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Regional Forensic Center to Cost $5.25 Million

January 2, 2014 11:27 am | by Gerald Witt, Lebanon Democrat | Comments

The cost of a regional forensic center is expected to be $5.25 million, according to a Knox County, Tenn., official. That’s more than the $5 million Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett hopes to get from the state for the facility, which means that Knox County will likely have to spend its own tax money on the project.

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How Forensic Science Helped Solve America's Last Great Train Robbery

January 2, 2014 11:17 am | by Pepper Trail and Edgard Espinoza, Jefferson Public Radio | Comments

On a distant October morning in 1923, the West’s last great train robbery was committed by three deranged criminals: the DeAutremont brothers. This cowardly and murderous event outraged America, leading to an intense manhunt. The crime itself is a story that has been told many times, but much less has been written about the pioneering use of forensic science in the investigation that followed.

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Pfizer Experts Specialize in Tracking Down Fake Drugs

January 2, 2014 11:03 am | by Lee Howard, the Day | Comments

Sniffing out counterfeit drugs is an almost daily occurrence at the Groton labs, where Pfizer analyzes suspect branded products from North, Central and South America as well as the Caribbean. Other Pfizer labs in England and China, with slightly larger staffs, analyze suspicious drugs from the rest of the world, where most of the counterfeit manufacturing is being done.

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Computers Work Overtime in Crime Lab

December 30, 2013 11:51 am | by Joe Gamm, Greensboro News & Record | Comments

With each passing day, law enforcement might be getting closer to clearing unsolved cases. Since 2011 in North Carolina, not only has DNA been collected from all convicted felons, but also from people arrested on 11 different categories of crime, including arson, burglary, rape and murder.

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Expansion of a Cheminformatic Database of Spectral Data for Forensic Chemists and Toxicologists

December 30, 2013 11:34 am | by Peter Stout, Katherine Moore, Megan Grabenauer and Jeri Ropero-Miller, NIJ | Comments

A new ForensicDB project sought to expand ForensicDB's capacity for user traffic and database queries, increase associate curators' participation, and further develop software automation to better manage the records submitted.         

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Forensic Gains from Human Recognition

December 30, 2013 11:28 am | by David Garner, University of York | Comments

Human beings are highly efficient at recognizing familiar faces, even from very poor quality images. New research is using advances in the level of detail available in digital photography to harness this human ability for use in forensics.    

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Memphis Sued for Throwing Away 15,000 Untested Rape Kits

December 30, 2013 11:15 am | Comments

A class action suit has been filed against the city of Memphis, Tenn., for failing to submit more than 15,000 rape kits for testing. An unidentified woman, who was the victim of rape and is a resident of Memphis, claims the city collected the kits, allowed many to spoil, and threw them away.

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Evaluating the Use of DNA and RNA Degradation for Estimating the Post-mortem Interval

December 30, 2013 11:08 am | by Arpad Vass, Rachel Fleming, SallyAnn Harbison, James Curran and Eletra Williams, NIJ | Comments

The goal of this project was to evaluate the stability of nucleic acids in nails to determine if both DNA and RNA can be co-extracted in levels suitable for polymerase chain reaction (PCR) analysis.                

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Photo Prompts Minneapolis to Rethink Crime Scene Cleanup

December 27, 2013 10:50 am | by Eric Roper, The Star Tribune | Comments

The city of Minneapolis is attempting to develop new protocols for cleaning up crime scenes after a picture of a bloody street drew attention the social media site Facebook.                      

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Advanced DNA Tests Granted in Rape Case

December 27, 2013 10:10 am | by Lisa Redmond, The Lowell Sun | Comments

A superior court judge has granted a Massachusetts man, whose 35- to 40-year sentence for a 2006 rape was recently overturned, access to the victim's fingernail swabbings to perform advanced DNA testing.            

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Dinosaurs Could be Brought Back Using Bird DNA

December 27, 2013 9:55 am | by Steve White, Mirror Online | Comments

In an echo of Jurassic Park, an expert biochemist believes identifying and altering certain genes found in the DNA of modern birds would mean the genomes of dinosaurs could be engineered 20 million years after they died out.        

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Russia: Arafat's Death Not Caused by Radiation

December 27, 2013 9:07 am | by Vladimir Isachenkov, Associated Press | Comments

A Russian probe into the death of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat has found that his death wasn't caused by radiation- a finding that comes after a French probe found traces of the radioactive isotope polonium and a Swiss investigation said the timeframe of his illness and death was consistent with that of polonium poisoning.

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Development of a Thin Layer Chromatography Method for the Separation of Enantiomers Using Chiral Mobile Phase Additives

December 27, 2013 8:54 am | by Robyn Larson, Kelly Howerter and Jacob Easter, NIJ | Comments

The goal of this project was to develop an inexpensive and simple method for enantiomer determinations as an alternative to using mixed crystal test methods, polarimetry or more expensive instrumental methods.             

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Should States Collect DNA from Arrestees?

December 23, 2013 10:53 am | by JAIME ADAME, Oklahoma Watch | Comments

An Oklahoma psychologist has been on a crusade for years to have the state require that DNA be collected from suspects at the time of arrest, not just conviction, for certain crimes. Now, the possibility of such a law passing may be greater than ever, thanks to a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that upheld collection of DNA from arrestees.

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Pfizer Takes on Counterfeit Drugs

December 23, 2013 10:45 am | by Lee Howard, The Day | Comments

Sniffing out counterfeit drugs is an almost daily occurrence at the Groton labs, where Pfizer analyzes suspect branded products from North, Central and South America as well as the Caribbean. Other Pfizer labs in England and China, with slightly larger staffs, analyze suspicious drugs from the rest of the world, where most of the counterfeit manufacturing is being done.

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