The ISHI Report

Letter from the Editor

Greetings from Madison, Wisconsin. This issue of The ISHI Report finds us looking forward to warmer weather and the beginning of the end of life under COVID.

The past year has been a slog for many of us. Some have experienced the loss of a friend or family member, financial hardships and emotional stress. During this difficult time, we know that many of you have stepped up to help in ways both great and small. To recognize and amplify these uplifting examples, we invite you to tell us how you have helped your community cope. Share your own efforts or nominate a friend. Look for details on the Unsung Heroes project in this issue to participate.

Additional features in the Spring ISHI Report include a conversation with Steven Micheletti, a population geneticist at 23andMe. We learned about his groundbreaking research on how the slave trade has impacted the genetic landscape of the Americas. He shares some surprising findings.

Rapid DNA has been successfully used for multiple applications including mass disasters, local DNA databases and providing quick relationship testing. Guest author Julie French shares her thoughts on the benefits of adopting Rapid DNA into a sample processing workflow and provides insights on how to get started in your own laboratory.

Our colleague Ken Doyle explores how Bayes' Theorem continues to be applied to forensic cases. Author Sharon Bertsch McGrayne further explores Bayes' Theorem in her book, The Theory That Would Not Die: How Bayes’ Rule Cracked the Enigma Code, Hunted Down Russian Submarines, and Emerged Triumphant from Two Centuries of Controversy, and will be presenting on this topic during ISHI 32.

You too, can play a part at ISHI by presenting a scientific talk or interesting case study (abstract deadline June 14). If you prefer, submit an abstract for poster presentations (deadline July 12). All abstracts will be reviewed by an outside committee and selected based on perceived relevance for the forensic community. Abstracts can be submitted through this online portal.

If you are student in the forensic field, consider applying to become an ISHI Ambassador. Students selected for the program will receive free registration for ISHI 32 including workshops. Details on the application process can be found on page 11. We also caught up with our former Student Ambassadors on page 4 to hear more about what they are up to now.

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. At this time we are moving forward with an in person event. If the situation changes so it becomes unsafe to hold an in person meeting, we will offer a virtual alternative. Answers to our most asked questions can be found here.

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

Stay well,

The Editorial Board