

OCDA-sealThe Orange County District Attorney’s Office (OCDA) wishes to honor life and achievements of the prolific DNA expert and head of the OCDA DNA Unit, Assistant District Attorney Camille Hill, who passed away suddenly last Friday, May 20, 2016.

Ottawa police used ruse to get DNA from murder accused

dna12As far as the police were concerned, accused killer Gurpreet Ronald sealed her own fate — or, at least, licked it.
In some remarkable detective work, Ottawa police investigating the Jan. 29, 2014, slaying of Jagtar Gill surreptitiously got a DNA sample from her husband’s mistress, Gurpreet Ronald, in an elaborate ruse that had the murder suspect filling out a contest entry form and licking its envelope with the hopes of winning.

First DNA from ancient Phoenician shows Europe ancestry

Sabratha amphitheaterMIAMI: The first DNA analysis of 2,500-year-old remains from one of the great early civilizations of the Middle East, the Phoenicians, has shown the man had European heritage, researchers said Wednesday.
The mitochondrial DNA — or genetic information from his mother’s side — came from a man known as “Young Man of Byrsa” or “Ariche,” whose remains were uncovered in the Tunisian city of Carthage.

Archaeologists test DNA from bones of ancient marquis

DNA imageArchaeologists are using bones unearthed from the 2,000-year-old tomb of Haihunhou, the Marquis of Haihun, to conduct DNA analysis.
The burial site in Nanchang in east China’s Jiangxi Province is the best preserved tomb from the Western Han Period (206 BC-24 AD) ever found in China.

Multiple leads generated by DNA composite sketch of Fay murder suspect

snapshot1As part of their ongoing investigation, police recently requested a Snapshot Phenotype Report from Parabon Nanolabs Inc. be conducted on a DNA sample believed to be from Fay’s murderer. The test technology is approximately four years old and uses the DNA profile to make an analysis to predict the physical appearance and ancestry of the sample owner. It is commonly used to develop investigative leads, narrowing suspect lists and identifying unknown remains.

Eske Willerslev Is Rewriting History With DNA

Dr. Willerslev…”As the director of the Center for GeoGenetics at the University of Copenhagen, Dr. Willerslev uses ancient DNA to reconstruct the past 50,000 years of human history. The findings have enriched our understanding of prehistory, shedding light on human development with evidence that can’t be found in pottery shards or studies of living cultures…”

Time is running out. Submit an oral or interesting case abstract by June 1

ISHI 2016 BannerBe part of this year’s 27th International Symposium on Human Identification. Oral presentations are being solicited for the general session in the following categories:
• Advances in forensic technologies
• Policy, legal or procedural topics affecting the forensic community
• Interesting cases solved with DNA

All abstracts must be submitted electronically through the conference web site. Abstracts will be reviewed by an outside panel of experts and selected based on perceived interest to the forensic community. Abstracts not accepted for oral presentation will automatically be considered for poster presentation.
The oral abstract deadline is June 1, 2016.

Poster abstracts are also being accepted. Presenting a scientific poster at ISHI provides an excellent opportunity to share your research with the forensic community. All poster abstracts must be submitted through the conference web site.
The poster deadline is July 15, 2016.

NMS Labs and SmallPond Announce Commitment to Join Forces in Delivering Total Property Crimes Testing and Local DNA Databasing Solution for Law Enforcement

helix9WILLOW GROVE, Pa.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Two industry leaders, Willow Grove, PA-based NMS Labs and Fishers, IN-based SmallPond, LLC have joined forces to provide law enforcement with a complete, innovative solution for property crimes testing and local DNA databasing. Their intent is to offer a total solution that enables investigating officers to quickly obtain top-quality DNA analysis and implement a local DNA database using the web-based software, SmallPond™.

The unsolved enigma of early human migration

Antique world mapIt can be hard enough to remember who your second cousin once removed is. So it’s not surprising that tracing back the family tree to work out what the earliest humans were up to hundreds of thousands of years ago is quite a challenge.
“Everyone’s looking for the earliest evidence for modern humans everywhere,” says Professor Sue O’Connor, an archaeologist at ANU. “There is quite a lot of research effort focused on this.”

EgyptAir victims’ relatives give samples for DNA tests

CAIRO – Egyptian forensics officials collected DNA on Tuesday from relatives of EgyptAir MS804 victims to help identify body parts retrieved from the Mediterranean, where the crash killed 66 people, the airline said.
Investigators are still searching for Airbus A320’s two black boxes on the seabed as they seek answers as to why the aircraft came down early on Thursday.