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DNA evidence: Gotcha!

first_img“This really enhances our ability to solve residential and commercial burglaries.” She noted that the United Kingdom has been able to solve 40 percent of its property crimes using DNA technology. And in Denver, where a similar program was launched, police used DNA to capture a suspect in a series of burglaries. The Valley’s pilot program – and five others taking place nationwide – are part of a study on the use of DNA evidence in solving property crimes. Since February 2006, the LAPD has collected 548 DNA samples from 233 burglary scenes. DNA evidence is a crucial issue in California, where state officials are working on a massive expansion of the genetic data bank. Four months after the apartment burglary in North Hollywood, police identified Bone using the DNA on the cigarette. He’d had to give a saliva swab while being booked into the Los Angeles County Jail for violating parole on an earlier robbery conviction, officials said. It was that DNA sample that provided the match. Limited resources Los Angeles residents reported about 20,000 burglaries in 2006, including 7,529 in the Valley. Police estimate they’ve closed 15 percent of last year’s burglary cases in the Valley, a smaller percentage than the closure rate for murders and rapes in which DNA evidence is regularly used. But with only 19 forensic analysts to analyze thousands of cases a year and a backlog of 380 DNA requests in violent crimes, officials say they’re able to take on the burglary cases only by using the grant to contract with outside analysts. A Sheriff Department’s official said that agency faces similar personnel shortages. Using DNA in all burglary cases would double the lab’s caseload, so the department has to limit DNA evidence to investigate only serial burglaries. “We do have limited resources. We apply them to more violent crimes and, prior to this study, nobody knew how effective using DNA on burglaries would be,” said Greg Matheson, director of the LAPD’s criminalist laboratory. “But I think we have shown there is some value.” Under the grant, the LAPD can send 1,000 DNA samples to Orchid Cellmark in Texas for processing. The samples are then returned and run through federal and state DNA banks for analysis at a cost of about $400 each. Specific markers There are 23 sets of chromosomes that carry the genetic markers that determine the makeup of every individual – from gender to brain size. The LAPD looks at 13 specific markers, which are run through the state and federal DNA systems. “If we take a swab from a bottle or a doorknob, we may have 100 cells bearing DNA,” said Harry Klann Jr., a criminalist at the LAPD lab. “We can perform hundreds of tests on the small amount of DNA.” Under Proposition 69, which voters approved in 2004, the DNA of all felony suspects will be collected and analyzed beginning in 2009. Samples from convicted felons and those arrested on suspicion of murder and rape are already being logged into the system. By 2008, the state expects to have more than 1 million DNA profiles in its databank. California has the country’s largest DNA bank, with more than 730,000 genetic profiles and a backlog of 130,000. It generated 261 matches in January alone. “As the data bank grows, our ability to solve all type of crimes where biological evidence can be found at the crime scene expands exponentially,” said Nathan Barankin, a spokesman for the California Attorney General’s Office. “We are seeing a huge increase in the number of database entries,” he said. [email protected] (818) 713-3741 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! The burglar rifled through the North Hollywood apartment, taking a moment to smoke a hand-rolled cigarette before fleeing with a laptop computer, a video camera and some beer. With no witnesses and few other clues, police were hard-pressed to find the culprit. But the cigarette butt left on the kitchen counter gave them the break they needed, providing a source of DNA that led them to arrest suspect Daniel Bone, 32. “He should be called `Bonehead’ for leaving that cigarette butt,” prosecutor James Falco said. “Criminals are not the brightest of people. And DNA evidence is a powerful effective tool to identify and prosecute perpetrators of crime. The beauty of DNA is that you are talking about frequency levels like one in 3 trillion – that’s how powerful it is. “It eliminates everyone else in the world (as a suspect).” Best known for its ability to help identify suspects in murder and rape cases, DNA evidence is increasingly being used by law enforcement to solve burglaries. A $500,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Justice is providing the Los Angeles Police Department with the resources to analyze the saliva, blood and other body fluids that suspects leave at the scene of burglaries in the San Fernando Valley. Bone, who has pleaded not guilty and has another hearing scheduled this month in Van Nuys Superior Court, was the first burglary suspect in Los Angeles to be prosecuted based on DNA evidence. Nineteen others have since been identified. “It’s an important step for the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, Los Angeles city and the LAPD to be using DNA banking in property crime,” said Lisa Kahn, forensic sciences adviser for the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office. last_img

