Chadron State College will host Dr. John M. Butler, a National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Fellow and special assistant to the Director for Forensic Science, for two presentations about DNA Monday, Nov. 4, in the CSC Student Center. Both are free and open to the public.
The noon program will cover the past, present, and future of forensic DNA, including the O.J. Simpson trial, Butler’s experience as an FBI researcher, the historical of role and development of the NIST and future possibilities for use of DNA in genetic research for establishing kinship associations. He will also discuss the recent use of investigative genealogical testing by law enforcement to capture the Golden State Killer, Joseph James DeAngelo.
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The 7 p.m. presentation is titled, “Will DNA Testing Help my Family History Research? Exploring the Capabilities and Limitations.” Butler will discuss tests provided by FamilyTreeDNA, Ancestry, and 23andMe and use a case study to examine the capabilities and limitations of advancing family history research with DNA testing.
Butler has a doctorate in analytical chemistry from the University of Virginia. He did his graduate work in the FBI Laboratory’s Forensic Science Research Unit at Quantico, Virginia, where he pioneered techniques for forensic DNA testing. Butler has written more than 175 scientific research articles and five textbooks on Forensic DNA and has given hundreds of presentations in the U.S. and in 26 other countries. He is also featured in an NIST video about detective Wilmer Souder.