Category Archives: DNA Research

Feds aim to fund forensic science center

Blue Helix2A federal agency within the Commerce Department is looking to give $20 million to fund a new forensic science research center.
The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) on Tuesday announced a competition for money to build the center, which will work on establishing “a firm scientific foundation” for key methods in the sciences.

NIST Mobile Forensics Workshop and Webcast

NIST BannerOn June 18, NIST will host the NIST Mobile Forensics Workshop and Webcast, a free one-day workshop and live webcast exploring the latest technology advancements and applications in mobile device forensics.
To educate attendees on the latest developments in the forensic analysis of mobile devices and how technologies are used in casework. The information provided will increase the situational awareness of investigators and criminal justice stakeholders across the United States about the latest trends, analysis protocols, and issues encountered when applying analysis tools to mobile devices.
Register Here.

Paper Details New Pre-PCR Method for STR Analysis of Forensic Samples

helix2An Australian duo has developed a pre-PCR technique to improve results in forensic DNA analysis. The method, published this month in BioTechniques, is designed to eliminate stochastic sampling effects resulting from the miniscule amounts of starting material and possible contamination common in crime scene analysis. This is accomplished by initially increasing low-abundance template copy number in a linear, rather than exponential, manner.

Linear amplification of target prior to PCR for improved low template DNA results

low copy numberForensic analysis of genetic material is often limited by the quantity and quality of DNA available for examination. Stochastic effects associated with low amounts of starting template can lead to a reduction in the quality of the result, making interpretation difficult. This paper presents an amplification method to copy target DNA in a linear fashion prior to short tandem repeat (STR) analysis to increase the available starting template without introducing the amplification bias seen in other methods used to increase the sensitivity of PCR. Results show that implementing the pre- PCR procedure allows for greater allele recovery in multiplex STR analysis compared with samples that were not subjected to prior processing.

Sam Houston State University Receives Grant to Research Quicker Identification of Mass Disaster Victims

Taiwan EarthquakeSam Houston State University‘s Southeast Texas Applied Forensic Science Facility has received a National Institute of Justice grant to further research in genotyping in conditions related to natural and manmade disasters. Whether a mass disaster is a result of humans, such as in war, or is a result of a natural force of nature, such as a hurricane or other natural cause, the chaos and disorder in the wake of human disasters often leads to a slow identification of victims. In many cases, a disaster area can be hot, humid, without water or electricity, and can delay the ability to obtain readable DNA, which is necessary for identifying victims.

DNA Research Reveals Uros People of Peru and Bolivia to Have Distinctive Genetic Ancestries

Uros IslandsNew genetic research led by the Genographic Project team shows a distinctive ancestry for the Uros populations of Peru and Bolivia that predates the arrival of the Spanish conquistadores and may date back to the earliest settlement of the Altiplano of the central Andes some 3,700 years ago.

Idaho State Police DNA lab closing backlog in processing

Idaho labMERIDIAN, Idaho (KBOI) — The Idaho State Police DNA lab is expected to finish off its backlog of samples by July.
The timing is important because on July First, Idaho law will require all convicted felons to submit a DNA sample for the national database.

Unearthed after seven centuries the ‘Black Death’ pit skeletons that could unravel the mystery of what caused the plague

blackdeathThirteen skeletons, lying in two neat rows 2.4m beneath a road in Farringdon have been unearthed by excavations for London’s Crossrail project.

DNA Analysis Finds Human Y Chromosome Much Older Than Previously Thought

Y chromosomeA newly discovered Y chromosome places the most recent common ancestor for the Y chromosome lineage more 100,000 years before the oldest known anatomically modern human fossils.

Faroes’ 50,000 Residents Leap Into DNA Testing Quagmire

TorshavnThe Faroe Islands, a tiny, windswept land halfway between Scotland and Iceland, is so barren its 50,000 inhabitants import almost everything except fish and sheep. Now it wants to leap to the frontier of genetic medicine.

Development of an Expert System for Automated Forensic Mitochondrial DNA Data Analysis

Authors: Rhonda K. Roby Ph.D., MPH; Nicole R. Phillips M.S.; Jennifer L. Thomas M.S.; Marc L. Sprouse
Through the National Criminal Justice Reference Service, NIJ has made this report available.
This report is the result of NIJ-funded projects but was not published by the U.S. Department of Justice.

NIJ Funded Software Tools, Apps and Databases

NIJ has funded a number of free or low cost software tools, apps and databases to assist with investigations or research.

Research and Markets: Advanced Topics in Forensic DNA Typing: Methodology

DUBLIN–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Research and Markets ( has announced the addition of Elsevier Science and Technology’s new report “Advanced Topics in Forensic DNA Typing: Methodology” to their offering.