Application: DNA Evidence at the Scene and in the Lab The most significant advancement in the forensic sciences is the science surrounding deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA), the building block of life. DNA offers a high degree of scientific certainty and thus has become the most relied-upon forensic evidence tested at the crime lab. Despite its high degree of reliability, it also has limitations. A thorough understanding of the value of DNA evidence is critical for any criminal investigator. In this Application Assignment, you examine how to identify and collect DNA at a crime scene.
Then, you explore how DNA is tested at the lab, potential problems that are encountered with samples, and the type of information positive samples tell you about the crimes from which they’ve been drawn. To prepare for this assignment: Review the article, "Crime Scene and DNA Basics for Forensic Analysts." Review the contents of the course and focus on how DNA evidence is collected, processed, and tested at a crime lab. Go to the interactive crime scene, "Autopsy of a Murder," and visit the genetics laboratory. Focus on what genetic analysts do as well as DNA analysis techniques including PCR and electrophosphoresis. Review Chapter 8 of the course text, Criminal Investigation, focusing on the section titled "DNA Analysis." Think about how DNA is handled in the crime lab. Reflect on the interactive crime scene and readings, and think about how DNA evidence is collected and submitted for processing. Think about how a lab processes and utilizes DNA evidence in a case, and consider the benefits and limitations of this type of evidence. The assignment (1–2 pages): Explain how DNA evidence is collected and submitted for processing. Explain how a lab processes and utilizes DNA evidence in a case. Describe the benefits and limitations of DNA evidence. PLEASE USE THIS BOOK AS REFERENCES: Course Text: Swanson, C. R., Chamelin, N. C., Territo, L., & Taylor, R. W. (2011). Criminal investigation (Laureate Education, Inc. custom ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill