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The Columbia Police Department in South Carolina has shut down its drug lab after an investigation found an analyst in the lab was not properly trained and her handling and analysis of drugs seized in criminal investigations were likely flawed.

Police Lab Shut Down because of Flawed Drug Analysis

August 25, 2014 11:58 am | by John Mock, The State | Comments

The Columbia Police Department in South Carolina has shut down its drug lab after an investigation found an analyst in the lab was not properly trained and her handling and analysis of drugs seized in criminal investigations were likely flawed.

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Although DNA analysis of an evidentiary swab may reveal the presence of a DNA profile consistent with an alleged victim, the DNA profile cannot indicate whether the DNA came from saliva, vaginal fluid, urine, or a host of other sources. The ability to con

Validation of Highly-specific Protein Markers for Identification of Biological Stains

August 22, 2014 2:03 pm | by Phillip Danielson, NIJ | Comments

Although DNA analysis of an evidentiary swab may reveal the presence of a DNA profile consistent with an alleged victim, the DNA profile cannot indicate whether the DNA came from saliva, vaginal fluid, urine, or a host of other sources. The ability to confidently associate a DNA extract with a specific tissue source or to accurately characterize mixed stains, however, can provide criminal investigators with critical information.

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Although some experts say that experienced forensic pathologists should have no trouble conducting an accurate second — or even third — autopsy, it’s unlikely that the subsequent examinations would uncover substantial differences in fact.

Multiple Autopsies are Unusual and Occasionally Complicated

August 22, 2014 1:46 pm | by Abby Ohlheiser, The Washington Post | Comments

Although some experts say that experienced forensic pathologists should have no trouble conducting an accurate second — or even third — autopsy, it’s unlikely that the subsequent examinations would uncover substantial differences in fact.   

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Specially-trained victim recovery dogs can perform phenomenal feats in sniffing out the whereabouts of bodies and body parts, even beneath mounds of rubble or deep below water. But University of Huddersfield researcher Lorna Irish is investigating ways in

Forensics Research to Make Cadaver Dogs More Efficient

August 22, 2014 12:51 pm | by Univ. of Huddersfield | Comments

Specially-trained victim recovery dogs can perform phenomenal feats in sniffing out the whereabouts of bodies and body parts, even beneath mounds of rubble or deep below water. But University of Huddersfield researcher Lorna Irish is investigating ways in which they can carry out their grim but vital tasks even more efficiently.  

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A chewed lollipop stick, left behind at the scene of a March burglary, has been traced back to a North Naples, Florida man who has been arrested at his home.

Lollipop DNA Leads to Arrest

August 22, 2014 12:38 pm | by ABC 6 | Comments

A chewed lollipop stick, left behind at the scene of a March burglary, has been traced back to a North Naples, Florida man who has been arrested at his home.                           

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Exonerated Man Reaches $10 Million Deal With New York City

August 21, 2014 12:11 pm | by Stephanie Clifford, The New York Times | Comments

After three years of litigation, Jabbar Collins, a man who spent 16 years in prison for a murder he did not commit, has reached a $10 million settlement with New York City.                      

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A federal judge has ordered the Justice Department to provide Congress with a list of documents that are at the center of a long-running battle over a failed law enforcement program called Operation Fast and Furious.

Justice Dept Ordered to Provide Fast and Furious Documents

August 21, 2014 12:05 pm | by Pete Yost, Associated Press | Comments

A federal judge has ordered the Justice Department to provide Congress with a list of documents that are at the center of a long-running battle over a failed law enforcement program called Operation Fast and Furious.         

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Voice, Image Give Clues in Hunt for Foley's Killer

August 21, 2014 11:43 am | by Jill Lawless, Associated Press | Comments

Police and intelligence services are using image analysis and voice-recognition software, studying social media postings and seeking human tips as they scramble to identify the militant recorded on a video showing the killing of American journalist James Foley.

