Category Archives: Forensic Industry News

New UW program could help reunite families with remains of MIA military members

Cpl. Robert ZieglerUPDATE (WKOW) — About 1,400 families in Wisconsin are among the tens of thousand across the country who never got closure after losing a loved one in World War II.

Mansion Fire: DNA on Pizza Crust Led Authorities to DC Murder Suspect, Sources Say

DNA and PizzaAuthorities searched a Maryland home overnight in the investigation of a deadly mansion murder, going through the trash and removing bags of evidence — but in the end it was a piece of pizza crust that could lead to the suspect’s arrest.

FBI Hair Analysis Problems Reveal Limits of Forensic Science

dna_justiceKirk Odom was convicted of a 1981 rape and robbery after a woman identified him as her attacker and an FBI specialist testified that hair on her nightgown was consistent with hair on Odom’s head.
But DNA testing some 30 years later affirmed what Odom long had maintained: The hair wasn’t his; neither was the semen left on a pillowcase and robe. A felony conviction that imprisoned him for decades was overturned in 2012 by a judge who declared it a “grave miscarriage of justice.”

More than 7,000 rape kits tested for DNA evidence

Backlog of sexual assault kitsCOLUMBUS – A sexual assault kit testing initiative launched by the Ohio Attorney General’ s Office has now completed testing on more than 7,000 rape kits.
In February, 2012, an exclusive 5 On Your Side Investigation revealed how thousand of rape kits remained untested on police department shelves across Ohio.

In forensics, ‘microbiome’ may be the new ‘fingerprint’

bacteria in intestinesA person’s gut bacteria and the colony of microbes that live in the body and on the skin may serve as a unique identifier, much like a fingerprint, researchers said today.
The study led by Harvard University is the first to investigate just how identifiable people are based on their bacteria, which can vary substantially based on a person’s age, diet, geographic location and overall health.

Thailand Using DNA Tests to Combat Insurgents

Major KritsanakaraketYALA, THAILAND— Thailand’s military government has introduced a new strategy to curb the insurgency that has rumbled on in the country’s jungle-blanketed deep south for more than a decade: DNA swabbing.

From Death Row to Exoneration Thanks to DNA Testing

Promega Connectons1Imagine being convicted of a crime for which you are not guilty—not some minor crime, but one of the most heinous crimes imaginable: the rape and murder of a young girl. Would you feel shock and anger at the injustice? Disappointment in the legal system that could make such a horrible error? Sadness and depression at the thought of spending time imprisoned for a crime that someone else committed? Probably all of those emotions and more. At your sentencing hearing, the situation gets worse; you are sentenced to death. Now, this horrible crime will prematurely claim the life of two innocents: the young girl and you.

Fresh hope for unsolved cold cases is on its way as the DNA profile bank turns 20

HarbisonA smudge of central nervous system tissue on re-convicted double murderer Mark Lundy’s polo shirt has this month highlighted the mighty power of fighting crime with science. Now new advances could solve some of New Zealand’s cold cases and boost chances of catching criminals. Deidre Mussen report as our DNA profile databank turns 20.

The First DNA Lab To Be Open In Sindh Today!

DNA LabKARACHI: The first-ever deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) laboratory in Sindh is set to be inaugurated on Thursday by Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah and the lab will help the provincial police and health authorities get the DNA tests done especially during emergency situations, officials said on Wednesday.

BMC develops protocol for preserving forensic evidence after a terrorist attack

DNA in a test tubeBoston Medical Center (BMC) pathologists have developed a set of protocols for processing and preserving forensic evidence, such as shrapnel, bullets and other projectiles, in surgical specimens (i.e. amputated limbs, injured organs, etc.) after a terrorist attack based on lessons learned from the Boston Marathon bombing. Their findings are published online in advance of print in the Archives of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine.

Forensic science: The soil sleuth

DawsonForensic geologist Lorna Dawson has pioneered methods to help convict criminals using the dirt from their shoes.

New Report Recommends Policies for Improved Preservation of Biological Evidence

Swab and Blood EvidenceFrom NIST Tech Beat: April 20, 2015
All states should have laws ensuring that criminal justice systems properly handle, store and retain forensic biological evidence, according to a new report* from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). NIST’s guide, Biological Evidence Preservation: Considerations for Policy Makers, encourages legislators, judges, law enforcement officials, crime laboratory managers and other policy makers to implement or update laws that support best practices in this critical area.

2 new DNA testing centres in Maharashtra reduces forensic lab’s backlog

old DNASetting up two new DNA testing centres in Nagpur and Pune has reduced the overall pendency of forensic cases in the state from around 75,000 in 2013 to 37,000 in 2014 to 19,774 till February 2015.

FBI overstated forensic hair matches in nearly all trials before 2000

JE Hoover BuildingThe Justice Department and FBI have formally acknowledged that nearly every examiner in an elite FBI forensic unit gave flawed testimony in almost all trials in which they offered evidence against criminal defendants over more than a two-decade period before 2000.

Greenville DNA lab lets the science talk in criminal cases

CriminalistThe roles of the DNA analysts at the Greenville lab are not as glamorous as the fictional characters seen on television, but the analysts do aid Upstate law enforcement agencies in solving crimes.