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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2010

    News on testing used to identify the unidentified

    New test can more closely pinpoint birth date and death date

    I wasn't sure where to post this but it makes the most sense in the UID section.

    Just came across this article from sciencedaily.com in which a new test has been developed to help identify UIDs. One thing we all struggle with here is the age of the deceased - how many times have we found out that estimated age was way wrong?

    It uses radiocarbon analysis. Someone with a better understanding of "science stuff", or better comprehension at least than I have right now lol, will have to give a better summary than me, but here's a brief explanation:

    "In 1968, a child's cranium was recovered from the banks of a northern Canadian river. Initial analysis conducted by investigators, using technology at the time, concluded that the cranium came from the body of a 7-9-year-old child and no identity could be determined. The case went cold and was reopened later.

    The cranium underwent reanalysis at the Centre for Forensic Research, Simon Fraser University in Canada, where skull measurements, skeletal ossification, and dental formation indicated an age-at-death of approximately 4 1/2; years old. At Lawrence Livermore, researchers conducted radiocarbon analysis of enamel from two teeth indicated a more precise birth date. Forensic DNA analysis, conducted at Simon Fraser University, indicated the child was a male, and the obtained mitochondrial profile matched a living maternal relative to the presumed missing child."


    "Age determination of unknown human bodies is important in the setting of a crime investigation or a mass disaster, because the age at death, birth date and year of death, as well as gender, can guide investigators to the correct identity among a large number of possible matches."

    Birth or death would have to have happened in the 50s and 60s, because of some stuff going on in the world (can't type out the word, at work). I THINK. Someone will have to read it and verify. Interesting and helpful information, nonetheless.

    Last edited by imamaze; 01-14-2014 at 08:16 PM. Reason: added title to article

    Everything is MOO and I am always willing to be wrong!

    October 2013 marked 60 years since Evelyn Hartley's violent kidnapping while babysitting.

    We need fresh eyes in the case - please visit us in
    Evelyn's thread!

  2. #2
    Claudette! Interesting!

    I'm going to stick this thread for a time so our regulars get a chance to read it and then we'll be moving it to the UID Reference forum found here ----->Unidentified "How To" & Reference Forum - Websleuths Crime Sleuthing Community
    Last edited by KateB; 04-29-2015 at 08:40 AM. Reason: repair url tag.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2005

    CT scans could bolster forensic database to ID UID


    A study from North Carolina State University finds that data from CT scans can be incorporated into a growing forensic database to help determine the ancestry and sex of unidentified remains. The finding may also have clinical applications for craniofacial surgeons.

    Thanks to Marilynilpa!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2005

    FL - Dozens Of Unidentified Bodies

    WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Sheriff's investigators say they have numerous unidentified bodies that were recovered in Palm Beach County in the 70's, 80's and early 90's.

    Just figuring out who they are, let alone who killed them or how they died, can be a challenge.

    In one case, they're making progress.

    more at the link

    Retired 08/03/03

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    NIST Research Enables Enhanced DNA “Fingerprints”
    Starting January 1 (2017), DNA profiles will include more data, making them even more powerful at solving cases.
    Heat, sunlight and bacteria can all damage DNA. If a blood stain on a piece of clothing has been exposed to the elements, if evidence doesn’t turn up until years after a crime, or if evidence is stored improperly, the DNA can begin to break down. If a break occurs within a marker, scientists can’t measure how long it is, and they get a partial profile.

    But some markers withstand damage better than others. (those will be added now to new DNA kits)
    The FBI announced the upgrade after the trials ended, giving crime labs two years to put the new kits into production and to pass a series of quality assurance tests. According to the FBI’s Hares, many labs have been using the new kits for almost a year.

    For crime victims seeking justice, for defendants seeking a fair trial, and for families looking for missing loved ones, a lot depends on the accuracy and reliability of DNA profiles. The transition to 20-markers hasn’t been quick, but it has allowed time for testing and validation.

    Thu, 12/15/2016 DNA Core Loci Expanding in Two Weeks

    DNA has been the “gold standard” in forensic science for two decades. It could get even better – in two weeks.

    The National DNA Index System, which relies on a core group of 13 loci, or genetic markers, will expand on Jan. 1 to 20 loci.
    The switch adds seven new markers that were carefully selected over a years-long process – making more certain matches – and potentially solving more crimes of both the future – and even the past.

    A whirlwind of preparations, capping years of incremental changes, is currently underway at more than 200 crime laboratories nationwide.
    Some kits already have incorporated additional loci. But still, the bump up to 20 genetic markers could mean the difference between a case breakthrough and an inconclusive result.

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