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Unique DNA Code Nabs Thieves in the Act

March 25, 2015 1:49 pm | by Sean Allocca, Editor | Articles | Comments

Called Operation Shield, 433 people who had been taken into police custody, were examined to determine if a unique DNA liquid sprayed on objects, like cash tills and computer screens, could be found, forensically linking back the individual to the crime scene, according to a news report.

Italy High Court Deciding Fate of 'Very Worried' Amanda Knox

March 25, 2015 10:59 am | by Colleen Barry and Frances D'Emilio, Associated Press | News | Comments

Italy's high court took up the appeal of Amanda Knox's murder conviction Wednesday, considering...

Can a DNA Database Help End 'Crisis' at the Border?

March 24, 2015 12:46 pm | by Sean Allocca, Editor | Articles | Comments

Duke University professor Sara Katsanis says there’s a “humanitarian crisis” happening on our...

DNA Convicts Man in 1983 Rape, Murder

March 24, 2015 10:21 am | by Dave Brooksher, Bay City News | News | Comments

Christopher Holland, 59, was on trial for the murder of 17-year-old Cynthia Munoz, who was found...

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New DNA Software Helps Convict Two-Time Felon

March 23, 2015 12:43 pm | by Sean Allocca, Editor | Articles | Comments

John Wakefield, 48, now faces life in prison without parole, after his DNA was found and identified on the victim’s shirt collar and on the murder weapon, according to a press release.

Remains of 9/11 Victim at Word Trade Center Identified

March 23, 2015 10:14 am | by Mark Roth, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette | News | Comments

At this point, only about 60 percent of the World Trade Center remains have been identified, and many forensic experts believe it will be impossible to put a name to all of them. Still, new techniques are slowly adding verifications.

Remains of 'Don Quixote' Author, Cervantes, Found in Madrid

March 19, 2015 12:42 pm | by Sean Allocca, Editor and Ernie Austin, Associate Editor | Articles | Comments

Experts used infrared cameras, 3-D scanners and ground-penetrating radar to initially sweep the floor of the burial tomb to help pinpoint the best site for archeologists to start excavating. The bones, which were interred in 1616, were lost when Madrid’s Convento de las Monjas Trinitarias Descalzas was rebuilt sometime later in the 17th century.

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Prosecutors presented DNA and blood to try showing that Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and his brother both played prominent roles in the 2013 attacks and the killing of a Massachusetts Institute of Technology police officer days later.

Blood, DNA Used to Show Bomber's Active Role

March 19, 2015 8:55 am | by Denise LaVoie, Associated Press | News | Comments

Prosecutors presented DNA and blood to try showing that Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and his brother both played prominent roles in the 2013 attacks and the killing of a Massachusetts Institute of Technology police officer days later.

Can $41 Million Even Dent the Backlog?

March 18, 2015 2:17 pm | by Sean Allocca, Editor | Articles | Comments

The administration announced another $41 million, on Monday, to help test backlogged sexual assault kits, an estimated 400,000 kits nationwide, according to a White House press release. But for those 400,000 victims, justice might still depend on more federal funding.

Some major changes in DNA technology and analysis have recently come on to the forensic scene – but with little fanfare to accompany those changes, busy practitioners could be forgiven for not having noticed them.

How Changing DNA Technology Affects Case Preparation

March 18, 2015 1:04 pm | by David Bentley, The Law Society Gazette | News | Comments

Some major changes in DNA technology and analysis have recently come on to the forensic scene – but with little fanfare to accompany those changes, busy practitioners could be forgiven for not having noticed them.

Bill Would Require Post-Conviction Preservation of DNA

March 17, 2015 10:43 am | by Rachel La Corte, Associated Press | News | Comments

A bill that has passed the House and is awaiting action in the Senate would require DNA collected in any felony case charged as a violent or sex offense to be preserved through the length of the offender's sentence, including post-prison community custody.

