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

Falklands War: Experts Bid to Identify Argentine Dead (RocketNews – 6/1/2017)

  • The International Committee of the Red Cross will take DNA samples from 123 graves in Darwin cemetery, which will be compared with those of relatives.


Utah’s New Crime Lab to use Robotics to Speed up Rape Kit Testing (The Salt Lake Tribune – 6/2/2017)

  • Robotics will speed up the processing of DNA samples at the new Unified State Laboratory as Utah tries to cut through a backlog of rape kits, officials said at the lab’s opening Thursday.


Forensic Technique Uses Forehead X-Rays to Assess Age of Juvenile Remains (Forensic Magazine – 6/5/2017)

  • Forensic anthropology researchers at North Carolina State University have developed a technique that can provide an approximate age for juveniles and young people based on an X-ray of the frontal sinus region of the skull.


Columbus Zoo’s Polar Bear Cubs Fight Crime with their DNA (The Columbus Dispatch – 6/5/2017)

  • The lab’s scientists analyze evidence during investigations of violations of federal wildlife protection laws, including poaching, illegal trading of animals, theft of rare plants and creating products from endangered species.


Pennsylvania Bill Would Expand DNA Law (ABC 27 – 6/5/2017)

  • State Rep. Ron Marsico (R-Dauphin) said his proposal would permit the taking of DNA samples from people convicted of serious misdemeanors.


Epigenetics and Forensics (News Medical Life Sciences – 6/5/2017)

  • In the future, it may be possible to create a profile of a criminal suspect from a drop of blood that provides details of their age, diet, smoking status, the drugs they have consumed, the polluted environment they live in, and even if they have a traumatic history of abuse.


Colorado High Court Rules Sex Offenders Can be Charged for Rape Kits (Reuters – 6/5/2017)

  • Sex offenders in Colorado can be forced to pay for the medical sexual assault examinations required for their victims, the state’s Supreme Court ruled on Monday.


NIST Upgrades Widely Used Database of Molecular ‘Fingerprints’ (NIST – 6/5/2017)

  • One of the world’s largest and most widely used databases of molecular fingerprints is the NIST Mass Spectral Library, and that library just got larger still. On June 6, NIST added fingerprints from more than 25,000 compounds to the library, bringing the total number to more than 265,000.


Bid to use Forensic Science to Tackle Wildlife Crime (BBC News – 6/7/2017)

  • The Scottish government is to join Edinburgh University on a new programme to employ forensic science in fighting wildlife crime.


Oldest Fossils of Homo Sapiens Found in Morocco, Altering History of our Species (The New York Times – 6/7/2017)