Monthly Archives: June 2017

Salvador Dalí’s Body Ordered Exhumed In Paternity Suit

In a surreal turn, a judge in Madrid ordered that Salvador Dalí’s body — interred for nearly three decades — be exhumed after a 61-year-old Spanish woman claimed the renowned painter was her father.

DNA data from missing in 2011 tsunami will enter database

To lower the number still missing from the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami, the National Police Agency will begin utilizing a nationwide database on unidentified bodies as early as July.
The NPA will compare data on missing people in the three prefectures of Miyagi, Iwate and Fukushima, which were hit hard by the powerful tsunami, with its database.

Familial DNA Approved In New York State

The parents of slain jogger Karina Vetrano received further solace on Friday after the New York State Commission on Forensic Science announced that the familial-DNA genetic search tool can now be utilized in the state.
Phil and Cathy Vetrano had been advocates of the policy for months; they held a press conference on February 3 during which they endorsed the tool, which searches law-enforcement DNA databases for relatives of a genetic profile that forensics build at the scene of a crime.

DNA discovery reveals genetic history of ancient Egyptians

(CNN)Ancient Egyptians and their modern counterparts share less in common than you might think. That is, at least genetically, a team of scientists have found.
Researchers from the University of Tuebingen and the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History in Jena, both in Germany, have decoded the genome of ancient Egyptians for the first time, with unexpected results.

Virginia deserves applause for its work to eliminate a rape kit backlog

NOTHING IS a more powerful symbol of the failure of the criminal justice system to take sexual assault seriously than the tens of thousands of rape kits that languish — untested — in police departments and crime labs across the country. So when authorities undertake to eliminate the existing backlog and prevent future ones, it is a sign of a new approach that prioritizes getting justice for victims and holding offenders accountable. That is what is happening in Virginia, and it should be applauded.

Not Guilty, and Released Thanks to Them

The artist Taryn Simon’s “The Innocents” opened at Guild Hall in East Hampton on Saturday. While the project dates from 2002, its subject is timeless: wrongful conviction for violent crimes and the subsequent reversal of those convictions because of DNA evidence. Ms. Simon photographed a number of those exonerated in locations that were significant to the case, such as the scene of the crime, the scene of the alibi, or the scene of misidentification.

London fire may have destroyed DNA needed to ID victims

The devastating fire that struck a high-rise tower in London may have been so powerful that it destroyed much of the DNA evidence needed to identify its victims.
As firefighters keep searching the charred ruins of the Grenfell Tower public housing complex with sniffer dogs and drones, Metropolitan Police commander Stuart Cundy said there was “a risk that, sadly, we may not be able to identify everybody.”

Asia’s Rising Scientists: Maria Corazon de Ungria

From helping wrongfully accused prisoners to building the DNA biobank of the Philippines, Dr. Maria Corazon de Ungria is committed to conducting science with a purpose.

Rapid DNA Technology Makes Verifying Relationships Easier, Faster

Newswise — Rapid DNA technology developed by the Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) has recently been used to identify simulated “victims” in several mass casualty exercises across the nation. The technology greatly expedites the testing of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA), the only biometric that can accurately verify family relationships. With results available in 90 minutes or less, S&T’s Rapid DNA technology can be used on the scene of mass fatality events, in refugee camps around the world, or at immigration offices.

Mystery Solved: Boy killed in Georgetown finally identified after 96 years

GEORGETOWN – After 96 years, a boy killed by a train in Georgetown is finally going home.
Todd Matthews, director of case management and communication for NamUs, a national centralized repository and resource for missing persons and unidentified decedent records, identified the boy as Frank A. Haynes of Bronston. Matthews identified the boy Thursday near his grave in Georgetown Cemetery.
Haynes died April 1, 1921, when he was struck in the head by a train in Georgetown. At the time, officials tried to identify him and buried him before he was positively identified. He was buried in Georgetown Cemetery with the tombstone that simply reads, “Some Mother’s Boy.” He was about 19.

Ancient DNA Could Unravel the Mystery of Prehistoric European Migration

Let’s face it: Even with the modern conveniences of U-Hauls and cardboard boxes, moving is a pain. For Neolithic humans living in Europe 5,000 years ago, the obstacles—roaming predators, lack of transportation, unforgiving—must have seemed insurmountable. “Deep in the past, a few humans could have moved hundreds of kilometers, certainly, but most people at that time would not have,” says Chris Tyler-Smith, a human genetics researcher at England’s Sanger Institute.

Texas becomes first in nation to implement comprehensive rape kit reform

NEW YORK – The Joyful Heart Foundation announced on Wednesday that Texas has become the first state in the nation to implement comprehensive rape kit reform. With the passage of H.B. 281, which requires the Department of Public Safety to establish a comprehensive statewide tracking system to monitor rape kits from collection to analysis, Texas has now enacted all six pillars of reform recommended by Joyful Heart and leaders in this field.

No one knows how many untested rape kits there are in California.

This bill aims to fix that.
Tens of thousands of rape kits are sitting on shelves in police and sheriff’s department evidence rooms nationwide. And no one has tested them to see what crimes they could help solve.
A bill by Assemblyman David Chiu (D-San Francisco) would help determine how many of those unanalyzed exam kits exist in California, part of a national backlog that federal officials have grappled with for nearly two decades.

Woman’s sex assault kit not tested until 5 years after rape

PORTLAND, ORE. Court records state Portland police didn’t pursue or submit evidence for a sexual assault case until five years after the assault was reported, despite police having the name of a suspect and a sexual assault kit.

Maharashtra will be first Indian state to use barcodes to register forensic samples

Barcodes, they are not just for making your supermarket checkout easy. If the state’s plan falls into place, soon, Maharashtra will become the first in the country to have its forensic evidence sent to labs with barcodes as well. This added measure is in a bid to ensure that maximum confidentiality of the samples received is maintained and to prevent any pilferage or leak of samples from the state-run laboratories.