Tag Archives: Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory

Unknown Child on the Titanic – Part IV (Conclusion)


When AFDIL attempted an identification through Y-DNA, I was asked by my colleague Dr. Odile Loreille to find a Y-DNA reference for Sidney Goodwin.  We were just finishing up the identification of The Hand in the Snow, so she knew I was … Continue reading

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Unknown Child on the Titanic – Part III


To understand what happened next, you have to know a little about mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA).  Mitochondrial DNA is contained in small, football-shaped inclusions outside the nucleus of a cell. It’s widely believed that mitochondria were once independent bacteria that invaded … Continue reading

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Unknown Child on the Titanic – Part II


After eight and a half decades, there was little left of the child’s body. Only a small piece of wrist bone and the crowns of three tiny baby teeth had survived the inclement weather and damp, slightly acidic soil. In the … Continue reading

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Unknown Child on the Titanic – Part I


On April 20-23 1912, on its mission from Halifax to salvage remains from the Titanic, the crew of the cable ship Mackay-Bennett pulled 306 bodies from the frigid waters of the north Atlantic. Only one of them, body No. 4, … Continue reading

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Maurice Conway


The best part of our projects is the good friendships we form with the people whose lives we  touch.  On our recent trip to Ireland, Andy and I visited with Maurice Conway and his family in Co. Limerick.  Maurice provided the DNA … Continue reading

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The Hand in the Snow


Our blog would not be complete without a mention of The Hand in the Snow.  This was our first big military identification case with the Armed Forces DNA ID Laboratory, performed with a dream team of top forensic scientists.  Our successful … Continue reading

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