Genetics

6:02am

Tue April 1, 2014
NPR News Investigations

Pentagon Reorganizing How It Brings Home America's War Dead

Originally published on Tue April 1, 2014 6:23 am

The Central Identification Laboratory of the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command in Honolulu, Hawaii. The Pentagon announced that it will overhaul how the organization finds, identifies and returns the remains of thousands of service members lost in past wars.
Elyse Butler for NPR

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel announced an overhaul Monday of the agencies responsible for finding, identifying, and returning the remains of servicemen lost in past wars.

The Pentagon spends more than $100 million a year on the effort, but last year only identified 60 of the more than 80,000 missing.

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2:37pm

Mon September 23, 2013
Shots - Health News

Could Detectives Use Microbes To Solve Murders?

Originally published on Thu October 31, 2013 11:30 am

Knight (left) and Bucheli take soil samples from beneath one of the decomposing bodies.
Katie Hayes Luke for NPR

In the woods outside Huntsville, Texas, scientists are trying to determine whether they can use the microbes that live on the human body as microscopic witnesses that could help catch criminals.

It's a strange scene at the Southeast Texas Applied Forensic Science Facility. At first, it's easy to miss the human bodies scattered among the tall pines, wild grass and weeds.

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4:04pm

Fri September 13, 2013
Shots - Health News

After Disasters, DNA Science Is Helpful, But Often Too Pricey

Originally published on Fri September 13, 2013 5:32 pm

A Thai medic checks bodies for forensic identity in Phang Nga province in southern of Thailand on Jan. 11, 2005. Thousands of people were killed in Thailand after a massive tsunami struck on Dec. 26, 2004.
Pornchai Kittiwongsakul AFP/Getty Images

Human DNA is the ultimate fingerprint. A single hair can contain enough information to determine someone's identity — a feature that's been invaluable for identifying the unnamed casualties of natural disasters and war. But forensic scientists who use DNA say the technology isn't always available where it's most needed, like in poor countries, or in war zones like Syria.

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11:00am

Thu August 15, 2013
Science

What's Up With That, Doc? Researchers Make Bunnies Glow

Originally published on Thu August 15, 2013 11:44 am

Those are bright bunnies. (The photo shows the two that have the "glowing gene," along with their siblings.)
University of Hawaii's John A. Burns School of Medicine

Like cats and other animals before them, a couple of rabbits are now among the animals that have been genetically manipulated so that they glow green under a black light.

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11:57am

Wed August 7, 2013
Shots - Health News

Decades After Henrietta Lacks' Death, Family Gets A Say On Her Cells

Originally published on Fri August 9, 2013 9:03 am

Henrietta Lacks and her husband, David, in 1945.
Courtesy of the Lacks family

The family of the late Henrietta Lacks finally got the chance to weigh in on how scientists use cells taken from her — without consent — more than 60 years ago.

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