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!
A microscopic thread of DNA evidence in a public genealogy database led California authorities to declare this spring they had caught the Golden State Killer, the rapist and murderer who had eluded authorities for decades.
Emboldened by that breakthrough, a number of private investigators are spearheading a call for amateur genealogists to help solve other cold cases by contributing their own genetic information to the same public database. They say a larger array of genetic information would widen the pool to find criminals who have eluded capture.
A Washington state trucker who authorities say was linked by DNA evidence to the 1987 deaths of a young Canadian couple has been charged with two counts of murder. Authorities say they used information from public genealogy websites to pinpoint Talbott as a suspect then arrested him after getting a DNA sample from a cup that fell from his truck.
In 2017 the DNA Doe Project, Inc. was launched. The Sebastopol-based, 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization helps identify Jane and John Does and return them to their families. Run entirely by experienced volunteers in the genealogy and forensic community, the organization cracked its first case in March 2018.
For three years, Butler County officials have been working to identify a woman who was found dead in West Chester in 2015. Now, with the help of a non-profit focused on DNA, they could be getting closer than ever.
From the spatter analysis made famous in the TV show Dexter to the frequent DNA profiling of CSI and the real cases covered in the FBI Files, blood tests are ubiquitous in forensic science. Now, researchers report in ACS Central Science that a new blood test, which could be performed at a crime scene, could help determine the age of a suspect or victim within just an hour.
A monthlong global operation against illegal trade in wildlife and timber has resulted in the seizure of thousands of live animals and tons of meat and ivory, international police agency Interpol announced on Wednesday.
For the next 10 months, the Houston Forensic Science Center will outsource most of its DNA work to a private laboratory to play catch-up with a backlog of evidence.
Half of the $2 million project will be covered by federal grants—and the laboratory will still handle priority and urgent cases as it prepares to increase capacity for the future, according to the HFSC.
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