The ISHI Report

Letter from the Editor

Greetings from Madison, Wisconsin. We hope this edition of the ISHI Report finds you well.

The latest ISHI Report is packed with updates from the field of forensics. The topic of genetic genealogy is top of mind in large part for its effectiveness in solving cold cases when all else has failed. Andrew Macleod from King’s College in London will describe how genetic genealogy is being used to bring justice to victims of sex trafficking. Swathi Kumar will expand on the talk she gave at ISHI to provide an update on the GEDmatch database. The database continues to be one of the best tools available to research genetic pedigrees and is a valuable tool for investigative genetic genealogy.

Dr. Angie Ambers describes how DNA testing using multiple parallel sequencing was done on two sets of adult skeletal remains recovered from the 17th century La Belle shipwreck. These remains were from the last expedition of the French explorer La Salle. Sergeant Jarrett Morris and Detective Brice Bruenig of the Santa Barbara Sheriff's Office share how Rapid DNA testing is changing the way that labs process samples and increase their efficiency, and Dr. Ambers shares how the technology was used to resolve a case of mistaken burial.

Also, our colleague Ken Doyle explores population genetics and what examining ancient DNA can tell us about humanity's past, and the latest OSAC for Forensic Science updates are shared.

Many of you joined us for the first virtual International Symposium on Human Identification. We had the largest audience ever participating with more than 2500 people tuning in. A brief recap of ISHI 32 describes what you missed if you didn’t attend. If you missed the keynote presentation led by CeCe Moore and Paul Fronczak, you can watch it in its entirety on our YouTube channel. The twists and turns of Paul's story continue to fascinate and we've asked him to provide us with an update.

Finally, we are excited to launch a new video series in collaboration with Othram. This series will launch in the new year and will highlight how a multi-disciplinary approach coupled with the latest DNA technologies and forensic genetic genealogy is closing the coldest of cases.

If you would like to play a part in next year’s meeting scheduled for September 14-17 at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort, consider submitting a workshop proposal. The deadline for workshop proposals will be January 10, 2021. In the event that ISHI 32 can’t safely be held in person we will again host the symposium in a virtual format.

You can find the latest information on plans for ISHI 32 by visiting the official symposium website, Visit often to keep up with the latest news in DNA forensics.

We hope you enjoy the fall issue. As always, we welcome your ideas and written contributions to our publication.

Stay well,

The Editorial Board