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 identification of one of the agency’s most publicized “Jane Doe” homicides finally has been accomplished with the assistance of the DNA Doe Project’s volunteer genealogists and the Oklahoma Medical Examiner’s Office.
The nonprofit DNA Doe Project is focused solely on these types of cases and in the past 22 months their genealogist volunteers have named about two dozen John and Jane Doe victims. Recently, the list has grown with each passing week.
Othram uses advanced DNA sequencing and proprietary software to enable human identification applications from degraded and often scare forensic DNA evidence. The company has built the first and only private laboratory to apply the power of modern genome sequencing in a forensic environment.
At issue is a single strand of DNA collected from a victim in the brutal 1991 slaying of four teenage girls at an Austin yogurt shop. Not a complete sample, the DNA can’t identify a single suspect but could point to that person’s male lineage.
If Rep. Craig Hall’s bill passes, Utah would be the first state in the country to put limits on how police can access databases made up of commonly used mail-in DNA tests from companies such as 23andMe or Ancestry.
A state senator from central Massachusetts hopes a bill she recently filed will give police a new tool to investigate long-unsolved violent crimes.
State Sen. Anne Gobi’s bill would task the director of the state crime laboratory with developing regulations to allow familial DNA searching – seeking out a partial match to DNA found at a crime scene, with the goal of narrowing the hunt for a suspect by identifying a relative – in certain unsolved cases involving homicides, burglary, and violent felonies.
Home DNA testing combined with genetic genealogy means virtually anyone can be identified. The new technology is turning cold cases red hot, solving dozens of cases across the nation including one in Fort Worth.
More than a thousand tested sexual assault kits have produced DNA that’s been added to a national database of DNA profiles, Wisconsin’s attorney general Josh Kaul announced Thursday. The announcement follows the completion of 4,472 tested sexual assault kits completed in November, after a statewide project to address a backlog of kits dating back to the 1980s began in 2016.
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