Monthly Archives: February 2017

DNA analysis of severed leg could take weeks, officials say

femur-analysisNJ NATIONAL PARK — Officials say it will take several weeks to analyze DNA collected from a human leg found on the Delaware River shoreline on Sunday.
The decomposed lower leg and foot have no markings, and no clothing or shoe were attached, according to the Gloucester County Prosecutor’s Office.

2nd International Symposium on Forensic Science Error Management

nist-image-for-error-symposiumNIST and the FBI invite you to the second International Symposium on Forensic Science Error Management, where speakers, panels, posters, and workshops will address ways to detect, measure, and mitigate forensic science errors. This symposium promises an eye-opening, candid appraisal of root causes and possible solutions while providing a forum for open dialog about this sensitive topic.

Ancient DNA Yields Unprecedented Insights into Mysterious Chaco Civilization

pueblo-bonitoThe results suggest that a maternal “dynasty” ruled the society’s greatest mansion for more than 300 years, but concerns over research ethics cast a shadow on the technical achievement.

Harvard Medical School Geneticist David Reich Shares $1M Prize for Ancient DNA Discoveries

ancient human DNANewswise — David Reich, professor of genetics at Harvard Medical School, has been named co-recipient of the 2017 Dan David Prize in archaeology and natural sciences.
Citing Reich as “the world’s leading pioneer in analyzing ancient human DNA,” the prize committee recognized him for his discovery that Neanderthals and humans interbred, “which was a step-change in human evolution studies.”
Reich shares the $1 million prize with longtime collaborator Svante Pääbo of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Germany, who is credited with founding the field of genomic archaeology.

House approves bill calling for DNA swabs to be taken from those arrested for felonies

buccal-swab-1INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – The Indiana House of Representatives passed a bill Tuesday that would allow law enforcement to expand the use of DNA to combat and solve crimes.
Under House Bill 1577, those arrested for a felony would have a DNA profile taken through a cheek swab. The profile would be run through a federal DNA database to help law enforcement with unsolved crimes.
Currently, Indiana law only allows for the swab to be taken after a felony conviction.

Cutting-Edge Dna Analysis Adds New Insight To Three Centuries Of Pueblo History

pueblo-artifactsA single small burial room in the ruins of Pueblo Bonito in Chaco Canyon held the richest cache of rare and valuable materials – turquoise, silver, abalone and conch shells – ever found in the American Southwest.
Now, researchers have determined for the first time – through mitochondrial and nuclear DNA testing – that the individuals interred there more than 1,000 years ago were related through the female line and most likely part of an elite lineage or clan.

Austin Police Department Contracts Company to Clear DNA Kit Backlog

DNA RenderingAPD will contract with a company called Signature Science to test up to 60 cases a month. The police department has been reeling from the effects of closing its DNA lab last June.

Va. Beach rape kits get hits in CODIS DNA database

dna-testNORFOLK, Va. (WVEC) — Rape victims in Hampton Roads are one step closer to justice.
13News Now has uncovered the results of newly-tested rape kits from some of our local police departments, and they match suspects in the national database.
Some of the victims in these cases have been waiting for test results of their rape kits for decades. We now know evidence from 14 of the kits sent from Virginia Beach Police matches profiles already in CODIS.

DNA evidence revealed

evidence-collectionMENOMINEE — Jolene Eichhorn’s blood was found in Gregory Ihander’s home and on his clothing, and Ihander’s DNA was found along with Eichhorn’s on the bloody sandals found in a trash bag in his bathroom Sept. 9, 2015.
A DNA expert from the Michigan State Police Department of Forensic Science in Grand Rapids testified Friday in Menominee County Circuit Court to the DNA matches that were found on several items taken from Ihander’s home and on the clothing he was wearing the day he was arrested.

GBI plans for new regional crime lab to address growing population, caseload

Gray DNAThe case load has grown for the Georgia Bureau of Investigation’s Coastal Regional crime laboratory since the unassuming brick building was built on Savannah’s southside 30 years ago.
But apart from the addition of an annex to house the facility’s morgue and medical staff in 2003, the lab on Mohawk Street has stayed pretty much the same, and GBI officials say it’s time for an upgrade.

Forensic Artist Gives Unidentified Bones a Face

arkansas-artistLITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Right now, there are more than 100 unidentified persons cases in Arkansas. That’s more than 100 families that are missing a loved one.
Even though some missing persons’ remains may have been found, they have yet to be claimed.

Public Crime Lab Funding Webinar Recording, Transcript, and Slides Now Available

Justice Dept

NIJ held a webinar to provide details and guidance for potential applicants to several solicitations for publicly funded crime laboratories. Materials from the webinar are now available online.
Watch the recording.
Read the transcript.
Review the presentation slides.

Open solicitations discussed in the webinar include:
• Research and Evaluation for the Testing and Interpretation of Physical Evidence in Publicly Funded Forensic Laboratories Due February 27
• Paul Coverdell Forensic Science Improvement Grants Program – Competitive Due March 10
• Paul Coverdell Forensic Science Improvement Grants Program – Formula Due March 10
• Forensic DNA Laboratory Efficiency Improvement and Capacity Enhancement Program Due March 13
• DNA Capacity Enhancement and Backlog Reduction (CEBR) Program Due March 13

Promega Corporation Brings High-Performance DNA Analysis to the Benchtop with New Spectrum Compact CE Instrument

spectrum_compact_ce_system_webreadyMADISON, Wis.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Soon scientists will be able to perform efficient DNA analysis right at their bench. Promega Corporation has announced the development of a benchtop capillary electrophoresis (CE) instrument in collaboration with Hitachi High-Technologies Corporation. The Spectrum Compact CE System meets small batch and single sample needs in DNA analysis and performs both sequencing and fragment analysis at a moment’s notice.

From SWGDAM: Recommendations for the Efficient DNA Processing Of Sexual Assault Evidence Kits

swgdam1The SWGDAM Recommendations for Efficient DNA Processing of Sexual Assault Evidence Kits are now available.

What happens to unidentified remains after case goes cold?

burial-siteIn February 2012, a Manorville man walking his dog in a wooded area near his house made a startling discovery: a human skull and other skeletal remains.
Five years later, all forensic analysts have discovered is that the remains were those of a man, likely white with brown hair and anywhere from 30 to 50 years old. His right fibula had been fractured but had healed.