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In its short but active history, the use of DNA typing has revolutionized criminal investigations. It is almost inconceivable to bring a case to trial without positive identification through what is now our most accurate means. Proficiency with the methodology, principles, and interpretation of DNA evidence is crucial for today's criminalist.
An introductory text, Forensic DNA Analysis: A Laboratory Manual presents a contextual history and overview of the science and use of DNA typing. Logically organized, with clear, concise language, this manual provides a fundamental understanding of forensic DNA analysis and a thorough background in the molecular techniques used to determine an individual's identity. Students are provided with a sound working knowledge of the investigative methodology, scientific principles, and the analysis and interpretation of the resulting data.
After laying a foundation on the rules of the laboratory, the basic scientific principles, and the types of biological materials, such as hair, blood, and bone, this practical, hands-on manual provides 12 exercises outlining techniques commonly used in DNA typing. Designed to be performed in a common laboratory, the experiments cover DNA extraction, concentration, and assessment; DNA analysis using restriction fragment length polymorphisms; polymerase chain reaction and PCR-based typing tests; short tandem repeat analysis; and mitochondrial DNA analysis. Many of the procedures described have been adapted from methods used in federal, state, and private forensic laboratories and are suitable to a wide range of applications. There is also an extensive glossary for DNA typing terminology and basic terms used in molecular biology.
Instilling confidence, analytical clarity, and a sense of curiosity, this comprehensive introduction is the perfect tool for grasping the techniques and applications of forensic DNA analysis and exploring the questions and issues involved in forensic science investigations.