Thanks to a new DNA analysis, a man is exonerated of rape and freed from prison after 17 years

(CNN) — A Georgia man who served 17 years of a 20-year sentence has been exonerated from his rape conviction and released from prison, after a judge agreed that new analysis of DNA evidence clears him.
Kerry Robinson, 44, walked out of prison in southern Georgia on Wednesday and into the arms of his sister, his son and other supporters, hours after a Colquitt County judge vacated his 2002 conviction and sentence.

Your DNA Could Catch A Criminal

Genetic databases are solving murders and rapes. Privacy scolds should pipe down.

CBP to Assess Collection of DNA Samples

U.S. Customs and Border Protection initiated Monday a limited, small-scale pilot program to assess the operational impact of proposed regulatory changes that would require the collection of DNA samples from certain individuals in CBP custody.
The pilot program will be limited to the following locations:

  • The U.S. Border Patrol will implement the pilot program in the Detroit Sector.
  • The Office of Field Operations will implement the pilot program at the Eagle Pass Port of Entry in southwestern Texas.

ANDE Corporation Is Honored with CES 2020 Innovation Award

WALTHAM, Mass. and LONGMONT, Colo. , Jan. 7, 2020 /CNW/ — ANDE Corporation (https://www.ande.com/), the global leader in Rapid DNA Human Identification, today announced it is starting the new year off as the recipient of a distinguished CES 2020 Innovation Award in the “Tech for a Better World” category. CES is showcasing the honorees at its annual conference this week in Las Vegas, NV.
The ANDE Rapid DNA Identification System allows non-technical users with minimal training to generate DNA IDs in under two hours, whether at a crime scene to apprehend criminals or exonerate the innocent; following a sexual assault to identify rapists; at the border to stem human trafficking; or at a mass disaster site to identify victims and bring timely closure for families.

New Oregon Law Opens Up Process For Post-conviction DNA Testing

A new law that took effect on Jan. 1 will allow better access to post-conviction DNA testing for people who say they’ve been wrongfully convicted of aggravated murder and other serious crimes.
The new measure amends statutes previously introduced in 2015 that said someone requesting a DNA test would have to show that specific evidence would lead to finding that they were “actually innocent,” in effect having to vouch for their innocence before DNA could even be tested.

Recent Discoveries Have Overhauled Our Picture of Where Humans Came From, And When

In recent years, anthropologists around the world have discovered new human ancestors, figured out what happened to the Neanderthals, and pushed back the age of the earliest member of our species.
Taken together, these breakthroughs suggest that many of our previous ideas about the human origin story – who we are and where we came from – were wrong.

Search, repatriation of Vietnamese martyrs’ remains in Laos, Cambodia intensified

Carrying out search and repatriation of 1,500-2,000 sets of remains of Vietnamese soldiers who laid down their lives in Laos and Cambodia during wartime is a key task of the national steering committee on search, repatriation and identification of remains of fallen soldiers.

Man ordered to stand trial in 1994 cold case Madison homicide

A man charged with first-degree reckless homicide for the 1994 death of a woman in Madison was ordered to stand trial after a preliminary hearing Thursday, and after a judge denied a motion to dismiss the charge.

He escaped from jail after allegedly killing his wife a century ago. Now his headless torso has been identified through DNA.

The story in the June 1916 Idaho newspaper was alarming: A man suspected of brutally murdering his wife “escaped on May 18 from custody and has not been caught.”
He was never seen again.

Trump Reauthorizes Debbie Smith Act To Eliminate Rape Kit Backlogs Across U.S.

President Donald Trump signed legislation Monday that allocates funding to help states clear the backlog of more than 100,000 rape kits across the country, ending several years of nationwide initiatives to get federal support.

Etched in DNA: Decoding the secrets of the past

Human origins research. The phrase probably evokes an image of dusty scientists hunched over in the sun, combing the ground for scraps left behind by people of millennia past. The field has long been the realm of stones and bones, with test tube-filled laboratories playing second fiddle.

Despite the Same DNA, Severity of Autism Symptoms Varies Greatly Among Identical Twins

Identical twins with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) often experience large differences in symptom severity even though they share the same DNA, according to an analysis funded by the National Institutes of Health. The findings suggest that identifying the causes of this variability may inform the treatment of ASD-related symptoms. The study was conducted by John Constantino, M.D., of Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, and colleagues. Funding was provided by NIH’s Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD). The study was published in Behavior Genetics on December 18, 2019.

Crime labs analyze science behind crime

Law enforcement officials across New York are not the only ones preparing for criminal justice reforms in the state.
Scientists who analyze police evidence are preparing for an increase in cases, as reforms to discovery law require all discoverable materials to be turned over to the defense 15 days after arraignment.

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.

United States to aid Mexico in creating two genetic databases to combat crime

The United States will provide assistance to Mexico to develop two genetic databases in 2020, according to U.S. government documents seen by the newspaper Milenio.