This Week in Forensic Science

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!




Eurofins Scientific: Cyber-Attack Leads to Backlog of 20,000 Forensic Samples (BBC News – 8/16/2019)

  • A cyber-attack on the UK’s biggest forensic services provider led to a backlog of 20,000 samples, the BBC has learned.



A Woman Woke Up to a Stranger Assaulting Her in 1983. A DNA Match Finally Led to an Arrest. (CNN – 8/18/2019)

  • The case went cold — until the victim reached out to the police in March after she saw stories of how investigators are using DNA to solve cases.


VIDEO: RCMP Unveil New, State-of-the-Art Forensics Lab in Surrey (Surrey Now-Leader – 8/20/2019)

  • A new police laboratory in North Surrey is expected to handle thousands of forensic services from across the country each year.


Discovering Donor Characteristics from Bloodstains with Infrared Spectroscopy (Locard’s Lab – 8/21/2019)

  • Past research has already demonstrated that the biochemical composition of blood differs between males and females and individuals of different races. But the ability to obtain this information on-site at the crime scene in a matter of minutes could change the way body fluids are processed. In a recent study, Prof. Igor Lednev and his team applied a technique known as attenuated total reflection Fourier transform-infrared (ATR FTIR) spectroscopy to blood analysis, with the aim of establishing whether characteristics such as sex and race can be determined from bloodstains.


DNA Analysis Just Made the Eerie Mystery of Himalayan ‘Skeleton Lake’ Even Stranger (Science Alert – 8/21/2019)

  • “Through the use of biomolecular analyses, such as ancient DNA, stable isotope dietary reconstruction, and radiocarbon dating, we discovered that the history of Roopkund Lake is more complex than we ever anticipated,” said geneticist David Reich of Harvard Medical School.


Governor Forms Task Force to Address State Backlog of More Than 8,000 Untested DNA Samples (Chicago Sun Times – 8/21/2019)

  • Illinois has taken another step to address a backlog of thousands of untested DNA samples submitted by police departments to state laboratories.

    Governor J.B. Pritzker signed an executive order late last week creating a “task force on forensic science” to study a fix for Illinois’ sample backlog that has doubled in the last two years.



Can DNA Solve the Mystery of Europe’s Pointy Skulls? (National Geographic – 8/21/2019)

  • A new genomic study tries to see if there’s a correlation between artificial cranial deformation and migration following the collapse of the Roman Empire.



Product News: STRmix Forensic Software to be Used in Universities (SelectScience – 8/22/2019)

  • The sophisticated software, that can resolve complex, mixed DNA profiles, will be used as a component of student coursework