LABORATORY NEWS
Funding for Tracking and Reporting SAKs

The National Institute of Justice is seeking funding applications from eligible states and units of local government that will inventory, track, and report the status of Sexual Assault Kits (SAKs).

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Webinar: Computerized Reconstruction of Fragmentary Skeletal Remains

A webinar on May 3, 2018, presented by the Forensic Technology Center of Excellence, will introduce a newly developed software tool called “Fragmento”. Viewers will be able to learn how to use Fragmento to sort and assemble skeletal fragmentary remains and reconstruct the full bone and biological profile.

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Solving a 4000-Year-Old Mummy Mystery

Work to extract DNA from a 4000-year-old mummy has broken new ground for analysis of extremely decomposed and degraded specimens.

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R&D in Forensic Science: Grants Available

The National Institute of Justice is seeking proposals for basic or applied research and development projects. An NIJ forensic science research and development grant supports a discrete, specified, circumscribed project that will:

1. Increase the body of knowledge to guide and inform forensic science policy and practice.
2. Lead to the production of useful material(s), device(s), system(s), or method(s) that have the potential for forensic application.

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Strengthening the Medical Examiner-Coroner System

The National Institute of Justice expects to award up to $4 million in grants with the goal of strengthening the medical examiner-coroner system in the United States. The program, which will include up to 10 one-year forensic pathology fellowship awards of $100,000, has the goals of 1) increasing the supply of qualified forensic pathology practitioners; and 2) strengthening the quality and consistency of medical examiner-coroner services. Applications for the Strengthening the Medical Examiner-Coroner System Program are due April 6, 2018.

 

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Putting Statistics into Forensic Firearms Identification

On February 14, 1929, gunmen working for Al Capone disguised themselves as police officers, entered the warehouse of a competing gang, and shot seven of their rivals dead. The St. Valentine’s Day Massacre is famous not only in the annals of gangland history, but also the history of forensic science. Capone denied involvement, but an early forensic scientist named Calvin Goddard linked bullets from the crime scene to Tommy guns found at the home of one of Capone’s men. Although the case never made it to trial—and Capone’s involvement was never proved in a court of law—media coverage introduced millions of readers to Goddard and his strange-looking microscope.

 

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Court Case Update

FINGERPRINT EVIDENCE went through a nearly three-year ordeal in the New Hampshire court system, but eventually emerged unscathed. On April 4, 2008, the New Hampshire Supreme Court unanimously reversed the decision of a lower court to exclude expert testimony regarding fingerprint evidence in the case of The State of New Hampshire v. Richard Langill. The case has been remanded back to the Rockingham County Superior Court.

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