Category Archives: Forensic Industry News

Building a case

JusticeThe use of DNA in Forensic Science is widely acknowledged – but Forensic Science is a very broad field. Here we look more closely at how cases are built up within the Criminal Justice System following sexual offences

Who is buried in potter’s field?

Potters FieldSAN BERNARDINO – In a tiny cemetery that serves as the final stop for hundreds of once-destitute people, college students are spending another summer trying to solve the mysteries of anonymous death in a hectic world.
The basic goal is simple – to connect names to bodies.

OSBI: Collecting DNA At Time Of Arrest Could Help Solve Crimes

helix9OKLAHOMA CITY – The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigations (OSBI) is working with lawmakers to allow DNA samples to be taken upon the arrest of an alleged criminal. Currently, fingerprints and photos are taken of arrestees during booking. And only convicted felons are swabbed for DNA.

New partnership cutting number of untested sexual assault kits

sexual assault kitsHUNTINGTON, WV– A new partnership is helping to reduce the number of untested sexual assault kits housed in evidence storage rooms and provide leads for solving crimes.
The Marshall University Forensic Science Center is now screening and conducting DNA testing of all assault kits contained by the Huntington Police Department. The DNA profiles generated at the Forensic Science Center laboratory are then sent to the West Virginia State Police Forensic laboratory for further review.

U.S. Defense Forensic Science Center to Use New Genetics Technology to Aid Investigations

DNA in criminal investifationsCOLUMBUS, OH–(Marketwired – August 19, 2015) – Battelle’s revolutionary new software, ExactID®, will be engaged by investigators at the U.S. Defense Forensic Science Center under a new agreement.
ExactID is the first commercial forensic genomics software system that lets forensic investigators harvest the power of next-generation sequencing data in a format suited for routine laboratory analysis. ExactID provides the information needed to determine specific, identifying traits — such as hair and eye color, race, who a person may be related to, where they may live — from an unmatched DNA sample. This has not been possible before.

Representative Steve Eliason Presented With 2015 ‘Katie’s Hero’ Award

eliasonThe parents and sister of murder victim Katie Sepich were joined by author James Tillman in presenting Utah State Representative Steve Eliason with the “Katie’s Hero Award”.

DNA test reveals former president’s affair

Harding(CNN) —Since the days when George Washington was enamored with Sally Fairfax, presidents have contended with rumors of extramarital affairs, but without proof, the shadow of a doubt has worked in their favor.
Then along came DNA testing. It has tossed uncertainty out the window, most recently with the help of a former president’s grandniece who spoke to CNN’s “New Day” on Friday.

MU forensic lab faces hurdle

2015 0804 MUForensic 01“We have two sides to the coin,” Fenger said. “We’re trying to provide excellent service to help victims of crime, all types of crime, primarily through digital forensics and DNA, and the same time there’s budget cuts that are based on true deficiencies in the state budget, with coal no longer providing as much revenue as the past.”

Court ruling allows DNA to be used in future cases

DNA Human GenomeDNA collected during police investigations can be used indefinitely to find potential matches at crime scenes under a court ruling being hailed by law enforcement but criticized by defense attorneys who fear government overreach.

Blood testing to begin within days at Asheville crime lab

DNA in a test tubeASHEVILLE – Analysts are verifying equipment that will soon be used to test blood samples for drugs and alcohol at the Western Regional Crime Lab in Asheville to ease a backlog of criminal cases awaiting test results in the state.
Analysis could begin within days at the Asheville center and will continue until the new $15.4 million crime lab is built in Edneyville. Groundbreaking for that new facility could start in the next few weeks and is estimated to take up to two years to complete, said State Crime Lab Director John Byrd during a tour of the Asheville lab on Monday.

New DNA test will make New Jersey debut in murder case

Touch DNAHACKENSACK, N.J. – (AP) — The trial of a Wood-Ridge man accused of beating a woman to death and setting her body on fire will mark the first time that a jury in New Jersey will consider evidence in a murder case based on a “next generation” test that can analyze the DNA from just a few cells of biological material.

New forensics laboratory on campus nearly complete

KC forensics labA state-of-the-art forensic laboratory is being constructed on Washburn University’s campus by the Kansas Bureau of Investigation that will provide a 100,000 square foot facility to students and faculty.

Proposed new DNA lab for forensic center in Sedgwick County is on hold

Sedgwick Co For LabA proposed expansion at the Sedgwick County Regional Forensic Science Center would meet increasing demand for DNA evidence, improve the ability to prevent contamination of samples and speed up identification of suspects, a county budget document says.

Four problems with the DNA database

3d render of DNA on blue background

3d render of DNA on blue background

India’s Human DNA Profiling Bill 2015 proposes to set up a national DNA database of criminals that will include rapists, murderers and kidnappers. But the proposed draft is being criticized on several grounds – from being insensitive to privacy issues to allowing intrusive modes of sample collection.

Australia-wide missing persons matching system to go live next week

DNA in criminal investifationsAustralia’s law enforcement information-sharing agency CrimTrac will soon switch on a new system that will for the first time allow police to compare human remains to long-time missing persons cases across state and territory borders.
The federal government hopes the shared database will finally bring closure to the loved ones of an estimated 1600 long-term missing persons in Australia, who have been unaccounted for longer than six months.
The system will run DNA and other forensic characteristics of the missing individuals against more than 500 unidentified sets of human remains collected and recorded since the 1960s. The data is in the process of being digitized and entered into the system.