ASU criminologist appointed director of National Institute of Justice

Nancy RodriguezNancy Rodriguez, a professor in the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice, part of the College of Public Programs at Arizona State University, has been appointed by President Barack Obama to be the next director of the Department of Justice’s National Institute of Justice.

Webinar on Rapid DNA and NDIS

Justice DeptThe American Society of Crime Lab Directors, along with RTI, are pleased to announce a webinar series designed to investigate the validation, current use, and future implementation of Rapid DNA.
This three-part series will begin on November 6th and conclude on December 9th.
The first webinar titled “Rapid DNA, the QAS and NDIS” will be presented by Jennifer Wendel, Chief of the Combined DNA Index System (CODIS) Unit.

DNA Diagnostics Center’s Forensic Unit is Honored at Ohio Innocence Projects’ 10th Anniversary Gala

helix10FAIRFIELD, Ohio, Oct. 31, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — DNA Diagnostics Forensics, a Division of DNA Diagnostics Center (DDC), the world’s largest paternity testing company, was honored at Ohio Innocence Project’s (OIP) tenth Anniversary Gala, celebrating freedom for those exonerated, and the organizations that have contributed to the effort

Exploring techniques for identifying body fluids on criminal evidence

Collection DeviceCrime scene investigation is about to get more affordable and efficient, as researchers from the National Center for Forensic Science in Orlando, Florida, have found a cheaper and faster method to identify a wide range of body fluids.

Weinberg Bill to Expand Access to DNA Analysis in Criminal Cases Clears Budget Panel

magnifying glassTRENTON, NJ – Legislation sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg to enable more individuals charged with or convicted of crimes to gain access to DNA analysis resources that would allow them to prove their innocence was approved today by the Senate Budget Committee. The bill is being championed by the Innocence Project, an organization dedicated to exonerating wrongfully convicted people through DNA testing and reforming the criminal justice system to prevent future injustice.

Ottawa introduces bill to create DNA-based missing persons index

Sen. BoisvenuThe federal government has introduced legislation that would help police identify human remains and solve missing persons cases through the creation of a DNA-based national Missing Persons Index.

Department of Justice and Defense grants to be used to improve forensic identification

helix10The U.S. Department of Justice along with the Department of Defense has awarded Catherine Grgicak, PhD, assistant professor in biomedical forensic sciences at Boston University School of Medicine, approximately $2.5 million to more accurately analyze DNA evidence at a crime scene.
Grgicak, along with colleagues from Rutgers University-Camden and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, are working to develop algorithmic methods and models to aid in complex DNA mixture interpretation, including identifying the number of possible contributors in an evidence sample and determining the strength of a DNA match.

GENETWORx Adds New Human Identity Services Division

helix 7HENRICO COUNTY, Va., Oct. 27, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Richmond, Virginia laboratory GENETWORx has added human identity testing services to its offerings, including forensic, paternity and relationship testing. The new division will provide human DNA identification; biological relationship analysis; cold case review; consultation; expert witness testimony; laboratory design; training; and validation services.

Backlog delays evidence processing at state crime labs

Helix3Victims of violent crimes and the officers who investigate sometimes are left waiting for answers due to the backlog of cases in the state’s forensics laboratories.
The Virginia Department of Forensic Science has four laboratories and a plethora of staff and equipment to analyze minute properties in evidence, from strands of DNA to the chemical makeup of methamphetamine.

Remains Found on Abandoned Property are Hannah Graham’s

Hannah GrahamHuman remains found during the search for missing University of Virginia student Hannah Graham have been identified as those of the 18-year-old, officials said Friday.

FBI conducting DNA testing of missing Nelson teen’s car

Evidence Bag1The FBI is conducting DNA tests to determine if the man charged in the disappearance of University of Virginia student Hannah Graham was linked to Alexis Murphy’s murder last year, according to Angela Taylor, Murphy’s aunt.

Identifying The Dead In Ukraine’s Simmering War

Ukraine War VictimsDNIPROPETROVSK – Last week, in this central Ukrainian city, a public farewell was bid to 21 soldiers, even if their names were never determined. The coffins, draped with Ukrainian flags, were brought to the the square between the Opera and Ballet Theaters on Karl Marx Avenue in Dnipropetrovsk, the country’s fourth-largest city.

DNA analysis gives 11 bodies a name and family history in WWI reburial

Commonwealth War Graves CommissionBOIS-GRENIER, France (AP) — Eleven British casualties of World War I who got a name and family history through cutting-edge DNA research have been officially reburied with some of their descendants in attendance.

DNA yields secrets of human pioneer

Universal ManUniversal human: This reconstruction is of a different modern human from Romania 43,000 years ago. But it gives some clues to what the Siberian man may have looked like. This population was not long out of Africa and genetically midway between Europeans and Asians.

NIJ Sponsored Event: Live Two-Day Seminar on Cold Case Investigations

Justice DeptThe Forensic Technology Center of Excellence will be hosting a free two-day online seminar on The Science, Law and Politics of Cold Case Investigations on October 30-31 in order to answer critical questions about cold cases and what it takes to resolve them.