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

DNA Upon Arrest: Solving Cold Cases or Presuming Guilt? (The Huffington Post – 1/12/2017)

  • Most states require police to swab people for DNA when they are arrested for a felony, arguing it helps solve cold cases and prevents crime. But foes say that upends the presumption of innocence.


Offenders’ Deadly Thoughts May Hold Answer to Reducing Crime (Forensic Magazine  – 1/13/2017)

  • It’s a figure of speech many of us have likely said during an argument or frustrating situation without really meaning it. For a small percentage of the population though, the phrase, “I could kill you,” is not so meaningless, according to new Iowa State University research.


Hatch, Feinstein, Sensenbrenner, and Swalwell Introduce Bipartisan, Bicameral Rapid DNA Legislation (Forensic Magazine – 1/13/2017)

  • Today, Senators Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Representatives Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI) and Eric Swalwell (D-CA) introduced the bipartisan, bicameral Rapid DNA Act. This legislation would establish a system to enable law enforcement officials to use Rapid DNA instruments to help reduce DNA backlogs. Unlike traditional DNA analysis, which can take weeks, Rapid DNA analysis permits processing of DNA samples in approximately 90 minutes or less.


Sudkamp Honored by KSP Work on Domestic Violence (The State Journal – 1/14/2017)

  • A Frankfort woman was recognized this week by two advocacy groups for her work on behalf of domestic violence and sexual assault victims throughout the state.


Daniels: Keeping Arrestee DNA on File Would Solve Crimes (IBJ – 1/14/2017)

  • Should police agencies collect DNA from all arrestees and keep the records on file even if they are never convicted?


Forensic Expert Unravels Murder Cases – With His Knowledge About Knots (BT – 1/14/2017)

  • A forensic specialist has become a leading light around the world thanks to his unusual talent for unravelling complex cases.


Mexican Border State Enlists Argentine Forensic Experts (Daily Mail – 1/15/2017)

  • Officials in a northern Mexico border state have signed an agreement with a group of Argentine forensic experts to cooperate in the search for and identification of missing people.


How Spitting Flies Can Mislead Investigators Trying to Solve a Murder (Miami Herald – 1/16/2017)

  • Loyola University biology department chair David Rivers and his students are researching how to help law enforcement identify real blood stains from fly contaminants at crime scenes.


NYPD Crime Scene Specialists’ Book Points ‘A Path Forward’ for CSU (Forensic Magazine – 1/17/2017)

  • Three crime scene unit leaders from the NYPD have now written a book titled “Crime Scene Unit Management: A Path Forward,” recently published by Routledge Press. As Edward Wallace, Michael Cunningham and Daniel Boggiano explain in their subtitle, they are pointing toward a future for crime scene specialists.


How New Tech Knows if a Fingerprint is ‘Alive’ (Seeker – 1/17/2017)

  • New technology has extra keen sensors that can detect whether fingerprints and other biometric security data come from a living person or a spoof.


The First Slaves: Archaeologists use DNA to Identify Earliest Victims Yet of Slavery Trade Between Africa and Latin America (Forensic Magazine – 1/17/2017)

  • Archaeologists have used DNA to identify the earliest victims of the slave trade between Africa and Latin America.