News 02.16.12

Science Thursday

The President announces funding for forensic science standard setting, new research finds unrelated individuals may be mistakenly identified as genetically related, and a Penn State forensic researcher has developed a quantitative model for making fingerprint comparison conclusions. Here’s a roundup of this week’s forensics news:

 

The President’s budget includes $5M to the National Institute of Standards and Technology to

develop measurement standards

and quantify uncertainty for forensic science techniques.

 

Research from Penn State University may

lead to a statistical assessment

of fingerprint comparison.

 

The Houston mayor announced a plan to

create an independent crime laboratory

reporting to a board.

 

New research from the Universities of Washington and California at Berkeley found that

unrelated individuals may be mistakenly identified as genetic family members

due to inaccurate genetic assumptions in familial DNA search procedures.

 

Researchers from the University of Granada developed a new forensic identification technique called craniofacial superimposition which

identifies corpses

using reference points on the skull and pictures of the living subject.

 

DNA analysis of

ephithelial cells shed in snake venom

is a new tool to catch illegal venom traffickers.

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