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!




How Advancements in DNA Technology can Help Save the Tigers (The Week – 12/1/2019)

  • Over the past two decades, scientists have built up a picture of tiger evolution and ecology based on their DNA, as described this year in the Annual Review of Animal Biosciences. Early on, scientists could only look at a handful of spots in the tiger genome. Today, with the advent of inexpensive DNA sequencing and genomics that covers every bit of the instructions to make a tiger, experts are gaining a much broader picture of tiger biodiversity.



He Went to Prison for Killing his 15-Year-Old Girlfriend. New Evidence from a Bloody Shoe May Set Him Free. (The Washington Post – 12/2/2019)

  • A judge on Friday found that the state’s crime lab violated McGuffin’s rights by concealing DNA evidence extracted from that shoe, which has reignited speculation about who really killed Freeman.


County Ready to Prosecute Old Rape Cases (Hawaii Tribune Herald – 12/3/2019)

  • Of the 189 test kits submitted for analysis, 47 had DNA profiles loaded to CODIS, the federal Combined DNA Index System database. Of those, 11 resulted in hits against known suspects, according to the state Department of the Attorney General.


China Uses DNA to Map Faces with Help from the West (The New York Times – 12/3/2019)

  • Beijing’s pursuit of control over a Muslim ethnic group pushes the rules of science and raises questions about consent.


Innovative Forensic DNA LLC Launches as an Investigative Genetic Genealogy Provider (Yahoo! Finance – 12/3/2019)

  • Innovative Forensic DNA LLC announced today its launch as an investigative genetics genealogy firm directly serving the law enforcement community.  Innovative Forensic DNA offers law enforcement agencies one-on-one, collaborative genetic genealogy services tailored to the unique needs of criminal investigators.


Hundreds of Genetic Profiles Removed from City’s DNA Database: Report (Bronx Justice News – 12/3/2019)

  • Nearly 400 genetic profiles of victims and witnesses have been removed from New York City’s DNA identification index, a database that has come under scrutiny for what critics describe as illegal collection of genetic material, according to a new report.



Kaul Pushes for Hearing on Sexual Assault Kit Bill (Wisconsin Public Radio – 12/3/2019)

  • Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul is pressuring a suburban GOP lawmaker to move forward with a bill that would standardize the process for collecting sexual assault kits.



China’s Genetic Research on Ethnic Minorities Sets Off Scientific Backlash (The New York Times – 12/4/2019)

  • Scientists are raising questions about the ethics of studies backed by Chinese surveillance agencies. Prestigious journals are taking action.



Police use DNA to Create Composite of Suspected Killer in 2006 Springfield Slayings (The Washington Post – 12/4/2019)

  • Fairfax County police have turned to a cutting-edge technique utilizing DNA to create composite images of a man they believe carried out the killings of two Springfield women months apart in 2006.



Kennedy Assassination Bullets Preserved in Digital Form (NIST – 12/5/2019)

  • NIST scientists used advanced imaging techniques to create digital replicas of these important historical artifacts.