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!


This Week in Forensic Science


5 Exonerated in China Based on Mitochondrial DNA Hair Analysis (Forensic Magazine – 10/27/2017)

  • Now crucial mitochondrial DNA evidence has been scientifically refuted by an American expert, which resulted in all five being cleared of the crime, and freed.

NY Woman Missing Since ’75 Found Alive in Massachusetts (Forensic Magazine – 10/27/2017)

  • A woman who disappeared from upstate New York after being dropped off for a doctor’s appointment 42 years ago has been found suffering from dementia and living in an assisted-living facility in Massachusetts, authorities said.


DNA Testing After a Stem Cell Transplant: a Fascinating Case (Watershed DNA – 10/29/2017)

  • After a donor’s cell take root in your body, you now have two separate sets of DNA represented in your tissues. Which results come back when you have a DNA test after your transplant depends on which cells get tested.


Proposed Initiative Would End Early Release for Some Crimes, Allow More DNA Collection (Los Angeles Times – 10/30/2017)

  • A coalition including police officers and prosecutors on Monday proposed a California state initiative that would end early release of rapists and child traffickers and expand the number of crimes for which authorities could collect DNA samples from those convicted.


“Soil Sleuth” Lorna Dawson Whose Pioneering Forensic Techniques Helped Solve More than 100 Crimes Wins Pride of Britain Award (Mirror – 10/30/2017)

  • She’s a “Soil sleuth” who has pioneered forensic techniques that have helped solve more than 100 crimes, and put some of the UK’s most notorious killers behind bars .

How Forensics Get to the Bare Bones of the Crime (The Irish Times – 10/31/2017)

  • Forensic anthropologists and radiologists are increasingly vital to investigations


Better Ballistic Gelatin Mimics Organs, Romanian Researchers Write (Forensic Magazine – 10/31/2017)

  • The mixture of gelatin, particles and fibers, shaped like organs and even supplemented with tinges of red dye, better mimics the damage done by a bullet or a knife blade, report the team of Romanian researchers in the Journal of Forensic Sciences.


China Plans to Build Gigantic DNA Database Platform (The Hindu – 10/31/2017)

  • The DNA sequencing project will be jointly undertaken by the state-owned Yangzi Group, Southeast University and Nanjing Medical University.


NYC Truck Terror Attack: New ‘Lone Wolf’ Study May Help Analysis (Forensic Magazine – 11/1/2017)


His Body Unearthed, Legend of Mass Murderer H.H. Holmes Persists (NBC Chicago – 11/1/2017)

  • For the first time, Cox and her team shared photographs from inside the grave and throughout the exhuming process. The pictures provide a fascinating look at what happens to a body after 120 years underground, and are the first glimpses of what remains of the man often described as America’s first serial killer.


Oregon State Police Detective Solves 1979 Cold Case Murder of Salem Teen (Statesman Journal – 11/1/2017)

  • More than 38 years after Janie Landers was brutally stabbed and beaten to death, an Oregon State Police detective was finally able to return a pair of earrings to her family and deliver the news they’d long waited to hear: He knew who killed the 18-year-old Salem woman.



Child Sex Offenders to be Named as Such in US Passports (Forensic Magazine – 11/2/2017)

  • The State Department said Wednesday it would begin revoking passports of registered child sex offenders and will require them to apply for a new one that carries a “unique identifier” of their status. Those applying for a passport for the first time will not be issued one without the identifier, which will be a notice printed inside the back cover of the passport book that reads: “The bearer was convicted of a sex offense against a minor, and is a covered sex offender pursuant to (U.S. law).”


Other 1970s Arrests, Crimes of ‘Chameleon’ Killer Rasmussen Discovered by NCMEC, NH State Police (Forensic Magazine – 11/2/2017)

  • Some more missing pieces of the puzzle left by the long-dead “Chameleon” Killer who criss-crossed the country for decades are beginning to fall into place.


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