When police fail to find a DNA match to either victims or suspects, the forensic avenue of an investigation can run into the sand. But forensic biomedical scientists at the University of Leuven believe they can help.They have developed a unique test of blood samples that can predict the age of the individual concerned to within four years by examining the aging process of human DNA. A similar test they devised for teeth samples is almost as accurate.
Sam Houston State University (SHSU) was awarded a grant from the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) to develop and test the best possible sample preparation methods for skeletal and decomposing human remains using emerging next generation DNA technology to help identify missing persons or victims of mass disasters.
Responding to the case of a Dallas man who spent about half his life in prison for a murder he probably did not commit, the Texas Forensic Science Commission on Friday asked Texas judges to institute a moratorium on the use of questionable “bite mark” evidence in criminal cases.
The Justice Department on Monday proposed expanding its review of forensic testimony by the FBI Laboratory beyond hair matching to widely used techniques such as fingerprint examinations and bullet-tracing.
The White House will announce a new initiative Friday to kick start research into the microbes that shape life on Earth — including those in plants, animals, water, soil and air — as part of an effort to fight disease, grow more food and even reduce the greenhouse gases fueling climate change.
Teams of forensic scientists in Italy and Greece are painstakingly trying to identify the victims of drowning found at sea, washed up on shores or recovered from wrecks.
However, there is no common practice to collect information about these deaths between states or even sometimes within the same country, and a plan by the Dutch-based International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) to start tracing lost migrants is still awaiting funding
U.S. Energy Department scientists say a new method of analyzing genetic mutations in proteins in human hair could lead to the first forensic technique other than DNA profiling that could reliably match biological evidence to a single person with scientific precision.
It sounds like an idea from a bad science-fiction novel. Kuwait is planning to build an enormous DNA database that would compile the genetic makeup not only of citizens living in the Persian Gulf state but also of other residents and even temporary visitors. Such a database would be the first of its kind in the world.
Since then, familial DNA has made more modest progress than Beck predicted but has also gained wider respect. Eight other states have followed California’s lead, formally embracing the technique as a crime-fighting tool. And though many opponents still express concerns, California’s approach has won over some previous skeptics who say they are impressed with the state’s strict policies limiting its use and the measured successes.
But in real life, the scientific methods behind forensic investigations have come under increasing scrutiny in recent years, a growing legal issue as defendants across the country challenge convictions based on evidence that, once considered infallible, was later determined to be erroneous.