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University Bulletin
Undergraduate Degree Programs

These course descriptions are not being updated as of August 1, 2016. Current course descriptions are maintained in LionPATH.

Forensic Science (FRNSC)

FRNSC 421W Forensic Molecular Biology (4) Concepts and application of serology of molecular biology techniques to analyze biological evidence collected at crime scenes.

FRNSC 421W Forensic Molecular Biology (4)

Classroom discussions will focus on the application of biochemistry and molecular biology techniques in forensic serology and DNA analysis. The course will start with a history of forensic biology techniques and move quickly to modern day techniques (e.g., STR analysis). Laboratory analysis will include population samples and mock evidence samples. Students will expand their knowledge of population genetics and fine tune their practical laboratory skills. Students will learn about laboratory safety, quality assurance and control, and ethics. They will evaluate results from actual forensic DNA cases, and both discuss how evidence is presented in court and have the opportunity to present their data in mock deposition proceedings. Laboratory exercises will result in the preparation of courtroom ready materials (data, documents, and demonstrations). Many of the classroom discussions will be problem solving exercises designed to emphasize specific applications of laboratory analysis.

At the end of the course, students will have a strong understanding of forensic screening techniques and STR analysis of biological evidence, and how to convey their findings in written format. In the laboratory, students will have analyzed different sample types, interpreted DNA profiles, prepared laboratory reports and case files, and presented the evidence in mock testimony proceedings. As a result, students will have the basic skills necessary to work in a forensic biology crime laboratory.

The proposed course is relevant to any science student who has taken B M B 342, 400, and 401, and any student in the Forensic Science major who has an interest in obtaining employment in a local, state or federal law enforcement agency and/or crime laboratory facility. This is a 400-level forensics course that will be required for students in the Forensic Science major who elect to complete the biology option.

General Education: None
Diversity: None
Bachelor of Arts: None
Effective: Fall 2012
Prerequisite: B M B 442, B M B 400, B M B 401 andFRNSC 413 prerequisite or concurrentFRNSC 400

Note : Class size, frequency of offering, and evaluation methods will vary by location and instructor. For these details check the specific course syllabus.


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Course descriptions are stored in LionPATH, the University-wide student information system. Please visit the LionPATH Course Catalog to access current course descriptions. At that point, you will be leaving the University Bulletin website.

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