Category Archives: New ID Technologies

Ancient Proteins Reveal 6,000-year-old Ring Was Made From Deer Antler or Bone

Nearly 6,000 years ago, in what’s now Denmark, a Neolithic crafter fashioned a ring from a piece of deer antler or bone. During the process, or soon after, the piece broke in two. It was apparently dropped — perhaps discarded in frustration — near other items, including a wooden spear that was also broken.
And there the ring waited, over time buried by debris and dirt, and eventually submerged beneath the sea.

NYS Sheriffs’ Association unveils new crime fighting initiative using synthetic DNA

The New York State Sheriffs’ Association unveiled a new statewide crime prevention program on Thursday aimed at using synthetic forensic technology to thwart crime and help with criminal investigations.

Betty Pat Gatliff, forensic sculptor who put a face to John Does, dies at 89

The bones usually arrived by mail, a stream of anonymous packages bearing unknown remains. Sent from police departments, coroners and medical examiners across the country, they landed on the Oklahoma doorstep of Betty Pat Gatliff, a forensic sculptor who pioneered a new method for reconstructing faces, turning an avocation into her life’s work.

Why China Is the Brave New World of Editing Human DNA

The headline-making births in November 2018 of the world’s first gene-edited babies (twin girls) was unsurprising in one way: The scientist involved was from China. As part of its effort to dominate scientific spheres including biotechnology, China has taken the lead in testing uses of Crispr, a tool newly available to researchers enabling them to alter DNA codes simply and inexpensively. Chinese scientists were the first to test Crispr in monkey embryos, in non-viable human embryos, in adult humans, and now in creating designer babies. Now China is confronting accusations that its regulatory system is overlooking the ethical considerations and medical risks.

Police use DNA to create composite of suspected killer in 2006 Springfield slayings

Fairfax County police have turned to a cutting-edge technique utilizing DNA to create composite images of a man they believe carried out the killings of two Springfield women months apart in 2006.
The images released Wednesday use the man’s genetic material to construct facial images that approximate what he may have looked like at ages 25, 40 and 55. DNA collected from the scenes of the crimes linked the same unidentified man to the slayings of Marion Marshall and Marion Newman.

China Uses DNA to Map Faces, With Help From the West

TUMXUK, China — In a dusty city in the Xinjiang region on China’s western frontier, the authorities are testing the rules of science.

Ultrasensitive protein method lets scientists ID someone from a single strand of hair

A new forensic technique could have criminals—and some prosecutors—tearing their hair out: Researchers have developed a method they say can identify a person from as little as 1 centimeter of a single strand of hair—and that is eight times more sensitive than similar protein analysis techniques. If the new method ever makes it into the courtroom, it could greatly expand the ability to identify the people at the scene of a crime.

How massively parallel sequencing platforms are revolutionizing forensic analysis

In this expert interview, we hear from Prof. Bobby LaRue about improved depth of coverage and high-power discrimination in mixed DNA analysis

Police arrest alleged ‘Potomac River Rapist’ linked to attacks in Maryland and Georgetown

New advances in genetic testing allowed police to have the genetic samples collected at crime scenes compared with people who submitted their DNA to explore their family lineage. That led police to five relatives, and detectives narrowed the list to a suspect who had lived in Maryland at the time of the attacks and worked as a landscaper.

How Commandos Could Quickly Confirm They Got Their Target

Mr. Trump did not provide any details of how that identification was made. But the quick turnaround after Mr. al-Baghdadi’s violent demise suggests that American Special Operations forces made use of biometric tests and DNA technology, which has advanced significantly in recent years.

Face of medieval man reconstructed from 600-year-old skull dug up in Scotland

A group of archaeologists and researchers announced Tuesday that they recreated the face of a medieval man whose remains were dug up in a Scotland museum four years ago.
The man, who researchers identified as Skeleton 125, was found among 60 skeletons and 4,272 bone fragments on the site of the Aberdeen Art Gallery in Aberdeen, Scotland amid construction of a new development on the site.

DNA solves woman’s 1984 killing

But authorities used DNA evidence and forensic genealogy to identify her killer as Phillip Cross, who was 21 at the time. Cross died of a drug overdose in 2012.
Authorities linked the suspect through a DNA match of the suspect’s second cousin.

Man pleads guilty to 2016 Alexandria rape solved using forensic genealogy

Bjerke was one of the first offenders identified in Virginia using forensic genealogy, an increasingly common technique for solving cold cases where police have little evidence beyond DNA. Bjerke had no criminal history, and so his DNA was in no law enforcement database. But sperm left at the crime scene matched with relatives of Bjerke who had uploaded their genetic information to public genealogy databases.

A Fourth Amendment Framework for Voiceprint Database Searches

Voiceprint technology works by first securing an initial recording of a known individual. For example, a prison may ask an incarcerated individual to provide a sample voice recording; a bank may record a client once the client goes through an alternate verification process. The technology then analyzes hundreds of components of that user’s voice and creates a voiceprint, which is stored in a database and associated with that individual. When subsequent calls are made, the technology creates a new voiceprint and compares that to the known voiceprint to confirm the caller’s identity. This matching process parallels that of other biometric verification processes such as DNA and fingerprint matching.

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.