DNA ties Ashkenazi Jews to group from Middle Ages

Blue and black helixAll of the Ashkenazi Jews alive today can trace their roots to a group of about 330 people who lived 600 to 800 years ago.
So says a new study in the journal Nature Communications. An international team of scientists sequenced the complete genomes of 128 healthy Ashkenazi Jews and compared each of those sequences with the others, as well as with the DNA of 26 Flemish people from Belgium. Their analysis allowed them to trace the genetic roots of this population to a founding group in the Middle Ages.

Processing evidence requires many tests

processing evidenceIn this three-part series “From Crime Scene to Courtroom,” The Register-Herald will follow the evidence trail involved in serious cases. Last week, readers learned more about evidence collection at the scene. Today, experts at the West Virginia State Police Forensic Laboratory will explain the next step — evidence processing.

Parliament passes DNA Bill

DNA in BlueBangladesh- The Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA) Bill was passed in the Parliament today (Wednesday) with a provision of bringing the DNA test process under a legal framework.
State Minister for Women and Children Affairs Begum Meher Afroz piloted the bill in the House, which was passed in voice votes.

New NIJ Solicitation to Support Validation of Lab Protocols

Justice DeptNIJ is now accepting applications from laboratories to conduct research on ways to improve the accuracy and timeliness of analyses of physical evidence in forensic science labs. Proposals should be for research, evaluation or validation projects that will:
1. Inform best practices through evaluation of the existing laboratory protocols.
2. Result in a validated method that may be replicated by other laboratories.
3. Have a direct and immediate impact on laboratory efficiency and assist in making laboratory policy decisions.

Lowey Announces Grant For County DNA Services, Aiding In Sex Assault Cases

lowey1WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. — Congresswoman Nita Lowey (D-Westchester/Rockland) announced a $312,865 Department of Justice grant for Westchester County’s Forensic Science Services on Monday.
The goal of the grant, provided through the DOJ’s DNA Capacity Enhancement and Backlog Reduction Program, is helping states and local governments increase existing crime laboratories’ capacity so they can analyze DNA samples more efficiently and cost effectively, reducing DNA evidence backlogs.

National Victim Advocates Call On Governor Brown To Sign Important Sexual Assault Evidence Bill

sexual assault kitsWASHINGTON, Sept. 9, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — National victim advocate groups belonging to the Rape Kit Action Project (RKAP) have joined forces with California-based advocates, including the California Coalition Against Sexual Assault, to urge Governor Brown to sign AB 1517, a bill that would provide justice for countless victims of sexual assault and safer communities to live and work. The bill (AB 1517), sponsored by State Assembly Member Nancy Skinner, establishes standards for the timely submission and analysis of sexual assault evidence kits. With Governor Brown’s signature, California will join a growing number of states taking steps to fully account for rape case evidence.

FBI, DNA evidence presented in child-abduction case

DNA Helix 2A week before she was arrested for allegedly kidnapping and sexually assaulting a 5-year-old girl, Christina Regusters didn’t seem too nervous or upset, an FBI agent testified during her trial yesterday.
On the contrary, Regusters joked a little, appeared immature at times and said some things that stood out, recalled FBI Special Agent Thomas Scanzano, who interviewed her Feb. 8, 2013.

The godfather of DNA fingerprints: How Alec Jeffreys revolutionized solving crime

Alec JeffriesThe dream of every scientist is to experience a once-in-a-lifetime “eureka moment”. For Professor Alec Jeffreys that remarkable time arrived on September 10, 1984, in his laboratory at Leicester University.
While studying the DNA of three people he realised that there were enormous differences between each sample. It was a breakthrough which would revolutionise crime-fighting.

How DNA fingerprint left its mark on justice

RNA AnalysisHENRY McCollum spent almost 30 years on death row for the rape and murder of an 11-year-old girl before his conviction was over-turned.

DNA testing reportedly reveals identity of Jack the Ripper

Jack the RipperA self-described “armchair detective” and a Finnish molecular biologist have claimed to have discovered the identity of the serial killer known as Jack the Ripper, who brutally murdered at least five prostitutes in the East End of London in the autumn of 1888.

North Dakota attorney general’s office to get $63,000 for forensic services

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Justice’s National Institute of Justice has awarded $63,029 to the North Dakota attorney general’s office to improve forensic science and medical examiner services.GATC

Columbia chief urges City Council to move quickly to select a crime lab

Lab VialsCOLUMBIA, SC — Columbia City Council soon will be faced with deciding whether to process city drug evidence through the county sheriff’s department or wait on SLED’s slower crime lab.

North Carolina half brothers freed after 3 decades in prison

Leon BrownRALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina’s longest-serving death row inmate and his younger half brother walked out as free men Wednesday, three decades after they were convicted of raping and murdering an 11-year-old girl who DNA evidence shows may have been killed by another man.

Forensic Science Standards Effort Takes Shape as NIST Appoints Scientific Area Committees Members

SACThe National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) today named nearly 70 new members to the Organization of Scientific Area Committees (OSAC), the NIST-administered body that is seeking to strengthen forensic science through the identification and development of standards and guidelines.

Making the world ‘a better and safer place’

Bode Lab Photos -smA California resident was declared a free man after DNA testing by private forensics experts at Bode Technology proved that he had been wrongly convicted of sexual assault. Bode received the victim’s clothing for DNA testing from the California Innocence Project, a nonprofit legal clinic. The DNA profile matched another man who resembled the accused and lived near the crime scene.