Information on this page, including unit offerings, is from the 2019 academic year.
Forensic DNA Analysis (BIO359)
|Organisational Unit||Medical, Molecular and Forensic Sciences|
|Teaching Timetables||Murdoch S1
|Description||Provides advanced theoretical and practical training in DNA-profiling techniques relevant to forensic science. Includes mitochondrial DNA analysis, its applicability to identifying disaster victims, and the application of DNA-marker technologies to wildlife forensics and degraded and ancient DNA analysis. The use of short tandem repeats (DNA-profiling) for individual identification, quantitative PCR and mitochondrial DNA sequencing, single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) and Y-chromosome analysis in identifying perpetrators of crime is explored in the content of actual forensic cases.|
|Unit Learning Outcomes||Some learning objectives are given for individual areas of the unit offering, however on successful completion of this unit you will be able to:
1. Evaluate, analyse and interpret DNA profiles within an integrated statistical framework relevant to forensic cases and use these in synthesising and compiling written forensic casework reports.
2. Record item details; indicate analysis and interpret forensic information in a format appropriate for presentation suitable for court presentation.
3. Consistently display safe, systematic & accurate laboratory practice.
4. Assess and interpret DNA-based results relevant to human forensics and animal product identification, including illustrative examples.
5. Contrast and interpret suitable approaches that could be used in a forensic environment to analyse human and non-human DNA.
|Timetabled Learning Activities||Lectures: 1 hour per week; tutorial: 2 hours per week; laboratories: 3 hours per week.|
|Unit Learning Experiences||The approach to learning in this unit is to provide students with a blend of different exercises, workshop experiences and more traditional lecture-based learning capabilities. The unit will introduce the technology, biology, genetics and statistical interpretation underlying forensic DNA typing. This is used to develop DNA-based problem solving and data interpretation skills in both a laboratory and theoretical setting and to develop scientific reporting skills within a forensic framework. On successful completion of this unit you will be able to (i) evaluate, analyse and interpret DNA profiles within an integrated statistical framework relevant to forensic cases and use these in synthesising and compiling written forensic casework reports (ii) record item details; indicate analysis and interpret forensic information in a format appropriate for presentation suitable for court presentation (iii) consistently display safe, systematic & accurate laboratory practice (iv)n assess and interpret DNA-based results relevant to human forensics and animal product identification, including illustrative examples and contrast and interpret suitable approaches that could be used in a forensic environment to analyse human and non-human DNA.
The broad aims of this unit are to:
Introduce the technology, biology, genetics and statistical interpretation underlying forensic DNA typing.
Illustrate the broad relevance of DNA typing to forensic case-work.
Develop DNA-based problem solving and data interpretation skills in both a laboratory and theoretical setting.
* Develop scientific reporting skills within a forensic framework
Forensic DNA Technology consists of a lecture, workshop and laboratory. Material from any of these sessions may be examined.
LECTURES: The theory underlying the techniques and applications of forensic investigations will be presented in the lectures. It is important that you prepare for lectures by utilising information available on the web, MyUnits or the recommended texts. We expect you to attend the lectures, as we do not offer iLecture as part of this course.
TUTORIALS: Thetutorials/workshops are an important component of the Forensic DNA Analysis course and will provide a more practical and interactive learning environment. They will sometimes involve guest speakers who specialise in particular aspects of forensics and will concentrate on the application of forensic methods. Some workshop sessions will also involve analysis of laboratory results. A mid-semester test will also be held in one of these timeslots. If necessary, you will be assigned to one session at the beginning of the course. You will need to refer to the timetabling website for specific location and times. This can be found at: http://timetables.murdoch.edu.au/teaching/
LABORATORIES: The laboratories for Forensic DNA Analysis are an integral component of the course. The laboratories will involve practical investigative analysis and will provide training in the methods used in forensic analysis. You will be assigned to groups within laboratories at the beginning of the course. You will need to refer to the timetabling website for specific location and times. This can be found at: http://timetables.murdoch.edu.au/teaching/
|Assessment||Item examination skills and pre-lab questions
Quantitative pipetting laboratory (skills task) and profiling exercises (STR and Y-profiling)
Species identification research paper
Examination (MSE, end of semester and final exams)
|Prerequisites||BIO202 Molecular Biology I or BIO212 Genetic Engineering or BIO282 Molecular Biology|
|Exclusions||Students who have successfully completed BIO373 Forensic Investigation or BIO313 Forensic DNA Analysis may not enrol in this unit for credit.|
|Appears in these Courses/Majors:
see individual structures for context
|Internet Access Requirements||Murdoch units normally include an online component comprising materials, discussions, lecture recordings and assessment activities. All students, regardless of their location or mode of study, need to have access to and be able to use computing devices with browsing capability and a connection to the Internet via Broadband (Cable, ADSL or Mobile) or Wireless. The Internet connection should be readily available and allow large amounts of data to be streamed or downloaded (approximately 100MB per lecture recording). Students also need to be able to enter into online discussions and submit assignments online.|