A Mummy’s DNA May Help Solve The Mystery Of The Origins Of Smallpox

17th-century-lithuanian-mummyNPR- The surprise find of smallpox DNA in a child mummy from the 17th century could help scientists start to trace the mysterious history of this notorious virus.
Smallpox currently only exists in secure freezers, after a global vaccination campaign eradicated the virus in the late 1970s. But much about this killer remains unknown, including its origins.

Ancient Roman DNA reveals modern malaria parasite

malaria(CNN)For the first time, researchers have discovered genomic evidence of malaria in 2,000-year-old human remains from the Roman Empire, according to a new study.
With DNA fragments from the teeth of 58 adults and 10 children buried in three imperial-period Italian cemeteries, researchers were able to recover the mitochondrial genome to identify the specific malaria species that infected people.

USS Oklahoma 75 Years later: DNA is not just science, it’s personal

uss-oklahoma1DOVER AIR FORCE BASE, Del. –The USS Oklahoma was hit by multiple torpedoes and capsized during the attack on Pearl Harbor Dec. 7, 1941, resulting in the loss of 429 Navy and Marine personnel. Seventy-five years later the Department of Defense DNA Registry under the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System is still hard at work to bring those servicemen home to their families.

Armed Forces Medical College awaits DNA profile certifier

PUNE,INDIA: The Armed Forces Medical College’s (AFMC) wait for a DNA profile report certifier continues as the relevant bill is pending clearance in the navy DNAparliament.
The AFMC started collecting and preserving blood samples of nearly 10.20 lakh personnel of the Indian armed forces in a phased manner last year.

Leahy bill to improve criminal justice system to be signed into law

Justice and DNAVermont Business Magazine Legislation long championed by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont) to help ensure that the criminal justice system functions fairly now goes to the White House for signature after the Senate overwhelmingly passed the bill on Thursday. The Justice for All Reauthorization Act aims to reduce the rape kit backlog by supporting grant programs that fund forensic testing.

DNA Diagnostics Center® Announces Acquisition of IDENTIGENE®, LLC

Blue and white helixFAIRFIELD, Ohio, Dec. 2, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — DNA Diagnostics Center® (DDC® or the Company), one of the world’s largest private DNA testing companies, announces the acquisition of IDENTIGENE® LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sorenson Genomics, LLC. Details of the transaction were not disclosed.

New Scientific Technology May Soon Be Able To Tell If Your Clothes Are Slave Labor-Free

helix9Shoppers lured by a bargain-priced t-shirt but concerned about whether the item is free of slave labor could soon have the answer — from DNA forensic technology. James Hayward, chief executive of US-based Applied DNA Sciences Inc. that develops DNA-based technology to prevent counterfeiting and ensure authenticity, said his researchers have been working in the cotton industry for up to nine years.

Conversation At ISHI Leads To Breakthrough In Phoenix Canal Killer Cold Case

phoenix-canal-murdersPhoenix- The man accused in Phoenix’s “Canal Killer” case may have his ancestors to blame for his 2015 arrest.
Records show forensic genealogy was key in leading police to Bryan Patrick Miller, a man now facing a death-penalty trial in the early 1990s slayings of Angela Brosso and Melanie Bernas.
Using a method with little precedent in the world of criminal justice, a California genealogist named Colleen Fitzpatrick handed police what would amount to a case-busting lead: the suspect’s last name.

Black death ‘plague pit’ discovered at 14th-century monastery hospital

black-deathThornton Abbey, Lincolnshire- 48 skeletons have been discovered in what researchers are calling a ‘Plague Pit.’ 27 of these were from children, say the researchers. This represents an extremely rare discovery, suggesting that the community was overwhelmed by the Black Death.

New Austin DNA lab chief will tackle 4,000 cases with contamination concerns

blood-samplesAUSTIN (KXAN) — There is a new person in charge of the Austin police DNA lab with a lot on his plate after widespread issues were reported with thousands of cases.
Scott Milne is now the Chief Forensics Officer. The department’s lab shut down over the summer after a investigation revealed thousands of cases that used flawed science calculating odds in DNA results.

Yearlong wait for DNA testing results frustrates Utah judge, who threatens to put a crime lab employee in jail

backlog sexual assault kitsNot unique • Corporon said Wednesday that her client’s case is hardly unique. He is not the first defendant to sit in jail for months as trial dates are canceled because of a lack of DNA results — and she is not the only defense attorney who has encountered this.
“Over and over again, in cases in which sex crimes are alleged, the critical DNA evidence is not available for many months, or a year or more,” she wrote in an email to The Salt Lake Tribune. “This impacts everyone in the system.”

Free Webinar: PowerPlex® Y23 System – A Casework Pilot Study

Helix6FREE Webinar • Monday, December 19, 2016 • 11:00 a.m. ET; 10:00 a.m. CT

What you’ll learn:

  • How to get faster cycling conditions cutting amplification time almost in half.
  • How to reduce sample-processing time and faster cycling conditions
  • How to get more interpretable data from inhibitor-laden samples
  • How to reduce to provide a significant time savings in every run.


84 Years Ago Today, the FBI’s Crime Lab Opened in DC

early-fbi-crime-labFrom fingerprinting and ballistics to handwriting analysis and moulage, the FBI’s Scientific Crime Detection Laboratory is known for assisting the bureau’s agents in solving high-profile cases.
Established by original FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover, the Criminology Laboratory, as it was known then, was first housed in a single room of the Old Southern Railway Building at 13th St. and Pennsylvania Ave., Northwest. The lab’s work started in September 1932, but opened officially on November 24 of that year. Its first year of work included 963 examinations, including those that led to the capture of Bruno Richard Hauptmann for the kidnapping of the infant son of the aviator Charles Lindbergh.

Research and Development in Forensic Science for Criminal Justice Purposes

Justice DeptNIJ is seeking proposals for basic or applied research and development projects. An NIJ forensic science research and development grant supports a discrete, specified, circumscribed project that will:
1. Increase the body of knowledge to guide and inform forensic science policy and practice.
2. Lead to the production of useful material(s), device(s), system(s), or method(s) that have the potential for forensic application.

Update law so labs can use Rapid DNA to solve crimes faster

Gray DNABy Jay Henry-
Over the past 26 years of my career as a forensic scientist, I have seen science evolve and advance at a lightning speed. The pace at which these new technologies are entering the marketplace and the unprecedented help they provide law enforcement has been instrumental in serving the justice system. However, in some instances, the science has outpaced laws that determine which tools should or should not be used, leaving good technology idle. Rapid DNA is one of those technologies.