Category Archives: Forensic Industry News

The Genetic Legacy of Interbreeding with Neandertals

Sapiens_neanderthal_comparison-e1397655971851Publishing a draft of the Neandertal genome (1) opened up whole new avenues to understanding the ancestry of modern humans. No longer constrained to comparing the morphology of fossilized remains, scientists can now delve into the genetic differences between anatomically modern humans and our close relative Homo neanderthalensis. From these genetic studies, we are learning some amazing things about the evolution of Homo sapiens.

Blame game under way in lack of rape prosecutions, lab testing

helix2Experts say that only a small fraction of rapes are reported and that the prosecution rate in those cases is dismally small — in Salt Lake County it’s 6 percent. In many instances of alleged sex assault, forensic evidence gathered from the victim is not even analyzed.
Such evidence — including semen and saliva that can provide DNA — is collected by specially trained nurses in what is called a Code R kit, or rape kit. The evidence could be key to a conviction.

NC crime lab director says funding needed to clear DNA testing backlog

Red HelisRaleigh, N.C. — The director of the North Carolina State Crime Laboratory, which examines evidence in criminal investigations for law enforcement agencies across the state, says he hopes lawmakers will increase funding for the lab this year to help clear the backlog of cases in need of DNA testing.

California attorney general honored for rape kit processing

AG HarrisSACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — The state attorney general’s office is receiving national recognition for accelerating the testing of rape kits, using innovations that have been adopted by eight of California’s 58 counties.

Debbie Smith urges reauthorization of rape kit law

DebbieDebbie Smith, the namesake of a measure providing funding to reduce the backlog of unprocessed rape kits, came to Capitol Hill Monday to urge lawmakers to pass a reauthorization of the law that bears her name.

Diane Dimond: Pets Helping Solve Crimes with UC Davis Veterinarian Forensic Lab

Buster1As far as crime laboratories go, it is not very impressive-looking. And it is not very big, with a permanent staff of just three forensic scientists and a few interns. But the work product that comes out of the Veterinarian Forensic Lab at UC Davis is important, and it has changed the way crimes are investigated and prosecuted worldwide.

Bode Technology Uses DNA To Help Identify Missing World War II Soldier

POW MIAThe Bode Technology Group, Inc.(Bode), a leading provider of forensic DNA services and products, in collaboration with the University of Wisconsin (UW), announced the successful DNA testing of 70-year old bone fragments from a missing World War II soldier.

Simbyakula urges speedy completion of DNA lab

ZambiaGOVERNMENT says it is concerned about the slow pace of setting up a DNA forensic laboratory at the University Teaching Hospital (UTH).
Speaking when he inspected progress on the project at UTH yesterday, Minister of Home Affairs Ngosa Simbyakula directed that work on the facility should be completed soon.

Texas DPS officials give local leaders peek at technology available to law enforcement at new headquarters

Texas DPS HeadquartersResources available at the Texas Department of Public Safety’s new Region 5 headquarters gives area law enforcement the upper hand in its fight against crime, said state and local officials at a Wednesday morning, April 2, opening ceremony at the new location.

Backers want action on Ohio bill to repeal 20-year statute of limitations for prosecuting rape

Justice and DNACOLUMBUS, Ohio — Backers of a bill that would repeal Ohio’s 20-year statute of limitations for prosecuting rape cases are calling for additional hearings on the measure.

Wis. college creates body farm for forensic research

Fox Valley Body FarmAPPLETON, Wis. — Fans of the CBS drama CSI: Crime Scene Investigation undoubtedly will take interest in Fox Valley Technical College’s latest venture: the creation of a cold-weather body farm.
A body farm is an outdoor research facility where forensic scientists place animal carcasses and donated human cadavers in various settings — in the open air, in a shallow grave or in a sleeping bag — to study the decomposition of bodies by digestive enzymes, bacteria, insects and scavengers.

Senate Consideration of the Justice for All Reauthorization Act of 2013

Justice for allMar 29,2014 – Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee, On Senate Consideration of the Justice for All Reauthorization Act of 2013

3,000 DNA Test Results To Be Reviewed At Columbus Crime Lab

Crime LabCOLUMBUS, Ohio – Columbus Police officials say an internal review has found issues in evidence documentation in the crime lab.

Rape victims file lawsuit against city, county

96 well plateSHELBY COUNTY, TN – (WMC-TV) – Victims of rape whose evidence was not tested by the City of Memphis and Shelby County have joined forces to sue for damages.

Paper Details New Pre-PCR Method for STR Analysis of Forensic Samples

helix2An Australian duo has developed a pre-PCR technique to improve results in forensic DNA analysis. The method, published this month in BioTechniques, is designed to eliminate stochastic sampling effects resulting from the miniscule amounts of starting material and possible contamination common in crime scene analysis. This is accomplished by initially increasing low-abundance template copy number in a linear, rather than exponential, manner.