Category Archives: Forensic Industry News

Czech Priest Killed by Communist Regime ID’d by DNA, Before Beatification

During a holy Mass on the third Sunday of Advent, on Dec. 11, 1949, in the Church of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary in Číhošť southeast of Prague, a miracle was reported.
The half-meter iron crucifix on the main altar above the tabernacle was said to have moved on its own several times—and 19 parishioners said they saw it, reporting it to the parish priest, Josef Toufar. Toufar dutifully reported to the regime’s Communist State Security Service.

Under the Microscope – Sarah Dingle

DNA analysis is a powerful tool for researchers, scientists and law enforcement. But in the everyday lives of people across the globe, affordable access to DNA testing has brought about a seismic shift. For the first time, donor conceived people can find their biological fathers, mothers or siblings. Donor conception has exploded in the last three and a half decades, but around the world it faces little regulation. Fertility clinics public and private have operated without limits on the numbers of children created from individual donors, without health checks, and largely with impunity.

DNA testing crucial to identifying remains in unmarked graves in Sugar Land

The questions now are: Will these prisoners ever be identified, and are these century-old remains linked to the present day? Experts say the answer may lie in specialized DNA testing.

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.

Korea Remains Could Be Army Troops Who Fell at ‘Frozen Chosin’

The remains returned by North Korea are possibly those of Army troops who fell in the brutal 1950 battle at the Chosin Reservoir, Pentagon POW/MIA officials said Thursday.
The returned remains are associated with the fight at what was called the “Frozen Chosin” for the sub-zero temperatures in which Marine and Army units fought their way out of encirclement by Chinese forces and were evacuated by sea, said Dr. John Byrd, a forensic anthropologist.

You Can Run, but Your DNA Can’t Hide

Television writers portray DNA evidence as a slam dunk, sealing the fate of many a villain in a fast-paced game of cat and mouse. The reality, however, is that a single DNA sample requires days to analyze, and many samples never get processed at all. DNA profiling has come a long way since its debut in 1986, but in many ways, it’s still in its infancy. Here are four ways researchers are breaking new ground with forensic uses of genetic analysis.

Ancestry, 23andMe and others say they will follow these rules when giving DNA data to businesses or police

Ancestry, 23andMe and other popular companies that offer genetic testing pledged on Tuesday to be upfront when they share users’ DNA data with researchers, hand it over to police or transfer it to other companies, a move aimed at addressing consumers’ mounting privacy concerns.
Under the new guidelines, the companies said they would obtain consumers’ “separate express consent” before turning over their individual genetic information to businesses and other third parties, including insurers. They also said they would disclose the number of law-enforcement requests they receive each year.

Forensic Scientists Improve Sexual Assault Kit Turnaround Time with Y-Screening

The backlog of sexual assault kit samples in crime laboratories across the nation is a topic that hit the spotlight when a group of journalists uncovered the issue in an open records search of crime lab records in 2015. Reasons for the backlog include lack of staff, lack of funding, and simply, lack of time or a decision not to prosecute the case. Processing samples can be a labor-intensive process.

Thousands of women seek their roots decades after being sold in boy-preferring rural China

An increasing number of these girls, mostly adopted in the late 1970s and early 1980s, are starting to explore their identity now. In a recent “family-seeking” activity held in Gutian county, Fujian Province early in July, many women gathered and registered their information and left blood samples for DNA tracking.

NIST Builds Statistical Foundation for Next-Generation Forensic DNA Profiling

“If you’re working criminal cases, you need to be able to generate match statistics,” said Katherine Gettings, the NIST biologist who led the study. “The data we’ve published will make it possible for labs that use NGS to generate those statistics.”

True story of how Prince Philip’s DNA solved Russian Romanov murder mystery


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It was the mystery that captured the imagination of the world, as a Russian Imperial dynasty was ruthlessly executed before details of their disappearance obfuscated for decades.
Now the true story of how the Duke of Edinburgh helped piece together the murders of Tsar Nicholas II and his family is to be told by the Science Museum in a new exhibition detailing how his DNA provided the key.

U.S., Lagos Partner To Train Forensic Crime Investigators

Lagos – A United States Institute, National Institute for Trial Advocacy (NITA) Colorado, United States of America has partnered with the Lagos State Government through the Office of Public Defender (OPD) to organize a 3-day training programme on Forensic and Crime Scene Investigation for OPD’s counsels to enable them to improve on their skills in the discharge of their duties.

Union Cabinet approves DNA Technology Regulation Bill, 2018

India- The Union Cabinet has cleared a Bill that allows law enforcement agencies to collect DNA samples, create ‘DNA profiles’ and special data banks for forensic-criminal investigations The aim of the Bill is to set up national and regional DNA data banks for maintaining a national database for identification of victims, suspects in cases, under trials, missing persons and unidentified human remains. Let’s understand the main provisions of this Bill and what they mean.

SLED getting new crime lab; how their backlog problems affect Horry County

CONWAY, SC (WBTW)- South Carolina law makers are giving SLED 54 million dollars for a new crime lab. SLED said they need the new crime lab because of a severe space problem which is slowing down investigations.
Horry County Solicitor Jimmy Richardson tells me they’re delayed 6 months to a year. SLED does several different types of testing but the solicitor says DNA and drug testing is where there’s the most back up.

How one man’s obsession led to the discovery of a lost WWII pilot

In late June 1994, a helicopter banked over the Charley River in Alaska’s eastern Yukon wilderness. Below, on a hillside of granite and greenstone, was the wreckage of a B-24D bomber that went down Dec. 21, 1943 during a flight to test the plane’s systems in extreme cold.
Doug Beckstead, a National Park Service historian, pressed his face against the glass for his first view of the “Iceberg Inez,” one of the many hulks of lost aircraft across Alaska.
This one came with a remarkable backstory. The lone survivor — co-pilot 1st Lt. Leon Crane, a city kid from Philadelphia — made his way out of the frozen Yukon wilds after an 81-day ordeal.