Dec 21 2016

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 header

New DNA Team Hailed a Success After Snaring 11 People for 64 Offences (Echo – 12/16/2016)

  • A NEW team aimed at pinning known offenders to the scene of burglaries through DNA and fingerprint evidence has been hailed a success after 11 people were arrested on suspicion of 64 offences.


Could DNA Phenotyping Construct a Likeness of the Gold Coast Rapist (The Age – 12/17/2016)

  • The rapist terrorising women in the Gold Coast suburbs takes care not to be seen. Police believe that the same man is responsible for at least eight sexual assaults but because the attacks occur in the dead of night, in darkened bedrooms, his victims have been unable to provide enough details to produce a reliable eyewitness sketch.


A Forensic Pathologist on the Most Grisly Murders She’s Worked (Vice – 12/17/2016)

  • For someone who deals with death on a constant basis, Dr. Rebecca Hsu is shockingly bubbly and vivacious. A seasoned forensic pathologist, Hsu has dedicated over twenty years to examining the post-mortem, offering insight and analysis into the many ways the body dies while debunking myths perpetuated by her Hollywood counterparts on Law & Order and CSI.


Bill to Require DNA Collection for State Felony Arrests ( – 12/17/2016)

  • Indiana is proposing a bill that would allow it to join at least 30 states already authorizing analysis of DNA collected from people arrested for felonies.


Cold Cases: The Detectives on the Trail of Undiscovered Killers (BBC News – 12/17/2016)

  • A dedicated team of British detectives is working to solve cold case murders. And with advances in forensic science, they are hoping to bring some of the killers to justice.


Major New Tourist Attraction Planned to Tell the Story of Alec Jeffreys, DNA and Pitchfork Murders (Leicester Mercury – 12/18/2016)

  • A major new tourist attraction in Leicester is being planned to telling the story of forensic science and its role in criminal investigations.


Forensics and Raman Spectroscopy: Could No-Touch Lasers be CSI of the Future? (Forensic Magazine – 12/19/2016)

  • Picture a crime scene, after a gun battle. The investigators find a bullet-riddled body, but the wounded killer is on the run, and time is everything to the crime-scene investigators.


NIST to Add Over 200,000 Android and iOS Apps to Forensics Toolkit (CSO – 12/19/2016)

  • The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) plans to add over 200,000 Android and iOS apps to a software library that helps digital forensics investigators target potential evidence.


New Database Helps Families ID People Who Have Died Crossing the Border (Smithsonian – 12/19/2016)

  • I Have a Name/Yo Tengo Nombre offers a devastating glimpse of those who are gone—and a glimmer of hope to those who want to find them.


Ancient DNA Reveals Genetic Legacy of Pandemics in the Americas (The Guardian – 12/19/2016)

  • Geneticists are exploring how disease introduced by European colonists shaped the evolution of indigenous peoples of the Americas.


New Law Expanding DNA Analysis Would Help German Investigators (DW – 12/20/2016)

  • What can DNA tell us about what an unknown perpetrator looks like? A whole lot, but only if the law allows it. Germany has some of the strictest legislation with regard to how DNA analysis can be used. Why? DW talks to Peter Schneider, the head of Germany’s Spurenkommission, an umbrella group of the country’s leading forensic institutions.


Argentinean Forensic Expert Helps Bolivia Search for the Disappeared (Prensa Latina – 12/21/2016)

  • Argentinean antropologist, Silvana Turner, is now in Bolivia to collaborate in the search and identification of the remains of Bolivian citizens who disappeared during the country”s dictatorships.