Category Archives: DNA Education

NIST Webinar to Cover Validation of Forensic DNA Testing Technologies

NIST LogoForensic DNA analysts and other interested stakeholders are invited to participate in a free NIST webinar on validation concepts and resources on Aug. 6, 2014, from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., ET.

Continue the Conversation on Familial DNA Searching

Familial On Thursday, July 17, RTI International will hold the third of a four-part NIJ-funded online discussion about familial DNA searching. Join this panel discussion to learn more about current processes and procedures as well as the legal challenges and implementation ramifications of familial DNA searching. In this session, the discussion will focus on the process of investigative follow-up, including costs and resources, methods of communication and the release of information.
This panel series will generate a report to educate practitioners at the state and local levels on current issues and approaches to familial DNA searching, as they vary by state.
Registration is free and open to all.

Promega Technology Tour – Join Us in a City Near You!

Promega Tech TourJoin your colleagues at a workshop hosted by Promega on the forensics workflow and the challenges it brings. The half-day seminar will feature presentations by leaders in the forensic community, as well as updates on the latest technologies and products from Promega.
Learn about the newest tools designed to meet the new CODIS standards, for both casework and databasing efforts, including:

• PowerQuant™ System: A New Robust DNA Quantification System
• PowerPlex® Y23 System: Tales from a Casework Laboratory
• Maximizing Success with Challenging Samples
• Mixture Interpretation and Statistics
• DNA Backlog Reduction Strategies
• The Latest Advances in Forensic Technologies
The half-day seminar is free of charge to individuals working in forensics and paternity laboratories. Lunch and snacks will be provided. Space is limited, so be sure to register early!
To learn more or to register, go to

Sincerely Yours,
The Promega Genetic Identity Team

Expand DNA Collection Law, Ark. Legislators Urged

helix2LITTLE ROCK, AR – An advocate for expanded DNA collection for all felony arrests says Arkansas’ current law doesn’t go far enough.
Jayann Sepich, founder of, testifies around the country pushing for states to adopt or expand DNA collection upon arrest of all felony crimes

Join Our Webinar – Use PowerQuant™ System to Make Informed Casework Sample Decisions for STR Typing

FOR417_PromegaDate: Wednesday, April 23, 2014
Time: 10:00 am CT
Duration: 60 Minutes

New ECU forensic science program aims to get students jobs, higher salaries

DNA AnalystsGREENVILLE, N.C. – A new degree program at East Carolina University focuses on forensic science and promises to give graduates an advantage in the job market.
The program just launched this semester and is a Bachelor of Science degree in multidisciplinary studies with a focus on forensic science. It requires more coursework in chemistry and criminal justice than any other program in the state.

Cutting-Edge Forensics Lab Debuts at GW

Weedn-picWASHINGTON (WUSA9) — It’s the stuff you see on CBS’s CSI – cutting-edge crime solvers using the latest technology.
But we can show you the potential for real-life breakthroughs right here in our own backyard – inside a one-of-a-kind lab at George Washington University that could change the way crimes are solved.

Linear amplification of target prior to PCR for improved low template DNA results

low copy numberForensic analysis of genetic material is often limited by the quantity and quality of DNA available for examination. Stochastic effects associated with low amounts of starting template can lead to a reduction in the quality of the result, making interpretation difficult. This paper presents an amplification method to copy target DNA in a linear fashion prior to short tandem repeat (STR) analysis to increase the available starting template without introducing the amplification bias seen in other methods used to increase the sensitivity of PCR. Results show that implementing the pre- PCR procedure allows for greater allele recovery in multiplex STR analysis compared with samples that were not subjected to prior processing.

Rape kit testing backlog undermines justice for victims

sexual assault kitsIn Cleveland, Ohio, a serial rapist and murderer was convicted of crimes last year that will keep him in prison for the rest of his life. His case made the headlines because his neighbor was Ariel Castro, the man who kept three young women hostage as sex slaves for years. Following Castro’s high-profile arrest, investigators began re-examining Cleveland’s cold cases and processing their backlog of untested sexual assault evidence kits, known as “rape kits.” One such rape kit, collected in 1993 but not tested until 2013, helped the FBI link Castro’s neighbor, Elias Acevedo Sr., to two murders and multiple rapes.

