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Forensic Biology Chapter 3 notes

by: Leanna Widhalm

Forensic Biology Chapter 3 notes BIOL320

Marketplace > University of North Dakota > Biology > BIOL320 > Forensic Biology Chapter 3 notes
Leanna Widhalm
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About this Document

Chapter 3 notes for Forensic Biology. Covers different fields that a full working forensic laboratory has. Different fields of Forensic Biology. History of Forensic Biology
Forensic Biology
Dr. Ovtchinnikov
Class Notes
Biology, Forensic Science, Forensic Biology, Fields, history, pathology, Anthropology, odontology, STRs, PCR, mitochondrial DNA, DNA, polymorphisms




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This 3 page Class Notes was uploaded by Leanna Widhalm on Thursday February 4, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to BIOL320 at University of North Dakota taught by Dr. Ovtchinnikov in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 15 views. For similar materials see Forensic Biology in Biology at University of North Dakota.


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Date Created: 02/04/16
Chapter 3: Forensic Biology, A Subdiscipline of Forensic Science 1. Common Disciplines of Forensic Laboratory Services a. Range of forensic lab services “full service” includes: crime scene investigation, latent print examination, forensic biology, controlled substance analysis, postmortem toxicology, questioned document examination, firearm, toolmark, and other impression evidence examination, explosive and fire debris examination, and transfer (trace) evidence examination 2. Laboratory Analysis of Biological Evidence a. Uses scientifically accepted protocols to analyze biological evidence b. Identification of Biological Evidence i. Identification of biological evidence = first step performed before further analysis carried out ii. Identification of fluids such as blood, saliva, and semen iii. Identification is based on a comparison of class characteristics – a set of characteristics that allows a sample to be placed in a category with similar materials c. Comparison of Individual Characteristics of Biological Evidence i. Individual characteristics – unique characteristics of both evidence and reference sample such as fingerprints. Share common origin to high degree of certainty d. Reporting Results and Expert Testimony i. A report is prepared based on the results of the analysis, which may include sections discussing the specific evidence analyzed, the method of analysis used, the results obtained, and conclusions drawn ii. Strength of conclusion is usually evaluated via statistical computations iii. Expert witness – qualified based on knowledge, skill, experience, training, or education, and may give an opinion to the court that is relevant to the analyses conducted 3. Forensic Science Services Related to Forensic Biology a. Forensic Pathology i. Death deemed suspicious/unexplained, coroner or medical examiner called to perform autopsies to determine exact cause and manner of death. 1. Manners of death = natural, homicide, suicide, accident, or undetermined ii. Responsible for estimating time of death’ b. Forensic Anthropology i. Identification and examination of human skeletal remains 1. may reveal individual’s origin, sex, approximate age, race, and the presence of a skeletal injury ii. assist in facial reconstructions to aid in the identification of skeletal remains iii. called to help collect and organize bone fragments in the course of identifying victims of mass disasters and/or victims in mass graves discovered after wars or genocides c. Forensic Entomology i. Study of insects in relation to a criminal investigation ii. Estimating the time of death when the circumstances surrounding the crime are otherwise unknown iii. Stages of development of certain insect species present in or on a body can be identified and allow a forensic entomologist to approximate how long the body was left exposed. d. Forensic Odontology i. Participate in identification of victims whose bodies are left in an unrecognizable state ii. Dental records allow to compare a set of dental remains with an alleged victim iii. Bite marks analysis – they can analyze the marks left on a victim and compare them with the tooth structures of a suspect to make a comparison 4. Brief History of the Development of Forensic Biology a. Antigen Polymorphism i. Karl Landsteiner discovered human ABO blood groups in 1900 for the study of the causes of blood transfusion reactions 1. ABO groups inherited 2. Can exclude a suspect but weak to include suspect b. Protein Polymorphism i. Few polymorphisms in serum proteins and erythrocyte enzymes were reported ii. 1980s, approximately 100 protein polymorphisms had been discovered c. DNA Polymorphism i. Human nuclear genome, set of 23 chromosomes, contains approximately 3 billion base pairs ii. Genes and Related Sequences 1. Approximately 20,000-25,000 genes identified in genome that encode information for the synthesis of proteins. Half genes functions have been identified. 2. Coding regions of genes called exons, separated from introns iii. Intergenic Noncoding Sequences 1. More than 90% genome consists of intergenic noncoding sequences located between genes. Functions have not been identified. 2. Contain large quantities of various types of repetitive DNA – tandem repeats and genome-wide or interspersed repeats a. Tandem repeats – repeat units placed next to each other in an array b. Interspersed repeats – repeats randomly located throughout the genome 3. Human DNA Polymorphic Markers a. Differences between individual genomes occur at DNA polymorphisms b. Sequence polymorphism – DNA polymorphism with alternative forms of chromosomal locus that differ in nucleotide sequence c. Length polymorphism – DNA polymorphism that differs in numbers of tandem repeat units d. SNPs – single nucleotide polymorphisms, single base-pair change or a point mutation and arise from spontaneous mutation 4. Forensic DNA Polymorphism Profiling a. PCR developed in mid-1980s which amplifies a small quantity of DNA b. 1995, UK established first national DNA database for criminal investigations c. U.S. selected 13 STR loci for CODIS (Combined DNA Index System) d. Mitochondrial DNA profiling – maternally inherited genetic material e. Y chromosomal markers are paternally inherited.


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