Brussels Times: Interpol develops family DNA database to identify missing persons

Brussels Times: Interpol develops family DNA database to identify missing persons. “A new Interpol database will make it possible to identify a missing person through the international comparison of family DNA data, the international police cooperation organisation announced. Interpol has been using a DNA database since 2004 in order to help identify human remains that police discover, but they don’t always have a sample from a missing person.”

ScienceX: DNA ‘Lite-Brite’ is a promising way to archive data for decades or longer

ScienceX: DNA ‘Lite-Brite’ is a promising way to archive data for decades or longer. “We and our colleagues have developed a way to store data using pegs and pegboards made out of DNA and retrieving the data with a microscope—a molecular version of the Lite-Brite toy. Our prototype stores information in patterns using DNA strands spaced about 10 nanometers apart. Ten nanometers is more than a thousand times smaller than the diameter of a human hair and about 100 times smaller than the diameter of a bacterium.”

Proof of Innocence: New Arizona law opens testing national databases (AZFamily)

AZFamily: Proof of Innocence: New Arizona law opens testing national databases. “For the last 20 years, Arizona inmates have been able to petition the courts to have DNA evidence from their case run through the national database to try and prove their innocence. A new state law passed this week heading for the governor’s desk will expand access to fingerprints, firearms, and all the local and national law enforcement databases detectives use right now to solve cold cases.”

Phys .org: Researchers can store the Declaration of Independence in a single molecule

Phys .org: Researchers can store the Declaration of Independence in a single molecule. “Just how much space would you need to store all of the world’s data? A building? A block? A city? The amount of global data is estimated to be around 44 zettabytes. A 15-million-square-foot warehouse can hold 1 billion gigabytes, or .001 zettabyte. So you would need 44,000 such warehouses—which would cover nearly the entire state of West Virginia. John Chaput is hoping to change all that.”

Houston Chronicle: Houston is first city to record all major COVID strains, new study finds

Houston Chronicle: Houston is first city to record all major COVID strains, new study finds. “Since the virus was first detected in the Houston region nearly a year ago, [Dr. James] Musser’s team has sequenced more than 20,000 genomes of COVID-19. The most recent batch of roughly 3,000 genomes sequenced from patients who had tested positive for COVID-19 included variants from the United Kingdom, South Africa and Brazil.”

Science: Scientists ‘program’ living bacteria to store data

Science: Scientists ‘program’ living bacteria to store data. “Hard disks and optical drives store gigabits of digital data at the press of a button. But those technologies—like the magnetic tapes and floppy drives before them—are apt to become antiquated and unreadable when they are overtaken by new technology. Now, researchers have come up with a way to electronically write data into the DNA of living bacteria, a storage option unlikely to go obsolete any time soon.”

Wired: Cops Are Getting a New Tool For Family-Tree Sleuthing

Wired: Cops Are Getting a New Tool For Family-Tree Sleuthing. “It used to be that DNA could solve a case only if it matched the genetic profile of someone in a criminal database or an existing suspect. But the recent rise of genetic genealogy—a technique that makes it possible to identify people through relatives who have added their genetic information to genealogy databases—changed the odds. A skilled genetic genealogist can now turn an unknown DNA profile that strikes out in traditional forensic searches into a suspect’s name nearly half of the time.”

Gothamist: Advocates Accuse NYC Of Slow-Walking Promised Reductions To DNA Database

Gothamist: Advocates Accuse NYC Of Slow-Walking Promised Reductions To DNA Database. “Nearly 10 months after promising cuts to New York City’s controversial DNA database, city authorities have barely made a dent in reducing its scope, according to the city’s own records. In February, the NYPD promised to downsize the city’s DNA database, which advocates have criticized for perpetually retaining the genetic signatures of tens of thousands of residents, many of whom had their samples taken without consent.”