In recent years, deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) technology has become important to individualize crime scene evidence. This course explores the structure of DNA and RNA, the technology of DNA profiling, testing of forensic DNA samples, and understanding the results and discerning the relevant information in a forensic context. The statistical examination of profiling results is combined with a study of human genetics. Laboratory exercises provide experience in handling of evidence under chain-of-custody rules, search for and analysis of bodily fluids on evidentiary items, DNA-profiling of the evidence, calculation of statistical significance, and finally - testimony.
Prerequisite(s): FORSC 540 Analytical Sciences as Bases for Forensic Analyses and FORSC 541 Advanced Forensic Biology with grades of "B-" or better; Genetics, Molecular Biology, and Biochemistry, or permission of the instructor.
This course will explore the place of analytical chemical concepts and instrumentation in the robust and dependable identification and quantification of those biological and chemical compounds that are of interest for forensic investigations. The use of statistical techniques, including Bayesian statistics, are examined in the forensic context. Forensic evidence collection and chain-of-custody requirements are examined. Laboratory exercises include familiarization with chromatographic and mass-spectrometric techniques and instruments.
Prerequisite(s): FORSC 505 Fundamentals of Crime Scene Investigation, FORSC 506 Fundamentals of Evidence Processing, FORSC 507 Criminal Law and the Law of Evidence, FORSC 508 Medicolegal Death Investigation, FORSC 509 Cold Case Practicum, and FORSC 597 Internship, with grades of "B-" or better in each course.
Forensic serology has remained one of the most important areas in the crime laboratory because of the significant information which the analysis of blood and body fluids can provide in examining what has happened at a crime scene. Course content includes the biology and biochemistry of blood and other body fluids, as well as various presumptive and confirmatory laboratory testing methods. The broader context of collection of trace evidence and the analysis of such evidence is also provided. Laboratory exercises provide experience in evidence collection, packaging, laboratory analyses, interpretation, and testimony.
Prerequisite(s): FORSC 540 Analytical Sciences as Bases for Forensic Analyses with a grade of "B-" or better, or permission of the instructor.