Category Archives: DNA Education

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.

What Does DNA Tell Us About Race?

The American Association of Physical Anthropologists, an organization of scientists dedicated to the study of the biological variation, adaptation, and evolution of humans and our close relatives, has just released a position statement on race and racism. It provides a nice insight into what has been learned about patterns of genetic and phenotypic variation in human populations since the publication of Watson and Crick’s paper 66 years ago.

Promega Webinar: The Y-HRD Database: How It Works and How to Use It in Casework

Speaker: Lutz Roewer, PhD
Associate Professor for Forensic Genetics
Institute of Legal Medicine, Humboldt-University Berlin, Germany

Wednesday, May 8, 2019
Time: 9am CDT / 10am EDT / 3pm London / 4pm Amsterdam-Paris

The Y-Chromosome Haplotype Reference Database (Y-HRD) includes Y-chromosome haplotype data from 135 national databases populated over the past 20 years. Y-based ancestry prediction and familial searching can provide important investigative leads.

Join Dr. Roewer for this webinar as he discusses how to use the Y-HRD to facilitate statistical analyses for a range of casework applications and interpretation purposes (e.g., frequency estimation, kinship and mixture analysis and ancestry prediction).

Register Here!

DNA Mixtures: A Forensic Science Explainer

What are DNA Mixtures? And why are they sometimes so difficult to interpret?

Forensic science program joins exclusive list for national FEPAC accreditation

Liberty University’s forensic science program has been awarded accreditation from the Forensic Science Education Programs Accreditation Commission (FEPAC), joining a list of only about 50 institutions nationwide to hold the distinction.
“Not many schools have the accreditation,” said Dr. J. Thomas McClintock, professor of biology and forensic science program director. “Securing the accreditation is great for our students. It’s going to make them more marketable and put them on an equal playing field with graduates from other (FEPAC-accredited) programs.”

Promega’s hitting the road again with all the Power to Solve.

Presenting Promega Tech Tour 2019 Workshop Series

Please join us for presentations and discussions on the latest advances in STR analysis and the forensics workflow. The workshops will feature presentations by leaders in the forensics community who will provide information and tips on maximizing success with challenging samples and improving laboratory efficiencies through workflow enhancements. The presentations will also include customer experiences and insights from using Promega products.

Register Here

In Case You Missed the Webinar

No Further Questions: Preparing for Expert Witness Testimony on Probabilistic Genotyping

The rise of probabilistic genotyping has driven the need for effective ways to describe the results to judges, attorneys and juries. In this webinar, Samantha and Rachel addressed potential questions and response options typically covered in testimony around probabilistic genotyping. They also discuss testifying in admissibility hearings on probabilistic genotyping systems.
Watch on Demand

UTM expands Forensic Science program

The forensic science program at UTM will be offering two new special topics courses this upcoming semester: FSC350H5, LEC0103: Missing Persons DVI and Unidentified Human Remains, and FSC350H5, LEC0104: DNA Typing using Massively Parallel Sequencing. Both will be taught by Assistant Professor Nicole Novroski, who is a new faculty member in the program.
Novroski is a forensic geneticist and biologist from the Center for Human Identification at the University of North Texas Health Science Center. Her role at UTM is to further develop the forensic biology stream.

NIST Interlaboratory Studies Involving DNA Mixtures (MIX05 and MIX13): Variation Observed and Lessons Learned

Highlights
•Results from two interlaboratory studies, NIST MIX05 and MIX13, are described

•In the 2005 NIST MIX05 study, 69 laboratories interpreted data in the form of electropherograms of two-person DNA mixtures representing four different mock sexual assault cases with different contributor ratio

•In the 2013 NIST MIX13 study,108 laboratories interpreted electropherogram data for five different case scenarios involving two, three, or four contributors, with some of the contributors potentially related.

•This paper describes the design of these studies, the variations observed among laboratory results, and lessons learned.

ISHI Speakers Announced

Advance your career, learn about the latest DNA technologies and meet others who share your passion for forensic science. You can do it all at the 29th International Symposium on Human Identification in Phoenix.
The general session program will open with a dynamic talk on using genetic technology to change the world by Andrew Hessel, CEO of Humane Genomics.
A panel of experts will debate the pros and cons of using genealogical databases to solve cold cases. Additional topics will include reducing sexual assault backlogs, implementing rapid DNA analysis, bringing new forensic tools into the lab and much more.
The exhibit floor will feature more than 100 scientific posters and scores of exhibitors showcasing the latest DNA technologies.
Find complete details including workshop descriptions, confirmed speakers and topics, exhibitor profiles and more on the conference website. We hope to see you there!
Register Now

Sorting Out the Prickly Topic of Genealogical Searching

While genetic genealogy isn’t a new technology, the recent successes that genealogical searching has had in solving close cases and giving names to those who were previously unidentified has brought it to the forefront of the media.
But what is genealogical searching, and should there be limitations to when and how it’s used? If you’re looking to learn more about genealogical searching, you need to be at ISHI 29. With an expert-led panel discussion, a presentation from the DNA Doe Project, a talk on how commercial DNA companies have opened doors for those who are donor conceived, the latest technologies in the exhibit hall, and focused topic lunches facilitated by those doing the work, you’ll leave the conference with a greater understanding of the power of genealogical searching.
Register before August 1st to save $100!

Promega’s taking the show on the road with all the Power to Solve

Please join us for presentations and discussions on the latest advances in STR analysis and the forensics workflow, including updates on the Spectrum CE Systems. The workshop will feature presentations by leaders in the forensics community who will provide information and tips on maximizing success with challenging samples and improving laboratory efficiencies through workflow enhancements. The presentations will also include customer experiences and insights from using Promega products.
These seminars are FREE of charge to individuals involved in forensics. Lunch and snacks will be provided. Space is limited, so be sure to register early!

Courting Change: a Fresh Take on DNA Profiling

Y chromosome profiling, important in sexual assault cases, can often be presented incorrectly in court. New math could help by taking the ambiguity out of the equation.

When Medical Conditions Muddle Forensic Casework


A Free, Educational Webinar: Friday, December 8, 2017 • 11:00 a.m. ET

While no case is without its challenges, medical conditions such as chimerism and identical twins add wrinkles to the analysis and interpretation of the DNA profiles obtained in the case. Medical procedures such as bone marrow transplants can also confuse the results, affecting the legal, social and ethical deliberations of the case.

Register Now for ABC Exam

Due to popular demand, an American Board of Criminalistics (ABC) exam will be offered in conjunction with ISHI 28 on Sunday, October 1 from 1:00-4:00pm. The exam will take place at the Washington State Convention Center. Applications to sit for the exam must be received by August 4. Certification requirements, study guides and the application form are available on the ABC website. If a minimum number of participants is not reached, the exam may be cancelled.