New Webpage: Forensic Applications of Microbiomes

As the Administration launches the National Microbiome Initative, the National Institute of Justice is highlighting contributions to the field on a new webpage. The site highlights how NIJ has expanded funding of research into the forensic applications of microbiomes since 2011.


Microbiomes are the communities of microorganisms that live on or in people, plants, soil, oceans, and the atmosphere. Applying the study of microorganisms in a forensic science research and development context, the NIJ site's portfolio focuses on three areas:

  • The necrobiome — the community of organisms found on or around decomposing remains — as an indicator of time-since-death in the investigation of human remains.
  • The microbiome found in different soils as a means of linking a victim, suspect, or evidence to a particular outdoor environment.
  • The trace human microbiome — microbes on our skin and the surfaces and objects we interact with — as a potential means to supplement the use of human DNA for associating people with evidence and environments.

You can visit the Forensic Applications of Microbiomes webpage here.

Source: NIJ

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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.