Daily Archives: September 3, 2018

Man Who Wrongfully Spent 17 Years in Prison in ‘Doppelgänger Case’ Seeks $1.1 Million

Nearly two decades ago, Richard A. Jones was convicted of aggravated robbery after being picked out of a lineup by witnesses who said he stole a cellphone in a Walmart parking lot in Kansas.
But while Mr. Jones, who maintains he is innocent, was serving his 19-year sentence at Lansing Correctional Facility, inmates told him he looked like a prisoner named Ricky.
That resemblance would eventually lead to his freedom.

Centuries-Old Plant Collection Now Online — A Treasure Trove For Researchers

At the Academy, the 1.5 million plant species in the collection are housed in large metal cabinets, which are compressed together in a windowless, 3rd floor room that smells pungently of herbs. The plants were dried, then sewn, glued or taped to paper, and placed in manila folders that are stacked up inside the cabinets.

Ashland has world’s only wildlife forensics lab

ASHLAND — The young golden eagle on the operating table showed no outward signs of trauma. An X-ray had revealed no fractures.
But this bird, a protected species, was dead — and that’s why it was here, beak-up in a laboratory. It had been shipped to this picturesque college town by federal agents somewhere in the West who suspected it had been electrocuted by power lines. Now its carcass was evidence in an investigation that could lead to criminal charges against a utility company.

The world’s oldest piece of solid cheese was found in an Egyptian tomb — and it reveals how important cheese was in human history

This 3,200-year-old find is exciting because it shows that the Ancient Egyptian’s shared our love of cheese — to the extent it was given as a funerary offering. But not only that, it also fits into archaeology’s growing understanding of the importance of dairy to the development of the human diet in Europe.

Telltale bits of DNA help track past and elusive wildlife

Animals lose hair, scales and feathers as they move. They also discard skin cells and waste. All of these leave traces of genetic material that can be detected hours, weeks or even millennia later.
Scientists say analyzing the DNA floating in waterways or hiding in soil, which they call environmental DNA or eDNA, promises to help in managing and protecting biodiversity. The tactic has become increasingly popular within the past few years and has already provided clues of ancient mammoths in Siberia, early warnings of frog die-offs in California and evidence of elusive sawfish in Mexico.

When your body is a crime scene: New initiative to track rape kits

While the majority of sex crimes go unreported, according to U.S. Department of Justice data, victims who pursue criminal charges often spend years waiting for justice. In Washington, thousands of survivors who underwent sexual assault forensic examinations to provide police with evidence kits remain in limbo, not knowing what became of their kits and hoping a new state tracking system will provide a sense of closure and justice.