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2014-12-08 | FBI DNA Quality Assurance Standards Now Include Rapid DNA Analysis
“This is a significant move forward for the technology“, stated Robert Schueren, President and Chief Executive Officer of IntegenX, “as it provides clarity to the forensics community regarding the use of Rapid DNA instruments and standards for data upload into CODIS from these platforms”. Schueren continued, “IntegenX is committed to bringing Rapid DNA testing to the forefront of our communities where our mission is to provide a timely response to law enforcement. In many cases, time saved in the lab could mean fewer victims of crime in our communities.”

2014-12-08 | FBI DNA Quality Assurance Standards Now Include Rapid DNA Analysis
“This expansion of the QAS enables improved productivity in forensic laboratories, which can aid in the reduction of the DNA testing backlogs that have been the focus of concern for law enforcement, legislators and concerned citizens for some time now” stated Louis Grever, former Executive Assistant Director, Science and Technology Branch of the FBI. “It is an important milestone as we enable the use of rapid DNA analysis in ways that are actionable for law enforcement in our local communities.”

2014-12-04 | DNA Test That Distinguishes Identical Twins May Be Used in Court for First Time
One of the two men involved pleaded guilty to the attacks in 2012. The other remained at large. Police had a suspect, but they couldn’t pin the crime on him due to a twist of genetic fate: He had an identical twin brother, and DNA from the condom matched both siblings. But now, a decade after the assaults, scientists have developed a genetic test that can distinguish between identical twins, and it may be used in court for the first time in this case.

2014-12-04 | NIST Study 'Makes the Case' for RFID Forensic Evidence Management
Radio frequency identification (RFID) tags—devices that can transmit data over short distances to identify objects, animals or people—have become increasingly popular for tracking everything from automobiles being manufactured on an assembly line to zoo animals in transit to their new homes. Now, thanks to a new NIST report, the next beneficiaries of RFID technology may soon be law enforcement agencies responsible for the management of forensic evidence.

2014-12-03 | The saga of Shawn Parcells, the uncredited forensics ‘expert’ in the Michael Brown case
The CNN report also mentions several specific cases in which Parcells appears to have conducted autopsies on his own without a doctor present, and one bizarre case in which he may have lost a man’s brain.

2014-12-02 | VA Crime Lab Discontinues Services
As of Monday, the Virginia Department of Forensic Science is no longer performing several kinds of trace evidence examinations, prompting concern from police.

2014-12-02 | Hard questions after litany of forensic failures at US labs
At least five high profile cases of serious malpractice at US forensic crime labs have come to light in the last two years, most resulting in the arrest of chemists working there. These scandals have called into question key evidence used in criminal cases, and have resulted in hundreds convictions being overturned. And this malpractice had led critics to ask a bigger question. Is something rotten at the heart of US forensic science?

2014-12-01 | NHC Commissioners agrees to fund a forensic chemist to handle drug cases
The New Hanover Board of Commissioners on Monday approved funding to pay a forensic chemist to work for the Wilmington Police Department to assist in expediting high profile drug cases. According to a proposal in the Commissioners' meeting minutes, the cost would be $41,729 for the rest of Fiscal Year 2014-15. Commissioners agreed to fund the position at the amount of $83,459 per year, as spelled out in an agreement with the City of Wilmington running through Fiscal Year 2017-18.

2014-11-25 | Crime Scene Medical Examiner Took No Measurements, Photos of Brown
The first medical examiner who testified described his role as the “eyes and ears of our pathologist” at the scene of the crime. Pathologists are not dispatched out to the field, so the medical examiner goes “to the scenes for them.” An examiner generally brings a camera along with tools to establish time of death and to collect evidence. His or her job is then to write a report for the pathologist. In the case of Brown, the on-scene examiner’s report included “initial contact with the reporting officer, the reporting person, the location, what I saw when I got there, the condition of the body and a paragraph or two on witness statements.”

2014-11-21 | The FBI Is Very Excited About This Machine That Can Scan Your DNA in 90 Minutes
Schueren grabbed a cotton swab and dropped it into a plastic cartridge. That's what, say, a police officer would use to wipe the inside of your cheek to collect a DNA sample after an arrest, he explained. Other bits of material with traces of DNA on them, like cigarette butts or fabric, could work too. He inserted the cartridge into the machine and pressed a green button on its touch screen: "It's that simple." Ninety minutes later, the RapidHIT 200 would generate a DNA profile, check it against a database, and report on whether it found a match.

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