Category Archives: New ID Technologies

Cassano case: Cigarette butt sealed deal

URBANA — A commercial genetic genealogy company that relies on science and public records, combined with old-fashioned detective work, led to the arrest Tuesday of a Mahomet man for one of the most horrendous Champaign County murders in modern history.

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.

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.

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.”

Nutrisystem, Inc. Launches Groundbreaking DNA Body Blueprint™ Nationwide

FORT WASHINGTON, Pa.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Nutrisystem, Inc. (Nasdaq: NTRI), a leading provider of health and wellness and weight management products and services including Nutrisystem® and South Beach Diet® brands, today announced the launch of DNA Body Blueprint™, a genetic-based product using a proprietary algorithm that provides an integrated personal action plan focused on eating behaviors, nutrition and metabolism. The national marketing campaign will debut this week.

Using DNA and ancestry sites to solve crimes: Good police work or invasion of privacy?

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – More than 25 years after Lancaster County elementary teacher Christy Mirack was brutally killed, an arrest has been made using DNA evidence and a genealogy site.
The same technology led to an arrest in a 30-year-old double murder case in Seattle and also helped police identify a suspect in the Golden State Killer cases.

We’ve discovered a way to recover DNA from fingerprints without destroying them

Fingerprints hold a lot more information than you might realise. They don’t just provide a pattern with which to identify people. They can also contain DNA. And as neither DNA nor fingerprints are infallible ways of working out who was at a location, combining both pieces of evidence could be vital for investigators.

Modern forensics lead Brazos County authorities to executed murderer as likely killer of Virginia Freeman

“The solving of this cold case, after 37 years of investigating, brings relief and closure for the Freeman family, Virginia’s friends, the local real estate industry and our community,” Kirk said Monday.

Using bloodstains at crime scenes to determine age of a suspect or victim

A technique called Raman spectroscopy provides information about the chemical composition and molecular structure of material. Thus, Igor Lednev and colleagues wanted to see whether they could use this method to analyze blood components to determine the ages of victims and suspects.

Judge tosses out some DNA evidence allegedly tied to death of student from Portland

AUSTIN — A judge has tossed out some DNA evidence that prosecutors planned to present at the trial for the man charged with with killing a University of Texas student on campus in 2016, KVUE’s news partners at the Austin American-Statesman report.
Meechaiel Criner appeared in court Monday and Tuesday where a discussion regarding the DNA collection software used during the investigation unfolded.

Attorney for UT murder suspect challenges new DPS DNA analysis

AUSTIN (KXAN) — During a pre-trial hearing for Meechaiel Criner, who is charged with the capital murder of UT student Haruka Weiser, the discussion turned to a debate over a new DNA testing method used in this case and whether the results should be permitted as evidence.

Stunning DNA breakthrough could help crack cold cases

Researchers in South Australia are developing a new weapon to crack the most difficult police investigations.
They’ve created a DNA detection device that can pick up even the most minute traces of physical evidence, months after a crime.

FBI Approves ANDE Rapid DNA ID System

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – ANDE announced today that it is the first firm to receive approval from the Federal Bureau of Investigation for a rapid DNA identification platform that complies with new standards under the Rapid DNA Act of 2017.
The new FBI approval is for the ANDE 6C system — a two-hour test that uses a cheek swab sample and the firm’s FlexPlex chemistry, a consumable chip, and a ruggedized instrument. The approval allows accredited laboratories to process DNA samples using the ANDE system and search the results against the FBI’s Combined DNA Index System program, without manual interpretation or technical review.

Another DNA-Cold Case Stunner: Arrest of Washington state man in 1987 double murder case involving young couple from Canada

(EVERETT, WA.) – It was just a little over a month ago on April 11th that detectives from the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office and the Skagit County Sheriff’s Office held a joint news conference .
The purpose was to unveil some amazing sketches of a suspect, based on the man’s DNA profile, in the unsolved violent murders of a young Canadian couple in our state thirty-one years ago, back in November 1987.

New tool predicts eye, hair and skin color from a DNA sample of an unidentified individual

INDIANAPOLIS – An international team, led by scientists from the School of Science at IUPUI and Erasmus MC University Medical Center Rotterdam in the Netherlands, has developed a novel tool to accurately predict eye, hair and skin color from human biological material — even a small DNA sample — left, for example, at a crime scene or obtained from archeological remains. This all-in-one pigmentation profile tool provides a physical description of the person in a way that has not previously been possible by generating all three pigment traits together using a freely available webtool.