Author Archives: ForensicConnect

Increase Samples, Reduce Waste

Laboratory expenses can add up quickly, so you want to avoid losing budget costs to excess consumables. With the Maxwell® Instruments, you can process the number of samples you need without wasting reagents. The Maxwell® FSC Instrument can process batch sizes up to 16 samples, while the Maxwell® RSC Instrument can process up to 48 samples simultaneously. This flexibility in throughput lets you take control of your samples—and your laboratory budget.

8 Biotechs With Coronavirus Vaccines In Development


Dear Readers,
This is not the usual forensic news, but of interest to us all and gratifying to find positive actions and thoughts. Be well and lets flatten the curve.”

“About 35 vaccine candidates with different modes of action are in development for COVID-19, according to the World Health Organization.
The following are coronavirus vaccine candidates in development along with the sponsor, vaccine type and stage of development:”

State lab stays open over weekend, ramps up testing for COVID-19 coronavirus

With hundreds of coronavirus test specimens now coming in daily to UW-Madison’s Wisconsin State Laboratory of Hygiene, the lab stayed open over the weekend and has more than tripled its capacity.

Promega ramping up production of testing materials to address COVID-19 outbreak

Fitchburg-based Promega Corp. is ramping up production of lab materials used in tests for the new coronavirus as the virus continues its global spread.
Promega manufactures reagents and other lab equipment and materials for companies around the world, including Utah-based Co-Diagnostics which developed a test for the coronavirus.

Wisconsin Crime Labs use new DNA analysis program

MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) – Starting this year, Wisconsin State Crime Labs are using software that untangles the web of DNA left at a crime scene.

Old Bones Tell Tales: Scientists Use Ancient DNA To Identify Unmarked Graves

In a new study out in the American Journal of Physical Anthropology, scientists attempted to identify six historical remains found in unmarked graves in Québec, Canada, by sequencing ancient DNA and taking advantage of one of the few extensive genealogical databases available in the world.

Scots forensics expert says defence lawyers should be able to see secret police DNA files

Scotland is the only country in the civilised world where lawyers are denied access to this key evidence.

Rapid DNA Test Quickly Identifies Victims of Mass Casualty Event

To quickly identify victims of the 2018 Camp Fire, the deadliest wildfire in California’s history, researchers used a technique called Rapid DNA Identification that can provide results within hours, compared with months to years required of conventional DNA analysis.

Washington lawmakers looking to change way, where rape kits are stored

OLYMPIA — In recent years, Washington, like many other states, has been overwhelmed with a backlog of untested rape kits. The state has invested millions of dollars to reduce the number of untested kits — which reached nearly 10,000 in 2015 — and hopes to eliminate the backlog by December 2021.

A crushed water bottle just helped solve a $3 million Tampa jewelry heist

A crushed water bottle in a Tampa jewelry store and a burglary tool left in a Los Angeles home helped connect a $3 million bay area burglary to a similar crime in a Los Angeles property owned by actors Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell, according to law enforcement officials.

The wear patterns of your jeans aren’t good forensic evidence

Is every pair of jeans like no other? According to the testimony of FBI forensic analysts, the patterns seen on denim are reliably unique and can be used to identify a suspect in surveillance footage.
The problem is, this technique has never been subjected to thorough scrutiny, and evidence acquired through it may not be as strong as it has been claimed to be. A paper published in PNAS this week puts denim-pattern analysis through its paces, finding that it isn’t particularly good at matching up identical pairs of jeans—and may create a number of “false alarm” errors to boot.

How a man convicted of his high school girlfriend’s killing was freed by decades-old DNA evidence

Before Leah Freeman’s body was found outside of her hometown of Coquille, Oregon, in 2000, her gym shoes, one of them bloody, were virtually the only physical clues police had to figure out what had happened to the missing 15-year-old.
Nearly 20 years later, one of those same shoes has played a key role in freeing from prison the only person who has ever been convicted of killing her: Freeman’s high school boyfriend Nick McGuffin.

Genetic DNA tool used to catch Sycamore double murder suspect marks 100th case for lab

The DNA genealogy mapping used to connect an Ohio man with the brutal homicide of Patricia Wilson and Robert Wilson in Sycamore 3½ years later is the same complex forensic tool used to identify a suspect in the Golden State Killer case in California.
CeCe Moore, chief genetic genealogist at Reston, Virginia-based company called Parabon NanoLabs – which undertook an arduous process of building a family tree for the offender using publicly available DNA databases – said Monday’s arrest marked the 100th case the laboratory has helped solve using the DNA technology. The labs also used genetic phenotyping using DNA taken from the scene to compile a rough digital sketch of what the Wilson murder suspect might look like.

A wrongfully convicted man who spent 23 years in prison will receive $1.5 million from the state of Kansas

Lamonte McIntyre spent 23 years behind bars for a double murder he didn’t commit. On Monday, he was awarded $1.5 million to settle a lawsuit for his wrongful conviction, the Kansas State Attorney General’s office announced.

Cutbacks by Ancestry, 23andMe Signal a Shakeout for DNA Industry

(Bloomberg) — Consumer DNA-testing firms are closing up shop and cutting jobs, as a lull in sales forces the industry to move beyond the genealogy tests that turned a handful of well-funded companies into household names.
At least three companies have closed down or suspended their operations over the past year, while the two DNA-testing bellwethers, Ancestry.com LLC and 23andMe Inc., each cut approximately 100 jobs in recent weeks. Others have pulled tests from the market thanks to slow sales.