Saturday, December 08, 2012

Dec 8 - Walter F. Rowe, PhD - It Came From the Genetics Lab: DNA, the Monster That Ate Forensic Science

Saturday, Dec 8, 2012, 1:30 pm
National Science Foundation
Room 110
4201 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, VA [map]

In the 1980s all was serene in the field of forensic science. Fingerprinting and dental records were the accepted methods of personal identification. Forensic serologists could identify a number of genetic markers in dried blood and body fluids. The identification sciences (questioned documents, firearm and tool mark identification, shoe and tire track identification) were readily accepted by courts. Few scientists envisioned that it would be possible to isolate human DNA from dried stains that were months or years old. However, within less than a quarter of a century forensic DNA profiling had become the gold standard against which all
other forensic disciplines are measured (and not always to their benefit).

This talk will examine the current state of forensic DNA profiling and ongoing research in this area. It will also explore the profound impact of DNA profiling on the criminal justice system, crime scene processing, the criminal investigative process and other branches of forensic science. The talk will also address some myths about DNA profiling and the personal information that it supposedly discloses.

FREE admission – Everyone welcome, members and non-members.
Refreshments and socializing after the talk.