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Material Gathered in the Netherlands to ID MH17 Victims

July 21, 2014 11:02 am | by Mike Corder, Associated Press | Comments

Forensic teams fanned out across the Netherlands on Saturday to collect material including DNA samples that will help positively identify the remains of victims killed in the downing of the Malaysia Airlines plane over Ukraine.       

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An Attempt to Link Cold Cases

July 18, 2014 1:56 pm | by Scott North, The Herald of Everett | Comments

Attorneys for a convicted rapist charged with two 1995 cold-case killings say prosecutors are trying to prop up a pair of weak murder charges by taking them to trial as a matched set.                   

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Innovative Test Determines Details from Just One Fingerprint

July 18, 2014 1:35 pm | by Michael Brown, The Journal | Comments

Experts at Arro SupraNano, based in the Herschel Annex of Newcastle University, UK, has created a new test that can give detailed information about a person just from one fingerprint, in minutes.               

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Black Box Scuffle Could Mask Truth about Flight MH17

July 18, 2014 1:21 pm | by Yijun Yu, The Conversation | Comments

Normally, when a crashed aircraft’s black box is recovered, it can reveal exactly what happened to cause the disaster but in the case of MH17, the political instability between Ukraine and Russia could hamper operations.         

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Jetliner Crash Investigators Face Struggle

July 18, 2014 12:40 pm | by Jill Lawless and Laura Mills, Associated Press | Comments

To figure out why a Malaysian jetliner fell from the sky, investigators will use the wreckage of any missile found to determine where it came from and who fired it, experts said Friday. That may be easier said than done in the middle of a war zone.

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Judge Says DNA 'Probably' Wouldn't Have Affected Murder Conviction

July 17, 2014 1:58 pm | by Allan Turner, Houston Chronicle | Comments

Convicted killer Henry Skinner moved a step closer to the execution chamber this week after a state district judge ruled that results of DNA testing of previously unexamined crime scene evidence probably would not have cleared him of the three Texas Panhandle murders for which he was sentenced to die.

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NIST Webinar to Cover Validation of Forensic DNA Testing Technologies

July 17, 2014 1:48 pm | by NIST | Comments

Forensic DNA analysts and other interested stakeholders are invited to participate in a free NIST webinar on validation concepts and resources. In recent years, instrument manufacturers and software companies have created new technologies to analyze challenging DNA samples.

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Florida Inmate Still on Death Row Despite DNA Exoneration

July 17, 2014 1:30 pm | by Letitia Stein, Reuters | Comments

From his cell on Florida's death row, Paul Hildwin has spent 28 years fighting for his life, waiting between cancer treatments for the state to acknowledge decade-old DNA evidence supporting his claims of innocence.         

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Synthetic Marijuana, No Longer Similar to Marijuana

July 17, 2014 1:05 pm | by Ben Wallace, The Advocate | Comments

Synthetic marijuana — different chemical blends first created in the 2000s to mimic the effects of marijuana — is nothing like its namesake anymore. While original versions had effects on users similar to marijuana, these newer forms of synthetic cannabinoids have wildly different, often much more dangerous effects on users.

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NIST Names Members of Forensic Science Resource Committees

July 16, 2014 2:39 pm | by NIST | Comments

An initiative to strengthen and bring uniformity to forensic science standards took another step forward recently as the National Institute of Standards and Technology appointed 35 new members to the Organization for Scientific Area Committees.   

Texas Woman who Sent Ricin Gets 18 Years in Prison

July 16, 2014 2:29 pm | by Jamie Stengle, Associated Press | Comments

A Texas actress who sent ricin-laced letters to President Barack Obama and the New York mayor then tried to blame the crime on her soon-to-be ex-husband was sentenced to 18 years in prison on Wednesday.             

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Autopsies Inconclusive in Oklahoma Family's Deaths

July 16, 2014 2:18 pm | by Associated Press | Comments

Autopsy results were inconclusive for a family whose remains were found by hunters in a wooded area four years after they disappeared in rural Oklahoma, the state Medical Examiner's Office said.               

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Investigators Blast Justice Dept's Handling of FBI Crime Lab Problems

July 16, 2014 1:48 pm | by Michael Doyle, McClatchy DC | Comments

Investigators on Wednesday sharply criticized the Justice Department’s handling of old FBI crime lab problems. In a sweeping, 138-page report, the Justice Department’s Office of Inspector General cited “serious deficiencies” in the work of the task force assigned in 1996 to follow up on potentially troublesome crime lab cases.

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Bigfoot and Yeti, Still a Mystery

July 15, 2014 2:36 pm | by Rachel Nuwer, The New York Times | Comments

Legends of mysterious part-human creatures have circulated for centuries, and those stories persist today in cultures around the world, from Yeti in the Himalayas to the Almas, or “wild man” in Central Asia to Sasquatch, a.k.a. Bigfoot, in North America. Now a research team has performed the first rigorous genetic analysis of three dozen hair samples that their collectors claimed came from such undiscovered, living humanoids.

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Integrating LIMS and Evidence Management

July 15, 2014 2:24 pm | by Robert Galvin, Officer.com | Comments

Automating the forensic lab is crucial for increasing productivity and saving time for other tasks. Many crime labs are acquiring technology platforms called Laboratory Information Management Systems (LIMS). Even though many crime labs have a LIMS in place, they are still faced with the disconnect that exists between their LIMS and the law enforcement agency’s evidence management system. 

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