Elusive criminals are about to meet their match. Advances in forensic DNA profiling soon will give investigators and analysts the ability to pull genetic data once considered disposable. The breakthrough allows law enforcement to generate information such as gender, hair and eye color, ethnicity and geographic origin from the DNA samples of perpetrators who otherwise might evade detection if they were not part of a DNA database. Gone are the days when non-matching DNA samples signified a dead end.
A Canberra forensic laboratory will be the first in Australia to test the ancestry of crime scene DNA, opening up a world of potentially predicting a suspect’s eye or skin colour.
A DNA evidence bill that would let police in the field, not just technicians in an accredited lab, quickly test the genetic material of suspects has advanced to the House floor.
The measure centers around a relatively new screening instrument the size of a printer, called Rapid DNA.
It’s a staple of the TV-crime drama: a ballistics expert tries to match two bullets using a microscope with a split-screen display. One bullet was recovered from the victim’s body and the other was test-fired from a suspect’s gun. If the striations on the bullets line up—cue the sound of a cell door slamming shut—the bad guy is headed to jail.
Nationwide, about 4,400 unidentified remains are found each year—and more than 1,000 of those are still unidentified a year later, according to the National Institute of Justice, which maintains searchable databases of missing and unidentified persons (NamUs.gov). Medical examiners and local police departments most frequently become the stewards of unidentified remains. And each year, about 20 requests are made to the FBI Laboratory to develop facial approximations of unidentified individuals to help investigators ultimately put a name to a face.
A roadside memorial marks where Sierra Bouzigard’s body was found seven years ago in Calcasieu Parish, Louisiana. There were no witnesses to the murder, and the DNA under her fingernails matched none of the suspects. Yet Detective Les Blanchard—here revisiting the scene—is hopeful a new forensic technique might help solve this cold case.
A new forensic method could allow law enforcement to determine whether blood at a crime scene came from a minor or an adult, and when the suspect or victim left it behind (Anal. Chem. 2016, DOI: 10.1021/acs.analchem.6b01169).
…The company has developed radically new DNA analysis techniques that have helped solve numerous crimes and has even been featured on the television program CSI: Las Vegas…
Late in 2016 Promega will introduce the Spectrum CE System for forensic and paternity analysis. Building this system requires of the efforts of many people from many disciplines–from our customers who have told us their needs to the engineers and scientists building the instrument and ensuring its performance. Periodically we will introduce our Promega Connections readers to a team member so that you can have a sneak peak and behind-the-scenes look at Spectrum CE System and the people who are creating it (of course if you truly want to be the first to know, sign up at http://www.promega.com/spectrum to receive regular, exclusive updates about Spectrum CE).
Today we introduce Kristina Pearson, Operations Lead.
As part of their ongoing investigation, police recently requested a Snapshot Phenotype Report from Parabon Nanolabs Inc. be conducted on a DNA sample believed to be from Fay’s murderer. The test technology is approximately four years old and uses the DNA profile to make an analysis to predict the physical appearance and ancestry of the sample owner. It is commonly used to develop investigative leads, narrowing suspect lists and identifying unknown remains.
M-Vac Systems wet-vacuum forensic DNA collection system was highlighted on Friday as part of NBC’s Dateline episode “The Girl with the Red Shoe”. The episode, which first aired on May 6th, covered the Annie Kasprzak murder, which occurred March 10, 2012 along the scenic Jordan River in Draper, Utah. The case, which took over two years to fully investigate, finally concluded with Darwin “Chris” Bagshaw pleading guilty on February 29, 2016.
USA Today- Call it the case of “The Spy Who Scrubbed Me.”
In an odd twist on spycraft, the Central Intelligence Agency has funded a company that makes a “skin resurfacing” beauty product called Clearista – a version of which also can be used to collect DNA and biomarkers, an investigative website reports.
MOSCOW, April 1. /TASS /. A new computer program was designed by Russian and American scientists and specialized for searching massive DNA databases for distant similarities, reports Institute for information transmission problems of the Russian Academy of Sciences (IITP RAS) press-service. Anna Kaznadzey, a junior researcher at IITP RAS took part in this work.
A team of researchers from Virginia Commonwealth University have formulated a novel method to examine DNA molecules. Their research paper titled, “Infrared laser heating applied to nanopore sensing for DNA duplex analysis,” discusses the method for improved forensic DNA workflows to gain much faster and precise identification. The paper has been published in the Analytical Chemistry journal, and was available online from 19th February.
WEST HAVEN >> Henry C. Lee, world-renowned criminologist and namesake of the University of New Haven’s Henry C. Lee Institute of Forensic Science, made the point himself Tuesday that he’s 78 now and can no longer run out to every single crime scene.
But a new joint U.S.-Chinese forensic technology research center that UNH and the Bejiing-based China University of Political Science and Law announced Tuesday aims to develop robots that can do what Lee does, among other things, Lee said.