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


Houston’s Forensic Crime Lab Showing Efficiency Despite Its Plagued Past (Houston Public Media – 1/12/2018)

  • The nation’s first doctoral degree in forensic science from Sam Houston State comes at a time when Houston’s crime lab is showing signs of improvement


Why 40,000 Nevadans Are Having Their DNA Sequenced (Gizmodo – 1/12/2018)

  • A healthcare network and a research institute in Nevada are planning to sequence the DNA of 40,000 Nevadans, as part of an effort to understand what health issues might be particular to people in the region.


‘I’m My Brother’s Keeper’: NamUs Helps Texas Family Find Missing Man (Forensic Magazine – 1/12/2018)

  • They waited for the 23-year-old’s call that never came. They never had any answers at all. But that changed when Gonzalez found the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System, or NamUs, last July. The database is available to the public—including grieving families with mysteries yet to solve.


Ancient Mexican Civilization Nearly Wiped Out By Something Stuck in Their Teeth, New DNA Evidence Reveals (Newsweek – 1/15/2018)

  • Researchers believe they have identified a likely cause for a 16th-century epidemic that decimated a group of indigenous Mesoamerican people known as the Mixtec—and it’s related to the bug that might give you food poisoning after a bad barbecue.



Now We Can Cheaply Sequence DNA, How Do We Store All That Data (WIRED – 1/15/2018)

  • If we are to continue learning about the human genome, making huge amounts of data scalable and available to physicians and patients will be key



DNA of Man Who Died in 1827 Recreated Without His Remains (Futurism – 1/15/2018)

  • Recreating a deceased person or animal’s DNA has required that DNA be extracted from the remains of the individual, but a new study has shown that may not be the only way. The DNA of a man who died nearly 200 years ago has been recreated from his living descendants rather than his physical remains — something that has never been done before.


DNA Solves the Mystery of How These Mummies Were Related (Science News – 1/16/2018)

  • A pair of ancient Egyptian mummies, known for more than a century as the Two Brothers, were actually half brothers, a new study of their DNA finds.



Quebec Police Multiply Cold Case Squad (Forensic Magazine – 1/16/2018)

  • The authorities are increasing staffing on their cold case squad from five persons to 25 detectives—and they are going to be looking at a group of roughly 750 cases full-time, trying to crack some of the toughest remaining mysteries in the province.



Falling Forensic Science Standards ‘Making Miscarriages of Justice Inevitable’ (The Guardian – 1/18/2018)

  • Regulator says UK forces failing to meet standards, with routine outsourcing of great concern