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!





Poachers Beware: New Gel Electrophoresis Method Can Accurately ID Degraded DNA from Aged Ivory (Forensic – 10/30/2020)

  • Researchers at Flinders University (Australia) and colleagues in Thailand—all part of a team focused on developing forensic DNA technology to thwart the global black market on exotic animals—have developed an in-field, rapid, inexpensive technique to identify trace amounts of ivory for degraded samples as small as 0.003 ng.



Professor Develops New Certificate Program in Cutting-Edge Specialty of Forensic Science (University of New Haven – 10/30/2020)

  • Dr. Glynn hopes the new graduate certificate in forensic genetic genealogy will enable students to understand the methods used, as well as their strengths and limitations. It will teach students about the processes used, including the fundamentals of forensic biology, genetic genealogy, and documentary evidence.



DNA Evidence Leads to Arrest in 25-Year Cold Case Rape in California (NBC News – 11/1/2020)

  • Authorities believe that Kroll is the suspect who attacked an 18-year-old and forced her into a nearby apartment complex where he sexually assaulted her. Detectives submitted the case to the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office for an arrest warrant against Kroll based on DNA evidence.



ICYMI: Capillary Electrophoresis: Overcoming the Hurdles of Current Technologies (Forensic – 11/2/2020)

  • More innovative, affordable personal CE instruments are coming into the market, that are specifically designed to overcome some of the challenges forensics labs are facing. They have a smaller footprint, fit into the workflows more seamlessly and allow greater flexibility in sample batch sizes. They provide a lower cost alternative, but with the capabilities of their bigger counterparts, making them an ideal alternative.



Green Bay Police Use Genealogy and DNA to Track Down Murder Suspect (We Are Green Bay – 11/2/2020)

  • Green Bay police built family trees, based off of DNA evidence, to identify a suspect in a decades old murder case. Kris Schuller reports science and a lot of hard work has brought justice for 22-year-old murder victim Lisa Holstead – that much closer



How Ancient DNA is Uncovering the Mysteries of Australian Biodiversity (Phys Org – 11/3/2020)

  • In a study published in September 2020 in Nature, Morten and his team in Denmark studied and analyzed more than 400 Viking skeletons from archeological sites across Europe and Greenland, revealing unknown genetic connections between Southern European and Asian populations that mixed with the Vikings.

    But now, Morten wants to use ancient DNA to uncover the mysteries of Australian biodiversity.



DNA in Seawater Can Reveal Fish Diversity in the Deep Ocean (ScienceDaily – 11/4/2020)

  • A new study demonstrates the effectiveness of a novel method for using DNA in seawater samples to determine which fish species are present in a given part of the deep sea.