Press release: Gauteng – an attractive and competitive investment destination

first_imgThere are more than R300-billion worth of investment opportunities in Gauteng that are still to be tapped into. The Inspire Gauteng Tourism, Trade and Investment Conference taking place this week will showcase these opportunities.The Cradle of Humankind in Maropeng will host the Inspire Gauteng Tourism, Trade and Investment Conference, which looks to raise awareness about the investment opportunities that exist within the province. (Image: Gauteng Film Commission)Johannesburg, Monday 23 October 2017 – Brand South Africa will join the Department of Tourism and the Gauteng Growth Development Agency in partnering with Inspire Gauteng Tourism , Trade and Investment Conference and Exhibition on Tuesday 24 and Wednesday 25 October 2017, at Maropeng Cradle of Humankind.The aim of the conference and exhibition is to raise awareness around the R300 Billion plus investment opportunities and ease of setting up and doing business in the Gauteng province, thus positioning the province as a much sought-after investment destination.Themed “Unleashing Gauteng’s Investment Potential through Smart Partnerships, Economic Cooperation and Industrialisation” the main objective is to create a platform that will introduce national and international business partners to the vast opportunities available to further industrialize and create employment opportunities within the Gauteng Province.Media are invited to attend as follows:Date: 24-25 October 2017Time: 8:00 for 8:30Venue: Maropeng Cradle of HumankindRSVP: [email protected] the conversation #CompetitiveSAlast_img read more

Twitter’s Open Engineering Initiative Gets Official Launch

first_imgA Comprehensive Guide to a Content Audit Tags:#twitter#web For those interested in the nitty-gritty, day-to-day challenges of developing and maintaining Twitter’s products and features, this blog will keep them up to date. Current posts include information on local trends, capacity issues and uses for Twitter’s translation libraries.They’re Hiring! The Dos and Don’ts of Brand Awareness Videos Guide to Performing Bulk Email Verification jolie odell Related Posts For the past couple weeks, we’ve been following some interesting developments with Twitter – things that most end users probably would not know or care about.As we suspected, the quickly growing company is putting more emphasis on engineering, taking “steps… to make our engineering division more open and transparent,” according to the team’s infrastructure manager, Evan Weaver. “Much of Twitter’s success has been enabled by open-source software, and we want to give back,” he continues. And there’s a lot of giving back going on, from a new blog to new recruiting efforts. Read on, and let us know your opinions in the comments.An Open Source Directory This new directory lists all the public software that Twitter’s in-house developers have created or contributed to. “Everyone is welcome to use this software for their own projects,” Weaver wrote, “and if the project is Twitter-related, so much the better.”The Official Twitter Engineering Blog The icing on the cake is Twitter’s new recruitment methods. “We’ve updated our job descriptions to better reflect our company culture and the skills we’re looking for,” wrote Weaver. “My team is looking for performance, systems, and Ruby engineers, but the company is hiring across all groups, so check out our full listings.” Twitter also recently launched a recruitment Twitter account, with updates on blog posts and new openings.Finally, you can follow Twitter Engineering on Twitter – duh. Facebook is Becoming Less Personal and More Pro…last_img read more

10 months agoTorino going back to Chelsea for second loan signing

first_imgTagsTransfersLoan MarketAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Torino going back to Chelsea for second loan signingby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveTorino are going back to Chelsea this month for a second loan signing.After the success of Ola Aina this season, Toro now want to sign his Chelsea teammate, Lucas Piazon.The Granata plan to move to Piazon this month, with plans for an initial loan arrangement.The Brazilian is tied to Chelsea until 2020, though has struggled for first team action as a Blues player.The most success Piazon has enjoyed in England was a loan spell with Fulham in the Championship. last_img read more

