News 10.20.11

Science Thursday: A Mug Shot Database

The FBI plans to implement a number of new forensic technologies, evidence is questioned in New York, Michigan, and Oregon, and scientists use pig cadavers to study decomposition. Here’s a roundup of this week’s forensics news:

The FBI is implementing the Next Generation Identification system

that allows law enforcement to search a photo of a suspect against mug shots in a database

. Michigan, Washington, Florida and North Carolina will be the first states to access this system, and it will be used nationwide by 2014. The database raises concerns about the reliability of the technology and privacy issues.


DNA scientists are critical of the FBI’s plans

to expand the number of genetic markers used to identify people in the national DNA database.

A New York judge threw out a drunk driving conviction

based on concerns about inaccurate testing

by the Nassau Police Crime Laboratory, which is now shuttered.

Lawyers in a Michigan

argued to block a firearms expert’s testimony

on evaluation of bullet trajectories. The composite bullet lead evidence in a murder case for which an Oregon man was convicted was found

two years after the case against him was dismissed

.

A study in the American Journal of Human Genetics claims that

scientists have discovered a gene associated with adermatoglyphia

, a condition that results in the absence of fingerprints in people.

Scientists at the University of Windsor are

using pig cadavers to study decomposition

and are building a database of insects found in graves.

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