Daily Archives: September 13, 2019

Forensic science isn’t ‘reliable’ or ‘unreliable’: It depends on the questions you’re trying to answer

After recent criticism in the US and the UK, forensic science is now coming under attack in Australia. Several recent reports have detailed concerns that innocent people have been jailed because of flawed forensic techniques.
Among the various cases presented, it is surprising that the most prominent recent miscarriage of justice in Victoria did not rate a mention: the wrongful conviction of Farah Jama, who was found guilty of rape in 2008 before the verdict was overturned in 2009.

1.7-Million-Year-Old Rhino Tooth Provides Oldest DNA Data Ever Studied

DNA sequencing has revolutionized the way researchers study evolution and animal taxonomy. But DNA has its limits—it’s a fragile molecule that degrades over time. So far, the oldest DNA sequenced came from a 700,000-year-old horse frozen in permafrost. But a new technique based on the emerging field of proteomics has begun to unlock the deep past, and recently researchers extracted genetic information from the tooth enamel of a rhinoceros that lived 1.7 million years ago.

Tuam survivors ‘pleased’ they can offer their DNA samples can be taken

Groups representing survivors of the Tuam Mother and Baby Home have cautiously welcomed a new report which said that their DNA can be taken without the need for new legislation.
The report, prepared by Dr Geoffrey Shannon following a call from the Tuam Home Survivors’ Network in February, found that while the current legislative framework may not suitable for the collection of such samples, it could be done by way of a voluntary administrative scheme and without the need for new legislation.

A girl was found dead at the beach after a bike ride in 1972. DNA helped police identify a suspect

(CNN)An 11-year-old girl went on a bike ride on Thanksgiving Day in 1972. The next day her body was found dumped on a rocky beach near the Pacific Ocean in Southern California. She’d been raped and strangled.
Police conducted more than 2,000 interviews and followed numerous leads but could not identify a suspect in the death of Terri Lynn Hollis until this year. On Wednesday, Torrance police announced a suspect — now dead — has been identified through a match made on a national DNA database.