Living Relatives Needed to Help Identify Bodies in Mass Grave

March 17, 2015 10:19 am | by Kamcilla Pillay, Daily News | News | Comments

DNA testing could help identify the bodies found in mass graves on a KwaZulu-Natal farm in South Africa - but only if living relatives came forward for tissue samples to be compared, said a genetics expert.

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DNA Identifies Missing WWI Soldier

March 17, 2015 10:09 am | by Elizabeth Henson, The Daily Telegraph | News | Comments

​Shiralee Reardon can only imagine the courage it must have taken for her great uncle to fight and die in the bloodiest 24 hours in Australian history. Corigliano was among the more than 5500 Australian soldiers killed, wounded or taken prisoner on the night of July 19-20, 1916.

King Richard III’s Last Moments Revealed

March 16, 2015 12:42 pm | by Sean Allocca, Editor | Articles | Comments

Researchers believe an injury sustained to the interior surface of the cranium, consistent with wounds inflicted by a sword or the spiked top of a halberd, would have knocked the king unconscious before death.Eleven injuries have been identified in all, nine of them delivered to the skull around the time of death, two to the postcranial skeleton, although many are believed to have been sustained after death.

Biden in Md. to Discuss Funds for Rape Kit Testing

March 16, 2015 10:19 am | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Vice President Joe Biden will join Senator Barbara Mikulski on Monday in Pikesville to highlight funding directed toward clearing a backlog of hundreds of thousands of untested rape kits.

Modern Forensic Science: Solving The Oldest And Coldest Cases

March 16, 2015 10:03 am | by Jared Stern | News | Comments

Modern forensic science is useful for investigators as a means of solving the most complex crimes. But, new research unlocks the mysteries of the life and death of historical figures like King Richard III and the curious case of Cangrande I della Scala. 

Two men with ties to one of the three gunmen who terrorized Paris were handed preliminary charges Friday, the Paris prosecutor said, describing hundreds of texts, regular meetings and DNA recovered from a stun gun among the belongings at a bloodied kosher

DNA, Text Evidence Links Two to Paris Gunman

March 13, 2015 2:42 pm | by Lori Hinnant, Associated Press | News | Comments

Two men with ties to one of the three gunmen who terrorized Paris were handed preliminary charges Friday, the Paris prosecutor said, describing hundreds of texts, regular meetings and DNA recovered from a stun gun among the belongings at a bloodied kosher supermarket.

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In September 2014, NIJ convened a meeting with crime laboratory directors from various regions of the United States to gather information on strengthening the DNA Capacity Enhancement and Backlog Reduction (DNA) and Paul Coverdell Forensic Science Improve

Strengthening Forensic Science Services, Final Report

March 12, 2015 10:41 am | by Forensic Technology Center of Excellence, NIJ | News | Comments

In September 2014, NIJ convened a meeting with crime laboratory directors from various regions of the United States to gather information on strengthening the DNA Capacity Enhancement and Backlog Reduction (DNA) and Paul Coverdell Forensic Science Improvement Grants (Coverdell) programs. This report provides a summary of generalized comments and opinions from the group, but does not represent the views of all recipients.

A newly developed genetic technique enabled researchers to sequence DNA from the teeth of 300-year-old skeletons, helping to pinpoint where in Africa three slaves had likely lived before being captured.

Centuries-Old DNA Helps Identify Origins of Caribbean Slave Skeletons

March 12, 2015 9:53 am | by Krista Conger, Stanford University | News | Comments

A newly developed genetic technique enabled researchers to sequence DNA from the teeth of 300-year-old skeletons, helping to pinpoint where in Africa three slaves had likely lived before being captured.  

After the case was dropped against a Nevada woman who spent 35 years in prison for a 1976 murder she did not commit, both sides agreed on one point: justice was finally served thanks to new technology in DNA testing.

Nevada Woman Imprisoned 35 Years for Murder Cleared by DNA Technology

March 10, 2015 9:16 am | by Martin Griffith and Scott Sonner, Associated Press | News | Comments

After the case was dropped against a Nevada woman who spent 35 years in prison for a 1976 murder she did not commit, both sides agreed on one point: justice was finally served thanks to new technology in DNA testing.

