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!




Missouri Bill Streamlines Rape Kit Testing, Adds Survivor Resources (Forensic – 7/20/2020)

  • Missouri’s governor has signed into law a sweeping bill that addresses sexual assault crimes, including an electronic tracking system for rape kits and a telehealth network for forensic examinations of victims.



NIST to Help Labs Achieve Accurate THC, CBD Measurements (NIST – 7/21/2020)

  • The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has launched a program to help laboratories accurately measure key chemical compounds in marijuana, hemp and other cannabis products including oils, edibles, tinctures and balms. The program aims to increase accuracy in product labeling and help forensic laboratories distinguish between hemp, which is legal in all states, and marijuana, which is not.


Francis Glessner Lee: the ‘Mother of Forensic Science’ ( – 7/21/2020)

  • You probably won’t have heard of her but Frances Glessner Lee is regarded at the mother of forensic science in the United States.

DNA Reveals 2,500-Year-Old Siberian Warrior Was a Woman (News Wise – 7/21/2020)

    • In 1988, archaeologists from the RAS Institute for the History of Material Culture discovered a unique Scythian burial mound dating from the seventh century B.C. In one of the coffins, they found what was long believed to be the mummified remains of a teenage warrior boy buried with his weapons. According to cutting-edge DNA analysis reported in Stratum Plus by researchers from the Historical Genetics Lab at MIPT, the body actually belongs to a female, confirming Herodotus’ 2,500-year-old accounts of the Amazons, previously considered mythical.



Rosalind Franklin Was so Much More than the ‘Wronged Heroine’ of DNA (Nature – 7/21/2020)

  • One hundred years after her birth, it’s time to reassess the legacy of a pioneering chemist and X-ray crystallographer.



DNA from a Cigarette Led to Murder Charges in a 35-Year-Old Cold Case (Insider – 7/21/2020)

  • An inmate in an Oklahoma prison was charged with murder after he was linked to DNA  found on a cigarette marked as evidence in a 35-year-old cold case, according to the state’s attorney general.


Forensic Pathologists in a Pandemic: Operational, Occupational and Legal Challenges (Forensic – 7/22/2020)

  • Due to the nature of the work, forensic pathologists may have been at greater risk of exposure to the virus than many other professions. In this paper, we discuss how the work of forensic pathologists dealing with deceased bodies is impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic so far.



Maryland University Launches Master of Science in Forensic Pattern Analysis Program (Forensic – 7/22/2020)

  • Loyola University Maryland is starting a Master of Science in Forensic Pattern Analysis program in fall 2021 to prepare students for growing career opportunities in the forensic sciences.

    The University is introducing this graduate program to help meet the educational and training needs of forensic science laboratories and agencies in filling jobs in the comparative sciences. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that there will be more than 2,400 positions in forensic science by 2028, an increase of 14% compared to the number of positions today.