Parabon Seeks Volunteers for DNA Kinship Study to Help Identify Fallen Soldiers

parabon-flagReston, Va. (Ammoland.com) — Parabon NanoLabs (Parabon) announced today a call for participants in a research study, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD), in which DNA samples from distant relatives will be analyzed to develop innovative kinship and ancestry algorithms and associated laboratory methods to extend familial matching beyond current capabilities.

Forensic Science in Criminal Courts: Ensuring Scientific Validity of Feature-Comparison Methods

white-house“Forensic science” has been defined as the application of scientific or technical practices to the recognition, collection, analysis, and interpretation of evidence for criminal and civil law or regulatory issues. Developments over the past two decades—including the exoneration of defendants who had been wrongfully convicted based in part on forensic-science evidence, a variety of studies of the scientific underpinnings of the forensic disciplines, reviews of expert testimony based on forensic findings, and scandals in state crime laboratories— have called increasing attention to the question of the validity and reliability of some important forms of forensic evidence and of testimony based upon them.
Read Report

Update: Nevada backlog of untested rape kits

nv-sexual-assault-kitsCARSON CITY, Nev. (KOLO) – Rape kit testing is an expensive process. Sometimes rape kits aren’t tested because other evidence can be used to convict the suspect. Or a suspect can plead out and the tests don’t have to be conducted.

Rape Survivors Are Suing to Have Their Rape Kits Processed

san-francisco-rape-kitHeather Marlowe was raped at a party in May 2010, during the city’s popular Bay to Breakers footrace. She reported the assault and subjected herself to the four-hour forensic examination, which produces a cache of evidence commonly known as a rape kit. Kits can include semen, hair, and skin cells from the attacker, all of which can be used to identify a suspect. But the San Francisco police didn’t test her kit for more than two years—and today, they still haven’t managed to catch her attacker.

New Standards for Forensic Grade Manufacturing Integrated At Promega

Promega solMADISON, Wis.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–With recent approval in meeting the new ISO 18385 standard, Promega Corporation will be including a “Forensic Grade” classification on products used for human identity by crime labs, government agencies and paternity testing labs worldwide.

Baby Born Using ‘Three Parent’ Technique, Doctors Say

baby-genesA healthy baby boy has been born after he was conceived using a “three-parent” technique to manipulate his DNA, doctors said Tuesday.
Fertility specialists from New York, Cincinnati and Britain did the experimental treatment in Mexico. It has not been approved in the U.S. It has been approved in Britain.

New forensic lab & Medical Examiner’s facility opens in Roanoke County

new-roanoke-labROANOKE Co., Va. (WSET) — After years of construction, the new Forensic Laboratory and Medical Examiner Facility for the western part of the state is now officially open in Roanoke County.
This facility is where all of the different agencies in the area will conduct their forensic testing and it’s also the Medical Examiner’s office.

Progress on Testing Sexual Assault Kits

Justice Dept“Promega Corporation gratefully acknowledges the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, National Institute of Justice, for allowing us to reproduce, in part or in whole, the video “Progress on Testing Sexual Assault Kits”. The opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this video are those of the speaker(s) and do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of the U.S. Department of Justice.”

New DNA Analysis Shows Aboriginal Australians Are the World’s Oldest Society

aboriginal-kangaSmithsonian- For centuries, Aboriginal Australians have said they belonged to the oldest sustained civilization on the face of the Earth, citing their culture and history of oral storytelling that stretches back tens of thousands of years. Now, one of the most extensive analyses of Indigenous Australian DNA to date suggests that they’ve been right all along.

Arson at Belgian Forensic Lab May Set Back Terrorism Cases

lab-in-brusselsBRUSSELS — The whole operation took less than 10 minutes. Three people drove a van up to Belgium’s main forensic storehouse at 2 a.m., cut through a perimeter fence, smashed the ground-floor windows, and placed bottles of accelerant inside.
The fire they set destroyed much of the nation’s chief forensic laboratory, including its entire cache of hair samples and thousands of other pieces of evidence critical to the prosecution of hundreds of criminal and terrorism suspects.

Human Skeleton Found on Famed Antikythera Shipwreck

underwaterHannes Schroeder snaps on two pairs of blue latex gloves, then wipes his hands with a solution of bleach. In front of him is a large Tupperware box full of plastic bags that each contain sea water and a piece of red-stained bone. He lifts one out and inspects its contents as several archaeologists hover behind, waiting for his verdict. They’re hoping he can pull off a feat never attempted before—DNA analysis on someone who has been under the sea for 2,000 years.

Ceremony honors fallen service members identified through forensics

POW MIADOVER — They might have just appeared to be names on a list, but each name that was read over the public address system represented closure to the families of fallen U.S. service members from past wars and conflicts.
Each name meant that a soldier had returned home.
Dover Air Force Base hosted a Prisoner of War/Missing in Action Retreat Ceremony around the flag pole near the air traffic control terminal on Friday afternoon.

Someone stole thousands of vials containing the DNA of Italians with very long lifespans

dna-collection3Thousands of vials containing the DNA of Italians with very long lifespans have gone missing.
This DNA was collected years ago as part of widespread research interest in the island of Sardinia, whose residents are some of the world’s longest living people. On average, 21 out of every 10,000 residents in one area of Sardinia live to age 100. In comparison, only four out of 10,000 Americans get to celebrate that birthday.

Delaware has a new Director of Forensic Science

de-div-of-for-sciA 29-year veteran and Major with the Delaware State Police is Delaware’s new Director of Forensic Science.
John Evans was appointed by the Secretary of Safety and Homeland Security James Mosley on Monday.

Steven Avery Update: Facts About New Prosecutor Norman Gahn

averyAccording to court documents, Milwaukee County Assistant District Attorney Norman Gahn has been appointed to substitute Manitowoc County District Attorney Jaclyn LaBre in the homicide case. The replacement came on September 1 after LaBre cited a conflict of interest.