Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Texas Creates DNA Database To Identify Missing Persons

Date:
March 18, 2003
Source:
University Of North Texas Health Science Center
Summary:
Texas' new missing persons DNA database is generating a fresh sense of hope for people involved in the search for missing persons, including families worried about a missing loved one, detectives and medical examiners.

Texas' new missing persons DNA database is generating a fresh sense of hope for people involved in the search for missing persons, including families worried about a missing loved one, detectives and medical examiners.

The DNA Identity Lab at the University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth developed the database over the past two years and started accepting DNA samples Jan. 1, 2003. Its staff of forensic geneticists will use a direct link to the Federal Bureau of Investigation to expand the search beyond Texas' borders.

The lab's forensic experts will first focus on cases involving children. They will eventually help in a variety of missing persons cases, including cases involving kidnapped children, runaways, the physically or mentally disabled, and those missing after a catastrophe.

UNTHSC is working closely with the Texas Department of Public Safety and its Missing Persons Clearinghouse to raise awareness of the Texas DNA database.

"In Texas alone, 70,000 people are reported missing each year, and 90 percent of them are under 18," said Heidi Fischer, program specialist with the clearinghouse. "Many of these cases are closed relatively quickly, but some remain open for years."

Fischer said the Texas DNA database offers the clearinghouse a new avenue to solve open cases that are beyond the scope of such traditional identification efforts as fingerprints or dental records. When detectives have only skeletal remains or fragments of bone, they must turn to DNA testing. Cases with only the smallest fragments of materials like strands of hair or samples in bad condition, the more specialized mitochondrial DNA testing is the only option.

The health science center's DNA lab is one of only 17 facilities in North America capable of conducting mitochondrial DNA analysis and the only medical school linked to the FBI's CODIS system, said Art Eisenberg, PhD, director of the DNA Identity Lab at the health science center.

"As the database and facility grow, the hope and success of identifying missing family members will grow as well. UNTHSC could expand our DNA services beyond Texas' borders and become one of the nation's regional hubs for the collection and analysis of missing persons DNA data," Eisenberg said.

The state legislature established the Texas Missing Persons DNA Database in 2001 with $1 million from the Crime Victims' Compensation Fund. State Senator Chris Harris and State Rep. Charlie Geren sponsored the legislation.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Of North Texas Health Science Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of North Texas Health Science Center. "Texas Creates DNA Database To Identify Missing Persons." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 March 2003. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/03/030318074425.htm>.
University Of North Texas Health Science Center. (2003, March 18). Texas Creates DNA Database To Identify Missing Persons. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/03/030318074425.htm
University Of North Texas Health Science Center. "Texas Creates DNA Database To Identify Missing Persons." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/03/030318074425.htm (accessed April 18, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, April 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) The breakthrough could mean a cure for some serious diseases and even the possibility of human cloning, but it's all still a way off. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obama: 8 Million Healthcare Signups

Obama: 8 Million Healthcare Signups

AP (Apr. 17, 2014) President Barack Obama gave a briefing Thursday announcing 8 million people have signed up under the Affordable Care Act. He blasted continued Republican efforts to repeal the law. (April 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Is Apathy A Sign Of A Shrinking Brain?

Is Apathy A Sign Of A Shrinking Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) A recent study links apathetic feelings to a smaller brain. Researchers say the results indicate a need for apathy screening for at-risk seniors. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A new study conducted by researchers at Northwestern and Harvard suggests even casual marijuana use can alter your brain. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins