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


After Crowdfunding Law, Texans Raise Nearly $250K Toward Testing Rape Kits (Forensic Magazine – 6/8/2018)

  • A state law that crowdfunds money for rape kit testing has collected almost a quarter-million dollars in its first five months, according to the bill’s author, state Rep. Victoria Neave.


For Relatives of Guatemala Volcano Victims, An Agonizing Wait (Channel NewsAsia – 6/11/2018)

  • The identification process is painfully slow, involving DNA testing and interviews with relatives. So far, only 41 bodies have been formally identified, according to the National Institute of Forensic Sciences.


Women, Children to Have Special DNA Labs Dedicated to Tackle Sexual Assault and Rape Cases (India Today – 6/11/2018)

  • In a move that will help women and children get their due justice, special advanced DNA labs built at a cost of 99.76 crore from the Nirbhaya Fund will be coming up for the first time in India.

    The foundation of these first-of-its-kind labs was laid by Union Minister for Women and Child Development Maneka Gandhi on Friday as part efforts to reduce the backlog of women and child crime cases needing advanced forensic analysis.


Secrets of the Y Chromosome (The New York Times – 6/11/2018)

  • It’s not just what makes males into males. The sex chromosome also influences health in hidden ways, some experts believe, and may even explain why men have shorter life spans.



‘Rapid DNA Testing’ Fuels Privacy Concerns Over New Justice Technology (The Crime Report – 6/12/2018)

  • Civil rights advocates like the American Civil Liberties Union contend that DNA identification of arrestees is already an unnecessary invasion of privacy, and that Rapid DNA represents an extension of those fears.


The Little-Known Nonprofit Behind the CRISPR Boom (The Atlantic – 6/13/2018)

  • A DNA archive has been quietly connecting labs from Massachusetts to China to Iraq.


The Little Piece of DNA that Makes Girls Boys (Science – 6/14/2018)

  • What if you could flip a single DNA switch and make a world of only women? That sci-fi vision is unlikely to become reality anytime soon, yet such a switch—one near the gene that prompts the development of male body parts in embryos—has just been discovered in mice. The finding could help explain why some human babies with a male chromosome are born female, and the “groundbreaking” method used to unearth this so-called enhancer might one day identify similar DNA switches that are key to a variety of diseases.