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Human mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) analysis, in a forensic setting, is currently limited in breadth (the quantity of sequence data obtained) and depth (the ability to detect minor variants arising from mutations but present at very low levels). The goal of t

Assessing Deep Sequencing Technology for Human Forensic Mitochondrial DNA Analysis

August 21, 2014 8:22 am | by Mark Wilson, NIJ | Comments

Human mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) analysis, in a forensic setting, is currently limited in breadth (the quantity of sequence data obtained) and depth (the ability to detect minor variants arising from mutations but present at very low levels). The goal of this research was to generate information on the whole mtDNA genome sequence from limited DNA samples, which would greatly expand the potential uses of this marker system. 

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Dutch officials expect precise accuracy from DNA-matching software that will be used to identify many of the 298 Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 victims. But it is unknown whether there will be enough genetic evidence from the remains and relatives of the m

High Tech Forensics of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17

August 20, 2014 3:03 pm | by Aliya Sternstein, Nextgov | Comments

Dutch officials expect precise accuracy from DNA-matching software that will be used to identify many of the 298 Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 victims. But it is unknown whether there will be enough genetic evidence from the remains and relatives of the missing to ID everyone.

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DNA evidence taken from the clothing and body of Carol Alford a quarter-  century after her death linked her slaying to a serial killing suspect with   such certainty that no other person on Earth could have deposited the cells, an expert has testified.

Forensic Testimony: DNA Evidence Links Suspect to Killing

August 20, 2014 12:06 pm | by Linda Deutsch, Associated Press | Comments

DNA evidence taken from the clothing and body of Carol Alford a quarter-century after her death linked her slaying to a serial killing suspect with such certainty that no other person on Earth could have deposited the cells, an expert has testified.

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The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has announced a competition to create a Forensic Science Center of Excellence dedicated to collaborative, interdisciplinary research. The center’s mission will be to establish a firm scientific fou

NIST to Establish Research Center of Excellence for Forensic Science

August 20, 2014 11:50 am | by NIST | Comments

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has announced a competition to create a Forensic Science Center of Excellence dedicated to collaborative, interdisciplinary research. The center’s mission will be to establish a firm scientific foundation for the analytic techniques used in two important branches of forensic science, pattern evidence and digital evidence.

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Forensic Magazine is proud to announce its first Readers’ Choice Awards for the Best Forensic Products of the Year. The awards celebrate excellence in product design and performance for tools, equipment, and materials used in all areas of forensic investi

Forensic Magazine Readers Choice Awards: Get Your Say on the Best Forensic Products

August 20, 2014 9:08 am | Comments

Forensic Magazine is proud to announce its first Readers’ Choice Awards for the Best Forensic Products of the Year. The awards celebrate excellence in product design and performance for tools, equipment, and materials used in all areas of forensic investigation and analysis. Equipment and product suppliers are invited to submit their products for this prestigious award. 

Wichita State University's National Institute for Aviation Research recently opened a new Ballistics and Impact Dynamics Research Lab in the former Britt Brown Arena at the Kansas Coliseum. The new ballistics lab, part of NIAR's environmental Test Labs, u

NIAR Opens New Ballistics and Impact Dynamics Lab

August 20, 2014 8:09 am | by Wichita State Univ. | Comments

Wichita State University's National Institute for Aviation Research recently opened a new Ballistics and Impact Dynamics Research Lab in the former Britt Brown Arena at the Kansas Coliseum. The new ballistics lab, part of NIAR's environmental Test Labs, uses a custom built ballistic firing device to propel 22-50 caliber rounds into components inside a concrete containment building. 

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In a dusty, seemingly empty field 60 miles east of L.A., Dr. Alexis Gray, a   forensic anthropologist from the San Bernardino County Sheriff Department,   points to a chain-link fence far in the distance, the mountains rising beyond   in the hazy heat. "T

The Coldest Case: Using DNA to Identify Century-Old Remains

August 19, 2014 1:13 pm | by Alissa Walker, Gizmodo | Comments

In a dusty, seemingly empty field 60 miles east of L.A., Dr. Alexis Gray, a forensic anthropologist from the San Bernardino County Sheriff Department, points to a chain-link fence far in the distance, the mountains rising beyond in the hazy heat. "There are 7,000 people between us and that next fence there," she says. For almost a decade, her job has been to confirm the identification of every single one of them.

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