No one has hours to scour the papers to keep up with the latest news, so we’ve curated the top news stories in the field of Forensic Science for this week. Here’s what you need to know to get out the door!
The revelation of active DNA searching through the addition of more samples to triangulate an unknown person is identified in a new paper by one of the forensic genealogy providers, the Virginia-based Parabon NanoLabs, published in the journal Forensic Science International.
Researchers developed a targeted SNP panel to identify ancestral origins of Australian and Japanese WWII soldiers. SNPs have become a commonly used genetic marker for ancestry. The panel also includes genetic variation information on hair and eye color as an extra layer of identification.
Two Italian experts are set to perform a DNA test on a lock of hair that they say might have belonged to Leonardo da Vinci.
The hair strand was found in a private collection in the US and will go on display for the first time at the Ideale Leonardo da Vinci museum in Vinci (the Tuscan town where the artist was born), from 2 May, the 500th anniversary of the artist’s death.
A non-profit in Utah plans to build a DNA testing lab that they say will revolutionize the handling of cold cases.
The Utah Cold Case Coalition, which relies on a volunteer staff and was founded to help bring attention to the cold case 1995 murder of a six-year-old named Rosie Tapia, signed a lease for space for the lab in an office building in the city of Murray.
Researchers have developed a new method to identify illegally trafficked European eels, and it has already led to the arrest and prosecution of smugglers in Hong Kong.
The team’s DNA testing method has proven to be quick, highly accurate at detecting protected wildlife, easy to administer and cheap, costing about $1 per sample. It was originally developed to help customs officials identify protected shark species for fins and other shark meat passing through borders.
The Department of Homeland Security will start a DNA testing pilot program next week to help identify and prosecute individuals posing as families in an effort to target human smuggling, two department officials confirmed to CNN.
The Rapid DNA testing, as it’s known, involves a cheek swab and can, on average, provide results in about 90 minutes, a senior Immigration and Customs Enforcement official said.
A crisis in forensic science has brought some of the country’s largest private laboratories to the brink of collapse, risking miscarriages of justice, an inquiry has warned.
The House of Lords science and technology committee has called for urgent reforms to forensic science provision, warning that declining standards could lead to crimes going unsolved and an erosion of public trust in the criminal justice system.
Two California forensic labs – the Orange County Crime Lab (OCCL) and the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) Forensic Science Division – are the latest in the U.S. to announce plans to use STRmix™ to resolve DNA profiles in criminal investigations.
The District Attorney’s Office and the Philadelphia Police announced that as many as 65 open rape cases may be impacted following the testing of 1,574 previously untested forensic evidence collection kits, or “rape kits,” some dating back as far as the 1980s.
Austin Police Department’s thousands of backlogged rape kits have been tested, but still need to be reviewed and entered into the Combined DNA Index Systems, the FBI’s national DNA database. While the Austin-area DNA lab is indexing DNA kits from the backlog, APD needs other labs to index the new cases that arrive each month.
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