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!




Alaska Lab Proposes Team to Process Sexual Assault Kits (Forensic Magazine – 11/5/2018)

  • To prevent a new buildup of untested kits, the state Scientific Crime Detection Laboratory is seeking to split up its Forensic Biology Unit to create a Sexual Assault Team. The team would include four full-time forensic scientists and aims to process an additional 120 kits each year.


Ground-Penetrating Radar Reveals Potential Mass Grave Sites from the Holocaust (Forensic Magazine – 11/5/2018)

  • Researchers recently used ground penetrating radar to locate an unmarked, potential mass grave site in Lithuania, according to a new study presented at The Geological Society of America’s 2018 Annual Meeting. The work aims to amass evidence that points to the likely locations of mass graves from the Holocaust and, in time, award federal distinction to the areas in the form of memorials.


New Study: DNA Molecular Tagging is an Effective Tool to Authenticate Denim, One of the Toughest Fabrics (Business Wire – 11/5/2018)


DNA, Genetic Genealogy Led Police to Suspected Killer in Maryland Cold Case (ABC News – 11/5/2018)

  • A suspected killer is behind bars eight years after his alleged crime and Maryland police say they found him thanks to DNA and genetic genealogy.



DNA Match from Genealogy Site Leads to Arrest in 2001 Murder of UCF Student (Click Orlando – 11/5/2018)

  • A match from a genealogy website helped Orlando police detectives make in an arrest in a 2001 slaying of a University of Central Florida student.


New Bones Found on Vactican Property as Others Go For Testing (Crux – 11/7/2018)

  • According to Italian agency ANSA, the new remains, found Tuesday, consist of part of a skull and jawbone. Authorities believe the fragments belong to the same partial-skeleton uncovered last week by workers carrying out restoration on a building attached to the Vatican’s embassy to Italy.


How Global Warming Could Mess Up Indiana Forensic Investigations (WFYI – 11/7/2018)

  • Global warming could hinder forensic investigations in Indiana. That’s because of the climate’s effect on two species of flies. Forensic entomologists use the age of their larvae to determine time of death — usually by measuring the maggots.


Watch: Forensic Scientists Search for Identity of WWI Skeleton (euronews – 11/7/2018)


DNA Evidence Could Soon Tell Cops Your Age, Whether You Smoke, and What You Ate for Breakfast (Popular Science – 11/8/2018)


DNA Identifies Origins of World’s Oldest Natural Mummy (History – 11/8/2018)