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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.
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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.
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.
SCIENCE
June 5, 2004 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
Junk DNA may not be so useless after all. Scientists coined the term to describe the genetic wasteland within the human genome that consists of long stretches of DNA for which there was no known function. But researchers from Harvard Medical School said Wednesday that within junk DNA in the yeast genome they had discovered a new class of gene. It does not produce a protein or enzyme to carry out its function. But when it is turned on, it regulates a neighboring gene.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 30, 2013 | By Ari Bloomekatz
A criminal grand jury this week indicted a former Santa Clara County supervisor for false personation after he allegedly fabricated campaign mailers to discredit a San Jose City Council candidate. George Shirakawa was indicted Monday for one felony count of false personation. The Santa Clara County district attorney's office said the false personation occurred roughly between May 1 and June 8, 2010, when he "falsely personated the campaign committee entitled 'Neighbors for Magdalena Carrasco for Council 2010.' " According to the San Jose Mercury News , Shirakawa, 51, was arrested for false personation in June, but that case was quickly mired in legal maneuvers and his pending sentencing on other charges from another case.
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.
MAGAZINE
January 17, 1993
It's interesting that people who support DNA testing are prosecutors, expert witnesses for prosecutors and people who own testing laboratories. Those who oppose it are scientists with good credentials. As a scientist--a pharmacologist--I believe that lawyers and police officers desperately want science to produce a magic bullet that will ferret out criminals. Unfortunately, many of those justice officials will grasp at any technology if they believe that it will help them win convictions.
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
July 26, 2012 | By Maura Dolan, Los Angeles Times
A federal appeals court will take a second look at a California law that requires police to collect DNA from people who are arrested on suspicion of felonies, regardless of whether they are convicted. A majority of judges on the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals voted Wednesday to reconsider a split decision by a three-judge panel that had upheld the program in February. The court's decision to ask an 11-judge panel to consider the case was a setback for prosecutors, who have defended the DNA collection as a vital crime-fighting tool.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 20, 2008
State Atty. Gen. Jerry Brown has tentatively decided to provide police with partial DNA matches from California's offender database that would enable authorities to search for an unknown offender's relatives when all other leads in an investigation had been exhausted. The decision, expected to be finalized this month, means California would join at least eight other states authorized to do a form of familial searching in DNA databases. The goal is to find an offender through a relative in the database who has a similar genetic profile.
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