DNA and the Smell of Death
October 20, 2016
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To explore the cutting edge of forensic science, we look at two famous court cases -- the Amanda Knox and Casey Anthony murder trials. In these cases, emerging DNA evidence and the smell of death (yes, really) pushed the boundaries of what was technologically possible. But how reliable are they? To find out, we go to a body farm and talk to Assoc. Prof. Joan Bytheway, Asst. Prof. Sheree Hughes-Stamm, Matt Young, Dr. Arpad Vass, and Asst. Prof. Donovan Haines.
Credits This episode has been produced by Diane Wu, Shruti Ravindran, and Heather Rogers. Our senior producer is Kaitlyn Sawrey. Edited by Annie-Rose Strasser and Caitlin Kenney. Fact checking by Michelle Harris. Thanks to Joseph Lavelle Wilson, Will Doolan and Beth McMullen. Sound design and music production by Matthew Boll, mixed by Martin Peralta and Matthew Boll Music written by Bobby Lord.
2009 National Academy of Sciences and 2016 President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology reports on forensic science.
- How DNA is transferred in trace evidence.
Report on error rates in DNA forensic analysis.
Study that showed dogs could pick up the smell of a corpse 667 days later. Call to arms on improving forensic science: editorial.
- Scent of death - Belgian paper that found three out of four of Dr Arpad Vass' “human specific markers” in other animals.