Lake County, Illinois prosecutors plan to exonerate a man who has spent 20 years in prison for rape and abduction, a move that would lengthen the list of the county's criminal convictions wiped away by DNA evidence.

DNA Clears Man Serving 20 Years for Abduction, Rape

March 10, 2015 9:15 am | by Dan Hinkel, Chicago Tribune | News | Comments

Lake County, Illinois prosecutors plan to exonerate a man who has spent 20 years in prison for rape and abduction, a move that would lengthen the list of the county's criminal convictions wiped away by DNA evidence.

D.C. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser has commissioned an audit of the city’s new crime lab after forensic experts hired by the U.S. Attorney’s Office said they discovered errors in some of the lab’s DNA analyses, the mayor’s office said Friday.

DC Mayor Orders Audit of Crime Lab Amid DNA Testing Dispute

March 9, 2015 12:45 pm | by Aaron C. Davis and Keith L. Alexander, The Washington Post | News | Comments

D.C. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser has commissioned an audit of the city’s new crime lab after forensic experts hired by the U.S. Attorney’s Office said they discovered errors in some of the lab’s DNA analyses, the mayor’s office said Friday.

Former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez's DNA was found on a marijuana joint at the scene of a killing near his home, a crime lab scientist testified Friday.

Hernandez DNA Matched Marijuana Butt at Crime Scene

March 9, 2015 12:33 pm | by Michelle R. Smith, Associated Press | News | Comments

Former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez's DNA was found on a marijuana joint at the scene of a killing near his home, a crime lab scientist testified Friday.

A Third of Louisiana's 1,333 Untested Rape Kits at least 5 Years Old

March 6, 2015 1:52 pm | by Jonathon Bullington, Nola.com | News | Comments

More than 1,300 rape kits collected from sexual assault victims across the state have not been tested for DNA evidence, a state report shows, with roughly one-third of the kits having sat untested for at least five years.

Prosecutors Criticize DC Crime Lab's Handling of Some DNA Evidence

March 6, 2015 12:56 pm | by Keith L. Alexander, Washington Post | News | Comments

D.C. prosecutors have stopped sending DNA evidence to the city’s new state-of-the-art crime lab after they said they discovered errors in the way analysts determined whether a sample can be linked to a suspect or a victim.

The rape happened in 1998 at a playground in Holyoke. Jesus Oquendo was arrested in 2012 when DNA taken in a rape kit from the victim matched his DNA in the national DNA database.

DNA Hit Puts Another Rapist in Prison, This Time in 1998 Case

March 3, 2015 2:40 pm | by Buffy Spencer, Mass Live | News | Comments

The rape happened in 1998 at a playground in Holyoke. Jesus Oquendo was arrested in 2012 when DNA taken in a rape kit from the victim matched his DNA in the national DNA database.

Bioethicists, geneticists, attorneys and cops weigh the pros and cons of a radical new science.

Will 'DNA Phenotyping' Lead to Racial Profiling?

February 27, 2015 8:24 am | by Lauren Kirchner, Pacific Standard Magazine | News | Comments

Bioethicists, geneticists, attorneys and cops weigh the pros and cons of a radical new science.

An Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department detective turns to crownfunding after a crime lab mistake.

Detective Off Case After Crowdfunding Plea for DNA Test - Update

February 26, 2015 12:45 pm | by Jill Disis, Indy Star | News | Comments

An Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department detective turns to crowdfunding after a crime lab mistake.

As Houston officials trumpeted the completion of DNA testing on a three-decade backlog of sexual assault kits, they also acknowledged that while the DNA of some alleged rapists went untested, the suspects committed other sexual crimes.

While Some Rape Kits Sat Untested, Suspects Committed More Assaults

February 25, 2015 10:51 am | by Katherine Driessen, Houston Chronicle | News | Comments

As Houston officials trumpeted the completion of DNA testing on a three-decade backlog of sexual assault kits, they also acknowledged that while the DNA of some alleged rapists went untested, the suspects committed other sexual crimes.

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