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

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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.

European diseases left their mark on First Nations’ DNA

tsimshian-peopleEpidemics from Europe that killed thousands of indigenous Canadians in the nineteenth century have left their signatures in the genomes of the people living there today, researchers say.
The Tsimshian people, who live in coastal British Columbia and Alaska and are among Canada’s First Nations, suffered a severe population crash around the nineteenth century, as European colonizers brought diseases including smallpox to communities that had not acquired resistance.

Hair Analysis Could Become An Important Alternative To Dna Testing

DNA hair analysisYet hair can be incredibly useful. “Hair is always left behind, so it’s an abundant source of material for identifying people,” says Daniel Fairbanks, a hair expert at Utah Valley University and also one of the paper’s co-authors.
Additional validation needs to be done before the new method makes its way into working forensic labs and courtrooms. Researchers need to test with more people and include more ethnic groups in the study population. The amount of hair required (currently a thimbleful) needs to be reduced to a single strand. And rigorous testing of the chosen protein markers needs to be done to make sure they’re reliable. hair can be incredibly useful. “Hair is always left behind, so it’s an abundant source of material for identifying people,” says Daniel Fairbanks, a hair expert at Utah Valley University and also one of the paper’s co-authors.

Parabon® Awarded Government Contract to Develop Next-Generation Forensic DNA Analysis Platform

DNA and facial characteristicsRESTON, Va., Nov. 16, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — Parabon® NanoLabs (Parabon) announced today the award of a two-year Department of Defense (DoD) contract to develop a novel software platform for forensic analysis of DNA evidence. Many analysis products support traditional DNA typing, however, emerging methods, such as high-throughput DNA sequencing (HTS) and single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) genotyping, require a collection of bioinformatics capabilities not supported by existing forensic applications. The platform created under this contract, referred to as “Keystone,” will provide an open architecture that allows bioinformatic data from any forensic science instrument to be analyzed via software plugins that integrate existing analytical tools or implement novel analytical methods. Parabon will develop plugins supporting common workflows, but Keystone’s architecture will also enable third parties to develop plugins for particular instruments or analysis.