SWGGSR at NCFS
In October, NCFS hosted the Scientific Working Group for Gunshot Residue (SWGGSR) meeting where gunshot residue subject matter experts from around the world discussed current research and revised standards and guides. Visit the SWGGSR website at swggsr.org for more information.
In early November, the Ignitable Liquids Reference Collection Committee of the Scientific Working Group for Fire and Explosions (SWGFEX) met to work with NCFS on updating the Ignitable Liquids Reference Collection Database.
To learn more about these meetings, click here.
Two New NIJ Grants to NCFS
The Biological Evidence Laboratory, directed by Prof. Jack Ballantyne, has been awarded two National Institute of Justice grants in the area of forensic RNA genomics.
The first project, led by Prof. Erin Hanson, seeks to facilitate DNA admixture resolution without the need for the use of complex statistical interpretations. This project will utilize cell-specific gene expression, identified using RNA in situ hybridization (RNA-ISH), which can provide a visual identification of individual cell populations (or mixture components). This prior cell type identification will aid in physical separation of mixture components to achieve single source DNA profiling. This project involves an international collaboration with a casework forensic laboratory, the Institute of Environmental Science and Research (ESR), New Zealand.
The second project, led by Prof. Jack Ballantyne, will investigate the use of next generation sequencing (NGS) for the definitive identification of forensically relevant biological fluids and tissues (blood, semen, saliva, vaginal secretions, menstrual blood and skin) and the use of simultaneously obtained coding region SNP genotypes to identify the donor of each body fluid or tissue in admixed biological stains. The success of this project will therefore not only provide a novel piece of investigative information that to date has not been possible with other body fluid identification methods or analytical platforms, but could also result in a fully validated commercial body fluid identification product for immediate and facile transfer to those operational crime laboratories in the process of implementing NGS-based DNA analysis. This project brings together the experience and expertise of forensic science researchers (UCF), an operational crime laboratory (Arizona Department of Public Safety, AZDPS) as well as a commercial industry partner (Illumina).