McClintock named among top 15 DNA analysis professors in the country

McClintockDr. J. Thomas McClintock, a professor of biology in Liberty University’s Department of Biology & Chemistry, was recently named among the top 15 DNA analysis professors in the country by, a leading website on forensics programs across the nation.

Human Identification in Mass Fatality Incidents

DNA Helix StructureFree online webinar
In a 30 year career in forensic science, Dr. Christopher Maguire has been involved in the investigation of a number of national and international mass fatality incidents.
This presentation will look at the organization of an incident response, the forensic techniques used to support human identification, the concept of an identification team and the management of an international incident. The presentation will be illustrated with examples from Dr. Maguire’s experience.
Register here!

Join Our Free Webinar — Getting to “DNA-free”:

WebinarsForensic DNA laboratories rely on reagent and plastics manufacturers to supply high-quality products with minimal interference from contaminating DNA. With the increasing sensitivity of short tandem repeat (STR) amplification systems, levels of DNA that were previously undetected may now generate partial profiles. To address the concern of laboratories regarding the potential of low-level DNA contamination in consumables, ISO/CD 18385 has been drafted describing guidelines for minimizing the risk of human DNA contamination events during the manufacturing process. The draft also proposes pass/fail parameters for Forensic Grade certification. This webinar will discuss studies to evaluate the proposed parameters including:

•Sensitivity difference between qPCR and STR analyses
•The suitability of qPCR and STR analyses for testing different product types
•Effectiveness of ethylene oxide treatment

Webinar Information
Date: November 14, 2013
Time: 10:00 AM Eastern
9:00 AM Central
7:00 AM Pacific

Duration: 60 minutes
Click here to Register!

Free Webinar-An Overview of the Global PPY23-YHRD Database Project and the Impact on the Forensics Workflow

october webinar imageDate: October 24, 2013
Time: 9 a.m. CST

Title: An Overview of the Global PPY23-YHRD Database Project and the Impact on the Forensics Workflow

Speaker: Prof. Lutz Roewer, PhD
Organization: Institute of Legal Medicine and Forensic Sciences,
Department of Forensic Genetics, Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin
Register for this webinar here.

Bio: Lutz Roewer received his PhD in molecular biology in 1990 and holds a full professorship for forensic genetics since 2008 at the Institute of Legal Medicine and Forensic Sciences, Charité-Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Germany. Currently he is head of the Department of Forensic Genetics at the Charité. Lutz was awarded the scientific price of the DGRM (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Rechtsmedizin) in 1990 and 1998 and the scientific prize of the ISFG (International Society of Forensic Genetics) in 1999 for the development of the Y-STR haplotyping method. LR is founder and curator of the YHRD. His major research interest is the molecular and population genetics of the Y chromosome with regard to its forensic application. Another research line is the evolution and demography of indigenous populations in South and North America. He was a member of field expeditions in Argentina, Taiwan and Ecuador.

In this webinar, Dr. Lutz Roewer will discuss the results from a large collaborative project initiated in September 2012 to collect, analyze, database and publish population data of 23 Y-STR locus haplotypes (PowerPlex® Y23 System which was released in August 2012).

As many as 18,863 haplotypes from 127 populations were gathered within the 8 months of the collection phase of the project. Allele and haplotype frequencies as well as diversities were calculated per country, ethnic group and continent. Data regarding the discrimination indices for AmpFLSTR® Yfiler® PCR Amplification Kit and PowerPlex® Y23 System profiles will be shared. The creation of a large global reference database for the PowerPlex® Y23 haplotype format assists forensic labs with the implementation of high-resolution Y chromosome diagnostics in their workflow.

Sorenson Forensics Provides Training for First DNA Laboratory in Zambia

DNA MilitarySALT LAKE CITY –(Business Wire)–
Sorenson Forensics today announced that as part of an unprecedented public-private partnership, three forensic scientists from Zambia have travelled to its Utah-based lab for six weeks of intensive, hands-on training, marking the first step in launching the African country’s first-ever forensic DNA lab

DNA Analysts Will Rediscover Richard III, Explore the $1000 Genome and More

ISHIThe largest conference on DNA analysis for human identification, the 24th International Symposium on Human Identification provides an opportunity for DNA analysts, members of law enforcement and other DNA industry professionals to learn about emerging forensic DNA techniques from experts in the field. The symposium will be held October 7-10 at the Hyatt Regency, 235 Peachtree Street NE, Atlanta, Georgia.