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

August 21, 2014 | 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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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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University of North Texas Associate Professor of Chemistry Guido Verbeck has created a device for the U.S. Department of Justice that will allow investigators to analyze inks, paints, papers and other materials criminals use to create counterfeit document

Forensic Chemist Creates Fraudulent Document Analysis Device

August 19, 2014 12:57 pm | by Univ. of North Texas | Comments

University of North Texas Associate Professor of Chemistry Guido Verbeck has created a device for the U.S. Department of Justice that will allow investigators to analyze inks, paints, papers and other materials criminals use to create counterfeit documents.

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Third Michael Brown Autopsy Unlikely to Solve Mystery

August 19, 2014 12:44 pm | by Anna Williams, New Scientist | Comments

A third autopsy was conducted on the body of Michael Brown, the black teenager shot by a police officer on August 9 in Ferguson, Missouri. Full details of the first autopsy are still under wraps. Brown's family requested their own autopsy, which was performed by veteran medical examiner Michael Baden.

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The primary research objective was to develop a single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) panel to identify animal species from forensic samples of unknown biological origin by using mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA)-based markers.

Determining Species Origin in Biological Materials

August 19, 2014 11:45 am | by Jared Latiolais, NIJ | Comments

The primary research objective was to develop a single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) panel to identify animal species from forensic samples of unknown biological origin by using mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA)-based markers.         

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A team of electronic engineers is developing tiny surveillance cameras that pick up stress signals in people. They speculate the design could be used to spot anxious would-be criminals in airports and other high-target areas.

Stress-detecting Cameras Great for Pre-crime Identification

August 18, 2014 12:14 pm | by Liat Clark, Wired UK | Comments

A team of electronic engineers is developing tiny surveillance cameras that pick up stress signals in people. They speculate the design could be used to spot anxious would-be criminals in airports and other high-target areas.       

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Small Police Departments Fear Closing County Crime Lab

August 18, 2014 12:02 pm | by Kaitlynn Riely, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette | Comments

McKees Rocks Police Chief Robert Cifrulak does not not need directions to the Allegheny County Crime Lab. Neither do his officers. They make the trip to the Strip District lab about four times a week. But if the Allegheny County Crime Lab closes that short trip could turn into a much longer journey.

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Forensic nurses such as Katie Davis are specially trained to work with crime victims, and know how to preserve evidence for crime lab testing. They are experts in working with traumatized patients and are able to put them at ease in order to take detailed

Forensic Nursing Has Challenges, Rewards

August 18, 2014 11:51 am | by Paul Restuccia, Boston Herald | Comments

Forensic nurses such as Katie Davis are specially trained to work with crime victims, and know how to preserve evidence for crime lab testing. They are experts in working with traumatized patients and are able to put them at ease in order to take detailed statements that will be used as part of police investigations.

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Catching Thieves Far from the Crime Scene

August 18, 2014 10:52 am | by Michael Wilson, The New York Times | Comments

A creeper struck the locker room at Bally’s Total Fitness on Jamaica Avenue in Queens, making off with a man’s duffel, containing credit cards, boxing equipment, sneakers, a headphones and $22. The thief returned four days later and cleaned out the lockers of three other men. He struck at another gym the next week But this creeper was identified from what, in precinct geography, was a world away.

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What are the Protocols for Familial DNA Searching?

August 18, 2014 8:07 am | by NIJ | Comments

On Thursday, August 21, NIJ’s Forensic Technology Center of Excellence is hosting the final session of a four-part online discussion about familial DNA searching.                         

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Forensic Fiber Examination in Smothering Cases

August 15, 2014 1:05 pm | by Contact Traces | Comments

Diagnosis of death by smothering can be very difficult, in many such cases a forensic fiber examination doesn’t take place. In many cases post-mortem examinations fail to establish precisely how the deceased came to die, and likewise toxicological examinations may fail to illuminate any specific cause from a chemical perspective.

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