University of Technology, Sydney

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65318 Forensic Genotyping Technologies

6cp; 5hpw (2hr lecture, 3hr practical/computer lab/tutorial)
Requisite(s): 91132 Molecular Biology 1 AND 91137 DNA Profiling

Description

The forensic application of DNA analysis was first introduced in the mid-1980s and began with restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) pattern detection that required micrograms of DNA template, but quickly progressed to PCR-based short tandem repeat (STR) genotyping, which is capable of obtaining a full short tandem repeat (STR) profile from just a few cells. During the last thirty years, forensic DNA analysis has helped to solve a tremendous number of forensic cases worldwide, providing crucial evidence with unprecedented levels of sensitivity, specificity and statistical significance.

In recent years, rapid technological advancements in DNA sequencing methods have enabled additional progress in the area of forensic DNA genotyping, adding even more powerful tools to the forensic arsenal for investigation and solving of crimes. This research-inspired subject focuses on various technical aspects of emerging forensic DNA technologies and their implementation into operation casework. Specifically, the following topics are discussed: novel genetic and epigenetic markers of forensic relevance, such as single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and DNA methylation; advanced genotyping technologies, such as massively parallel sequencing and genetics of complex traits; analysis and interpretation of complex bioinformatic data; ethical and legal considerations related to implementation of the novel forensic tools. These topics are addressed in an interdisciplinary context and in relation to the relevance and the probative value of the generated results.


Detailed subject description.

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