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The 2009 Report on Forensic Sciences from the National Academies

Brian Zubel: Attorney at Law and Forensic Science Legal Consultant
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.
Apr 9 2009
49 mins
The 2009 Report on Forensic Sciences from the National Academies
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Forensic Science

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  • Regardless of the colour of the next UK government that emerges as a result of the May election, the £30-£50bn NHS budget chasm is the abyss that all the parties fear in respect of its thereat to quality health service delivery and re-election.

    With political backs to the abyss, no hostages will be taken. It is not unrealistic to expect a well co-ordinated and concerted offence by politicians and patient organisations alike on industry pricing of innovative speciality and rare diseases medicines:

    With this scenario in mind pharmaphorum is once again working with IMS Health to bring you expert insight into what this means for the UK health system and more specifically market access for specialist treatments in the post-election environment.

    Angela McFarlane, Senior principal IMS Health Local Market Access, Anthony Grosso, Principal Pharmacist at the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery and Sheela Upadhyaya, previously a NHS Senior Manager with over 17 years of experience in the delivery of services and in commissioning of highly specialised services for rare and ultra rare conditions, combine with pharmaphorum's Paul Tunnah to deliver an accurate analysis and frontline insight as to the already complex roadmap for access is about to change again.

    This one hour event will include analysis of informed predictions which include:

    The NICE HTA criteria will get tougher post end to end review (IMMTreV)
    NICE and the NHS England will join forces to streamline access pre/post NICE
    Risk at local level will be shifted to Providers under the new marginal tariff arrangements; which could indeed see a close to the CDF as the PbR excluded drugs list becomes a thing of a glorious past
    Provider baselines will take the strain of innovation - the tough decisions will be softened by a drive to really accelerate uptake of NICE approved medicines

    How can industry prepare for these changes in what is already a tough and complex environment?
  • How do ischemia and fixation impact the quality of your assay results and information transfer? Garbage in! Garbage out! Join Geoffrey Baird MD, PhD and David Chafin, PhD at 9 AM Mountain Time, March 31, 2015, who will discuss the impact of ischemia and fixation on assay results, information transfer and some novel approaches to address these important factors. Dr. Baird is an Assistant Professor of Laboratory Medicine and an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Pathology at the University of Washington. Dr. Chafin is a Principle Scientist, Technology and Applied Research at Ventana Medical Systems Inc.
  • How can ischemia impact your assay results? Watch this video and see...
  • This session provides a local Trust perspective on how the Industry Costing Template can be practically embedded for financial management of commercial research studies.

    A brief overview of the national tool principles is provided, but the main focus of the session is on practical examples of how these principles have been locally developed and implemented to support investigator and directorate incentivisation to encourage involvement in commercial contract studies.

    Who should view this session?

    "Financial Management of Commercial Contract Studies: A Trust perspective" is a must see for all NHS staff supporting commercial research including R&D and Finance teams, as well as Local Clinical Research Network staff supporting Trusts in their area to conduct commercial contract research.
  • As part of the Network's HSJ award category sponsorship, Danetre Medical Practice were highly commended for the entry to Clinical Research Impact.

    Jo Gilford, Practice managing partner, and Laura Hopwood, research nurse, discuss their story and how the practice turned research into core business.

    The presentation covers:

    * Their vision for research in the practice
    * Actions and best practice in creating a research culture
    * Outcomes - how the research portfolio has increased by 500% to date since undertaking these actions
  • Biological terror agents are frequently spore-forming bacteria and hardy in the environment, intended to persist despite best efforts at disinfection. This webinar explores the field of UV-C disinfection and the power of pulsed-xenon UV disinfection systems to neutralize such threats. Full spectrum pulsed-xenon UV is lab-tested to deactivate bioterrorism agents in the environment, expanding the options for protecting first responders and armed forces from dangerous pathogens.
  • COPD is a widespread, costly and largely preventable condition which affects over 300 million people worldwide and is recognised as the ‘third-leading’ cause of death in most countries. Adherence rates among patients with the condition are seen to be low, despite evidence that shows appropriate use of medication and sensible lifestyle changes can reduce mortality by 60% and hospital admissions by as much as 42%.

    Given the proven increase in quality of life when adherence occurs, and yet the persistence of non-adherence globally, there is clearly a disconnect. So why is poor self-management so prevalent and what can we do about it?

    In conjunction with self-management and behavioural change specialists Atlantis Healthcare, we present a multi-stakeholder webinar and debate, which will combine real world patient needs with expertise from healthcare, pharma and patient advocates to look at the challenges to successful self-management/adherence and ascertain what the industry can do to better support patients in achieving optimum outcomes.