How Penn State Can Still Make The College Football Playoff

13Auburn def. Alabama37.732.3+5.3 Which of Penn State’s games holds the most weight?PSU’s remaining 2017 matchups by the impact they have on the team’s playoff chances 13Michigan def. Ohio State35.419.2+16.3 12Nebraska99.892.4+7.4 10NC State def. Clemson41.530.6+10.9 13Maryland99.688.8+10.8 11Michigan State def. Ohio State16.17.0+9.1 Each week in this space, we examine all the things a certain contending team needs to have happen in order for it to make the College Football Playoff. This week, we look at the Penn State Nittany Lions, who suffered their first loss of the season Saturday after a fourth-quarter collapse on the road against Ohio State.Current situation: Undefeated and ranked No. 2 in the country, Penn State had a clear playoff path laid out in front of it — provided it could beat the Buckeyes, that is, in what was the program’s biggest game since the late 1990s. The Nittany Lions scored on the game’s first play and held control for three quarters, but Ohio State kept chipping away at PSU’s lead late, capping off a 19-3 fourth-quarter run with a go-ahead touchdown pass from which Penn State never recovered. Now ranked seventh in the first edition of the CFP committee rankings, the Lions have only a 14 percent chance of making the playoff, according to the FiveThirtyEight model.What the Lions can do: Because the loss came relatively late in the season, it left Penn State without much time to rebuild its playoff status. Even if the Lions win the rest of their games, our model gives them only a 20 percent chance of making the playoff. One important factor driving that number is a lack of opportunities for another signature win down the season’s final stretch: According to ESPN’s Football Power Index, Penn State’s future strength of schedule ranks just 67th in the country — easily the worst among the top 15 teams in the country by FPI. The only ranked team remaining on Penn State’s schedule (assuming it doesn’t go to the Big Ten championship) is Michigan State — and if PSU beats Michigan State, the Spartans will surely lose their ranking, which is currently only No. 24. With this weak slate of remaining games, it will be difficult for the Lions to impress the committee solely with their performance on the field before season’s end.Even so, here are the most important games left in the regular season for Penn State, based on the biggest difference in winning percentages between our simulations where the Lions make the playoff and ones where they don’t: WKOPPONENTMAKES PLAYOFFDOESN’T MAKE PLAYOFFDIFF. The other games that need to go right for the Nittany LionsNon-Penn State matchups that have the biggest impact on the team’s playoff chances 11Stanford def. Washington46.440.7+5.7 Differences may not add up because of rounding. 13Stanford def. Notre Dame43.435.7+7.7 Where they need help: As if losing to the Buckeyes wasn’t enough, Penn State fans now need to keep a close eye on every Ohio State game from here out. Because the teams share a division and because OSU now holds a head-to-head tiebreaker over Penn State, Ohio State will need to lose twice in conference play to give PSU a shot at winning the East. That’s not very likely; our model gives Ohio State a 44 percent chance of winning every remaining regular-season game, much less winning at least three of four. But OSU’s best chances to lose will come in its games at Iowa this weekend and at Michigan on Nov. 25, so those are also Penn State’s highest-leverage games left in the season (aside from the Lions’ own matchup against Michigan State on Saturday). 10Iowa def. Ohio State34.1%12.7%+21.5 PROBABILITY BY PENN STATE OUTCOME 13Georgia Tech def. Georgia29.522.9+6.6 11Rutgers99.996.3+3.6 10Michigan State99.4%79.2%+20.1 11Miami (FL) def. Notre Dame42.035.2+6.8 13South Carolina def. Clemson27.521.2+6.3 WKRESULTMAKES PLAYOFFDOESN’T MAKE PLAYOFFDIFF. PENN STATE WIN % BY OUTCOME Based on two sets of simulations: one where the team makes the playoff and one where it doesn’t. Differences may not add up exactly because of rounding. Of course, it’s also possible that the committee could slot in both Penn State and Ohio State come selection day. (In 28 percent of simulations where the Lions make the CFP, the Buckeyes are also in, making OSU Penn State’s fourth-most-likely playoff “companion” behind Alabama, Georgia and Clemson.) But the chance of two Big Ten teams making the playoff is pretty remote; our model gives it an 8.3 percent probability of happening, mainly because it would require some major shakeups elsewhere in the country — most likely losses by Clemson, Washington, Notre Dame and/or one of the Big 12 front-runners — to clear space. And although the most common combination among those multiple-Big Ten-playoff-team universes features Penn State and Ohio State making the playoff together (47 percent of the times that two Big Ten teams make it), our model assigns a 27 percent chance to a scenario where Ohio State and Wisconsin are the Big Ten picks, and the Nittany Lions are left out.1And in 22 of our 20,000 simulations — or 0.1 percent of the time — three Big Ten teams somehow make the playoff.But maybe that’s also an area where the model doesn’t have enough information yet. If Wisconsin and OSU are on a collision course in the Big Ten championship (and they appear to be), then those Badger-Buckeye universes would mean that the committee selected a conference title-game loser for a playoff spot. That may not be very realistic: In 12 chances over three seasons, only once — Ohio State in 2016 — did the real-life committee pick a team that didn’t win its conference (and those Buckeyes didn’t lose their championship game but rather missed it entirely on a tiebreaker).That should give Penn State hope that its current odds are being slightly understated by our model — that if they just keep winning and get a little lucky, the Lions could slip in as a second Big Ten playoff bid at the very least. Then again, if college football’s playoff era has proven nothing else, it’s that the committee might do something we’ve never seen before. We’ll see whether that works in Penn State’s favor or not.Check out our latest college football predictions. Also, see what it will take for Notre Dame, Clemson, Washington and Oklahoma to still make the playoff. read more