DNA Results, Validate Son’s Claim, His Father Was A Catholic Priest

SENECA, S.C., Sept. 6, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — The DNA of a deceased Catholic priest, the Rev. Thomas S Sullivan, today was found to match the DNA of James C Graham, a South Carolina man who has waged a decades-long battle with Church officials over information regarding his parentage.

Mass Graves Found in Eastern Mexico, at Least 166 Bodies Found

Mexico City: The bodies of at least 166 people have been found in the Mexican state of Veracruz, prosecutors said on Thursday, the latest in a string of grim discoveries made in the eastern region in recent years.
State attorney general Jorge Winckler told a news conference investigators discovered the bodies in 32 graves in the central part of the state after an August 8 tip from an unidentified person that they had been dumped there.

New DNA analysis techniques helping identify more 9/11 victims

Although the death toll after two hijacked airliners crashed into the Twin Towers was 2,753, the remains of more than 1,000 people remain unidentified, to the dismay of their grieving families.

Through fragments of long-lost lives, lab aims to give military families a measure of peace

HONOLULU — A Christmas card arrives every December in Bill Belcher’s mailbox, sent by the daughter of a 1940s fighter pilot he unearthed in the mountains of Papua New Guinea.
The excavation was 20 years ago. But like the resolve of other military families awaiting the discovery of some trace of a loved one, the woman’s gratitude for her father’s repatriated remains hasn’t diminished with time.

DNA Analysis Reveals History of Ancient Warriors

In 1962, an Alemannic burial site containing human skeletal remains was discovered in Niederstotzingen (Baden-Württemberg, Germany). Researchers at the Eurac Research Centre in Bozen-Bolzano, Italy, and at the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History in Jena, Germany, have now examined the DNA of these skeletal remains.

Advances in DNA analysis help Spanish police solve old crimes

The biologist Antonio Alonso explains that due to the lack of evidence, in 2004 the police asked the National Toxicology and Forensic Science Institute for a thorough analysis of some of Inmaculada’s clothes. Alonso’s team then achieved what had previously been considered impossible: they detected microscopic traces of a man’s saliva on the shirt and bra of the girl. The scientists got to work. The DNA analysis showed that the Y chromosome that passes from fathers to their male offspring was very similar to that of another man in Inmaculada’s close circle from whom samples had been taken. His surname was Muñoz-Quirós.

Under the Microscope – Lynndsey Simon

Current extraction methods employed by the Columbus Police Forensic Services Center use incubation times that can exceed two hours and require subsequent purification on robotic instrumentation. Promega’s Casework Direct kit allows for the rapid processing of casework samples with no subsequent purification of the lysate required prior to STR amplification.

In her presentation at ISHI, Lynndsey Simon (Columbus Police Forensic Services Center) will describe how her lab is using the Casework Direct Kit to shorten processing times for casework samples and why they’re considering using the kit as the main extraction method for all samples (excluding hairs).

We sat down with Lynndsey and asked her how the Casework Direct Kit has changed her lab’s procedure when processing casework samples, how this has helped to reduce the lab’s backlog, and what she feels are the biggest challenges that forensic laboratories are facing today.

Researchers use DNA to ID shark tooth taken from boy’s leg

University of Florida researchers compared DNA from the tooth to a genetic dataset of sharks to determine its species. Gavin Naylor, director of the Florida Program for Shark Research at the Florida Museum of Natural History in Gainesville, said it’s the first time a shark involved in a bite has been identified using DNA.

Man Who Wrongfully Spent 17 Years in Prison in ‘Doppelgänger Case’ Seeks $1.1 Million

Nearly two decades ago, Richard A. Jones was convicted of aggravated robbery after being picked out of a lineup by witnesses who said he stole a cellphone in a Walmart parking lot in Kansas.
But while Mr. Jones, who maintains he is innocent, was serving his 19-year sentence at Lansing Correctional Facility, inmates told him he looked like a prisoner named Ricky.
That resemblance would eventually lead to his freedom.

Centuries-Old Plant Collection Now Online — A Treasure Trove For Researchers

At the Academy, the 1.5 million plant species in the collection are housed in large metal cabinets, which are compressed together in a windowless, 3rd floor room that smells pungently of herbs. The plants were dried, then sewn, glued or taped to paper, and placed in manila folders that are stacked up inside the cabinets.

Ashland has world’s only wildlife forensics lab

ASHLAND — The young golden eagle on the operating table showed no outward signs of trauma. An X-ray had revealed no fractures.
But this bird, a protected species, was dead — and that’s why it was here, beak-up in a laboratory. It had been shipped to this picturesque college town by federal agents somewhere in the West who suspected it had been electrocuted by power lines. Now its carcass was evidence in an investigation that could lead to criminal charges against a utility company.

The world’s oldest piece of solid cheese was found in an Egyptian tomb — and it reveals how important cheese was in human history

This 3,200-year-old find is exciting because it shows that the Ancient Egyptian’s shared our love of cheese — to the extent it was given as a funerary offering. But not only that, it also fits into archaeology’s growing understanding of the importance of dairy to the development of the human diet in Europe.

Telltale bits of DNA help track past and elusive wildlife

Animals lose hair, scales and feathers as they move. They also discard skin cells and waste. All of these leave traces of genetic material that can be detected hours, weeks or even millennia later.
Scientists say analyzing the DNA floating in waterways or hiding in soil, which they call environmental DNA or eDNA, promises to help in managing and protecting biodiversity. The tactic has become increasingly popular within the past few years and has already provided clues of ancient mammoths in Siberia, early warnings of frog die-offs in California and evidence of elusive sawfish in Mexico.

When your body is a crime scene: New initiative to track rape kits

While the majority of sex crimes go unreported, according to U.S. Department of Justice data, victims who pursue criminal charges often spend years waiting for justice. In Washington, thousands of survivors who underwent sexual assault forensic examinations to provide police with evidence kits remain in limbo, not knowing what became of their kits and hoping a new state tracking system will provide a sense of closure and justice.

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.