    The webinar is comprised of 15 minutes of presentation and 40 minutes of live debate - which you can participate in, sending questions to the panel.

    A live tweetchat (#rwCOPD) will follow the webinar, enabling full interaction across all stakeholders to further delve into this topic and explore some of the issues and solutions raised during the webcast.

    This is the second webinar within the Patient Insights Summarized series.

    Your panel for this event is:

    Ana-maria Arboleda, Managing Director, Atlantis Healthcare Spain
    Dr Joan Escarrabill, Director of the Master Plan for Respiratory Diseases, Ministry of Health (Catalonia)
    Prof. John Weinman, Head of Health Psychology, Atlantis Healthcare
    Rolf Taylor, ‎Senior Director, Corporate Development, COPD Foundation
    Paul Tunnah (Moderator), CEO, pharmaphorum
  • This session gives an overview of the support available from the NIHR Clinical Research Network life-sciences industry team at a local and National level and explains how the network works in partnership with you to ensure your study is set up rapidly and recruits to time and target.

    Guidance on communication routes and our query resolution pathway is included.

    The webinar will also look at up to date performance data, how we collect it and how this information is transformed to ensure studies and sites are actively managed to deliver.

    Who should view this session?

    "Getting the best from the Network" is a must see for any CRA, Start up manager, study manager or NHS R&D manager who is involved in setting up and managing commercial contract clinical research in the NHS.
  • The truth about delivering clinical research in the UK

    - Are you looking to deliver your research within Europe?
    - Need multiple, reliable sites?
    - Do you want to know why you should come to the UK?

    In the past the UK’s reputation for delivering clinical research was questionable. But that’s all changed. Over the last six years the research landscape here has changed dramatically allowing us to make great strides in delivering research for the life-sciences industry. So whether you’re a small CRO, a medium med tech, or a pharma giant - we can help you.

    The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Clinical Research Network* (see below) is hosting a live webinar which will explode common myths around the UK’s ability to deliver commercial clinical research. This session will be hosted by Matt Cooper, Life-sciences Development Director. It will include performance data that will demonstrate why the UK should be your first choice for clinical research. You can find out:

    - How much the UK’s market volume of commercial contract research (supported by the NIHR CRN) has changed
    - What percentage of the UK’s National Health Service (NHS) is actively delivering commercial contract research studies (with support from the NIHR CRN)
    - On average how many days it takes for NHS sites to get regulatory approval for research to take place (with NIHR CRN support)
    - What percentage of commercial contract studies (supported by the NIHR CRN) are delivered to time and target
    - How we are keeping clinical research in the public eye
    - How the UK is sharpening its competitive edge by achieving more and more key first global patient milestones
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  • Body Fluid Identification by RNA Expression Profiling Recorded: Oct 7 2009 49 mins
    Jack Ballantyne, Assoc Director; National Center For Forensic Science
    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? Recorded: Sep 10 2009 49 mins
    Amarjit Chahal, Senior Director; Warnex Pro-DNA Services, Inc.
    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 Recorded: Apr 9 2009 49 mins
    Brian Zubel: Attorney at Law and Forensic Science Legal Consultant
    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 Recorded: Apr 9 2009 39 mins
    Diana Botluk; Director of Research at NCSTL at Stetson Uni. College of Law
    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, 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 Recorded: Apr 9 2009 44 mins
    Dr. Thomas R. Bellinger, President of NecroSearch International
    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 Recorded: Jan 30 2009 49 mins
    James Landers, University of Virginia, Professor Chemistry
    Generic Microfluidic Platform for Ultrafast Forensic DNA Analysis
  • Y-STR and Forensic Identification Recorded: Jan 27 2009 46 mins
    Amarjit Chahal, Laboratory Director & General Manager at Molecular World Inc
    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 Recorded: Jan 27 2009 45 mins
    Brian Zubel: Attorney at Law and Forensic Science Legal Consultant
    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 Recorded: Jan 27 2009 42 mins
    Dick Warrington: Crime Scene instructor/Consultant,Lynn Peavey Company
    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 Recorded: Jan 27 2009 48 mins
    Jack Ballantyne, Assoc Director (Research);National Center For Forensic Science
    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.
  • Digital Forensics Private Investigation Laws Recorded: Dec 4 2008 41 mins
    Dave Kleiman- Independent Computer Forensic Consultant
    Digital Forensics and the PI Laws: What is happening, and what you can do to help!
  • Trace Evidence for the Forensic Investigator Recorded: Dec 4 2008 60 mins
    M. Dawn Watkins & King C. Brown of the Palm Beach Police Departments
    Collection and Preservation of Trace Evidence at the Crime Scene and in the Lab.
  • How to Improve Forensic Science Recorded: Dec 4 2008 49 mins
    Roger Koppl, Director of the Institute for Forensic Science Administration
    The current institutional structure of police forensics gives each lab a monopoly in the analysis of the police evidence it receives.
    Forensic scientists have inadequate incentives to produce reliable analyses of police evidence. We should have "competitive self regulation" for police forensics. Each jurisdiction would have several competing forensic labs. Sometimes, evidence would be divided and sent to three separate labs. Chance would determine which labs would receive evidence to analyze. Competitive self regulation improves forensics by creating incentives for error prevention, detection and correction. Surprisingly, it would also reduce the costs of running the criminal justice system.
  • Mitochondrial DNA and Forensic Identification Recorded: Dec 4 2008 58 mins
    Amarjit Chahal, Laboratory Director & Technical Leader, Molecular World Inc
    Mitochondrial DNA and Forensic Identification
  • Domain Irrelevant Information as an Infectious Disease Recorded: Dec 4 2008 23 mins
    D. Michael Risinger, John J. Gibbons Professor of Law, Seton Hall University
    Domain Irrelevant Information as an Infectious Disease in Forensic Science Practice

