Daily Archives: November 22, 2019

Testing complete on thousands of Wisconsin sexual assault kits

MADISON, Wis. (AP) – Attorney General Josh Kaul says testing is finally finished on thousands of unanalyzed sexual assault evidence kits.
Kaul said Wednesday testing was finished on all 4,471 kits designated for analysis. The state Justice Department started analyzing the kits in 2016. Testing has resulted in a dozen criminal cases so far and at least one conviction.

Why screening DNA for ‘designer babies’ probably won’t work

Picking embryos based on genetics might not give prospective parents the “designer baby” they’re after.
DNA predictions of height or IQ might help would-be parents select an embryo that would grow into a child who is, at most, only about three centimeters taller or about three IQ points smarter than an average embryo from the couple, researchers report November 21 in Cell. But offspring predicted by their DNA to be the tallest among siblings were actually the tallest in only seven of 28 real families, the study found. And in five of those families, the child predicted to be tallest was actually shorter than the average for the family.

Estate of executed man has no standing to obtain DNA testing, judge rules

A Memphis judge on Monday tossed a petition to obtain DNA testing in the case of a man executed 13 years ago.
Judge Paula Skahan ruled the estate of Sedley Alley did not have standing to petition for the DNA. The Associated Press, the Memphis Commercial Appeal and the New York Times have coverage.

How One Archaeologist–Artist Completely Reconstructed the Body of a 7,000-Year-Old Woman

Oscar Nilsson is a world-renowned reconstruction artist, taking the remains of prehistoric humans and bringing them back to life using a complex system of anatomical analysis, 3D printing, and occasional DNA analysis. But what’s equally vital to his job is a sense of context.

Arkansas ahead of the curve in testing sexual assault kits

LITTLE ROCK (KATV) — Thousands of sexual assault kits still need to be analyzed nationwide according to the latest data released.
As part of a sexual assault kit survey of all DNA laboratories in the country, the American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors estimated 98,022 kits still need analysis.
Kermit Channel also emphasized the state is ahead of the curve on testing kits. He credits legislation passed in 2019 which mandates a tracking system.

Dutch police podcast unearths clues to decades-old murder

True crime podcasts are nothing new, but for police in the Netherlands this was an unprecedented venture. Thousands tuned in to the three-part series when it aired last month and tip-offs have been coming in ever since.

Madison police arrest suspect in woman’s 1994 death

MADISON (WKOW) — Dane County Court records show Madison police arrested a 52-year-old man in Indiana for reckless homicide Wednesday in connection with a woman’s death in Madison twenty-five years ago.
A major break came in December of 2015 when the Wisconsin State Crime Laboratory learned of a CODIS (Combined DNA Index System) DNA match, linking Coleman to the case, according to police. A criminal complaint states in 2017, technicians at the state crime lab matched more DNA from Cunnigan’s sweater and other places to Coleman.

No Nuclear DNA in Rootless Hair: Myth or Fact?

Hair shafts, particularly rootless ones (telogen hair), are common exhibits found in crime scenes. They can be deposited either normally due to shedding or by force due to hair plucking. Based on the American Academy of Dermatology, the normal rate of shed hair per day is 50 to100 strands [1]. However due to the structure and the composition of hair, it was believed for decades that shed telogen hair has no nuclear DNA.