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Identification Technology

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  • FDA wins high-profile support in consumer genetics kerfuffle

    FDA wins high-profile support in consumer genetics kerfuffle
    When the Food & Drug Administration last November ordered the Mountain View, Calif.-based firm 23andMe to stop marketing its health-related genetic test kit to consumers, the ensuing debate took on a "rage against the machine" tenor. Entrepreneurs, patients' rights advocates and genetics geeks across the country argued that the plodding, risk-averse regulators of the FDA had neither the right nor the expertise to insert themselves between people wishing to own whatever mysteries their genes contained, and a company that promised to deliver such information.
  • In Torrance Police Department, forensics is women's work

    Gabrielle Wimer was nine months pregnant and working a crime scene when she found the closest thing to a smoking gun for a forensic specialist: a clean, detailed fingerprint. "I was like, 'Oh, I got a beautiful print right here,'" she recalled. "And I...

    Review: 'The Poisoner's Handbook' on PBS: forensic medicine's birth

    Review: 'The Poisoner's Handbook' on PBS: forensic medicine's birth
    Debuting Tuesday as part of the PBS series "American Experience," "The Poisoner's Handbook" offers a fascinating look back at how the chemical age changed police work. Based on Deborah Blum's 2010 book "The Poisoner's Handbook: Murder and the Birth of...

    23andMe's genetic tests are more misleading than helpful

    23andMe's genetic tests are more misleading than helpful
    Cutting edge companies often walk a tightrope between regulators trying to keep their technologies under control and marketers trying to push them out to consumers as fast as possible. That's where a Silicon Valley company named 23andMe is today. The...

    Texas scholar's work to ID immigrant corpses is gratifying — and sad

    Texas scholar's work to ID immigrant corpses is gratifying — and sad
    The forensic anthropologist lifted a thighbone from the skeleton arrayed on her metal lab table and studied the fine cracks traversing its surface, gray and weathered as driftwood. Associate professor Lori Baker, 44, set the bone down and cradled the...