Video | Business Headlines | Internet | Science | Scientific Ethics | Technology | Search

 

NZ’s crime-busting forensics triumph in US murder trial


Forensic software developed by New Zealand scientists at the Institute of Environmental Science and Research (ESR) has been used in a trial in Brooklyn, New York, for the first time, leading to a murder conviction.

The District Attorney of Kings County in Brooklyn, Eric Gonzalez, says the recent trial involved a 48-year-old man who killed his estranged wife in the backseat of her car, stabbing her multiple times.

He says the trial was the first in Brooklyn to use the STRmix™ technology, sophisticated forensic software used to resolve mixed DNA profiles previously thought to be too complex to interpret.

STRmix™, which was developed by ESR scientists John Buckleton and Jo-Anne Bright, working with Duncan Taylor from Forensic Science South Australia, has revolutionized DNA interpretation, allowing the analysis of complex mixtures and DNA profiles recovered from minuscule amounts of DNA that are so vital to many criminal investigations

Gonzalez says the evidence in the trial showed that blood found in the victim’s car was a mixture of her DNA and the defendant’s, and the t-shirt the defendant was wearing contained a mixture of DNA from both of them.

“In this case, there was blood from both the victim and the defendant and the software assisted the analyst in isolating the defendant’s DNA,” Gonzalez says.

Thirty-one US labs now routinely use STRmix™ in resolving DNA profiles, including federal agencies such as the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and the FBI and state and local agencies, including the Michigan State Police and Texas Department of Public Safety.



It has been used to interpret DNA evidence in thousands of cases in labs in Australia, England, Scotland, Ireland, Canada and here in New Zealand.

When the product is used to interpret profiles, it reduces the likelihood of discrimination of suspect and perpetrator DNA and reduces the likelihood of wrongful implication in criminal activities.

ESR’s Commercial and International General Manager, Hamish Findlay, says STRmix™ is continuing to excite interest among law enforcement agencies in an increasing number of countries.


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Environment Aotearoa 2019: Report Warns Environment In Serious Trouble

The report says the way New Zealanders live and make a living is having a serious impact on the environment, and the benefits New Zealanders get from being in nature, though not measured or quantified, could be lost. More>>

ALSO:

Provincial Growth Fund: Backing Growth In Gore

“Today’s announcements are a $1.6 million investment towards the Maruawai precinct project, which involves the redevelopment of the Hokonui Moonshine Museum and creation of the Maruawai Heritage Centre...” More>>

ALSO:

Inflation: Cigarette Price Rise Offsets Cheaper Petrol

The consumers price index (CPI) rose 0.1 percent in the March 2019 quarter, due to higher prices for cigarettes, Stats NZ said today... In the year to March 2019, the inflation rate was 1.5 percent, down from 1.9 percent in the December 2018 year. More>>

ALSO:

Government Suppliers: MBIE Reinstates Fuji Xerox As A

The government has reinstated Fuji Xerox as a supplier despite an ongoing Serious Fraud Office investigation into accounting irregularities that led to losses of more than $300 million. More>>

ALSO: