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ENTERTAINMENT
May 12, 2016 | By Howard Gensler
P RINCE has an heir. According to the heir. We've been waiting for this to happen since the purple music icon died without a clear line of inheritance. Nature abhors a vaccum, and here to fill that vacuum is 39-year-old Carlin Q. Williams , of Kansas City, Mo. He's a Colorado prison inmate who has filed a paternity claim with a Minnesota court against the Prince estate and is seeking DNA testing to determine if Prince is his biological father. In an accompanying affidavit, his mom, Marsha Henson , contends that she conceived Williams while having sex with Prince at a Kansas City hotel in July of 1976.
NEWS
April 25, 2002 | By Faye Flam INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
The coiled molecules of DNA in human cells carry a unique chemical code that can match a trace of blood, semen, skin or hair to the person who left it. DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) carries its code in four characters denoted by the letters A,T, C, and G. But no microscope is powerful enough to see how this code is arranged on a given DNA molecule, so science must use more indirect methods to read it. Forensics laboratories use several different methods for determining whether two samples indeed carry identical stretches of code.
LIVING
July 3, 2000 | By Faye Flam, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
They seemed unlikely candidates to make one of the pivotal discoveries of the 20th century. Francis H.C. Crick was a 35-year-old Ph.D. candidate who had abandoned physics, hoping to find his niche in biology. James D. Watson was a gawky-looking 24-year-old who rarely bothered to tie his shoelaces. Both scientists were supposed to be working on other things, but they believed fervently that the most important scientific problem of their time was the mystery of inheritance - how everything from diseases to hair color to the very instructions to make a human being was passed on from generation to generation.
NEWS
June 3, 2004 | By Thomas J. Gibbons Jr. INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
A man arrested recently in Puerto Rico for domestic offenses resembles the composite of the Fairmount Park rapist, city police said yesterday, adding that the suspect has lived in Philadelphia. As a result, the man, whose name was not released, has agreed to provide DNA that will be compared with evidence collected in the murder and rape of medical student Rebecca Park in Fairmount Park and the rape of another woman off Kelly Drive. The Fairmount Park assailant is also suspected of a third attack on the West River Drive in which the victim managed to fight off her attacker.
NEWS
October 12, 2006 | By Pam Lobley
Do you have the feeling you're related to someone famous? Maybe it's an uncanny sense that Mozart was your ancestor. Or that Genghis Khan might be in your family tree. That affinity you feel for ancient Rome can't be an accident, can it? Touring the toppled ruins of columns and friezes in the ancient city stirs something in you. Perhaps one or your ancestors was one of those emperors, or perhaps just a Roman soldier. It's in your blood. Now, with a simple swab of your cheek and a few hundred dollars, you can find out. Commercial genetic genealogy is barely five years old, but already it is proving irresistible to many.
NEWS
June 20, 2016 | By Bill Lyon, For The Inquirer
Third in a series. Read part one and part two here.  The secret to having a long life, a doctor once told me, is choosing your parents very carefully. He wasn't kidding. Diet? Of course. Exercise? Who doesn't know that? Avoid stress? Well, duh. Don't smoke? Well, double duh. But for a gold-plated pass through the Pearly Gates, nothing beats having a flourishing family tree whose roots, generation after generation, are flush with a robust DNA that is passed faithfully along.
NEWS
June 16, 2013 | By Evi Heilbrunn, For The Inquirer
In a narrow ruling June 3, the U.S. Supreme Court declared that the DNA swabbing of people arrested in connection with serious crimes is legal. The Maryland attorney general praised DNA swabbing as the 21st-century equivalent of fingerprinting and said it would help solve crimes. No doubt. But the ruling represents yet another way our DNA is slipping beyond our control even as few standards exist for its use, storage, and destruction. The implications are laid out in Biotechnology in Our Lives , the latest book from the Council for Responsible Genetics, a Cambridge, Mass., nonprofit focused on the ethics of gene research and biotechnology.
NEWS
April 29, 2016 | By Joseph A. Slobodzian, Staff Writer
The prosecution alleges that the killer of Cheryl Hanible in 1989 left behind "touch" DNA when he removed the lace from one of her sneakers and used it to strangle her. And that DNA, Philadelphia police DNA analyst Bryne Strother testified Wednesday, almost certainly came from 54-year-old Rudolph Churchill of Paulsboro. But could Churchill's DNA have somehow, accidentally, been picked up by Hanible's sneaker without his ever touching it? That was the hypothetical question posed by defense attorney Gina Capuano in questioning Strother during Churchill's Common Pleas Court trial on rape and murder charges in the stranglings of Hanible and Ruby Ellis.
NEWS
October 7, 2015 | By Ben Finley, Inquirer Staff Writer
In what officials say is the nation's first such countywide effort, Bucks County police departments announced Tuesday that they have created a database of DNA samples collected from accused or suspected criminals. The mouth swabs for the database are collected on a voluntary basis, with police requesting them from those who have been arrested or from suspects. The aim is to catch criminals who often fly under the radar of national and state DNA databases, which contain the genetic material of more hardened felons and sex offenders forced to submit DNA samples.
NEWS
November 4, 2011 | BY MORGAN ZALOT, zalotm@phillynews.com 215-854-5928
POLICE yesterday announced the arrest of a man who allegedly raped a 40-year-old woman outside the Linc during an Oct. 5, 2008, Eagles-Redskins game. "It was obviously a real challenge for us because of the number of people in and around that stadium," Special Victims Unit Capt. John Darby said yesterday. "It's almost like finding a needle in a haystack. " Police said they arrested Tiaghgee Daughtry, 22, who lives in Tunkhannock, Pa., near Scranton, on Wednesday, for allegedly raping the woman on a bus during the game.
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ARTICLES BY DATE
NEWS
July 16, 2016 | By Joseph A. Slobodzian, STAFF WRITER
DNA testing of a single human hair, which could make all the difference in the prosecution's ability to retry Anthony Wright in the 1991 rape and murder of a 77-year-old Nicetown woman, is inconclusive. Wright's Feb. 29 retrial in the Oct. 19 slaying of Louise Talley was postponed when police reexamined clothes believed to have been worn by Talley and discovered two hairs apparently overlooked in the original investigation a quarter-century ago. One of the hairs proved unsuitable for DNA testing; the results of tests on the second hair against Wright's DNA sample became public Friday in a pretrial hearing before Philadelphia Common Pleas Court Judge Sandy L.V. Byrd.
NEWS
July 14, 2016 | By Olivia Exstrum, Staff Writer
Back in 1965, when now-U.S. Rep. John Lewis led hundreds of protesters across the Edmund Pettus Bridge from Selma to Montgomery, Ala., members of African Methodist Episcopal churches were among them. A half-century later, after two black men died at the hands of police last week in Louisiana and Minnesota, A.M.E. Church members from around the world took to the streets of Center City in protest. They were among about 30,000 A.M.E. members in the city for the denomination's quadrennial conference, which ends Wednesday at the Convention Center.
NEWS
June 20, 2016 | By Bill Lyon, For The Inquirer
Third in a series. Read part one and part two here.  The secret to having a long life, a doctor once told me, is choosing your parents very carefully. He wasn't kidding. Diet? Of course. Exercise? Who doesn't know that? Avoid stress? Well, duh. Don't smoke? Well, double duh. But for a gold-plated pass through the Pearly Gates, nothing beats having a flourishing family tree whose roots, generation after generation, are flush with a robust DNA that is passed faithfully along.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 12, 2016 | By Howard Gensler
P RINCE has an heir. According to the heir. We've been waiting for this to happen since the purple music icon died without a clear line of inheritance. Nature abhors a vaccum, and here to fill that vacuum is 39-year-old Carlin Q. Williams , of Kansas City, Mo. He's a Colorado prison inmate who has filed a paternity claim with a Minnesota court against the Prince estate and is seeking DNA testing to determine if Prince is his biological father. In an accompanying affidavit, his mom, Marsha Henson , contends that she conceived Williams while having sex with Prince at a Kansas City hotel in July of 1976.
NEWS
April 30, 2016 | By Joseph A. Slobodzian, Staff Writer
The Philadelphia Police Department's analysts say Rudolph Churchill's DNA is a "match" for that on two items found near the bodies of two North Philadelphia women raped and slain in 1989. A defense DNA expert says match is too imprecise a word, and the best she can say is that Churchill "cannot be excluded" as the person who left that DNA behind 27 years ago. The scientific chasm between those conclusions - and whether the DNA proves beyond a reasonable doubt that Churchill killed Ruby Ellis and Cheryl Hanible - will soon be up to a Philadelphia jury of eight women and four men to bridge.
NEWS
April 29, 2016 | By Joseph A. Slobodzian, Staff Writer
The prosecution alleges that the killer of Cheryl Hanible in 1989 left behind "touch" DNA when he removed the lace from one of her sneakers and used it to strangle her. And that DNA, Philadelphia police DNA analyst Bryne Strother testified Wednesday, almost certainly came from 54-year-old Rudolph Churchill of Paulsboro. But could Churchill's DNA have somehow, accidentally, been picked up by Hanible's sneaker without his ever touching it? That was the hypothetical question posed by defense attorney Gina Capuano in questioning Strother during Churchill's Common Pleas Court trial on rape and murder charges in the stranglings of Hanible and Ruby Ellis.
NEWS
April 28, 2016 | By Joseph A. Slobodzian, Staff Writer
Two years ago, when Robert W. Palen was awaiting trial for a rape in Madison, Wis., a judge ruled that the jury could hear that he had also been accused two months earlier of raping a woman in Philadelphia. "Accused" is no longer part of the description. On Monday, a Philadelphia Common Pleas Court jury found Palen, 40, guilty of sexually assaulting two women in Pennypack Park in 2010 and 2011. Judge Gwendolyn N. Bright set sentencing for Aug. 4 after Palen undergoes an evaluation under Megan's Law to determine if he is a sexually violent predator.
NEWS
April 27, 2016 | By Joseph A. Slobodzian, STAFF WRITER
An ex-Philadelphia prison inmate testified Tuesday that Rudolph Churchill admitted raping and killing two North Philadelphia women in 1989 and bemoaned the fact that he would have gotten away with it but for DNA. Richard Simmons, 44, described an April 2014 conversation he said he had with Churchill in a day room in the city's Curran-Fromhold Correctional Center. Simmons was awaiting trial on a charge of bringing marijuana into prison; Churchill had just been charged with raping and strangling 19-year-old Ruby Ellis and Cheryl Hanible, 33. "He said he wouldn't have got caught if he didn't give his DNA," Simmons told the Philadelphia Common Pleas Court jury in the fifth day of testimony in the rape-murder trial of Churchill, 54, of Paulsboro, Gloucester County.
NEWS
March 17, 2016
By Susan FitzGerald It was great to be Irish in Sister Cornelius' class. When St. Patrick's Day rolled around, Sister Cornelius would tick off the names of the students in her math class who were exempt from homework that night. A wisp of a nun, Sister Cornelius spoke in a heavy brogue. Miss FitzGerald. . . Mr. McFadden... Mr. Rowan. . . Only a few lucky souls made the cut based on the sound of our names. The rest of the class was left with algebra equations to solve.
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