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The Idaho student homicides and forensic genetics
DNA analysis of blood on a knife sheath helped lead to the arrest of accused murderer Bryan Kohberger in the homicide of four University of Idaho students. The leading role forensic genetics, familial DNA searching, and forensic genetic genealogy is playing in solving crimes is examined in a comprehensive article in the journal Forensic Genomics.
In the article titled "The Idaho Student Homicides and the Future of Forensic Genetic Genealogy," Forensic Genomics Editor-in-Chief Nicole M.M. Novroski, Ph.D., from the University of Toronto, describes the gold standard in forensic genetics, which involves DNA typing of short tandem repeats (STRs), which are human genetic markers that exist throughout the genome and can be used for human identification.
She also describes familial DNA searching, another forensic tool that may be used to find relatives of an unknown person by searching a database of DNA profiles.
Forensic genetic genealogy (FGG) is an emerging forensic tool being used to solve both active and cold (inactive) case investigations. FGG is the use of DNA analysis combined with traditional genealogy research to generate investigative leads for unsolved crimes. "I believe that we will continue to see an increase in solved case(s) and/or the development of additional investigative lead(s) because of genealogical use in both police and forensic casework," states Dr. Novroski.
More information: Nicole M.M. Novroski, The Idaho Student Homicides and the Future of Forensic Genetic Genealogy, Forensic Genomics (2023). DOI: 10.1089/forensic.2023.0004
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