Dec 21 2015

Top 10 Blog Posts of 2015


As 2015 winds down, let’s celebrate all that’s happened in the world of ISHI this year! We converged on Grapevine, Texas for the 26th annual International Symposium on Human Identification where we discussed new technologies, mixture interpretation, Next Generation Sequencing, and the pending new CODIS loci changes. We also heard the amazing story of Kirk Bloodsworth – the first person to be exonerated from death row due to DNA evidence.

2015 was also the year when we launched the ISHI blog! Scroll below to read the top ten posts from this past year and subscribe to the blog in the sidebar to have future ISHI posts delivered to your email!






10 Reasons to Attend ISHI 26

  • You already know that the 26th International Symposium on Human Identification is THE place to be for forensic professionals this October, but just in case you were on the fence, we’ve come up with the top 10 reasons to book your flight to Grapevine, Texas!


12 Tips for Writing Abstracts the Review Committee Will Love

  • Writing an abstract can be a daunting task, especially if you’ve never submitted one before! That’s why we’ve created this list of tips and tricks you can use to fine tune your abstracts before the due date.


ISO 18385: The Creation of a ‘Forensic Grade’ Standard

  • Forensic DNA laboratories rely on reagent and plastics manufacturers to supply high-quality products with minimal interference from contaminating DNA.  With the increasing sensitivity of short tandem repeat (STR) amplification systems, levels of DNA that were previously undetected may now generate partial profiles.  To address the concern of laboratories worldwide regarding the potential of low-level DNA contamination in consumables, ISO 18385 has been developed to provide requirements for minimizing the risk of human DNA contamination events during the manufacturing process.


Under the Microscope: Joel Sutton


We Asked, You Answered – Announcing ISHI 28 in Seattle, Washington!

  • We asked which city YOU would like to see host ISHI in upcoming years, and over the course of 60 days, we received 317 votes! There were five fantastic cities to choose from: Charlotte, Orlando, Phoenix, Seattle, and Atlanta, but your choice was clear. With 102 votes (32%), our winner was crowned.  So, mark your calendars for October 2-5, 2017 for ISHI 28 in Seattle, Washington!


The Importance of Leadership Training in the Forensics Field

  • Laboratory management is a responsibility for which many forensic professionals are not fully prepared. Management and leadership education that is targeted specifically to forensic professionals is crucial to better equip forensic managers to succeed in the complex environment of a crime laboratory.


Under the Microscope: Rock Harmon

  • While the forensic community is a tight-knit group, we can always get a little closer, right? With that in mind, we asked our speakers some questions to get to know them a little better outside of their work. We chatted with Rock Harmon, who presented Recent Developments: The Illusion of Quality Through Accreditation during the General Sessions.


The Living Disappeared: Using DNA to Prevent Trafficking of Children on the Border

  • Last summer, an unprecedented number of unaccompanied children were crossing the U.S./Mexican border. The number of children crossing had grown to 54,000 in 2014, a drastic jump from the 25,000 that had crossed the year before. As detention centers overflowed, researchers, politicians, and humanitarians, began searching for ways to reunite children with their families safely. These questions formed the basis of what would become my senior thesis at Duke University and a documentary, The Living Disappeared: Using DNA to prevent the trafficking of children on the border. 


Countdown to 2017: Internal Validation of the New CODIS Loci

  • In 2012 the FBI proposed to expand the number of Combined DNA Index System (CODIS) core loci in the United States from 13 to 20 short tandem repeat (STR) loci to reduce the potential of these types of matches occurring within the dataset, to increase international compatibility for data sharing, and to increase discrimination power in missing persons cases.


Toward Validation and Implementation of the MiSeq FGx Forensic Genomics System

  • Advances in massively parallel sequencing (MPS) and bioinformatics can now deliver more insight from forensic DNA samples than traditional methods have offered.  Targeted MPS genotyping provides the highest resolution (at the nucleotide level) than ever before possible. MPS, also known as next generation sequencing (NGS), routinely provides economical, large volume sequencing to address varied scientific questions in evolutionary biology, molecular anthropology, phylogeny, medical genetics, microbiology, epidemiology, agriculture and, metagenomics and more.