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Just Science Podcast: Just Identifying Individuals with Forensic Genetic Genealogy

NCJ Number
Dr. Heather McKiernan; Ashley Rodriguez
Date Published
September 2022

In episode one of the Applications of Forensic Science for Human Identification season, Just Science sat down with Dr. Heather McKiernan, a Research Forensic Scientist at RTI International, and Ashley Rodriguez, a Research Public Health Analyst at RTI International, to discuss the use of forensic genetic genealogy in identifying human remains. Oftentimes, unknown human remains are recovered fully or partially skeletonized with no close biological relatives in CODIS to facilitate identification. Therefore, combining non-traditional DNA testing with genealogical methods and research has become a powerful investigative tool to bring closure to families. Listen along as Dr. McKiernan and Ashley discuss how forensic genetic genealogy differs from searching a DNA profile in CODIS, what limitations exist when using DNA technologies to identify unknown remains, and the importance of familial reference samples.

Date Published: September 1, 2022