Author Archives: ForensicConnect

In Memory of Diana Nagy

Diana NagyIt is with tremendous sadness that we share the loss of Diana Nagy, who passed away recently after a brave battle against glioblastoma. Diana was with Promega for more than 21 years, and made significant contributions in her role as Contracts Manager for the Genetic Identity business at Promega. One of her favorite parts of her job was being the curator of Forensic Connect. She loved finding fascinating stories of real world cases to post on Forensic Connect, and took great pride in sharing news of the latest advances in forensic science on the site.

Away from work, she loved to cook for her husband Randy—they celebrated their 15th wedding anniversary in 2020. She was a voracious reader, a highly talented seamstress, and a loving dog mom to her Chihuahua’s, Bella and Buster. Her daughter, Lindsay and she were quite close, and they loved their annual Ferris Bueller day away from their jobs together. They spent the past few months of Diana’s life making memories together, sharing laughs while they enjoyed doing the things Diana most loved.

Diana will be missed by everyone on the Genetic Identity team. She always had a smile for whomever needed one. Her kindness, sense of humor, and friendship were true gifts to all who had the good fortune to know her.

Because Forensic Connect was inimitably Diana’s endeavor, we have decided to close the site down. If you wish to keep up with the latest in DNA forensics, you may wish to subscribe to ISHInews blog or the ISHI report. You can learn more at

The Promega Genetic Identity Team

Obituary for Diana Lee Nagy. View details at

New Study Found DNA Inherited From Neanderthals Increases the Risk of Suffering Severe COVID-19

oA new study has identified that the stretch of DNA that may be linked to COVID-19 was passed down from the Neanderthals 60,000 years ago. However, they still do not know the reasn why this particular segment increases the risk of having severe illness from the coronavirus.

He went missing decades ago. DNA helped police ID the body of Dwight Michael Gordon last month.

Investigators used DNA evidence to identify the remains of a Winston-Salem man who was reported missing nearly 34 years ago, authorities said Monday.
On July 24, 1986, Dwight Michael Gordon’s family reported him missing to the Winston-Salem Police Department, police said in a statement. Gordon was 37 and had been living on Washington Avenue.

Illinois sees more than 30-percent reduction in state forensic backlog

On Wednesday, July 1 Illinois State Police (ISP) Director Brendan Kelly announced the State has achieved a 33-percent overall reduction in its biology and forensic DNA backlog.
Forensic backlogs are a challenge faced by crime laboratories across the country, explained Kelly. He said the state of Illinois is not exempt.

Stuck at Home, Scientists Discover 9 New Insect Species

WHEN THE NATURAL History Museum of Los Angeles County shut down due to the pandemic in mid-March, Lisa Gonzalez headed home with the expectation that she would be back in a few weeks. But once it became clear that she wouldn’t get back anytime soon, Gonzalez, the museum’s assistant entomology collection manager, converted her home’s craft room into a makeshift lab. Then she began sifting through thousands of insects the museum had previously collected via a citizen science project.

NIST Adds New ‘Fingerprints’ to Chemical Identification Database

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has updated its database of chemical fingerprints, called mass spectra, that are used to identify unknown chemical compounds. The NIST Mass Spectral Library and its new version, called NIST20, is used in health care, drug discovery, foods and fragrances, oil and natural gas, environmental protection, forensic science and almost every other industry that manufactures or measures physical stuff.

Important Update- ISHI 31 will be a virtual event

The health and safety of our ISHI attendees, exhibitors, partners, and staff is our top priority. Although we would love to gather together this fall in San Antonio, the uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 pandemic makes it impossible for us to guarantee a safe and satisfactory experience for attendees. We have determined that restrictions on travel, occupancy limits at the venue and masking requirements would negatively impact an in-person ISHI 31.

We recognize that hearing updates on forensic science is still of vital interest to the community. We are also aware that the pandemic is adversely affecting budgets for forensic labs. In order to support the educational needs of the forensic community, the ISHI virtual experience will be offered at a nominal price to make the symposium accessible to the largest audience possible.

To address questions you may have, we have updated our Frequently Asked Questions page. Please contact Sharon Zelanka with any additional questions. While we’re disappointed that we won’t be together in San Antonio this fall, we can’t wait to connect with you online!

Face mask DNA leads to arrest of accused rapist in California

KING CITY, Calif. (KSBW) – DNA evidence recovered from a face mask led to the arrest of a suspected rapist in California.
It all unfolded when the suspect was asked to come to the King City Police Department to be questioned regarding an unrelated crime. That’s when investigators used fancy detective work to get a sample of his DNA.

DNA Analysis Offers Clues to Production of the Dead Sea Scrolls

TEL AVIV, ISRAEL—According to a Science News report, molecular biologist Oded Rechavi of Tel Aviv University and his colleagues analyzed animal DNA obtained from 26 Dead Sea Scroll fragments in order to study the possible origins of the ancient parchments.

GSK plans to produce one billion pandemic vaccine adjuvant doses

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) is set to produce one billion doses of its pandemic vaccine adjuvant system next year to support adjuvanted Covid-19 vaccine candidates development.
The news comes after the company performed global manufacturing review and decided to invest for expanded manufacturing capacity.

Six more victims of plane crash identified through DNA tests

KARACHI: Remains of six more victims of the Pakistan International Airlines plane crash tragedy were identified through DNA tests at a Karachi University (KU) laboratory on Thursday.

Investigators use DNA, genetic genealogy to ID another victim of Long Island serial murders

LONG ISLAND, N.Y. — Police on Long Island have added another link in a chain of 11 unsolved Gilgo Beach killings believed to be the work of a serial killer.
Using genetic genealogy, Suffolk County police investigators have identified one of the slain women, initially dubbed “Jane Doe No. 6,” as Valerie Mack, police officials said Thursday. Mack’s identification comes 20 years after she vanished.

Boulder County Sheriff’s Office solves 1970 rape and murder case

The Boulder County Sheriff’s Office said DNA evidence has identified a man who died in 2019 as the person who likely raped and murdered a 23-year-old Denver woman in 1970.
According to a release, Betty Lee Jones was found dead on March 9, 1970, by two Colorado Department of Transportation workers down an embankment on Colo. 128 near the Boulder and Jefferson county border.

New DNA evidence in 20-year-old murder

New DNA results in a 20-year-old cold case in Kihei puts the defendant at the scene of the alleged murder, police said Thursday.
The Maui Police Criminal Investigation Division was informed this month that DNA recovered from blood samples found at the crime scene belong to defendant Anthony Moreno, who was charged with second-degree murder in an indictment returned in November by a Maui County grand jury.

Facial recognition helps reunite kidnapped toddler with family after 32 years

(CNN)A man who was abducted as a toddler 32 years ago was finally reunited with his biological family Monday, with the help of facial recognition technology.
Mao Yin was taken from his parents in 1988 when he was two years old while outside of a hotel in the Chinese city of Xi’an, in Shaanxi province. He was then sold to a childless couple in the neighboring Sichuan province, according to Chinese state-broadcaster CCTV.