Monthly Archives: September 2015

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.

Prop 47 could purge DNA database

DNA Human GenomeSAN DIEGO — The fate of as many as 500,000 DNA samples collected from felony arrestees and stored in a state database is at the center of the latest court battle over Proposition 47.

On this episode of CSI: New software sorts through ‘murky’ DNA mixtures

dna-mixturesHas your DNA ever showed up at the scene of a murder but you had nothing to do with it? We hope not, but if so, you can now breathe a little easier as new forensic software will help track genetic evidence to protect the innocent from false accusations.
Appearing in the journal Forensic Science International: Genetics in May, Catherine Grgicak, assistant professor of biomedical forensic sciences at Boston University, and collaborators at Rutgers University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have developed NOCIt and MATCHit—forensic software to assist in identification the possible number of contributors through DNA.

Mona Lisa’s identity remains a mystery after DNA tests

'Very likely' Mona Lisa remains foundROME — Italian researchers said on Thursday they might have found bone fragments belonging to the woman immortalized by Leonardo da Vinci in his acclaimed “Mona Lisa” portrait.

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.

How DNA Solved a 36-Year-Old Mystery, and Created Yet Another

In October 2011, a doctor from the north side of Chicago heard news that authorities were trying to identify the last of the unnamed victims of 1970s serial killer John Wayne Gacy. She immediately thought of her half-brother.

Egypt OKs radar quest for queen’s crypt in Tut’s tomb

NefertitiThe Egyptian Antiquities Ministry granted preliminary approval for the use of a non-invasive radar to verify a theory that Queen Nefertiti’s crypt may be hidden behind King Tutankhamun’s 3,300-year-old tomb in the famous Valley of the Kings, a ministry official said Tuesday.

DNA Analysis Identifies Irish Nationalist’s Remains

Thomas KentDUBLIN, IRELAND—The remains of Thomas Kent, one of 16 men executed by the British in 1916 after the Easter Rising, have been identified by archaeologists and geneticists at University College Dublin (UCD) through DNA analysis.

DNA Match Led Cops to Michael Jones, Who Allegedly Killed Girl 30 Years Ago

Jones Wesselman cold caseA man accused of raping and murdering a teenage girl 30 years ago was nabbed after he submitted DNA for a recent domestic violence conviction and it matched genetic material taken from the 1985 crime scene, authorities revealed Monday.

National database to open for bringing abducted children home

Blue Helix4BEIJING, Sept. 17 (Xinhua) — A database to help abducted children find their birth parents will go live on Saturday, according to the Ministry of Civil Affairs Thursday. The database, qgdgxq.mca.gov.cn, will provide information on missing children, and those that have been rescued by the police, the ministry said in a statement.

Dr Pornthip: ‘Victims or Suspects Have the Right to Ask For a Second Opinion’

Dr Pornthip RojanasunandThailand’s most prominent forensics expert, Dr Pornthip Rojanasunand, who is head of the country’s Central Institute of Forensic Science, was recently called on by the defense team representing two Burmese men accused of murder to reexamine crucial DNA evidence.

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.

Skeleton DNA analysis to shed light on medieval lifestyles and bone disease at Norton Priory in Runcorn

Turi KingThis month Dr Turi King, lecturer in genetics and archaeology at the University Of Leicester, and Dr Rob Layfield, associate professor in biochemistry at the University Of Nottingham medical school, visited the monastic heritage site to take samples from the remains.

District Attorney Vance Awards $38 Million In Grants To Help 32 Jurisdictions In 20 States Test Backlogged Rape Kits

blue helix2Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr., today announced the award of approximately $38 million in grants to 32 jurisdictions in 20 states across the United States to eliminate backlogs of untested sexual assault evidence kits, or “rape kits.” The two-year awards, ranging in amount from approximately $97,000 to $2 million, will help test an estimated 56,475 rape kits, generating DNA evidence that will help solve cases across the country.

Nevada to Get $5.6M to Clear Backlog of Untested Rape Kits

sexual assault kits 1LAS VEGAS, NV – Nevada Attorney General Adam Paul Laxalt has announced his office will pledge $3.68 million in funding to eliminate Nevada’s backlog of untested sexual assault evidence kits, or “rape kits.”