Author Archives: ForensicConnect

Pop-Up Coronavirus Labs and a 5-Minute Test Take Aim at the Testing Void

Two and a half months after the first confirmed novel coronavirus case in the US, the virus has invaded the country’s east and west coasts and is quickly making its way into the center of the country. As the case tally swells and hospitals brace themselves for surges, one factor has remained stubbornly, ludicrously constant: we don’t have enough tests.

CDC’s Covid-19 diagnostic panel to use Promega’s amplification reagent

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has added Promega’s amplification reagent GoTaq Probe 1-Step RT-qPCR System to its coronavirus (Covid-19) diagnostic protocol for emergency use.

Mysterious human ancestor finds its place in our family tree

When it comes to deciphering our ancient family tree, DNA from fossils is the new gold standard. But after about half a million years, even the best-preserved DNA degrades into illegibility, leaving the story of our early evolution shrouded in mystery. A new study of proteins taken from the tooth of an enigmatic human ancestor reveals their rough place in the family tree—and shows how ancient proteins can push beyond the limits of DNA.

Coronavirus: lab capable of testing tens of thousands of samples a day opens in Abu Dhabi

A laboratory capable of processing tens of thousands of Covid-19 tests per day has opened in the UAE.
It is the first facility of its kind to operate on such a scale outside of China.

Local lab to start processing coronavirus tests from southwest Missouri providers

A local laboratory will start processing coronavirus tests amid a nationwide shortage of tests and backlogs at places processing them.
Springfield’s Dynamic DNA Laboratories has distributed 4,000 tests to Citizens Memorial Hospital, CoxHealth, Jordan Valley Community Health Center and Mercy which will be used on people referred by health care providers, according to a news release.

New public-private partnership expected to double Wisconsin’s COVID-19 testing capacity

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers announced on Monday a new public-private partnership that is expected to double the state’s current COVID-19 testing capacity.
Under the partnership, labs operated by Madison-based Exact Sciences Corp., Marshfield Clinic Health System, Madison-based Promega Corp. and UW Health will join an existing network of labs to bolster the state’s testing capacity.

NIST Funding Manufacturing Institutes

GAITHERSBURG, Md. — The U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has opened a funding opportunity for rapid, high-impact projects that support the nation’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Using funds appropriated by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act signed by President Trump on March 27, 2020, NIST will award these grants through the NIST Manufacturing USA National Emergency Assistance Program with no requirements for cost matching.

UC Berkeley lab pivots from editing DNA to processing COVID-19 tests

What happens when you combine a viral pandemic, an empty laboratory and a bunch of biologists who’ve been forced to put their regular work on pause?
In a matter of days, a UC Berkeley science building has converted to a COVID-19 test processing center, with researchers hoping to enable up to thousands more coronavirus tests per day in the East Bay.

Convicted serial killer known as the ‘Grim Sleeper’ found dead in prison cell

(CNN)A convicted serial killer, who murdered and preyed on women in California over a span of three decades, died over the weekend at San Quentin State Prison.
Lonnie Franklin, known as the “Grim Sleeper,” was found unresponsive in his cell Saturday night, according to a statement from the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

Genealogy company MyHeritage donates 66,000 swabs to Israel

The shipment of swabs is expected to arrive in Israel Monday, said Gilad Japhet, CEO and founder of MyHeritage.

Calling All People Who Sew And Make: You Can Help Make Masks For 2020 Healthcare Worker PPE Shortage

Dear Readers,
For those of you who are looking to help the caregivers, I am posting a news article from Forbes that contains a pattern for making face masks.
Stay Safe!

“If you want to rally the world to your cause, think like a little bird and tweet. Hospitals and doctors are reaching out via social media to ask for mission-critical help in solving the shortage of N95-type masks during the current Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.You can help. Today, right now. Are you sitting in your apartment or house in some sort of state-wide lockdown? You can do something to help others. People of all ages and walks of life are diving in to make a difference. Check out some of these amazing initiatives, both small and large:”

9 Ancient Objects That Have Had DNA Tests

DNA contains the biological instructions that drive the existence of every living organism, shaping the world as we know it. With the help of advanced technologies, these complex molecules can also reveal the secrets of people and creatures that came long before us. Scientists have studied DNA preserved within an array of centuries-old relics, from human remains, to fossilized rodents’ nests, to the pages of medieval manuscripts. Here are eight objects that have undergone DNA testing and yielded fascinating revelations about the history of life on Earth.

Out of the gloom, a portable COVID-19 test from Ottawa

For most of us, the COVID-19 virus has been a malevolent force, destroying jobs, wealth and social mobility. But for some, this new epoch is also an opportunity to draw on a lifetime of work to do good.

MU Health Opens Drive-Through COVID-19 Testing

MU Health Care started drive-through testing for COVID-19 in the parking lot of the Mizzou softball stadium. The system announced the station will be open for testing from 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. daily, including on the weekend.
Anyone wanting to get a test will first need an order from a healthcare provider. MU Health is offering free virtual screenings for people who think they may have the disease on its website.

HSC Fort Worth to help identify missing and murdered American Indians

The University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth (HSC) and Montana State University Billings are collaborating to use forensics to address a national epidemic of missing or murdered American Indians, HSC said in a news release.
Through the agreement, the HSC-based UNT Center for Human Identification and MSU Billings will establish forensic capabilities to use DNA to resolve missing person cases, solve crimes and help prevent human trafficking.