In Appleton, WI, DNA testing is being used to help solve a 50 year old murder mystery puzzle. According to the Associated Press, Winnebago County authorities are using new DNA testing technology to solve a murder mystery that reaches back into the 1960s.
In 1963 Wayne Pratt was stabbed over 50 times and died at a gas station between Neenah and Oshkosh, Wisconsin. And though there were plenty of suspects and potential people that could have committed the crime, there was not enough evidence to charge or convict anyone. Now, 50 years after the brutal murder of Wayne Pratt, the Winnebago County Sheriff’s Office is sending archived evidence to a state crime lab for DNA testing. They are hoping that the DNA test will reveal who the murderer was so that they can potentially be charged for the crime.
According to Sherriff John Matz, “DNA opens a lot of doors.” Included in that statement were comments regarding what they considered to be the most important pieces of evidence from the Pratt case. The evidence includes dried blood from different items found at the scene of the murder.
Heralding use of DNA testing for cold cases was Brian O’Keefe, an administrator of law enforcement for the Wisconsin Department of Justice. Mr. O’Keefe claims that DNA testing is the primary reason why cold cases are not being solved, and indicated that more cases could follow in the future.
“[DNA testing] is such a powerful tool. It can bring justice to a family who has lost somebody,” O’Keefe said.
At DNA Services of America we are proud to offer forensic DNA testing. Similar to the state lab that will analyze the evidence from the Pratt murder, we are able to analyze police evidence of blood and tissue samples and identify what DNA material belongs to whom. With advances in DNA testing, it will soon be commonplace to solve these cold cases and to prevent further cold cases from developing. We have the means and technology to ensure that criminals do not evade justice for their crimes and that they will be held responsible.
DNA Services of America is located in Lafayette, Louisiana, and has relationships with Service Centers and laboratories throughout the United States to provide DNA testing services for everyone.
In news of the weird, it appears that there is a development among some people to test DNA to determine if they are a match for romantic love. Currently there is no science or proof that DNA has anything to do with love and romance, but according to Professor Michael Gillings, a biologist from Macquarie University in Australia, DNA testing for romantic compatibility is, “… inevitable, because it’s going to be really easy to do. It’s quick, cheap… and you’ll be able to buy it off the shelf and just do it.”
Currently, DNA testing might be able to reveal the likelihood of whether or not someone is predisposed to cheat or to make long-term commitments. This is possible by profiling genes that control neurotransmitters such as oxytocin and vasopressin. Oxytocin is a hormone believed to a key to a person’s ability to commit, while vasopressin is a hormone that helps regulate fidelity.
Dr. Gillings further said, “When you are going out with a new guy, you could get a sample of his DNA, sequence it and say, ‘I’m not going out with him, he’s got a tiny part of his gene that would be a good prediction he is going to be promiscuous.”
Currently DNA Services of America does not perform the test necessary to identify oxytocin and vasopressin. However, DNA Services of America is cautious of the ethical situation that arises in taking specimens from unwitting and unknowing partners to genetically test them.
DNA Services of America wants to remind everyone that currently this is still a theory of Dr. Gillings and has not been proven to be true or even significant in laboratory settings. Test is ongoing as to whether or not Dr. Gillings is accurate about the hormone and how it can affect people.
DNA Services of America offers DNA testing services determining paternity and other family relationship services, infidelity, ancestry and forensic DNA testing. DNA Services of America is a national brand and has relationship with only the highest quality laboratories available.
In recent DNA testing news, Dr. Storch of Washington University has developed a test to determine the nature of infectious fevers, identifying them as either viral or bacterial in nature. This discovery will lead to medical professionals begin able to more appropriate prescribe correct medications to combat infections.
Fevers are the most common manifest symptom of an infection; however up until Dr. Storch’s research, it was extremely difficult to determine if the fever was the result of a bacterial or viral infection. Gregory Storch, a pediatrician and infectious disease researcher at Washington University in St. Louis, along with his colleagues, has developed a simple test to measure gene activity in children to determine the nature of infectious fevers. Using this gene test, Dr. Storch was able to distinguish the difference between bacteria fevers and those caused by viruses.
When a person has a fever, the activity of hundreds of genes change as the immune system responds to the infection. By gauging the response of 18 specific genes, Dr. Storch and his team could correctly distinguish between bacterial and viral infections with 90% confidence in the results. Dr. Storch is also working on identifying which microbes caused the viral infection, which can lead to further specific diagnosis and targeted treatment options.
This is great news for appropriately treating and caring for different types of infections. The treatment for bacterial and viral infections is vastly different and use different medicines as they interact differently with the body and the body reacts to them differently. This distinction is difficult for medical professionals to distinguish, however, as the symptoms to both are nearly identical. Upon completion and mass availability of Dr. Storch’s test, medical professionals will be able to reduce the amount of antibiotic prescribed to patients.
DNA Services of America does not specifically provide medical testing; however one of their core specialties is forensic DNA testing. The application of Dr. Storch’s test could help lead police and other law enforcement agencies to determine cases of wrongful death from medical malpractice. Currently, Dr. Storch’s technique isn’t ready or available for clinical testing, but Storch is working on providing the test as soon as he is able.