Monthly Archives: August 2016

Documenting The Dead On The Arizona Border: Lonely Remains Are Matched To Lost Loved Ones

Blue Helix2On August 8 of this year, a U.S. Border Patrol agent tracking a group of illegal immigrants from Mexico came upon the lonely remains of what was likely a person who’d crossed the border into the U.S. some time ago. The remains were scattered, incomplete and the person they once comprised, was unidentified, unknown.

New tech helps catch ‘serial killer’



The ministry said it used new technology to retest biological evidence, allowing it to identify Gao. Earlier this year officers examined Gao’s DNA and fingerprints and found they matched those of the wanted killer.

FBI’s New DNA Process Produces More Matches in Suspect Database

FBI InstrumentsWASHINGTON—Federal Bureau of Investigation scientists have adopted a new method of analyzing DNA samples, generating thousands of fresh potential leads in cold cases from the world’s largest genetic database of suspects.
The change doesn’t affect how the FBI collects or tests samples, but how it compares them at its laboratory facilities in Quantico, Va.

Gov. Matt Bevin Ceremonially Signs Sexual Assault Evidence Collection Kit Bill

Backlog of sexual assault kitsFRANKFORT, Ky. (8/25/16) — Gov. Matt Bevin, joined by Sen. Denise Harper Angel, Sen. Whitney Westerfield, Kentucky State Police Commissioner Rick Sanders and Kentucky State Auditor Mike Harmon, yesterday ceremonially signed Senate Bill 63, requiring all sexual assault examination kits which have not been subjected to testing, be submitted to the Kentucky State Police forensic laboratory by Jan. 1, 2017.

How A Harvard Doctor’s Sordid Murder Launched Modern Forensic Anthropology

Remains for anthroThe history of modern forensic anthropology is a bit murky. As an applied science rather than a “pure” one, forensics was shunned for decades, its findings inadmissible in court. But the 19th century murder of a Harvard Medical School doctor launched the field, revolutionized law in the process, and began our longstanding fascination with TV shows like CSI and Bones.

Harvard University experts analyze DNA of Peru’s ancient female ruler

CaoLima, Aug. 26. Archaeologist Regulo Franco Jordan announced that Harvard University experts have started to analyze the DNA of Lady of Cao, the first female ruler of pre-Columbian Peru.

Police take step toward creating ‘wanted’ posters from DNA, thanks to new study

ancestryIt’s no secret that there is a genetic aspect to our looks ‒ how many times have you heard you look like a relative? It turns out that specific genetic mutations are responsible for many facial features, from nose size to face width, a new study finds.
Researchers led by John Shaffer, assistant professor of human genetics at the University of Pittsburgh, analyzed the genomes of more than 3,000 people with European ancestry. The subjects then had 3D scans done of their faces, which the scientists used to focus on 20 different facial traits, including measurements and sizes across different areas of the face.

Allegheny County paying double for DNA analysis program

new blue helixAllegheny County officials decided to buy TrueAllele, a new probabilistic genotyping program used to identify suspects in complex DNA mixtures involving more than one person, almost a decade ago.
Nine years after the $206,000 grant-funded purchase, the program is still not in use. Lab officials shelved it, citing among other concerns the program’s complexity, its general acceptance in the scientific community and reproducibility of results.

DNA evidence from burglaries goes untested in Harris County

Helix4HARRIS COUNTY, Texas – Channel 2 Investigates has discovered that evidence that could help solve burglaries in the county has been collected from crime scenes but never tested because the county crime lab put a hold on touch DNA testing of property crimes last year.
“Right now, we’re focusing our efforts on the most important crimes: the sex assaults. the homicides.
We’ll get back to property crimes soon and the opportunity arises,” Roger Kahn, the crime laboratory director of the Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences, said.

Expansion Of Regional Forensic Science Center On Track For 2018

dna_labSedgwick County is planning to expand the Regional Forensic Science Center in order to meet the increasing demand for DNA analysis in criminal cases.
The $4 million project will begin in 2018, and it will be the second expansion in the center’s 21-year history. KMUW’s Deborah Shaar had an opportunity to see how crime science happens.

Hundreds of rape kits, some stored for years, to flood State Crime Lab

NorrisThe GBI’s State Crime Lab expects to receive an additional 864 rape kits within a week that have been stored, for years in some cases, in police evidence lockers and never analyzed for DNA matches.
Sixty-one percent of them will come from the Atlanta Police Department, according to GBI records.

Is it your second cousin? Cotton swabs may tell you

DNA RelationshipsWith a new technique, a simple swab sample can accurately confirm relatedness between two individuals as distant as second cousins. With more DNA datasets at hand, the method could be utilized to identify disaster victims in mass floods and tornadoes that destroy entire communities.

DNA tests to establish if pigtails belonged to mutineers on the Bounty

HMS BountyDNA tests could prove that seven pigtails kept in a 19th-century tobacco tin belonged to the mutineers on HMS Bounty, the first physical evidence of the men’s existence.
While the story of the mutiny against captain William Bligh by his disaffected crew in the South Pacific in 1789 is famous, the only tangible evidence of those who hid from justice on the remote Pitcairn Islands is the grave of mutineer John Adams.

Females working in forensic science labs report high stress levels than male counterparts

DNA techomen may be at the forefront of the fast-growing forensic science field, but they’re also more stressed than their male counterparts, indicates new research led by a Michigan State University criminologist.

AP police to soon have DNA index system

navy DNAHYDERABAD, AUG 21: Andhra Pradesh police will soon have the backing of DNA technology to improve efficiency of policing. The State Government has decided to use a technology sourced from IntegenX Inc., US to generate DNA profiles and create a database.