Category Archives: Forensic Industry News

Lagos DNA lab: A welcome initiative

THE Lagos State Government, penultimate week, commissioned its DNA (Deoxyribo Nucleic Acid) forensic laboratory. It is the first state-owned DNA laboratory in the country. Governor Akinwunmi Ambode had, last year, approved the DNA laboratory project as part of the criminal justice sector reforms designed to solve crimes through technology.

Eurofins to reinforce its Forensic services portfolio and footprint with the acquisition of LGC Forensics

Eurofins Scientific (EUFI.PA), a European leader in Forensic DNA and Toxicology testing in France, Germany and Belgium, announces that it has signed an agreement to acquire the Forensics and Security division of LGC (“LGC Forensics”), the largest player in the UK forensics market, a European pioneer in this field and a significant forensic DNA testing provider in Germany, from LGC Group. The transaction is expected to close in the coming weeks, upon fulfillment of customary closing conditions.

NIST Urges Caution in Use of Courtroom Evidence Presentation Method

Two experts at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) are calling into question a method of presenting evidence in courtrooms, arguing that it risks allowing personal preference to creep into expert testimony and potentially distorts evidence for a jury.

Kuwait’s plans for mandatory DNA database have been cancelled

Kuwait has revoked the world’s first law requiring all citizens and visitors to submit samples of their DNA.
Passed in 2015, the law was challenged last year by lawyers in Kuwait. Last week, the country’s Constitutional Court ruled that the law violates the constitution’s guarantee of personal liberty.

NIST to Assess the Reliability of Forensic Methods for Analyzing DNA Mixtures

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) will undertake a study to assess the reliability of forensic methods for analyzing DNA evidence that, if misapplied, could lead to innocent people being wrongly convicted. The study will focus on DNA mixtures involving three or more people, and on very small quantities of DNA also known as touch DNA.

Deputy director of state crime lab appointed to lead the agency

The deputy director of the Wisconsin State Crime Laboratory Bureau has been appointed to lead the agency.
Nicole Roehm, who has been with the state Department of Justice for 10 years, will become the director of the crime lab after former director Jana Champion retired. Roehm has previously worked in the DNA analysis unit as a forensic scientist and supervisor.

Denver police crime lab’s DNA testing gets high marks in federal audit

The Denver Police Department’s crime lab is on point when it comes to analyzing DNA found at crime scenes, according to the findings of a recent federal audit.

National Institute Of Justice Releases Best Practices For Sexual Assault Kits

WASHINGTON — The Department of Justice’s National Institute of Justice (NIJ) today released a report on National Best Practices for Sexual Assault Kits: A Multidisciplinary Approach.
The report describes a victim-centered response to sexual assault cases that positively impacts sexual assault response, the experiences of victims, and ultimately results in safer communities.
An NIJ working group consisting of victims, victim advocates, sexual assault nurse and medical examiners, prosecutors, forensic scientists, and law enforcement officials, created the report in response to the Sexual Assault Forensic Evidence Reporting (SAFER) Act of 2013, which focuses on the accurate, timely, and effective collection and processing of DNA evidence in sexual assault investigations.

Justice Dept. tries to shore up forensic science, testimony

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Justice Department is trying to shore up faltering confidence in forensic science and how its experts describe their findings in court, a push that comes months after similar efforts dating to the Obama administration were suspended.
The department said Monday it is reviving work on federal standards for forensic expert testimony, an effort initiated following revelations in 2015 that FBI experts had overstated the strength of evidence involving microscopic hair analysis in hundreds of cases dating back decades.

New DNA test identifies 9/11 victim’s remains nearly 16 years later

The remains of a man killed at the World Trade Centre on September 11 have been identified nearly 16 years after the terror attacks.
His name was withheld at his family’s request, the New York City medical examiner’s office said.
The announcement marked the first new identification made since March 2015 in the painstaking effort.

The Fight Against Human Trafficking

DNA-Prokids, conceived by Dr. Jose Lorente at the University of Grenada, applies a scientific solution to the problem. The idea is simple: reunite families by testing parental DNA against that of children pulled from suspicious circumstances and illegal adoption centers. Lorente partnered in the project with the University of North Texas Center for Human Identification. Since 2007, DNA-Prokids has reunited more than 700 kids with their parents while preventing more than 200 illegal adoptions.

Heritage’s Muhlhausen to Head NIJ

David Muhlhausen of the Heritage Foundation has been named director of the National Institute of Justice, the U.S. Justice Department’s research arm, the White House announced. He succeeds Nancy Rodriguez of Arizona State University, who had been NIJ director since early 2015.
Muhlhausen, a research fellow in empirical policy analysis at Heritage, has “championed using rigorous, empirical research to formulate and evaluate government policies,” the White House said.

Researchers think they know where Amelia Earhart died — days after a photo suggested she lived

Despite recent claims to the contrary, there’s no doubt in Ric Gillespie’s mind that Amelia Earhart died as a castaway after her plane crashed on a desolate island in the Pacific Ocean.
But he realizes the rest of the world needs a smoking gun.

Belarus-Russia Union State launches DNA Identification program

TULA, 6 July (BelTA) – The Belarus-Russia Union State is starting the DNA Identification program, State Secretary of the Union State Grigory Rapota told the media on 6 July, BelTA has learned.

Officials: Expert ‘wasn’t alarmed’ by rape kits in boxes with mold

After touring the Austin police storage unit this week where hundreds of sexual assault kits were found this spring with apparent mold, officials said Thursday they have renewed confidence in their belief that samples aren’t compromised and cases won’t be affected.
Officials from the Austin Police Department, Capital Area Private Defender Service, Travis County district attorney’s office and independent expert Bruce Budowle, a University of North Texas Health Science Center professor, toured the facility Monday. They shared their findings, including pictures of the moldy boxes, with the Travis County Commissioners Court during a special meeting Thursday.