JS 185: DNA and Crime

Time: Wednesdays at 1730-2015 by WEBEX

Location: On Line


Course Description: 

This course is designed to introduce students to the basics of DNA and the application of DNA to solving crime.  Students will be introduced to DNA testing utilized in criminal casework and convicted offender DNA databases.    Students will become familiar with the scientific concepts, methods, practices and analytical instrumentation utilized for DNA analysis.  Legal issues including national standards for quality assurance, validation, legal admissibility and training will also be covered. 

Course Text and materials:

Fundamentals of Forensic DNA Typing. John Butler 2010. ISBN 9780123749994. Academic Press

For copies of the figures see: http://www.elsevierdirect.com/companions/9780123749994

Optional textbooks:

Forensic DNA Analysis.  Rudin, N. and K. Inman. 2nd Edition. 2001. ISBN: 0849302331 Publisher: CRC Press; 2nd edition (December 21, 2001) 312 pp.

Advanced Topics in Forensic DNA Typing Methodology. John Butler 2012. ISBN 978012374513-2. Academic Press  

Forensic DNA Typing: Biology and Technology Behind STR Markers John Butler PhD. 2005. ISBN: 0-12-147952-8, 688pp. Academic Press 

Required reading and Internet materials:

Journal articles and other readings will be accessible at the SJSU library, on reserve or will be accessible on line.   Citations and URLs for on line materials will be provided in assignments.   

These will include: 

DNA training courses http://www.nij.gov/training/courses/welcome.htm

STRENGTHENING FORENSIC SCIENCE IN THE UNITED STATES A PATH FORWARD 2009. NRC - http://books.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=12589&page=R1

NIST STRBase: http://www.cstl.nist.gov/div831/strbase/index.htm 

NCJRS publications- https://www.ncjrs.gov/


Human Genome Project Links- http://www.ornl.gov/sci/techresources/Human_Genome/elsi/forensics.shtml: and others 

http://www.forensic.to/links/pages/Forensic_Sciences/Field_of_expertise/DNA/ :


Genetic Witness: Forensic Uses of DNA Testing, Office of Technology Assessment; http://www.wws.princeton.edu/~ota/disk2/1990/9021/9021.PDF

Supplementary Texts (Optional)- Course material may include citations from the following:

Genetic Testimony. A guide to forensic DNA profiling. Spencer, C. 2004. ISBN 0-13-142338-X.  Pearson Education Inc.  Upper Saddle River, NJ 07458. 37 pp 

Criminalistics: An Introduction to Forensic Science (College Version), 9/E, Copyright 2007,  ISBN- 0132216558, RE. Saferstein, Ph.D, Prentice Hall, 672pp. http://vig.prenhall.com/catalog/academic/product/0,1144,0132216558,00.html

Techniques of Crime Scene Investigation, Seventh Edition. 2004 Barry Fisher. ISBN084931691X,  544 pages. CRC Press



Syllabus version  - Note New Syllabus for Fall 2015 Coming

Documents - Edits forthcoming to documents

Powerpoint presentations



Exam 1 Study Guide

Study Guide for Exam 1

New Powerpoints Fall 2013