Jan 12 2017

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

Bloodsworth on Mission to Reform Criminal Justice in the United States (Park Record – 1/6/2017)

  • Bloodsworth will tell his story and appear with former White House advisor Van Jones and activist actor Mike Farrell at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 7, at the Eccles Center for the Performing Arts.


Family-Member DNA Searches Could Help Crack Canadian Cold Cases (Ottawa Sun  – 1/7/2017)

  • Though he had never before heard of Kelly Morrisseau, the details of her cold case, and the subsequent 10-year investigation into her killing, were instantly familiar to Rockne Harmon.


She Doesn’t Rest Until the Dead Have a Name (The Intelligencer – 1/8/2017)

  • When the body was found in the fall of 2014, Jennifer Love, the District’s first full-time forensic anthropologist, was new to her job. She set out to identify the woman and find her family before the city buried the remains in a pauper’s grave


Is Forensic Science Tipping the Scales of Justice? (Laboratory Equipment – 1/9/2017)

  • Forensic researchers may soon be equipped with an automated analysis method for firearms and ammunition comparison, which would provide further validation.


South Dakota Forensic Lab Completes Testing of All Rape Kits (KOTA Territory News – 1/9/2017)

  • Attorney General Marty Jackley confirms that South Dakota Forensic Lab (SDFL) has completed the testing of all rape kits from law enforcement agencies in South Dakota. Untested rape kits have become and continue to be a national concern.


How Forensic Science Can Unlock the Mysteries of Human Evolution (Forensic Magazine – 1/10/2017)

  • People are fascinated by the use of forensic science to solve crimes. Any science can be forensic when used in the criminal and civil justice system – biology, genetics and chemistry have been applied in this way. Now something rather special is happening: the scientific skill sets developed while investigating crime scenes, homicides and mass fatalities are being put to use outside the courtroom. Forensic anthropology is one field where this is happening.


Obama Pens Law Review Article on Criminal Justice Challenges (Forensic Magazine – 1/10/2017)

  • President Barack Obama returned to his roots at the Harvard Law Review on Thursday, penning an article about progress his administration made in reforming the criminal justice system — and the challenges that remain for the next administration.


DNA-Evidence Needs Statistical Back-Up (Science Daily – 1/10/2017)

  • How do forensic scientists deal with complex DNA-evidence found at crime scenes? A researcher has now developed new statistical models to analyze them.


O.C. Supervisors Plan Investigation of District Attorney’s DNA Collection Program (OC Register – 1/10/2017)

  • Three Orange County supervisors said Tuesday that they will direct their law enforcement watchdog to launch its first investigation of the District Attorney’s Office and that it will focus on the office’s DNA collection program.


DNA Fingerprinting Accuracy to be Overhauled in US (Chemistry World – 1/10/2017)

  • Labs to use 20 markers rather than 13 in improvement that should help in cases involving DNA from multiple sources


NIJ Grant Funds Albany State University Forensic Science Research (Albany State University – 1/10/2017)

  • Albany State University received more than $600,000 in funding from the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) to conduct interdisciplinary forensic science research that relates to forensic detection.


Nazi Doctor Josef Mengele’s Bones Used in Brazil Forensic Medicine Courses (The Guardian – 1/11/2017)

  • Students in São Paulo are examining remains of man known for medical experiments on Jews at Auschwitz to uncover mysteries of his life on the run


Culture Etched on Our DNA More than Previously Known, Research Suggests (CBS News – 1/11/2017)

  • Common ancestry, common culture, common environment — all these factors contribute to the genomes of individuals of the same ethnic groups.

    Now, for the first time, researchers say they have quantified the non-genetic aspects of race and identity for individuals of the same ethnic group.