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


Canadian Court Approves Advanced Y-STR Testing in 1983 Murder (Forensic Magazine – 3/19/2018)


Thermo Fisher Scientific Aquires IntegenX (Genome Web – 3/19/2018)

  • According to Thermo Fisher, IntegenX complements and enhances its existing human identification product portfolio, including reagents, qPCR systems, and capillary electrophoresis systems.


80-Year Mystery of Britain’s Most Famous Abandoned Baby Solved as Woman Learns Identity of her Irish Father Thanks to Saliva on Postage Stamp (The Irish Post – 3/19/2018)

  • A woman who was abandoned under a blackberry bush as a baby has discovered the identity of her biological father eight decades on – thanks to DNA from a 30-year-old postage stamp.


David Reich Unearths Human History Etched in Bone (The New York Times – 3/20/2018)

  • The geneticist at Harvard Medical School has retrieved DNA from more than 900 ancient people. His findings trace the prehistoric migrations of our species.



From Clues to Capture: Forensics, Profiling, and the Hunt in Austin (National Public Radio – 3/20/2018)

  • The task of catching a criminal – such as the one(s) behind the apparent serial bombings in Austin, Texas – often hinges on forensic experts, whose job may involve concocting a profile of the perpetrator or perpetrators.


Sexual Assault Forensic Evidence Kits: Oregon Nearly Caught Up Testing Rape Kits Backlog (KVAL 13 – 3/20/2018)

  • The backlog of Sexual Assault Forensic Evidence Kits – also known as rape kits – in Oregon is within a year of being eliminated following the passage of a state law mandating quicker testing and additional funding, officials say.


Coryn, Poe Introduce Bill to Reauthorize the Debbie Smith Act, Provide Resources to Fight Rape Kit Backlogs (East Texas Review – 3/20/2018)

  • U.S. Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) and Representative Ted Poe (TX-02) today introduced the Debbie Smith Crime Victims Protection Act, legislation to reauthorize the Debbie Smith Act and dedicate much-needed resources to state and local law enforcement agencies to conduct forensic analyses of crime scenes, including untested rape kits. Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Dean Heller (R-NV), and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) cosponsored the bill.


Bad Science Puts Innocent People in Jail – And Keeps Them There (The Washington Post – 3/21/2018)

  • How discredited experts and fields of forensics keep sneaking into courtrooms.


Atacama ‘Alien’ Skeleton Mystery Revealed With DNA Analysis (Newsweek – 3/22/2018)

  • Ata, as the specimen would come to be known, was unlike any other human found before. That’s why a team of researchers in California came together to analyze her  DNA. The analysis revealed that the person had several mutations that were likely fatal and that explained her otherworldly appearance.