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New DNA techniques helping with unsolved cases

Priscilla Berry
Advances in DNA technology are being used to help solve what happened to Priscilla Berry.

Detectives are using advances in DNA technology to try and identify human remains discovered in North Wales in the last 50 years.

Under Operation Orchid, officers say they hope to bring closure to families who have lived with uncertainty for a long time.

Criminality is not suspected in any of the cases.

One mystery dates back to January 1980, when female human remains were recovered from the sea 15 miles off Llandudno and were interred at a local cemetery.

Police inquiries with the National Missing Persons Bureau have identified a possible match with 39-year-old Priscilla Berry, possibly of the maiden name Sturgess.

She went missing from her home in Mochdre, Colwyn Bay, in June 1978.

It is now possible to link close family members such as siblings or children through DNA. If we can locate a brother, sister or child of Mrs Berry we can take a DNA sample to compare to the remains.

Although Mrs Berry went missing over 35 years ago, we believe it is still important for her family to know what became of their relative - and we will do all we can to help.

It is by no means certain that the remains are those of Mrs Berry, but the proposed tests should provide a definitive answer.

We are therefore appealing to anyone who is related to Priscilla Berry or knows any of her family members to contact North Wales Police.

– Detective Constable Don Kenyon

Alternative Technology Centre celebrates 40th year

The Centre for Alternative Technology near Machynlleth is forty years old this year.

For the last four decades, it has been promoting alternatives to mainstream energy sources as well as making people more aware of their responsibilities to the environment.

It's also become quite a tourist attraction having had around two million visitors through its doors as Kevin Ashford reports:

Wales' first full-scale tidal energy generator unveiled

The 'Spirit of the Sea' generator
The device will be installed in Ramsey Sound, Pembrokeshire Credit: Tidal Energy Ltd

Wales' first full-scale energy generator has been unveiled today at Pembroke Port by First Minister Carwyn Jones.

The device, which was developed by a tidal stream technology company in Cardiff, will be installed in Ramsey Sound in Pembrokeshire.

It's among the first in the world to generate green, sustainable and predictable tidal power.

The generator, named 'Spirit of the Sea', or 'Ysbryd y Mor', has been assembled by Pembroke-Dock based company Mustang Marine over the last six months, thanks to £8 million worth of EU funding.

“I’m delighted that Wales’ first full scale tidal stream energy generator has been supported with almost £8million from the European Regional Development Fund."

This is a landmark project for Wales, which will not only help us to meet our sustainable energy ambitions, but will also provide significant opportunities for local people and businesses.”

– Carwyn Jones, First Minister

Welsh police forces to develop crime scene app

Two Welsh police forces are hoping to develop an app to allow them to record witness statements.

South Wales and Gwent Forces have been given a £837,000 grant from the UK Government's Police Innovation Fund to develop the project.

The app will allow officers to record audio and video accounts from members of the public as well as at crime scenes. The idea is that officers will be able to upload statements using mobile phones and tablet computers, whilst out on the beat - reducing the need for them to return to base.

This project will enhance the quality of information and evidence obtained at crime scenes, allow Forces to share cross-border data quickly and enable officers and key partners in the community to have rapid access to key information which will save both time and money.

– Ian Johnston, Police and Crime Commissioner for Gwent

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Welsh company exports water-purification technology

A company from Carmarthenshire is exporting its pioneering water-purification technology around the world.

Hydro Industries, based in Llangennech, uses electrodes, to separate contaminants, ranging from mud to radioactive material, from safe water.

Our reporter Tom Sheldrick went along to see the process in action:

Ensuring people have access to safe water remains a major challenge for global leaders in the 21st century.

The charity WaterAid estimates:

  • 748m people in the world don't have access to safe water
  • That's around 1 in 10 of the global population
  • Every 21 seconds, a child dies from a water-related illness

Watch: Clean water in just three minutes

Helping more people around the world to have access to safe drinking water is one of the greatest challenges of the 21st century.

But a company from Carmarthenshire are aiming to improve the situation, with their pioneering technology for purifying water.

The technology takes three minutes to clean the water. We've sped up that process for you in the video below, so you can see how it works.

Welsh site considered for UK's first 'spaceport'

A north Wales airfield has been highlighted as a possible location for a UK 'spaceport'.

Llanbedr airfield, in Gwynedd, is being considered along with 7 other sites by the UK Government. If chosen, it would become Britain's first spaceport and could become a base for commercial flights from 2018.

The chosen site could see commercial flights run from 2018 Credit: PA

UK Business Secretary, Vince Cable, said: "Space is big business for the UK. It already contributes £11.3 billion to the economy each year, supporting nearly 35,000 jobs.

"That’s why it’s important for us to prepare the UK for new launcher technology and take steps towards meeting our ambition of establishing the first British spaceport by 2018."

Other sites that are under consideration include Glasgow and Newquay.

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