Category Archives: Forensic Industry News

Family Tree DNA Partners with National Geographic’s Genographic Project to Provide Additional Insight into Family History and Ancestral Roots

MigrationHOUSTON, Oct. 1, 2015 /PRNewswire-iReach/ — Family Tree DNA, the world’s most comprehensive ancestry DNA combined database, announces a collaboration with National Geographic’s Geno 2.0 Next Generation, the latest product offering from National Geographic’s Genographic Project, a multi-year research initiative tracing the roots of human origin.

50+ Forensic DNA Experts to Present at the 2015 International Symposium on Human Identification (ISHI)

ISHI Banner 2015MADISON, Wis.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Learn from forensic luminaries, who will share their experiences solving crimes, deciphering historical mysteries and advancing the fields of forensics and DNA analysis, at the International Symposium on Human Identification (ISHI). In its 26th year, ISHI is the largest conference on forensic DNA analysis in the world. It will take place October 12–October 15, 2015, in Grapevine, Texas.

Russia digs up Nicholas II in bid to identify czar’s missing children

Russian Royal FamilyMoscow (CNN)Russian investigators say they have exhumed the remains of Czar Nicholas II and his wife, Alexandra, in a bid to identify bone fragments that may belong to two of their children.

New DNA evidence guidelines could alter thousands of cases

TX AnalystDALLAS – Imagine you are on a jury, and are told that the suspect is the source of DNA found at a crime scene.
It’s a one-in-a-billion match.
But then, a different, more “conservative” interpretation takes that number down to just 1-in-100. The defense could call that reasonable doubt.
It’s a question of math that is putting thousands of cases across Texas under the microscope, and could lead to convictions being overturned.

FBI Errors Lead to Discovery that DNA Evidence May be Far Less Foolproof When It Includes More than One Person

Forensic Scientist2Relying on DNA evidence for criminal cases is great when the evidence being tested is from only one subject. But mix in samples from multiple people and it turns out that the results are a lot more fuzzy.

Most investigators unaware of right method to collect samples for forensic testing: Experts

Sheena BoraMUMBAI: Experts say the seamless application of forensics in the Sheena Bora murder case should persuade investigators to utilize the science more often and beyond such high-profile cases. A combined team of forensic science and medicine experts along with the police exhumed 86 bones from Raigad, which DNA profiling has conclusively proved to be of Sheena Bora.

Italy’s Highest Court Explains Decision to Clear Amanda Knox

KnoxROME — Italy’s highest court said Monday that the case against the Seattle resident Amanda Knox and her former boyfriend — whose convictions in the 2007 murder of a British student were definitively overturned in March — was marked by “culpable omissions of investigative activity” and “contradictory evidence” that raised reasonable doubt of their guilt.

Offutt lab helping ID remains of men killed at Pearl Harbor

Carrie BrownThe fuel-stained bones, hundreds of them, are laid out neatly on Carrie Brown’s exam tables at Offutt Air Force Base, carefully tagged and logged in her database.

North metro crime lab zeroes in on quality-of-life offenses

Anne CieckoAfter burglars grab the cash, the electronics and the jewels, they often linger in the victim’s home for a beer or a bite to eat.
Scientists at the Tri County Regional Forensic Laboratory seize the opportunity to help catch them, using the latest technology to find traces of DNA on silverware, rims of bottles and cans, even half-eaten food.

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”.