Category Archives: Database

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.

Congress urged to renew funding for DNA testing

Over the next 15 years, nearly 200,000 DNA matches have been made by a national database after samples were submitted because of the Debbie Smith DNA Backlog Grant Program. But now that funding is set to expire, so Smith stood on a podium in Washington on Friday morning and pleaded with Congress to reauthorize the funding before the law expires Sept. 30.

N.Y.P.D. Detectives Gave a Boy, 12, a Soda. He Landed in a DNA Database.

The city has 82,473 people in its database. Many of them have no idea their genetic information is there.

Seattle bill may grant access to hundreds of DNA samples in murder cases

A bill making its way through Seattle’s City Council would land DNA samples from hundreds of convicted misdemeanor offenders in a federal crime database.
The federal Combined DNA Index System (CODIS) database compares DNA samples to crime scenes across the country in hopes of solving cold cases or future offenses.

Tom Cullerton applauds ISP’s efforts to eliminate forensic backlog

State Senator Tom Cullerton (D-Villa Park) praised the Illinois State Police crime lab’s efforts to reduce the massive backlog of cases awaiting DNA analysis. This month, ISP posted 26 job postings for forensic scientists to get to work on the massive backlog of cases. Filling these positions will allow the agency to address the backlog.

In an Apparent First, Genetic Genealogy Aids a Wrongful Conviction Case

It started as a way to trace family history. It evolved into a tool to help solve decades-old cold cases. Now, for apparently the first time, a genealogy database is expected to lead to charges being dropped against an Idaho man convicted in a decades-old rape and murder case.

Crusader for Spain’s abducted babies finds biological family

BARCELONA, Spain — A woman who became a crusader for babies abducted during Spain’s 20th-century dictatorship said Thursday that she has found her biological family and learned that her mother gave her up voluntarily.
Inés Madrigal said that thanks to an American DNA bank she has found four half siblings five decades after her birth.

DNA From a Shark Tooth Embedded in a Man’s Foot for 25 Years Identifies the Culprit

It was unclear what species of shark attacked Jeff Weakley while he was surfing off Flagler Beach, Florida in 1994. Whether it was a tiger shark, bull shark, great white shark, or some other predator didn’t matter at the time—his priority was swimming to safety before the shark could take another bite.
Twenty-five years later, the wound on Weakley’s right foot has healed, and he’s had plenty of time to wonder what exactly bit him on that beach trip. By analyzing a tooth fragment that was lodged in his foot for more than two decades, a team of scientists has finally given him an answer, the Ocala StarBanner reports.

Houston Sexual Assault Survivors Can Now Track Their Evidence Kits

Houston is one of several Texas cities participating in the pilot phase of an online tool that allows survivors of sexual assault to track their sexual assault evidence kits. Experts are confident the new technology will help investigators maintain an up-to-date statewide inventory of sexual assault kits once the current backlog is cleared.

Largest DNA mapping effort in U.S. history launched in Utah

Intermountain Healthcare and ‘Decode Genetics’ have launched the largest DNA mapping effort to date in the United States to help make connections between genetics and human disease.
The initiative is called ‘Heredigene Population Study’.
It’s going to take DNA from 500,000 people to hopefully make a global impact on healthcare.

UK and EU law enforcement boost co-operation on DNA databases

Law enforcement agencies in the UK and across the EU will be able to search for matching samples on each other’s DNA databases, boosting their capacity to tackle cross-border crime and protect citizens.
The UK’s implementation of Prüm will facilitate better co-operation between police forces and law enforcement agencies. Unknown DNA samples taken from crime scenes can now be compared automatically with profiles held by other EU member states.

Texas Senate approves DNA collection on violent arrests

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Wednesday night, the Senate passed House Bill 1399, a bill allowing law enforcement to collect DNA samples of people they arrest for violent crimes like murder, rape, and assault.

Duluth Police: All backlog sexual assault kits tested, investigations ongoing

DULUTH, MN– Around this time last year, the Duluth Police Department was in over their heads.
Duluth was being called the worst city in the state when it came to efficiently testing sexual assault kits with hundreds of kits, some dating back to 1993.
Now, more than a year later, the department has submitted all of its kits and we’re learning the results of the testing.

Woman accused in death of newborn granted pretrial release

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — A South Dakota woman charged with murder in the death of her newborn who was abandoned in a ditch 38 years ago has been released from jail.
Theresa Bentaas, 57, has been in the Minnehaha County Jail since her arrest March 8. Investigators said they used advances in DNA evidence and genealogy sites to determine she was the mother of the infant, called Baby Andrew, whose body was found wrapped in a blanket in a cornfield ditch in Sioux Falls in February 1981.

DNA database opts a million people out from police searches

A major DNA database that has been pivotal in solving US cold crime cases has blocked law enforcement access to the profiles of a million people, in a setback for investigators and a victory for campaigners.