Genetic Forensics and Ancient DNA

Genetic Forensics and Ancient DNA

September 21, 2022
7:00 PM

Genetic Forensics and Ancient DNA
Wednesday, September 21, 2022, at the Bender JCC

Dr. Ellen Greytak
Director of Bioinformatics, Parabon NanoLabs

Advancements in the analysis of challenging DNA samples have led to groundbreaking new technologies that are revolutionizing forensic DNA analysis for law enforcement investigations and historians of ancient times.

Beyond identifying a known suspect in a database, we can now generate new leads for violent crimes by predicting the likely physical appearance of the suspect and connecting them to distant relatives in public genetic genealogy databases. These techniques have helped solve hundreds of cold cases in the last few years, many of which required analysis of tiny, highly degraded forensic DNA samples using genome sequencing.

Success on such samples has been driven by the incorporation of technological advancements from the field of ancient DNA analysis. As a demonstration of ancient and forensic DNA’s joint power, we applied our DNA phenotyping tools to ancient DNA data from Egyptian mummies.

This talk will discuss the challenges of forensic DNA, ancient DNA techniques that are helping drive success in forensic cases, and how these two fields contribute to one another to learn more about what happened decades ago in cold cases and thousands of years ago in human history.