50+ Forensic DNA Experts to Present at the 2015 International Symposium on Human Identification (ISHI)
News Oct 01, 2015
In its 26th year, ISHI is the largest conference on forensic DNA analysis in the world. It will take place October 12-October 15, 2015, in Grapevine, Texas.
Kirk Bloodsworth, the first person to be exonerated from death row through post-conviction DNA testing, will open the symposium by sharing his story. Bloodsworth spent nine years in prison and more than two years on death row before DNA evidence identified the true perpetrator of the 1984 rape and murder for which he was imprisoned. Today, Bloodsworth is an advocate for the wrongfully convicted and speaks publicly to highlight the risk of wrongful convictions and dangers of the death penalty.
Filmmaker Alexa Barrett and Sara Huston Katsanis, a Science & Society Initiative Instructor at Duke University, will be presenting The Living Disappeared , an exploration of how DNA is being used to prevent child trafficking. Their presentation will include a brief preview of Barrett's film by the same name.
Phenotyping, which utilizes DNA evidence to help predict what a suspect might look like, will be explored from multiple angles. Ellen Greytak , Director of Bioinformatics at Parabon NanoLabs, will present DNA Phenotyping: Predicting Ancestry and Physical Appearance from Forensic DNA, and David Ballard, a research associate in forensic genetics and senior scientist at King's College London, will present DNA Phenotyping: What Can and Should We Predict?
This year's event also includes more than 140 scientific posters including a submission by Colleen Fitzpatrick, a forensic genealogist, who will share her work exposing false Holocaust accounts. Fitzpatrick is also collaborating on the recently re-opened "Somerton Man" case, which involves the exhumation of a 45-year-old John Doe who died under mysterious circumstances and washed up on a beach fully clothed in Adelaide, Australia, in 1948.
ISHI 26 includes presentations from leading professionals in the fields of forensic DNA analysis, genomics, forensic anthropology, medical molecular diagnostics, law enforcement and more. Other presenters include: Marie Allen (Uppsala University, Sweden), Bruce Budowle (Institute of Applied Genetics), Thomas Callaghan (Federal Bureau of Investigation), Douglas Hares (Federal Bureau of Investigation), Rock Harmon (retired, Alameda County District Attorney's Office), George Herrin (Georgia Bureau of Investigation), Vanessa Lynch (DNA Project), CeCe Moore (Institute for Genetic Genealogy), Fredy Peccerelli (Forensic Anthropology Foundation of Guatemala) and Jim Thomson (LGC).
In addition to the 3-day series of general session presentations, optional small group workshops are available, including:
• Analyzing and Utilizing Data from Next-Generation Sequencers in the Forensic Genomics Era
• Forensic Mixtures: Assessment, Analysis and Technology: Current Methods, New Approaches and Disruptive Technologies
• Advanced Methods for DNA Based Identification of Skeletal Remains Countdown to 2017: Internal Validation of the New CODIS Loci
• DNA Identification Strategies for Skeletal Remains and Other Challenging Samples
Wildlife detectives aiming to protect endangered species have long been hobbled by the near impossibility of collecting DNA samples from rare and elusive animals. Now, researchers have developed a method for extracting genetic clues quickly and cheaply from degraded and left-behind materials, such as feces, skin or saliva, and from food products suspected of containing endangered animals.READ MORE