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!




On the DNA Trail of the Platypus (Phys Org – 10/26/2018)

  • And just like the criminal who inevitably leaves behind traces of their DNA, we can now harness advances in genetic sequencing technologies to detect species in their habitats without even having to see the animal.

    And we’re using this technology to launch the largest-scale investigation of platypus populations ever undertaken.


Who Am I? Hunt for Heritage Drives Chinese to DNA Tests (Phys Org – 10/26/2018)

  • A combination of factors—a lack of formal records or destruction during China’s wars and the Cultural Revolution—have meant there are few ways for Chinese to trace their genealogy in the ethnically diverse country.

    But with a growing middle-class, an increasing number are now keen on tracing their roots, and DNA testing companies are cashing in.


Arkansas State Crime Lab Clears More Than 1,300 Backlogged Rape Kits (THV11 – 10/25/2018)


Crown Prosecution Service Head: Justice System Can’t Cope (The Guardian – 10/27/2018)

  • Alison Saunders warns that police and the CPS are too under-resourced to tackle crimes efficiently



DNA, Fingerprint Match: How FBI Uncovered Bomb Suspect’s ID (The Washington Post – 10/27/2018)

  • In the end, prosecutors who charged Sayoc with five federal crimes Friday say the fervent President Donald Trump supporter unwittingly left behind a wealth of clues, affording them a critical break in a coast-to-coast investigation into pipe bomb mailings that spread fear of election-season violence.


Scientists Extract DNA from Seabiscuit’s Hooves to Figure Out How He Was So Fast (Smithsonian – 10/29/2018)

  • Eighty years ago, the horse famously trounced Triple Crown winner War Admiral. Did genetics make him an unlikely success?


Severity of Crime Increases Jury’s Belief in Guilt (Forensic Magazine – 10/29/2018)

  • The more severe a crime, the more evidence you should have to prove someone did it. But a new Duke study, appearing Oct. 29 in Nature Human Behavior, has shown that the type of alleged crime can increase jurors’ confidence in guilt.


Green Bay’s All-Women Unit is the New Wave of CSI (WBAY2 – 10/29/2018)


DNA Doe Project: Two Retired California Doctors Help Detectives Solve Cold Cases Using Forensic DNA (FOX 11 – 10/29/2018)


OSP Captain Describes Oregon’s DNA Backlog Like ‘Whac-a-Mole’ Game (KATU2 – 10/29/2018)


DNA Testing Begins to Identify Lion Air Crash Victims (The Jakarta Post – 10/30/2018)


How Sniffer Dogs Find Cremated Human Remains After Wildfires (National Geographic – 10/30/2018)


Microbes Could Be Our Newest Tool to Help Catch a Killer (HuffPost – 10/30/2018)


Crime Scene to Court Room: Implementing Nuclear Forensic Science (Forensic Magazine – 10/30/2018)


Forensic Scientists Battle to Identify South Africa’s Dead (Bloomberg – 10/30/2018)


UK Wrestles With Forensic Science Language, Court Presentation (Forensic Magazine – 10/31/2018)


FBI Forensics Hits Hollywood Speed, Researcher Says (Forensic Magazine – 11/1/2018)


Bed Bugs Preserve Full Human Blood DNA Profiles for 3 Days (Forensic Magazine – 11/1/2018)