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!


This Week in Forensic Science


New Software Can Verify Someone’s Identity by Their DNA in Minutes (BioScience Technology – 11/30/2017)

  • Researchers at Columbia University and the New York Genome Center have developed a method to quickly and accurately identify people and cell lines from their DNA. The technology could have multiple applications, from identifying victims in a mass disaster to analyzing crime scenes.


Scientists Identify Remains of 88 Argentine Soldiers on Falklands (TODAY – 12/3/2017)

  • Forensic scientists have identified the remains of 88 Argentine soldiers buried in anonymous graves on the Falkland Islands after the country’s 1982 conflict with Britain, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said on Friday.


More Than 50 Years On, Could DNA Unlock Zodiac Serial Killer’s ID? ( – 12/3/2017)

  • The notorious serial assassin killed from 1968 to the early 1970s, sending coded messages. Now DNA may crack the code of just who the Zodiac killer was.


Military IDs 100 Killed on USS Oklahoma in Pearl Harbor (Forensic Magazine – 12/4/2017)

  • The military has identified 100 sailors and Marines killed when the USS Oklahoma capsized during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor 76 years ago, officials said Friday.


Virginia Crime Commission Backs Expansion of DNA Databank, Does Not Vote on Decriminalization of Marijuana Possession (Dallas News – 11/28/2017)

  • The Virginia State Crime Commission on Monday endorsed legislation that would add thousands of offender DNA profiles to the state databank, but did not act on a proposal to decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana.


    If it becomes law, the DNA-related legislation could add a half-dozen or more misdemeanors — including assault and battery, domestic assault, petit larceny, trespassing and destruction of property, obstruction of justice and shoplifting — to the list of crimes that require a DNA sample from a convicted offender.


Exploring Virtual Reality as a Forensic Tool (Forensic Magazine – 12/7/2017)

  • Virtual reality (VR) offers unparalleled capabilities to support and facilitate forensic activities. VR and other related technologies, like augmented reality (AR) and mixed reality (MR) have been around for more than half a century, but it is only in the last few years that it has shown the potential to go mainstream.


Can You Prove Your Innocence Without DNA? (The Atlantic – Janurary/February 2018 Issue)

  • Benjamine Spencer is serving a life sentence for a violent crime he insists he didn’t commit. But he lacks biological evidence—and old-fashioned detective work may not be enough to clear his name.