Monthly Archives: November 2014

Universal Forensics Corp. Advances Progress with Enhanced DNA Marker Testing

Paternity HelixWithin weeks of announcing their new enhanced 24 marker testing covering both legal and non-legal DNA paternity cases, Universal has just recently released to its distributor lab partners their new “Elite 44” marker DNA test covering most other relationship testing such as Sibling, Grandparent and Avuncular (Aunt / Uncle).

Chicago scientist’s Nobel medal for DNA discovery could fetch $3.5M

WatsonNobel Prize gold medal awarded to Chicago scientist Dr. James Watson, a co-discoverer of DNA, is expected to sell for up to $3.5 million at auction next month in New York, Christie’s said Monday..
Watson, along with Francis Crick and Maurice Wilkins, unraveled the double-helix structure and function of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) in England in 1953 in a discovery that heralded the modern era of biology.
The medal, the first to be offered by a living recipient, will go under the hammer on Dec. 4, with a pre-sale estimate of $2.5 million to $3.5 million.

New Way to Analyze DNA Evidence Under Development at Rutgers University–Camden

Forensic experts in crime labs around the world couLunld soon have a new tool to help them better analyze DNA evidence thanks to the work of a Rutgers University–Camden computer scientist.

DNA identifies Hamilton man 30 years after disappearance

David NixonTORONTO – DNA has helped identify a man missing for 30 years, Hamilton Police said Thursday.
David Nixon, who was 23 at the time, disappeared July 6, 1984 and was never seen alive again.

Martinez Announces 88 Percent Increase in DNA Matches Due to Expansion of Katie’s Law in New Mexico

Governor MartinezSanta Fe — Today Governor Susana Martinez announced an 88 percent increase in DNA matches by the New Mexico DNA Identification System. Since New Mexico expanded Katie’s Law in 2011, the DNA Identification System has connected DNA from 463 arrestees to 478 cases. Without the expansion of Katie’s Law, during this time frame, there would have been DNA matched from just 245 arrestees to 254 cases. The expansion of Katie’s Law has led to an additional 218 arrestees connected to 224 cases.

Ohio prosecutor gets help for rape DNA backlog

Ohio AG SealCLEVELAND (AP) – Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine has announced new investigative support and grant funding that will help prosecutors in Cleveland process the backlog of rape DNA kits.

KBI surveying local law enforcement on unprocessed sexual assault kits

sexual assault kitsOfficials have estimated that hundreds of thousands of sexual assault kits in police and laboratory storage facilities across the country remain untested.
The Kansas Bureau of Investigation is trying to identify if Kansas has a backlog of untested kits, which include swabs and specimens gathered during exams of sexual assault victims.

Wisconsin preps for surge in DNA tests when crime law kicks in

silver HelixMadison — The state Department of Justice has hired nearly 20 more workers and begun a pricey renovation of its Madison crime lab so that it will be able to handle tens of thousands of additional DNA samples when new collection requirements take effect next year.

Inside State Crime Lab

helix10RICHMOND, Va (WVIR) – Scientists at the state crime lab are working on some of the Virginia’s toughest crimes, including the Jesse Matthew case. In this NBC29 exclusive, Matt Talhelm shows us the science behind solving crimes at the Virginia Department of Forensic Science Central Lab in Richmond.

The FBI Is Very Excited About This Machine That Can Scan Your DNA in 90 Minutes

Rapid DNAThe RapidHIT represents a major technological leap—testing a DNA sample in a forensics lab normally takes at least two days. This has government agencies very excited. The Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Defense, and the Justice Department funded the initial research for “rapid DNA” technology, and after just a year on the market, the $250,000 RapidHIT is already being used in a few states, as well as China, Russia, Australia, and countries in Africa and Europe.

Bill to have all Russians fingerprinted and DNA profiled submitted to parliament

Russian databaseMPs from the populist nationalist party LDPR have prepared and drafted a motion requiring universal fingerprinting and DNA profiling of all Russian citizens for reasons of security.

Training Update: Using Rapid DNA Webinar

Justice DeptJoin us on November 20 at 1 p.m. EST for the second course in the ASCLD Rapid DNA webinar series. This session will be presented by Vince Figarelli, Superintendent of the Arizona Department of Public Safety Scientific Analysis Bureau, and Gray Amick, Technical Leader of the Richland County Sheriff’s Department DNA Laboratory. This is the second 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.
This three-part series will conclude on December 9.
Register now.

Albemarle Sheriff Chip Harding calls for change in DNA collection procedures

AlbemarleAlbemarle County Sheriff Chip Harding is advocating for an expansion of Virginia’s DNA databanks, pushing for the state to collect DNA from all individuals convicted of misdemeanors.

World’s End murder trial: Meet the DNA expert and unlikely hero whose work was pivotal in catching killer Angus Sinclair

KnibbbIT WAS a small section cut from Helen Eadie’s raincoat that provided the “eureka” moment police had so desperately sought for over 30 years.
Forensic scientist Lester Knibb had only been qualified for a year when he was given samples from the scene of the murders.

Albemarle Sheriff advocates for expansion of Virginia DNA databank

DNA DatabaseA local law enforcement official says that the death of Hannah Graham is another example of the need to expand Virginia’s repository of DNA evidence.
Virginia’s DNA databank was first established in 1989. Albemarle Sheriff J.E. “Chip” Harding has previously pushed to expand the state’s collection of evidence by requiring DNA to be collected for the databank at every criminal conviction.