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!
As Mrs Palasics’ family prepare for the 20th anniversary of her death, they hope new forensic procedures utilising the DNA police currently hold could provide the breakthrough needed to finally crack the cold case.
Because many species are involved and not all are protected by regulation from overharvesting, identifying trafficked wood is a challenge. Scientists are trying to help by applying techniques — including microscopy and chemical and genetic analyses — that might allow easier identification of wood. The genetic approach, called DNA barcoding, is being tested for other endangered species as well, including sharks, elephants and parrots.
In an effort to make hair comparison a more useful technique for investigating crimes, scientists at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have developed a new way to dissolve hair proteins without destroying them. Once in solution, the protein molecules from two hairs can be analyzed and compared, yielding objective, quantitative results.
An international team of forensic experts on Wednesday exhumed the remains of 11 people killed by soldiers during the infamous El Mozote massacre in El Salvador’s 1980-1992 civil war.
The new find will be part of a case against soldiers of the Atlacatl Battalion who carried out the December 1981 massacre that killed — according to official figures — 986 people, including 558 children, on suspicion of aiding leftist guerillas.
A new collection of DNA from ancient Romans spanning 12,000 years shows how the population of the empire’s capital shifted along with its politics. Published in Science, the timeline is one of the first to examine what genetic information from archaeological digs says about the region after the time of hunter-gatherers and early farmers.
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