LABORATORY NEWS
Next Generation Sequencing for DNA Analysis: Implementation Strategies

November 23, 2021 — Earlier this fall, the National Institute of Justice's Forensic Laboratory Needs Technology Working Group released an implementation strategy for Next Generation Sequencing for DNA Analysis. The 29-page document includes the advantages of NGS, a cost-benefit analysis, considerations of a validation plan, and other resources.

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New Suite of Standards on Explosives Examination

November 29, 2021 — ASTM International’s forensic sciences committee (E30) has approved three new standards that will aid the study of explosives in forensic investigations. The suite of standards, which cover terminology, intact explosives, and explosive residues, were developed by E30’s subcommittee on criminalistics (E30.01).

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DHS Releases New Master Question List for Synthetic Opioids

December 14, 2021 — The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) has released a new Master Question List (MQL) for Synthetic Opioids. The MQL is a reference guide to assist emergency responders and the research community by providing critical and scientifically-vetted information about the chemical and physical properties of synthetic opioids and the hazards they pose in operational settings.

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Free Publication: Role of DNA Evidence in Sexual Assault Investigations

November 15, 2021 — The organization End Violence Against Women International has released an updated training bulletin titled Role of DNA Evidence in Sexual Assault Investigations.

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Webinar: Molecular Identification of Insects

November 16, 2021 — Insects are often an important clue when trying to determine post-mortem interval during medicolegal death investigations. But inset larvae are usually very similar morphologically. In a webinar on December 2, presented by the Forensic Technology Center of Excellence, Sam Kwiatkowski, Ph.D. will show how insect identification may be improved through molecular identification by DNA "barcoding".

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BJS Releases Medical Examiner, Coroner Offices Report

November 16, 2021 — Earlier this month, the U.S. Department of Justice's Bureau of Justice Statistics released a report that provides data on the personnel, budget, workload, and policies of medical examiner and coroner officers in the United States.

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Digital-Image Management at Mass Gravesites

SKELETONIZED REMAINS that were carefully unearthed from the desert sands of Iraq tell their own story: the bones of an adult, still dressed in a woman’s apparel, lie supine. The skull is perforated by a bullet hole. Tucked in the space between the ribs and the left humerus is a much smaller skeleton, bones in the skull un-fused, and the fully clothed body partially swaddled in a blanket.

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