Staging a Canine Crime Scene to Teach Forensics Concepts

Sara Katsanis explains how she and her colleagues developed a mock wrongful convictions canine crime scene to teach forensics concepts to a middle school student.       TRANSCRIPT: I’m Sara Katsanis. I’m in the faculty at Duke University at the Initiative for Science in Society and I research the applications of DNA and genetic […]

WVU Lean Six Sigma Green Belt Certification Course

Lean Six Sigma Green Belt Certification course for forensic professionals is now available at West Virginia University to help understaffed crime laboratories reduce errors and increase efficiency.   Written by: Martina Bison-Huckaby, Director of the Center for Executive Education at West Virginia University     For the first time, the West Virginia University Center for Executive Education […]

From Death Row to Exoneration Thanks to DNA

Kirk Bloodsworth, the first person in the United States to be freed by post-conviction DNA testing, recounts his story of how he was convicted of a brutal murder, and subsequently freed by DNA evidence.       TRANSCRIPT: My name is Kirk Noble Bloodsworth, honorably discharged Marine from Cambridge, Maryland. I’m also the first person […]

Familial Searching – An Interview with Rock Harmon

Familial Searching has been getting a lot of attention lately, and for good reason. In the fight against crime, it is essential that law enforcement is able to use all of the tools at their disposal. In the United Kingdom, Familial Searching has been used since 2003 to help solve approximately 40 serious crimes (as […]

Massively Parallel Sequencing for Forensic DNA Analysis

Massively parallel sequencing (MPS), also called next generation sequencing (NGS), has the potential to alleviate some of the biggest challenges facing forensic laboratories, namely degraded DNA and samples containing DNA from multiple contributors. Unlike capillary electrophoresis, MPS genotyping methods do not require fluorescently-labeled oligonucleotides to distinguish amplification products of similar size. Furthermore, it is not […]

Improving DNA Phenotyping for Forensics

Krystal Breslin describes the work that she’s doing at IUPUI to discover which SNPs determine eye, skin, and hair color in the hopes of making mug shots available to the police where eye witness testimony is not available.     TRANSCRIPT: My name is Krystal Breslin. I work at Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis, or […]

Catching a Serial Killer

“Is your life just like CSI?” That is the prevailing question I get asked when someone learns of my occupation as Deputy Sheriff Criminalist for the Contra Costa County (CA) Office of the Sheriff. Alas, my life is not quite so glamorous. It actually often entails entering formulas into an excel spreadsheet while being placed […]

Autosomal and Y-STR Analysis of Degraded DNA from 120-Year-Old Skeletal Remains

Angie Ambers of the Institute of Applied Genetics (UNTHSC) describes how she processes skeletal remains to determine an individual’s identity, and how she identified a Confederate guerilla scout from the American Civil War using this technology.       TRANSCRIPT: My name is Doctor Angie Ambers, and I work for the Institute of Applied Genetics, […]