Oct 12 2018
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!
Thousands of Migrants Have Died Crossing the Border. Human Rights Groups Want the FBI’s Help Finding Their Remains (Colorado Public Radio – 10/5/2018)
Representatives of dozens of U.S. and Latin American advocacy groups pressed their case Friday for access to an FBI-run DNA database to help them locate and identify the remains of thousands of migrants thought to have disappeared over the last several decades while crossing the Mexican border into the United States.
Most States Don’t Restrict DNA Collection from Minors (Daily News – 10/6/2018)
Most states have few or no restrictions on the ability of local law enforcement to collect DNA from minors. But that is starting to change. Last week, California Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation that requires police in that state to obtain either judicial approval or consent from a parent or guardian before collecting DNA from minors during street stops.
1990’s Cold Case Murders in South Carolina, Missouri Solved Through DNA Breakthrough, Police Say (Fox News – 10/6/2018)
A man with an extensive criminal history was identified by authorities Friday as the suspect in two 1990s cold case murders in Missouri and South Carolina.
Immediate Past AAFS President: Forensic Science Not ‘Under Attack’ (Forensic Magazine – 10/8/2018)
But a new paper by the immediate past president of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences in Forensic Science International asserts that challenging “routine” forensic methods should be done constantly, to get at the right answers. Challenges are not “attacks,” it adds.
A New DNA Tool Can Predict Height (WBZ4 – 10/8/2018)
Researchers at Michigan State University have developed a DNA tool that can accurately determine a person’s height and could eventually predict their risk for certain disease.
Biotech CEO: Genomics World to Get ‘A Lot Weirder’ (Laboratory Equipment – 10/9/2018)
Andrew Hessel, an entrepreneur known for mixing genetics and futuristic visions of technology, gave the keynote at last month’s International Symposium for Human Identification (ISHI), a meeting focused almost exclusively on forensic DNA. The 50-minute talk was titled “The Golden Age of Genomics.”
Forensics Help Increase Identifications of Fallen Soldiers (CBS News – 10/10/2018)
Officials believe remains of nearly half of the 83,000 unidentified service members killed in World War II and more recent wars could be identified and returned to relatives. The modern effort to identify remains started in 1973 and was primarily based in Hawaii until a second lab was opened in 2012 at Offutt Air Force Base in the Omaha suburb of Bellevue.
It ‘Feels Really Amazing.’ A WWII Soldier’s Remains Are Finally Coming Home Thanks to DNA Testing (TIME – 10/10/2018)
Three years and many steps later Richard Murphy’s remains are finally coming home. Darcy’s efforts resulted in the military disinterring the remains in the X-15 grave and bringing them to Hawaii for genetic testing.
Supercharged Crime-Scene DNA Analysis Sparks Privacy Concerns (Nature – 10/11/2018)
Consumer genetics poised to enable comparison of DNA evidence to genetic profiles of almost any American of European descent..
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Fished to the Edge: How DNA Identification Can Help Fight the Illegal Trade of Threatened Shark Species