Monthly Archives: April 2017

Send Your DNA to Space and Back via New Service

The company that sells launch services for cremated remains is offering a new way for you to send a bit of yourself or your loved ones to space — with the added bonus that you don’t have to be dead to participate.
Houston-based Celestis on Friday (April 21) unveiled a new service that will put samples of DNA into space

State police to get DNA test done in 90 mins, the FBI way

NAGPUR: Maharashtra police would soon be able to match US’s Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in getting DNA profiling, fingerprinting and other tests. The DNA test results would not only be available within 90 minutes but also at the crime scene, if needed.

No Bones About It: Scientists Recover Ancient DNA From Cave Dirt

Sifting through teaspoons of clay and sand scraped from the floors of caves, German researchers have managed to isolate ancient human DNA — without turning up a single bone.
Their new technique, described in a study published on Thursday in the journal Science, promises to open new avenues of research into human prehistory and was met with excitement by geneticists and archaeologists.

Rapid Processing of Swabs from Casework Samples Using Casework Direct Kit, Custom

Screening for sperm in sexual assault samples is a laborious process with limited sensitivity in comparison to male DNA detection by amplification.
Direct amplification of casework samples reduces both cost (labor & reagent) as well as the for potential DNA loss during purification, a special concern with low template samples.
The Casework Direct Solution Kit rapidly generates lysates from casework samples that may be amplified with the PowerQuant®System to screen sexual assault samples for male DNA and to normalize human template for STR amplification with one of the PowerPlex®Systems.

DNA of long-dead sailors may solve great Canadian mystery

Tuesday, April 25, 2017, 11:51 AM – Long after the doomed Franklin Expedition came to its fated end, we’re a little closer to identifying the remains of some of the sailors who perished along with their captain.
John Franklin set out for the Northwest Passage in 1845, with 129 men aboard his ships, HMS Terror and HMS Erebus. Now, scientists say they’ve put together DNA profiles from the remains of some of the lost crew, a crucial step toward determining who they were.

DNA breakthrough for unknown soldiers

The chances of identifying some of the 35,000 Australian soldiers who lie unknown in foreign fields are a step closer with a dramatic DNA breakthrough by Sydney scientists.
The Australian Army’s Unrecovered War Casualties unit and NSW Health Pathology’s Forensic Science Service have been working with more that 300 sets of remains thought to be Australian servicemen for the past few months.

Gov. Eric Holcomb signs DNA collection bill

Gov. Eric Holcomb signed into law Friday a bill that allows the collection of DNA from those arrested on felony charges.
Senate Enrolled Act 322 requires anyone arrested for a felony after Dec. 31, 2017, to submit a DNA sample via cheek swab. It further stipulates that the sample may not be shipped for identification unless the person was arrested on a warrant or probable cause has been found for a felony arrest.

ASCLD Webinar: DNA Standards and Guidelines

The FBI’s Scientific Working Group on DNA Analysis Methods has issued a new version of the autosomal DNA Short Tandem Repeat (STR) interpretation guidelines. Register for a webinar to learn about changes to the interpretation guidelines including the background and scope of the changes.

Europe’s Famed Bog Bodies Are Starting to Reveal Their Secrets

If you’re looking for the middle of nowhere, the Bjaeldskovdal bog is a good place to start. It lies six miles outside the small town of Silkeborg in the middle of Denmark’s flat, sparse Jutland peninsula. The bog itself is little more than a spongy carpet of moss, with a few sad trees poking out. An ethereal stillness hangs over it. A child would put it more simply: This place is really spooky.

Albany State University’s Forensic Science program gains reaccreditation

ALBANY — The Albany State University Forensic Science program received reaffirmation of accreditation through 2022 by the Forensic Science Education Programs Accreditation Commission, making it the only FEPAC-accredited program in the state of Georgia.

Sessions’s Assault On Forensic Science Will Lead To More Unsafe Convictions-an editorial

…Without an entity to enable forensic science to prioritize research and then streamline, simplify and accelerate forensic reform, I fear that advancements will languish and we will soon return to our old ways. Rather than lament the death of NCFS, however, I call upon universities and crime labs to partner together in forensic science reform…

Strengthening Forensic Science Services through National Institute of Justice Grant Programs – 2016 Crime Laboratory Director’s Meeting Final Report

This is a report of the proceedings of a meeting of Forensic Laboratory Directors from various regions of the country convened by the U.S. Justice Department’s National Institute of Justice (NIJ) for the purposes of obtaining information and feedback on NIJ programs that are dedicated to forensic science laboratories, as well as providing an opportunity for an open discussion about the needs and challenges facing forensic science practitioners.

State Police Crime Lab eyes familial DNA searching, a controversial crime-solving tool

The Louisiana State Police Crime Lab is preparing to expand its criminal DNA testing to include a controversial technique known as familial searching, a tool that could breathe new life into aging cold cases by identifying close relatives of suspects.
Louisiana intends to join a growing list of states that over the past decade have cautiously adopted the technique, which has been hailed by detectives as a potential game-changer in solving crimes but has been assailed by critics as ethically and legally questionable.

Sessions Is Wrong to Take Science Out of Forensic Science

The New York times – Prosecutors applauded the April 10 announcement by Attorney General Jeff Sessions that the Department of Justice was disbanding the nonpartisan National Commission on Forensic Science and returning forensic science to law enforcement control. In the same statement, Mr. Sessions suspended the department’s review of closed cases for inaccurate or unsupported statements by forensic analysts, which regularly occur in fields as diverse as firearm and handwriting identification, and hair, fiber, shoe, bite mark and tire tread matching, and even fingerprinting analysis.

Sessions orders Justice Dept. to end forensic science commission, suspend review policy

Attorney General Jeff Sessions will end a Justice Department partnership with independent scientists to raise forensic science standards and has suspended an expanded review of FBI testimony across several techniques that have come under question, saying a new strategy will be set by an in-house team of law enforcement advisers.
In a statement Monday, Sessions said he would not renew the National Commission on Forensic Science, a roughly 30-member advisory panel of scientists, judges, crime lab leaders, prosecutors and defense lawyers chartered by the Obama administration in 2013.
A path to meet needs of overburdened crime labs will be set by a yet-to-be-named senior forensic adviser and an internal department crime task force, Sessions’s statement said.