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Forensic Science Webcasts

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  • Body Fluid Identification by RNA Expression Profiling
    Body Fluid Identification by RNA Expression Profiling
    Jack Ballantyne, Assoc Director; National Center For Forensic Science Recorded: Oct 7 2009 49 mins
    The serology-based methods routinely used in forensic casework for the identification of biological fluids have varying and often limited degrees of sensitivity and specificity. A novel strategy for the identification of the body fluid origin of dried forensic biological material (blood, semen, saliva, vaginal secretions and menstrual blood) involves expression profiling of body fluid specific messenger and small RNAs (mRNA and miRNA). RNA analysis may permit not only a molecular-based approach with a greater specificity than that of conventional methodologies for the identification of forensically relevant biological fluids, but may also provide strategies particularly suited for the analysis of environmentally impacted or degraded samples frequently encountered in forensic casework. This presentation will describe highly specific RNA methods for body fluid identification that exhibit promise for forensic casework analysis.
  • Forensic DNA: STR, MiniSTR, Y-STR or mtDNA?
    Forensic DNA: STR, MiniSTR, Y-STR or mtDNA?
    Amarjit Chahal, Senior Director; Warnex Pro-DNA Services, Inc. Recorded: Sep 10 2009 49 mins
    The analysis of regular STR DNA has become the “gold standard” of identification in forensic casework. There are numerous cases though where biological evidence exists but regular DNA testing can’t provide probative evidence or insufficient nuclear DNA was obtained. This presentation will describe casework scenarios where miniSTR, Y-STR and/or mtDNA can provide probative evidence.
  • The 2009 Report on Forensic Sciences from the National Academies
    The 2009 Report on Forensic Sciences from the National Academies
    Brian Zubel: Attorney at Law and Forensic Science Legal Consultant Recorded: Apr 9 2009 49 mins
    In February 2009, the National Research Council of the National Academies released its report entitled Strengthening Forensic Science in the United States: A Path Forward. The substantive findings underscore that many traditional forensic disciplines are in scientific crisis, having never been the subject of rigorous validation. This presentation outlines the major findings of the Report, and the impact it will have on the roles of prosecutors, defense attorneys and judges in the rapidly evolving scientific/legal landscape.
  • The National Clearinghouse for Science, Technology & the Law
    The National Clearinghouse for Science, Technology & the Law
    Diana Botluk; Director of Research at NCSTL at Stetson Uni. College of Law Recorded: Apr 9 2009 39 mins
    This program will explore information and research resources in forensic science, focusing primarily on the resources available from the National Clearinghouse for Science, Technology and the Law at Stetson University College of Law. It will demonstrate features of ncstl.org, such as the free research database, Cold Case Toolkit, Education Center, and other online resources designed to keep you updated with the latest scientific evidence information.
  • An Overview of NecroSearch International
    An Overview of NecroSearch International
    Dr. Thomas R. Bellinger, President of NecroSearch International Recorded: Apr 9 2009 44 mins
    This presentation will provide an introduction to NecroSearch International, a non-profit, multi-disciplinary organization dedicated to the location of clandestine graves and evidence. A brief history of NecroSearch will be presented along with a description of the organization's mission (research, training, and investigation) and case acceptance protocol. Several of the organization's expertise categories will be discussed along with a description of NecroSearch's investigative process. The presentation will conclude with a case example.
  • Generic Microfluidic Platform for Ultrafast Forensic DNA Analysis
    Generic Microfluidic Platform for Ultrafast Forensic DNA Analysis
    James Landers, University of Virginia, Professor Chemistry Recorded: Jan 30 2009 49 mins
    Generic Microfluidic Platform for Ultrafast Forensic DNA Analysis
  • Y-STR and Forensic Identification
    Y-STR and Forensic Identification
    Amarjit Chahal, Laboratory Director & General Manager at Molecular World Inc Recorded: Jan 27 2009 46 mins
    Part of the nuclear DNA that is paternally inherited or passed down from father to son is found on the Y chromosome. Similar to mitochondrial DNA, Y-chromosome testing can be used to distinguish between individuals with different paternal lineages. Short tandem repeats (STR) on Y chromosome are called Y-STRs. Y-STR testing is identical to analyses of nuclear autosomal STR loci. Testing for this type of DNA is particularly useful when mixtures of male DNA (a minor male contributor) and female DNA (predominant female contributor) are suspected or only distant paternal relatives are available for comparisons. The presentation will introduce audience to Y-STR testing with a particular focus on the probative value of Y-STR DNA test reports.
  • DNA in the Courtroom - Current Issues
    DNA in the Courtroom - Current Issues
    Brian Zubel: Attorney at Law and Forensic Science Legal Consultant Recorded: Jan 27 2009 45 mins
    The presentation will begin with a discussion of the effective presentation of DNA evidence in court, including admissibility standards, foundational issues and the limits of argument. Current-generation legal and scientific challenges to DNA will be explored through the review of several recent cases.
  • Lifting latent fingerprints off textured surfaces
    Lifting latent fingerprints off textured surfaces
    Dick Warrington: Crime Scene instructor/Consultant,Lynn Peavey Company Recorded: Jan 27 2009 42 mins
    This presentation will show the attendees three methods of lifting developed latent fingerprints off textured surfaces. The three methods that we will talk about are Diff-Lift tape, Mikrosil, and AccuTrans. By using one of these methods demonstrated you’ll be able to lift processed latent fingerprints off a car dash, refrigerators, bank countertops, computers, house siding and a golf ball, just to name a few.
  • Estimation of the Time of Deposition of Bloodstains
    Estimation of the Time of Deposition of Bloodstains
    Jack Ballantyne, Assoc Director (Research);National Center For Forensic Science Recorded: Jan 27 2009 48 mins
    The development of powerful and robust DNA typing strategies has made it is possible to ascertain with a high degree of certainty whether a biological stain found at a crime scene originated from a particular individual. However, the possibility of obtaining additional information from biological stains exists. For example, the ability to determine the relative time since deposition (TSD) of biological stains could provide law enforcement investigators with novel probative evidence by establishing an approximation of the time of commission of criminal offenses. However, no reliable TSD methods are available at present. We have developed a novel strategy for the determination of the time since deposition of dried bloodstains using spectrophotometric analysis of hemoglobin. An examination of the Soret band in aged bloodstains has revealed a previously unidentified hypsochromic shift (shift to shorter wavelength). The extent of this shift permits a distinction to be made between stains that were deposited minutes, hours, days and months prior to analysis. The effects of temperature and humidity have also been evaluated.

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