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Unit (2020)

Information on this page, including unit offerings, is from the 2020 academic year.

Forensic DNA Analysis (BIO359)

Organisational Unit Medical, Molecular and Forensic Sciences
Credit Points 3
Availability MURDOCH: S1-internal
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: 3 hour 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.
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Illustrate the broad relevance of DNA typing to forensic case-work.
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Develop DNA-based problem solving and data interpretation skills in both a laboratory and theoretical setting.
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* 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, because although the lectures are generally recorded, those provided by guest speakers will not be recorded. Some lectures will also have interactive/workshop components that will not be recorded but are essential for achieving the learning outcomes. Regular quizzes will also take place during in lecture timeslots throughout the semester.
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 Laboratory skills (including extraction, QPCR, STR and Y-STR), Species identification research paper, Quizzes and a Final Exam
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
Animal Health (BSc) [New in 2015]
Animal Science (BSc) [New in 2014]
Biological Sciences (BSc) [New in 2014]
Biomedical Science (BSc) [New in 2014]
Chemistry (BSc) [New in 2014]
Clinical Laboratory Science (BSc) [New in 2015]
Conservation and Wildlife Biology (BSc) [New in 2014]
Criminology + Forensic Biology and Toxicology [Combined] (BCrim)+(BSc)
Crop and Pasture Science (BSc) [New in 2016]
Engineering Technology (BSc) [New in 2014]
Environmental Management and Sustainability (BSc) [New in 2014]
Environmental Science (BSc) [New in 2014]
Forensic Biology and Toxicology (BSc) [New in 2014]
Genetics and Molecular Biology (BSc) [New in 2014]
Laboratory Medicine (BSc/BLabMed) [New in 2016]
Marine Biology (BSc) [New in 2017]
Marine Science (BSc) [New in 2014]
Mathematics and Statistics (BSc) [New in 2014]
Mineral Science (BSc) [New in 2014]
Physics and Nanotechnology (BSc) [New in 2014]
Sport and Health Science (BSc) [New in 2014]
Internet Access RequirementsMurdoch 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.

Contacts

Unit Coordinator
BIO359
Dr Shane Tobe
Senior Lecturer in Forensic Science

Murdoch Campus
t: 9360 6992
e: Shane.Tobe@murdoch.edu.au
o: 240.2.007 - Biological Sciences, Murdoch Campus
Unit Contacts
BIO359

MURDOCH: S1-Internal
Dr Shane Tobe
Senior Lecturer in Forensic Science

Murdoch Campus
t: 9360 6992
e: Shane.Tobe@murdoch.edu.au
o: 240.2.007 - Biological Sciences, Murdoch Campus
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