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DNA Analysis of an Incan Mummy Reveals a Lost Genetic Profile

November 13, 2015 9:57 am | by Seth Augenstein, Digital Reporter | Comments

His mitochondrial DNA, preserved by the dry Andes air, shows a rare genetic profile that has nearly vanished from the Americas – a molecular ghost of the past.

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Suicide Cop’s Double Life: Harassment, Embezzlement and Murder-for-Hire

November 12, 2015 11:30 am | by Seth Augenstein, Digital Reporter | Comments

Now investigators have revealed that Gliniewicz had more than just embezzlement on his mind: he was even planning on hiring a hit man to kill the village administrator who was looking into his financial dealings.

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Colorblindness Might Benefit Search and Rescue Missions

November 11, 2015 12:58 pm | by Lauren Scrudate, Laboratory Equipment | Comments

Long-standing restrictions have limited employment opportunities for those affected by colorblindness - but now, a team of researchers is re-evaluating the condition to see if it provided any advantages in search and rescue missions.

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$10M Crime Lab Opens in New York to Handle Toxicology

November 11, 2015 12:40 pm | by Sean Allocca, Editor | Comments

Officials said the new 10,000-square-foot lab will handle more than 5,000 cases involving seized controlled substances and driving-while-intoxicated cases each year.

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Why Post-Conviction DNA Testing Works: An Interview with Kirk Bloodsworth

November 10, 2015 12:10 pm | by Sean Allocca, Editor | Comments

In 1985, the State of Maryland used testimony from five separate witnesses to convict a 22-year-old ex-marine in the brutal rape and murder of a nine-year-old girl. The only problem: the real serial rapist and murderer remained free to endanger the lives of more innocent women.

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Secondary Transfer a New Phenomenon in Touch DNA

November 9, 2015 12:07 pm | by Seth Augenstein, Digital Reporter | Comments

Now is a crucial time to begin understanding how touch DNA works, and how it needs to be interpreted and analyzed – not just by forensic analysts, but also by prosecutors and defense attorneys. 

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Judge Allegedly Bribes FBI Agent With 'Cases of Beer,' Gets Arrested

November 6, 2015 11:50 am | by Seth Augenstein, Digital Reporter | Comments

A North Carolina judge was indicted and charged with trying to bribe an FBI agent with “a couple cases of beer” to get ahold of illegally-acquired cell phone records.

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Son’s Deleted Texts, Blood Stains Lead to Murder Charges in Parents’ Killings

November 5, 2015 1:07 pm | by Seth Augenstein, Digital Reporter | Comments

An F.B.I. analysis of cell phone records from Kyle Navin, his girlfriend Jennifer Valiante, and his parents provided call times, the text messages, and the phone locations, according to local reports.

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Cop's Shooting Death a 'Carefully Staged' Suicide

November 4, 2015 12:27 pm | by Seth Augenstein, Digital Reporter | Comments

Fox Lake Police Lt. Joseph Gliniewicz had apparently been pursuing three individuals on foot shortly before he was found mortally wounded by two shots on Sept. 1. Authoirites have now confirmed that the death was a "carefully staged suicide," after the officer had engaged in "extensive criminal acts."

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Famed Ancient Greek Fort Uncovered Under a Parking Lot in Jerusalem

November 4, 2015 11:55 am | by Seth Augenstein, Digital Reporter | Comments

Scholars debated the exact location of Acra for decades after the physical remnants of the fort were lost to the millennia. But now archaeologists believe they have found evidence of the stronghold and the epochal fight to drive out the “sinful nation, wicked men” who were holed up inside.

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Medical-Marijuana Patient Alleges Prosecutors Swayed Crime Lab Drug Tests

October 30, 2015 4:11 pm | by Seth Augenstein, Digital Reporter | Comments

The latest filings, obtained by Forensic Magazine, include emails between crime lab staff that show scientists at the Michigan State Police Crime Lab found the hash oil was “Schedule I THC” from “origin unknown” - mostly because the analysts contend it showed no visible plant material.

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Touch DNA Might Be Contaminating Crime Scene Evidence

October 29, 2015 12:54 pm | by Seth Augenstein, Digital Reporter | Comments

DNA has undoubtedly been a breakthrough for modern criminal investigation. But, better and more-sensitive technology means more potential problems.

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The Facts Behind the 'Ferguson Effect'

October 29, 2015 12:49 pm | by Sean Allocca, Editor | Comments

After remarks from FBI director James Comey about the possibility that the Ferguson effect might be partially to blame for this year's significant rise in murder rates, a new study offers some empirical evidence on the controversial theory.

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Thermal Imaging Could Replace Luminol in Blood Detection

October 28, 2015 12:54 pm | by Seth Augenstein, Digital Reporter | Comments

The method uses a hand steamer to heat blood traces with water molecules, and then captures the image using thermal imaging, to detect even highly-diluted blood samples.

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Ancient mtDNA Complicates Native American Migration Story

October 28, 2015 10:21 am | by Seth Augenstein, Digital Reporter | Comments

The mitochondrial DNA of two infants buried 11,500 years ago in Alaska is complicating the genetic puzzle of human settlement in the Americas.

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