Monthly Archives: July 2012

Roberts: Supreme Court likely to take Md. DNA case

WASHINGTON—The Supreme Court will probably consider and may reverse a Maryland court ruling that blocked police from collecting DNA samples from people arrested and charged with certain crimes, Chief Justice John Roberts said in an order released Monday.

Ancestry.com Discovers President Obama Related to First Documented Slave in America

PROVO, UT, Jul 30, 2012 (MARKETWIRE via COMTEX) — A research team from Ancestry.com /quotes/zigman/114846/quotes/nls/acom ACOM +0.06% , the world’s largest online family history resource, has concluded that President Barack Obama is the 11th great-grandson of John Punch, the first documented African enslaved for life in American history. Remarkably, the connection was made through President Obama’s Caucasian mother’s side of the family.

“Keep the Home Fires Burning” at the 23rd International Symposium on Human Identification

Forensic Analyst Kimberly Rumrill will present an interesting case entitled, “Keep the Home Fires Burning” at the 23rd International Symposium on Human Identification. Ms. Rumrill will describe her experience working the Sheila LaBarre case and the unique challenges it presented. The 23 ISHI October 15-18 will feature presentations by leading forensic scientists and more than 100 scientific posters. Find out more at www.ishinews.com

Excerpt “My first encounter with the grizzly scene was on April 6, 2006. My laboratory vehicle was stocked with photography equipment and serology processing supplies that vibrated as I headed down the long dirt driveway to the quiet farm. The fields had clusters of officers combing the grounds with metal detectors and cadaver dogs looking for evidence that might reveal where Ken Counitie’s body parts might be found. Large domestic rabbits hopped freely in the yard.
A detective lead me into the house and pointed out rooms where he wanted me to document bloodstain patterns including the kitchen, dining room, living room and bathroom on the first floor. Two bedrooms and one bathroom on the second floor were also on the “To-do” list. I started my serology and BSPA analysis in the living room. The windows were covered with blankets giving the dark knotty pine paneled room a cave-like feel. The detective brought in industrial construction grade floor lamps. I was enclosed in my own personal white Tyvek sauna, roasting like a marshmallow over the heat of the lamps. Initial observations revealed a large bed-size void in the dust on the braided carpet and wooden floor.”

Federal DNA backlog remains clear since September 2010

Home invasion, murder suspect Delmer Smith’s profile was processed too late

PowerPlex® Y23 System Seminar Series

Please join us for a half day of presentations and discussions on the latest advances in Y-STR analysis, featuring presentations by leaders in the forensics community, and updates on the most recent products and technologies from Promega.

Improved Detection of Male DNA
Population Studies & Statistics for Y-STRs
Implementation & Utilization of a Y-STR Database
The Power of Y-STR Analysis – Interesting Cases

Genetic Data and Fossil Evidence Tell Differing Tales of Human Origins

New York Times
After decades of digging, paleoanthropologists looking for fossilized human bones have established a reasonably clear picture: Modern humans arose in Africa some 200,000 years ago and all archaic species of humans then disappeared, surviving only outside Africa, as did the Neanderthals in Europe. Geneticists studying DNA now say that, to the contrary, a previously unknown archaic species of human, a cousin of the Neanderthals, may have lingered in Africa until perhaps 25,000 years ago, coexisting with the modern humans and on occasion interbreeding with them.

Federal appeals court to reconsider California DNA-collection law

A federal appeals court will take a second look at a California law that requires police to collect DNA from people who are arrested on suspicion of felonies, regardless of whether they are convicted.
A majority of judges on the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals voted Wednesday to reconsider a split decision by a three-judge panel that had upheld the program in February.

FDLE to begin using new male specific DNA testing

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The Florida Department of Law Enforcement has a new way to link criminals to the scene of the crime — male-specific DNA testing.

DNA Initiative Report to Congress: FY 2011


Every year, NIJ receives an appropriation from Congress to be used for the DNA Initiative and other forensic programs, research and development.
In fiscal year 2011, approximately three-quarters of the funds went directly to crime laboratories and police departments to reduce the current backlog of DNA evidence, increase laboratory capacity and solve cold cases.
Read the full report here.

DNA lacking for new national data bank

A national database to help identify missing persons and unidentified remains is more than a year away, but families and experts say that DNA is the missing piece of the puzzle that the initiative needs.

New building for forensic dept in 2yrs

Dubai
The Dubai Police have signed a contract with Al Nabooda contracting company on Wednesday to construct the new building of the General Department of Forensic Science and Criminology.

DNA analysis of ancient remains to uncover origin mysteries

Australia
Griffith University researchers will analyse DNA sequences from ancient human remains, some dating back 45,000 years, to determine the origins of the peoples of South-east Asia and Australia.

Cold case relying on new DNA tool ends in guilty plea


Wisconsin
A trial that would have determined the outcome of a 20-year-old Milwaukee County murder case ended abruptly Wednesday afternoon when the defendant pleaded guilty to first-degree reckless homicide.
Cary Lee Holmes now faces up to 20 years in prison for killing a Milwaukee man in 1992.
Norm Gahn, one of two prosecutors on the trial and a pioneer in charging cold cases based on DNA evidence, said Wednesday the case would have been the first in Milwaukee County and likely the state to present results from a DNA analysis technology used specifically for degraded samples as evidence in court.

DNA Collection From Arrested Suspects In Maryland Allowed To Resume


WASHINGTON — Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts is allowing police in Maryland to resume collecting DNA samples from people arrested for serious crimes.

Pressure BioSciences’ Patented PCT Platform Shown to Significantly Improve Protein and DNA Detection in Multiple Studies

SOUTH EASTON, Mass., July 18, 2012 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ — Pressure BioSciences, Inc. (otcqb:PBIO) (“PBI” or the “Company”) today announced that multiple research reports have cited the ability of the Company’s Pressure Cycling Technology (“PCT”) Platform to improve the detection of RNA, DNA, and/or protein in forensic, environmental, and biodefense applications, and in research studies focused on the discovery of biomarkers of disease. These studies were conducted in laboratories worldwide, including:

Institute of Forensic Sciences (Beijing, China) where scientists concluded that PCT was one of the most effective methods available for extracting DNA from bone in forensic applications. These findings extend earlier studies by other forensic scientists that PCT could lead to better methods of identification of crime victims and bodies of missing persons.