DNA evidence from burglaries goes untested in Harris County

Helix4HARRIS COUNTY, Texas – Channel 2 Investigates has discovered that evidence that could help solve burglaries in the county has been collected from crime scenes but never tested because the county crime lab put a hold on touch DNA testing of property crimes last year.
“Right now, we’re focusing our efforts on the most important crimes: the sex assaults. the homicides.
We’ll get back to property crimes soon and the opportunity arises,” Roger Kahn, the crime laboratory director of the Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences, said.

Expansion Of Regional Forensic Science Center On Track For 2018

dna_labSedgwick County is planning to expand the Regional Forensic Science Center in order to meet the increasing demand for DNA analysis in criminal cases.
The $4 million project will begin in 2018, and it will be the second expansion in the center’s 21-year history. KMUW’s Deborah Shaar had an opportunity to see how crime science happens.

Hundreds of rape kits, some stored for years, to flood State Crime Lab

NorrisThe GBI’s State Crime Lab expects to receive an additional 864 rape kits within a week that have been stored, for years in some cases, in police evidence lockers and never analyzed for DNA matches.
Sixty-one percent of them will come from the Atlanta Police Department, according to GBI records.

Is it your second cousin? Cotton swabs may tell you

DNA RelationshipsWith a new technique, a simple swab sample can accurately confirm relatedness between two individuals as distant as second cousins. With more DNA datasets at hand, the method could be utilized to identify disaster victims in mass floods and tornadoes that destroy entire communities.

DNA tests to establish if pigtails belonged to mutineers on the Bounty

HMS BountyDNA tests could prove that seven pigtails kept in a 19th-century tobacco tin belonged to the mutineers on HMS Bounty, the first physical evidence of the men’s existence.
While the story of the mutiny against captain William Bligh by his disaffected crew in the South Pacific in 1789 is famous, the only tangible evidence of those who hid from justice on the remote Pitcairn Islands is the grave of mutineer John Adams.

Females working in forensic science labs report high stress levels than male counterparts

DNA techomen may be at the forefront of the fast-growing forensic science field, but they’re also more stressed than their male counterparts, indicates new research led by a Michigan State University criminologist.

AP police to soon have DNA index system

navy DNAHYDERABAD, AUG 21: Andhra Pradesh police will soon have the backing of DNA technology to improve efficiency of policing. The State Government has decided to use a technology sourced from IntegenX Inc., US to generate DNA profiles and create a database.

Forensic Teams In Greece Struggle To Identify Drowned Migrants

Penelope Miniati, head of the forensics science division works at the forensics science division of Hellenic Police in AthensATHENS — The Greek police’s criminal investigation department’s workload has surged since last October, as its forensics team scrambles to identify some of the hundreds of victims who have drowned making the short but dangerous journey from the shores of Turkey to outlying Greek islands.
The director of Greece’s forensic division, Penelope Miniati, told Reuters there are 85 DNA samples still to be processed and identified since October compared to normally dealing with just a “handful” every month.

DNA traces origins of Iceman’s ragtag wardrobe

Otzi's duds…When Oetzi was discovered in 1991, famously well preserved in the ice of the Italian Alps, this type of ancient DNA analysis was impossible.
“25 years ago, the study of ancient DNA was in its infancy,” Mr O’Sullivan told BBC News. “It would not have been possible to infer, to the same extent, the species of origin or how domesticated the leathers were…”

AFDILs role in Korean and Cold War identification

navy DNAARLINGTON, Virginia– Four hundred twenty-six family members of servicemen met at the 2016 Korean/Cold War Annual government briefings, Aug. 11-12, 2016, in Arlington, Virginia.
At these briefings, family members had the opportunity to meet with numerous government officials who specialize in certain expertise to include policy update, global operations, DNA process and identification.

Lawmakers pledge to fix criminal DNA problem after KIRO 7 investigation

Gray DNAA week after a KIRO 7 investigation showed DNA from more than 100 convicted criminals in Seattle was not being tested, Republican and Democratic lawmakers pledged to take action.
“After your initial story, I think some of us got contacted and we realized, wow, we really need to get this fixed,” said Democratic Rep. Tina Orwall, who is the vice chair of the Public Safety Committee. “I’m just grateful you’re shining a light on it.”
Most of the untested DNA samples — collected with judges’ orders for an international DNA database — are from criminals convicted of sexually motivated crimes. Each month the number of untested samples grows.

Removing Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) Artifacts in Forensic DNA Analysis

Justice DeptThis webinar will present a new method that removes confounding PCR artifacts in Forensic DNA Analysis using high accuracy Massively Parallel Sequencing (MPS).
Attendees will also get a review of the basics of MPS technologies and Duplex Sequencing and its current uses, as well as applications for highly accurate forensic genotyping.
The webinar will take place Wednesday, August 17, 1:00–2:00 PM ET.

Register now for ISHI

ISHI 2016 BannerReserve your place at the 27th International Symposium on Human Identification to learn about the latest advances in DNA typing. More than 30 speakers will present during the general session on a range of topics including policy issues, advances in forensic science and trends in the field. In addition, over 120 forensic experts from around the world will present scientific posters.
Symposium registration includes:
• Access to the general session
• Exhibits and poster sessions
• Conference materials
• Welcome Reception, continental breakfast, buffet lunches and dinner event at Nicollet Pavilion

First Humans Entered the Americas Along the Coast, Not Through the Ice

Ice free corridorNow, a new study by an international team of researchers may finally rip the ice corridor hypothesis out of the textbooks once and for all. Using sediment cores and DNA analysis, the scientists reconstructed the corridor’s environment. This research shows that there just weren’t enough resources in the pass for the earliest human migrants to successfully make the crossing.

DNA On Half-Eaten Food May Someday Send Crooks To Jail

DonutMatching bite marks in food at a crime scene to a suspect’s teeth is often a stretch. Saliva deposited on the food and subjected to DNA analysis, however, has the potential to strengthen the positive identification of those present at a crime.