    In this presentation, Professor Risinger discusses the distorting effects of case information irrelevant to the exercise of one's expertise on the results interpretive processes in forensic science, analogizing such information to an infectious disease. The empirical record bearing on these issues is examined, particularly those empirical results specifically relevant to forensic science practice.
  • DNA and the Duke Lacrosse Case - The Blue Devils in the Details Recorded: Dec 4 2008 39 mins
    Diane MB Savage, Attorney at Law
    This presentation helps lawyers view complex DNA cases in a new light, while comparing the Duke Lacrosse Case to others. Attorneys do not have to concede when they hear the words "match" or "defendant cannot be excluded". Instead, they should remember that besides standing for deoxyribonucleic acid, DNA also stands for DO NOT ACCEPT at face value. This article looks at the DNA evidence in the Duke Lacrosse case and compares the evidence in that case with DNA evidence in other cases.

    This presentation offers practical tips on reviewing complex data generated in DNA cases, discusses the importance of the proper collection and preservation of DNA evidence, discusses the likelihood and ways DNA evidence is subject to contamination, and outlines specific ways to cross-examine DNA experts.
  • Low copy number (LCN) DNA profiling Recorded: Oct 14 2008 46 mins
    Dan Krane, Professor, Wright State University
    PCR-based DNA tests have greatly improve the capabilities of forensic laboratories. The great successes of these tests have inevitably led to efforts to characterize smaller and smaller amounts of material. As the quantity of DNA template associated with a DNA profile test decreases, the likelihood that the results of the test will be compromised by stochastic effects increases. Questions about the significance of results in such circumstances will be addressed
    -- particularly as they pertain to a prominent acquittal in the United Kingdom where low copy number test results played a central role in the prosecution's case.
  • Ultra-Violet & Infrared Capture of Crime Scene Evidence Recorded: Sep 30 2008 45 mins
    King Brown and M. Dawn Watkins of the Palm Beach Police Department
    The IR-UV camera is a new breakthrough in the forensic field that allows us to drop the background color say a black shirt and show the blood stain patterns, thus allowing for photography, collection testing interpretation of the pattern.
  • Increasing probative value of degraded or limited DNA evidence Recorded: Sep 30 2008 33 mins
    Dr. Amarjit Chahal, Laboratory Director & Technical Leader, Molecular World Inc
    Increasing the probative value of degraded or limited DNA evidence by combining two or more DNA technologies: Combining DNA data from all technologies (for example partial nuclear DNA profile, Y-STR profile and mitochondrial DNA profile in case of degraded samples) to increase the probative value of final DNA test report.
  • Bayesian Bias in Forensic Science Recorded: Sep 30 2008 31 mins
    Roger Koppl, Institute for Forensic Science Administration Fairleigh Dickinson
    The organization of forensic science creates inappropriate biases that will sometimes skew results from the truth. These biases exist even when forensic scientists are perfectly rational and untouched by the sort of psychological infirmities some researchers have emphasized.
    Because perfectly rational actors are Bayesian updaters, we may use the term "Bayesian bias" to identify this organizational problem in forensics.
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  • Title: The 2009 Report on Forensic Sciences from the National Academies
  • Live at: Apr 9 2009 4:00 pm
  • Presented by: Brian Zubel: Attorney at Law and Forensic Science Legal Consultant
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