Category Archives: DNA Education

NIST Scientists to Give Latest Results at American Academy of Forensic Sciences Annual Meeting

NIST Forensics LogoNIST scientists will be presenting their latest advances in forensic science at the American Academy of Forensic Sciences (AAFS) annual meeting in Orlando, Fla., Feb. 16-21, which is expected to draw more than 4,000 attendees. Since 2010, NIST has expanded its efforts in forensic science in response to needs identified in a 2009 National Academy of Sciences report, Strengthening Forensic Science in the United States: A Path Forward.

Live Webcast: Improving Biometric and Forensic Technology – The Future of Research Datasets (January 26-27, 2015)

NIST Forensics LogoOn January 26-27, 2015, NIST will webcast live Improving Biometric and Forensic Technology: The Future of Research Datasets, a symposium on one of the biggest challenges facing the advancement of forensic science and biometric technology – the development of large research datasets.

For event and webcast information, please visit: http://go.usa.gov/FsrF

NIJ Training Update: Using Rapid DNA at Booking

Justice DeptThe final course in the Rapid DNA series, presented by Thomas F. Callaghan, Chief Biometric Scientist at the FBI Laboratory, will focus on Rapid DNA integration of booking station instruments into CODIS. Join us on December 9 at 1 p.m. EST to learn more about using Rapid DNA and LiveScan technology to search criminal history records at booking.
This is the final of a three-part series hosted by the American Society of Crime Lab Directors and NIJ’s Forensic Technology Center of Excellence to investigate the validation, current use, and future implementation of Rapid DNA. These webinars are designed to be viewed in any order.
Register for the final course.

Familial DNA Searching: Current Approaches

Familial HelixFree online training from RTI
On Thursday, August 21, NIJ’s Forensic Technology Center of Excellence is hosting the final session of a four-part online discussion about familial DNA searching. Sign up to learn more about the technical protocols and software considerations for familial DNA searching, including candidate thresholds derived by likelihood ratio and allele counting as well as reducing the number of potential candidates through Y STR and mtDNA analysis.

The 23rd Congress of the International Academy of Legal Medicine

ialmDubai-650x120-2The 23rd Congress of the International Academy of Legal Medicine is one of the most important Events in the calendar for those Professionals and Academics involved in the practice and development of the Bio-Medicolegal Sciences, the main Triennial Congress of the IALM to be held in Dubai from the 19th to the 21st of January, 2015.Supported by both the Government of Dubai and the Dubai Police, the Congress boasts a rich Scientific Programme with a broad range of topics of current interest, presented by prominent Experts in the field and accomplished in a spirit of collegiality and with an ethos which encourages transcultural dissemination of knowledge.
Register here.

Coming soon to a city near you!

Promega Tech TourJoin your colleagues at a workshop hosted by Promega on the forensics workflow and the challenges it brings. The half-day seminar will feature presentations by leaders in the forensic community, as well as updates on the latest technologies and products from Promega.
Learn about the newest tools designed to meet the new CODIS standards, for both casework and databasing efforts, including:

• PowerQuant™ System: A New Robust DNA Quantification System
• PowerPlex® Y23 System: Tales from a Casework Laboratory
• Maximizing Success with Challenging Samples
• Mixture Interpretation and Statistics
• DNA Backlog Reduction Strategies
• The Latest Advances in Forensic Technologies
The half-day seminar is free of charge to individuals working in forensics and paternity laboratories. Lunch and snacks will be provided. Space is limited, so be sure to register early!
To learn more or to register, go to www.promega.com/techtour2014.
Sincerely Yours,
The Promega Genetic Identity Team

NIST Webinar to Cover Validation of Forensic DNA Testing Technologies

NIST LogoForensic DNA analysts and other interested stakeholders are invited to participate in a free NIST webinar on validation concepts and resources on Aug. 6, 2014, from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., ET.

