Category Archives: New ID Technologies

Why This Scientist Keeps Receiving Packages of Serial Killers’ Hair

Those fortunate enough to have a head of hair generally leave 50 to 100 strands behind on any given day. Those hairs are hardy, capable of withstanding years or even centuries of rain, heat and wind.
The trouble for detectives, or anyone else seeking to figure out whom a strand of hair belonged to, is that unless it contains a root, which only a tiny percentage do, it’s about as helpful as a nearby rock.

Scientists Find the Skull of Humanity’s Ancestor, on a Computer

Now researchers like Dr. Mounier are using computers and mathematical techniques to reconstruct the appearance of fossils they have yet to find. On Tuesday, Dr. Mounier and Marta Mirazón Lahr, a paleoanthropologist at the University of Cambridge in Britain, unveiled a virtual skull belonging to the last common ancestor of all modern humans, who lived in Africa about 300,000 years ago.

Forensic Proteomics, a New Tool for Crime Labs and Anthropology

DNA evidence has revolutionized forensic science in the past few years, cracking open cold cases and bringing both convictions and exonerations. The same techniques help archaeologists and anthropologists studying remains from ancient peoples or human ancestors.
But DNA is a relatively fragile molecule that breaks down easily. That’s where proteomics, the new science of analyzing proteins, comes in. By reading the sequence of amino acids from fragments of protein, scientists can work backwards to infer the sequence of DNA that produced the protein.

Israelis develop luminescent forensic blood detection test

New chip device enables the detection of much smaller blood samples at a crime or accident scene.

Record-breaking DNA comparisons drive fast forensics

Developed at MIT Lincoln Laboratory, IdPrism and its award-winning algorithms provide rapid analysis for complex forensic DNA samples.

New Forensic Tool Uses Single Hair to Identify Perpetrators

A new forensic technique could help identify perpetrators of sexual assault using a kind of evidence typically deemed unreliable by the scientific community: hair.

Arrest in 43-year-old murder case stuns Wisconsin town

Word of the arrest — via a friend’s text message — hit Wayne Sankey like a thunderbolt.
“I said, ‘You gotta be kidding me,'” Sankey recalled. “And then I told the wife and she couldn’t believe it. ‘There’s no way,’ she said. ‘Ray down the road?'”

After 36 years, DNA evidence and genealogy help to ID a murder victim and her killer

Almost 37 years later, with the help of DNA detectives, genealogy records and dogged detective work, the mystery was solved. The victim in the lonely grave is Mary Silvani, a Pontiac, Michigan, native who grew up in Detroit, had two brothers and eventually moved to California.

Could solved cold case unravel Harmeier homicide?

Might the solving of a 46-year-old homicide in Vigo County lead police to the answer of who killed an Indiana University student 42 years ago?

Scientists Create New ‘Half Face Recognition’ Technique

A new technique to identify people by looking at parts of their faces and without seeing the full facial features of the targeted person is under testing.
Using artificial intelligence techniques, a team of researchers at the University of Bradford has achieved 100 percent recognition rates for both three-quarter and half faces, the German News Agency reported.

A simple approach to dating bones

In the late 1990s, as an anthropology PhD student at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Ann Ross travelled to Bosnia to help identify casualties of war. In her current role as head of the Human Identification and Forensic Analysis Laboratory at North Carolina State University in Raleigh, she does much the same for the people of her state. Her lab — a refurbished engineering space measuring about 90 square metres — has a contract with the North Carolina Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, which means that when a human skeleton is recovered, it is her job to determine what happened. The lab has enough tables for four skeletons. Most days, Ross says, all the tables are occupied: her lab is revisiting each of the state’s 130-odd cold cases, many dating back decades, to see whether modern forensic science can shed light on what happened.

Rapid DNA technology identified victims of California wildfires

Medical examiners used Rapid DNA technology to identify the 85 people killed in last year’s Camp Fire wildfire in Paradise, Calif.

Two murders stumped police for 40 years. The key was sitting in a bathroom cabinet.

Using updated DNA techniques, including genealogical research, investigators have tied Martinez to the two crimes. But as the San Luis Obispo Tribune reported on Wednesday, solving the decades-old killings also hinged on something so common that it’s found in nearly every household — a cluttered bathroom medicine cabinet.

Kentucky says it will be first to use ‘rapid DNA’ to identify rape suspects within hours

The state has made a major push to test backlogged kits since a 2015 audit found about 3,000 untested kits across the state. Kentucky has since sent about 4,600 kits for laboratory DNA testing, a process now nearing its end.

Inspired by DNA tech in Golden State Killer case, Alabama police crack decades-old double murder

An Alabama man is expected to appear in court Wednesday after new DNA technology linked him to a decades-old double murder. Coley McCraney, 45, faces charges in the 1999 killings of two high school students, Tracie Hawlett and J.B. Beasley. Investigators used the same technique that led to the arrest of the alleged Golden State Killer.