Category Archives: Forensic Industry News

This week in science history: The dark lady of DNA dies

The Nobel Committee does not make posthumous prize nominations, but if it did, British chemist and researcher Rosalind Franklin, who died on April 16, 1958, is widely regarded as a deserving recipient.

DNA ties ‘killer clown’ to getaway car in 27-year-old cold case, prosecutors say

Florida investigators on Thursday released DNA evidence that they say helped lead to the arrest of a woman suspected of dressing up as a clown and fatally shooting her future husband’s then-wife 27 years ago.
Palm Beach County prosecutors said that recent forensic tests conducted by the FBI concluded that hair fibers found in a suspected getaway car could have come from Sheila Keen Warren.

Dhahi Khalfan inaugurates Emirates Forensic 2018

…Emirates Forensic is set to attract more than 2,000 visitors and participants over the next few days while also featuring the participation of 46 local and international experts, seven workshops, 20 exhibitors and more than 30 scientific lectures and 70 summaries. In addition, the conference is playing host to select chairs of world organisations of forensic science and criminology in the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Australia, Austria and other countries of the world, as well as scientists from the GCC countries and experts from the UAE in the criminal field…

National group praises signing of DNA bill

Governor Justice signed the bill last week. The bill allows the West Virginia State Police to contract with the Marshall University Forensic Science Center to process lab work related to the testing of offender samples for the Combined DNA Index System, and DNA testing in criminal paternity cases, criminal casework and identification of human remains.
It also sets parameters in which law enforcement and correctional officers can use reasonable force to obtain DNA samples and allows for collection of mouth swabs.

Calif. Supreme Court upholds law forcing arrestees to give DNA samples

April 3 (UPI) — The California Supreme Court on Monday held up a controversial state law that allows law enforcement officers to take DNA from anybody arrested or charged with a felony.
In a 4-3 vote, the court ruled in favor of the law, which has allowed California law enforcement officials to create a DNA database of tens of thousands of people who were arrested but never charged or convicted.

The F.B.I. and the Mystery of the Mummy’s Head

A museum wasn’t sure whose head they had put on display. That’s when the F.B.I.’s forensic scientists were called in to crack the agency’s oldest case.

Gov. Justice signs DNA testing bill

CHARLESTON – Gov. Jim Justice on Wednesday signed a bill into law that intends to reduce the processing time of DNA lab tests, especially in cases of sexual assault.
The bill will allow the West Virginia State Police to contract with the Marshall University Forensic Science Center to process lab work related to the testing of offender samples for the Combined DNA Index System (CODIS) and DNA testing in criminal paternity cases, criminal casework and identification of human remains. It also sets out parameters by which law enforcement and correctional officers can use reasonable force to obtain DNA samples and allows for the collection of non-blood sampling of DNA (mouth swabs).

Cornyn, Poe Introduce Bill To Reauthorize The Debbie Smith Act, Provide Resources To Fight Rape Kit Backlogs

U.S. Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) and Representative Ted Poe (TX-02) today introduced the Debbie Smith Crime Victims Protection Act, legislation to reauthorize the Debbie Smith Act and dedicate much-needed resources to state and local law enforcement agencies to conduct forensic analyses of crime scenes, including untested rape kits. Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Dean Heller (R-NV), and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) cosponsored the bill.

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!

MU forensic science lab nears completion

HUNTINGTON — For the first time in more than 20 years, the Marshall University Forensic Science graduate program is housed at one location, which professors believe will allow the nationally known program to expand on its class size, courses and research.
The Marshall Forensic Science Center, located on Forensic Science Drive at the corner of 14th Street and Charleston Avenue in Huntington, houses the school’s graduate forensic science program, as well as the state of West Virginia’s Combined DNA Index System (CODIS) laboratory facility.

Bones Discovered in 1940 Could Have Been Amelia Earhart’s

A new forensic analysis suggests that bones found on the Pacific island of Nikumaroro in 1940—and subsequently lost—could very well have been those of Amelia Earhart.

New Solicitation: Postconviction Testing of DNA Evidence

NIJ seeks proposals for funding to assist in defraying the costs associated with postconviction DNA testing in cases of violent felony offenses (as defined by State law) in which actual innocence might be demonstrated. Funds may be used to identify and review such postconviction cases and to locate and analyze associated biological evidence.
All applications are due by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on April 26, 2018.
Review the Solicitation.

The search for Greece’s unburied war dead

Their remains lie where they fell during world war II. Some 8000 Greek soldiers buried in mass graves in Albania. They had been confronting Italian troops they had driven out of Greece between 1940-1941.

Biologists turn to citizens, DNA to count urban Alaska moose

…Biologists for three days last month asked Anchorage residents to call or text whenever they spotted moose. Teams of moose trackers with dart guns then hurried to the locations. The darts they fired captured DNA samples…

Illinois Innocence Project Claims Many Imprisoned Because of Flawed Forensics

TV detectives might be solving crimes easily with the help of advanced forensic testing, but two legal experts with the Illinois Innocence Project say their caseload is mounting because of flawed forensics.