Continue the Conversation on Familial DNA Searching

Familial On Thursday, July 17, RTI International will hold the third of a four-part NIJ-funded online discussion about familial DNA searching. Join this panel discussion to learn more about current processes and procedures as well as the legal challenges and implementation ramifications of familial DNA searching. In this session, the discussion will focus on the process of investigative follow-up, including costs and resources, methods of communication and the release of information.
This panel series will generate a report to educate practitioners at the state and local levels on current issues and approaches to familial DNA searching, as they vary by state.
Registration is free and open to all.

Promega Technology Tour – Join Us in a City Near You!

Promega Tech TourJoin your colleagues at a workshop hosted by Promega on the forensics workflow and the challenges it brings. The half-day seminar will feature presentations by leaders in the forensic community, as well as updates on the latest technologies and products from Promega.
Learn about the newest tools designed to meet the new CODIS standards, for both casework and databasing efforts, including:

• PowerQuant™ System: A New Robust DNA Quantification System
• PowerPlex® Y23 System: Tales from a Casework Laboratory
• Maximizing Success with Challenging Samples
• Mixture Interpretation and Statistics
• DNA Backlog Reduction Strategies
• The Latest Advances in Forensic Technologies
The half-day seminar is free of charge to individuals working in forensics and paternity laboratories. Lunch and snacks will be provided. Space is limited, so be sure to register early!
To learn more or to register, go to http://www.promega.com/techtour2014.

Sincerely Yours,
The Promega Genetic Identity Team

Expand DNA Collection Law, Ark. Legislators Urged

helix2LITTLE ROCK, AR – An advocate for expanded DNA collection for all felony arrests says Arkansas’ current law doesn’t go far enough.
Jayann Sepich, founder of DNASaves.org, testifies around the country pushing for states to adopt or expand DNA collection upon arrest of all felony crimes

Join Our Webinar – Use PowerQuant™ System to Make Informed Casework Sample Decisions for STR Typing

FOR417_PromegaDate: Wednesday, April 23, 2014
Time: 10:00 am CT
Duration: 60 Minutes

New ECU forensic science program aims to get students jobs, higher salaries

DNA AnalystsGREENVILLE, N.C. – A new degree program at East Carolina University focuses on forensic science and promises to give graduates an advantage in the job market.
The program just launched this semester and is a Bachelor of Science degree in multidisciplinary studies with a focus on forensic science. It requires more coursework in chemistry and criminal justice than any other program in the state.

Cutting-Edge Forensics Lab Debuts at GW

Weedn-picWASHINGTON (WUSA9) — It’s the stuff you see on CBS’s CSI – cutting-edge crime solvers using the latest technology.
But we can show you the potential for real-life breakthroughs right here in our own backyard – inside a one-of-a-kind lab at George Washington University that could change the way crimes are solved.

Linear amplification of target prior to PCR for improved low template DNA results

low copy numberForensic analysis of genetic material is often limited by the quantity and quality of DNA available for examination. Stochastic effects associated with low amounts of starting template can lead to a reduction in the quality of the result, making interpretation difficult. This paper presents an amplification method to copy target DNA in a linear fashion prior to short tandem repeat (STR) analysis to increase the available starting template without introducing the amplification bias seen in other methods used to increase the sensitivity of PCR. Results show that implementing the pre- PCR procedure allows for greater allele recovery in multiplex STR analysis compared with samples that were not subjected to prior processing.

Rape kit testing backlog undermines justice for victims

sexual assault kitsIn Cleveland, Ohio, a serial rapist and murderer was convicted of crimes last year that will keep him in prison for the rest of his life. His case made the headlines because his neighbor was Ariel Castro, the man who kept three young women hostage as sex slaves for years. Following Castro’s high-profile arrest, investigators began re-examining Cleveland’s cold cases and processing their backlog of untested sexual assault evidence kits, known as “rape kits.” One such rape kit, collected in 1993 but not tested until 2013, helped the FBI link Castro’s neighbor, Elias Acevedo Sr., to two murders and multiple rapes.