DNA

Shawn Hempel, 123rf Stock Photo

State officials say every certified law enforcement agency in Kentucky has adopted sexual assault response policies. 

Can New DNA Science Help Keep Our Fish Safe?

Jan 29, 2017

Biologist Shaun Clements stands in the winter mist in a coastal Oregon forest, holding a small vial of clear liquid.

"We should be safe mixing it now, right?" he asks his colleague, Kevin Weitemier, above the sound of a rushing stream a few feet away.

Weitemier brings a second vial, full of stream water. In deliberate, seemingly choreographed movements, they pour the liquid back and forth between the small containers, mixing two, then three times — never spilling a drop.

Imagine being able to collect the DNA of a human ancestor who's been dead for tens of thousands of years from the dirt on the floor of a cave. Sounds fantastic, but scientists in Germany think they may be able to do just that. If they're successful, it could open a new door into understanding the extinct relatives of humans.

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Attorney General Andy Beshear’s office is providing law enforcement agencies a set of resources and guidelines to aid in investigating results of more than 3,000 backlogged rape kits. 

The so-called SAFE ‘tool kit’ includes instructions for managing the results, pre-planning investigations, reviewing DNA results and notifying and interviewing victims.  

Shawn Hempel, 123rf Stock Photo

Police would collect DNA samples from Kentuckians arrested for felony crimes under legislation that passed a Senate committee Thursday. The DNA samples would then be sent to the Kentucky State Police crime lab, where they would be uploaded to an FBI database. 

Editor's note: This post was updated Feb. 3, 2016, at 12:25 pm to include a statement from the Food and Drug Administration and a comment from Mark Sauer.

Would it be ethical for scientists to try to create babies that have genetic material from three different people? An influential panel of experts has concluded the answer could be yes.

The Kentucky Department of Corrections has outlined a plan to remedy a faulty DNA collection system for convicted felons months after the Office of the Inspector General reported that more than 16,000 DNA samples were missing.

In 2009, the state legislature passed a bill requiring the collection of DNA samples from convicted felons. So the Department of Corrections delegated that responsibility to its probation and parole officers. But this summer, the inspector general's  investigation found that that this wasn’t happening.


The House has passed a bill that would require police to take DNA samples from people they arrest on felony charges. The vote was 68 to 27 Thursday. The bill will proceed to the Senate for consideration.

If the measure becomes law, Kentucky would join the federal government and 25 states that take DNA samples from felony arrestees. The U.S. Supreme Court this year will consider the constitutionality of the testing based on a Maryland case.

The House Judiciary Committee has passed a bill that will require police to take DNA samples when they arrest people on felony charges. If the measure is approved by the full Legislature, Kentucky would join 25 other states that take DNA samples from felony arrestees.

The vote was unanimous and will proceed to the full House for consideration.