The quest for justice on MH17

APJ: Australian Police Journal – Volume 70, June 2016, Pages 80-85;

Police work without crime scene or court – The release or a 279 page report by the Dutch Safety Board, concludes that Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 was brought down by a warhead and missile system model which, analysts say, is held by the Russian security forces.

Little has been revealed of the interior of a daunting, parallel criminal investigation, which includes a significant AFP contingent.

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In search of MH17

APJ: Australian Police Journal – Volume 70, June 2016, Pages 76-79;

A text message woke AFP Disaster Victim Identification (DVI) specialist Dr Simon Walsh on the morning of 17 July, 2014. It had happened before, many times in fact – and he was used to it – but this time was different. In a half-waken state he stared at the screen of his mobile phone. ‘Passenger plane shot down with a missile in Ukraine. Over 200 deceased’.

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Australia launches its first body farm

APJ: Australian Police Journal – Volume 70, June 2016, Pages 54-59;

In February 2016, the University of Technology, Sydney officially opened Australia’s first ‘body farm’. Until earlier this year, human decomposition facilities (the preferred description for body farms) only existed in the USA. While the data produced by these facilities was invaluable for demonstrating how a body goes through the process of decomposition, it was not directly applicable to the process of decomposition in Australia.

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Radioactive cesium fallout on Tokyo from Fukushima concentrated in glass microparticles

EurekAlert 26 June 2016

New research shows that most of the radioactive fallout which landed on downtown Tokyo a few days after the Fukushima accident was concentrated and deposited in non-soluble glass microparticles, as a type of ‘glassy soot’. This meant that most of the radioactive material was not dissolved in rain and running water, and probably stayed in the environment until removed by direct washing or physical removal. The particles also concentrated the radioactive caesium (Cs), meaning that in some cases dose effects of the fallout are still unclear. These results are announced at the Goldschmidt geochemistry conference in Yokohama, Japan.

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Olympics: Rio testing lab uncertain for Games

Brisbane Times 27 June 2016

RIO DE JANEIRO: A top International Olympic Committee official says it’s unclear if the suspended anti-doping laboratory for the Rio de Janeiro Olympics can be re-opened before the Games start in just under six weeks.

“This is something that is doable,” Olympic Games executive director Christophe Dubi said Sunday. “But there are a number of steps that need to be taken.”

The World Anti-doping Agency announced on Friday it had suspended the Rio lab. Dubi said the suspension was for “wrongly interpreting” test results and producing “false positives.”

Thousands of blood and urine tests will need to be shipped abroad if the lab remains closed, another major embarrassment to games organisers who have faced problems from the Zika virus, to budget cuts to slow ticket sales.

Dengue virus exposure may amplify Zika infection

EurekAlert 23 June 2016

Previous exposure to the dengue virus may increase the potency of Zika infection, according to research from Imperial College London.

The early-stage laboratory findings, published in the journal Nature Immunology, suggests the recent explosive outbreak of Zika may have been driven in part by previous exposure to the dengue virus.

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Stopping Zika: Saint Louis University to launch human vaccine trial

EurekAlert 23 June 2016

Saint Louis University’s vaccine center has been tapped by the National Institutes of Health to conduct a human clinical trial of a vaccine to prevent the Zika virus, which can cause devastating birth defects in babies.

The study, which will not start for several months, will be conducted at SLU’s Center for Vaccine Development and at a research site partnering with SLU in Puerto Rico, a territory where local mosquitos are transmitting Zika virus infection.