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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 24, 2014 | By Ari Bloomekatz
In July 1980, authorities found 15-year-old Stacy Knappenberger beaten, stabbed to death and sexually assaulted in her Oxnard home.  On Thursday, more than three decades later, a Ventura County Superior Court judge ruled there was enough evidence to charge an Alabama man -- 66-year-old Thomas Coalt Young -- with the crime, according to the Ventura County Star. Knappenberger's case went cold until a task force was able to use DNA evidence to connect Young with the crime. Young will be arraigned in February.
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SCIENCE
June 1, 2012 | By Eryn Brown, Los Angeles Times
Harvard biologists have brought new meaning to the term "fine print" by devising microscopic tiles made of DNA that self-assemble into letters, Chinese characters, emoticons and other shapes. More than mere doodling , their advance, detailed this week in the journal Nature, could make it easier and cheaper to build tiny DNA devices capable of delivering drugs or aiding the study of biochemistry, scientists said. "This technique will accelerate the research field of DNA nanotechnology," said Ebbe Sloth Andersen, a researcher at Aarhus University in Denmark who collaborated on an editorial that accompanied the report.
SCIENCE
May 26, 2012 | By Eryn Brown, Los Angeles Times
Silicon-based computers are fine for typing term papers and surfing the Web, but scientists want to make devices that can work on a far smaller scale, recording data within individual cells. One way to do that is to create a microscopic hard drive out of DNA, the molecule that already stores the genetic blueprints of all living things. Stanford University bioengineer Drew Endy is a pioneer in the field of synthetic biology, which aims to turn the basic building blocks of nature into tools for designing living machines.
SCIENCE
May 22, 2013 | By Eryn Brown
Researchers reported Wednesday that they had sequenced the genome of the Norway spruce, a giant evergreen native to Europe that has also been planted widely in parts of North America. Published in the journal Nature, the catalog of the tree's DNA was notable for its length. The human genome is made up of about 3 billion pairs of DNA base letters, which store all the genetic information needed to make a person. The Norway spruce genome was nearly seven times longer, at 20 billion base pairs.
SCIENCE
August 15, 2013 | By Eryn Brown
The state of California has been a leader in the use of familial DNA searches -- investigations that seek out crime suspects by taking unidentified crime scene DNA, looking in a state DNA database for people who are partial matches to that sample, and then track down those close relatives of the suspect to help chase down the ultimate target. A familial DNA search helped police nab 'Grim Sleeper' suspect Lonnie Franklin Jr. in 2010. By and large, according a report released Wednesday, California's system hits the mark: It finds parents, children and siblings in the database dependably, and it's unlikely to match a sample with a completely unrelated person.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 22, 2013 | By Jack Leonard, Los Angeles Times
Opening a new frontier for solving cold cases, California prosecutors are hunting for DNA from killers, rapists and other prison inmates who died before authorities obtained their genetic profiles. Prosecutors from Sacramento, Los Angeles and Orange counties are sifting through old court exhibits and examining long-since forgotten crime-scene evidence in search of blood, saliva and other material that can be tested for DNA. Once obtained, the DNA is compared with the genetic profiles from unsolved cases that have DNA from unidentified perpetrators.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 21, 2013 | By Anh Do
DNA evidence helped authorities nab a suspect in a Rancho Cucamonga murder nearly 17 years after the killing, authorities said Friday. Gabriel Bencomo was arrested Thursday in the Aug. 4, 1996, shooting death of Joseph Anguiano. Bencomo allegedly targeted Anguiano in front of Anguiano's home in the 8800 block of Hermosa Avenue. Anguiano later died at Loma Linda University Medical Center. The case remained unsolved until this week's development. The sheriff's cold case team reopened the investigation in 2010, combing through more evidence, according to officials.
NATIONAL
October 25, 2012 | By Jenny Deam and Michael Muskal
GOLDEN, Colo. - A Colorado teenager has confessed to authorities in the abduction and killing of 10-year-old Jessica Ridgeway, prosecutors said Thursday as suspect Austin Reed Sigg made his first court appearance in the case that galvanized a suburban Denver community. Wearing green jail pants and a separate top, Sigg, 17, seemed alert. He said little as he appeared before District Judge Ann Gail Meinster in what was technically a juvenile proceeding. The judge decided to hold Sigg without bail, pending an appearance Tuesday where he will be charged as an adult.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 8, 2010 | By Maura Dolan, Joel Rubin and Mitchell Landsberg, Los Angeles Times
For well over two decades, the killer had eluded police. His victims, most of them prostitutes in South Los Angeles, had lived on the margins of society, and their deaths left few useful clues aside from the DNA of the man who had sexually assaulted them in the moments before their deaths. A sweep of state prisons in 2008 failed to come up with the killer or anyone related to him. Then, last Wednesday, startling news came to the LAPD: A second "familial search" of prisons had come up with a convict whose DNA indicated that he was a close relative of the serial killer suspected of killing at least 10 women.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 13, 2014 | By Ari Bloomekatz
Authorities say they were able to use DNA evidence to track down a man who they say brutally beat and raped a 29-year-old woman in her apartment in 2012. The woman, who has not been identified, woke up at 6 a.m. Oct. 27 in her Rowland Heights apartment as Pablo Reyes Bautista, 26, attacked her, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. The break in the case came when DNA recently entered by the suspect resulted in a match from a national database. Bautista was arrested "after an extensive manhunt" in Atwater Village, the department said.
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