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We post news about forensic DNA phenotyping as it happens or as we uncover it through research or reader contributions. Stories are not posted in chronological order, but rather, as we add them to the site. Please check back often, and we welcome your contributions to help create a comprehensive list.
 

Apr 28, 2011 Deseret News
New DNA test could help in Black case

Sandra Yi

Police here are exploring a new avenue for possible clues in the death of Sherry Black, the mother-in-law of Larry H. Miller Group CEO Greg Miller.

Earlier this month, Sorenson Forensics was certified to use a new test that determines a person's ethnicity based on their DNA, said South Salt Lake police detective Gary Keller.

Detectives would like to use that new technology in the Sherry Black investigation.

The Sorenson DNA test investigators want to run on the evidence was originally designed as an ancestry test. By analyzing the blood, detectives may get an idea what the alleged attacker looks like.

Read the full story.

  Mar 12, 2011 Deseret News
New DNA test developed at Salt Lake lab could help solve 'cold cases'

Alex Cabrero

Inside an ordinary beige brick building off West Temple and about 2500 South, technology is being developed that could help police departments across the country crack "cold cases."

This building is home to Sorenson Forensics, where an ancestry DNA test has been created to help police investigators better identify, or eliminate, possible suspects.

"This really is brand new stuff," said Lars Mouritsen, chief scientific officer for Sorenson Forensics. "There are some other tests that have been developed that are similar in some respects, but none of those really are focused for the forensics industry."

It's a test that has been in the works for the past few years.

Using genetic samples, Mouritsen's team can get a better idea of what someone may look like.

Read the full story.

 

  Feb 25, 2011 Science
Emerging Forensics Field May Hit Legal, Ethical Obstacles

Martin Enserink

The Dutch parliament adopted a law in 2003 regulating forensic DNA phenotyping, the use of DNA samples to predict a suspect's ancestry or physical characteristics. But the Netherlands is still the only country to have done so.

A year after a 16-year-old girl was brutally raped and murdered in the Netherlands in 1999, forensic geneticist Peter de Knijff broke the law himself. At the police's request, he set out to determine the geographic ancestry of the murderer from DNA in his semen. That was, he later admitted, “completely illegal” under Dutch law, which at the time allowed using DNA for traditional DNA identification but not for determining race, looks, or disease risk. De Knijff has no remorse. The police were unable to solve the case, and tensions were escalating in the rural community where the girl lived. Many pointed fingers at a nearby hostel for Kurdish, Iraqi, and Afghan asylum seekers. De Knijff's analysis showed that the killer was most likely from northwest Europe, which helped cooler heads prevail.

Read the full story.

  Feb 25, 2011 Science
Can This DNA Sleuth Help Catch Criminals?

Martin Enserink

The murder was heinous, there were no witnesses, and the police had few clues—except for some skin found under the fingernails of the victim that might belong to the killer. And that was all it took. From a few nanograms of DNA in the skin cells, a police lab determined that the murderer was a man of European origin with brown eyes and straight, dark-brown hair, approximately 45 years old and balding, and likely 1.90 meters in height. Within a few more hours, a police computer spewed out a sketch of the man's face seen from three different angles, which was all over the evening news. Soon, calls started pouring in from people who recognized the suspect.

Read the full story.

 
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featured news

New DNA test could help in Black case
28/04/2011 | Deseret News

Sandra Yi Police here are exploring a new avenue for possible clues in the death of Sherry Black, t ... 


New DNA test developed at Salt Lake lab could help solve 'cold cases'
12/03/2011 | Deseret News

Alex Cabrero Inside an ordinary beige brick building off West Temple and about 2500 South, technolo ... 


Emerging Forensics Field May Hit Legal, Ethical Obstacles
25/02/2011 | Science

Martin Enserink The Dutch parliament adopted a law in 2003 regulating forensic DNA phenotyping, t ... 


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Cases OverviewCases Overview

It is not known how often law enforcement agencies have turned to FDP as part of an attempt to identify an unknown suspect or victim; some reports claim that the method has been used in several hundre ... 


Laws Overview

Is forensic DNA phenotyping regulated?
Few jurisdictions have regulations that specifically address the forensic use of DNA for phenotype prediction. The method is still too new and too infrequently  ... 


Research Overview

We are collecting references for papers, reports, conference presentations, or abstracts that report findings relevant to FDP. Our intent is to periodically publish an annotated bibliography that trac ... 


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