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BIO403: Biotechnology

Unit 8: Forensic Biotechnology and Biometrics   One of the practical applications of genomics and DNA technology has been its impact in security and the legal system.  Because every human being has a unique genome, scientists have used DNA visualization technology to identify individuals according to a particular genetic makeup.  Because the odds of someone else having the same sequence are extremely low, it is used as an error-proof test of identification or verification.  The most common application has been paternity testing in cases of doubt as to who is the parent.  The addition of DNA evidence into the legal system has also implicated and freed many people of crimes based on what was collected at the crime scene.  DNA fingerprinting is the most reliable biometrics technique that is used to identify an individual.  This unit briefly describes two non-DNA biometrics techniques as well, namely friction ridge pattern analysis and iris recognition.  The fingerprint reader and the iris scanner investigate developmental patterns, thus these techniques can distinguish identical twins.

Unit 8 Time Advisory
This unit should take you approximately 4.5 hours to complete.

☐    Subunit 8.1: 1.5 hours

☐    Subunit 8.2: 0.5 hour

☐    Subunit 8.3: 0.5 hour

☐    Subunit 8.4: 1.0 hour

☐    Subunit 8.5: 1.0 hour

Unit8 Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this unit, the student will be able to:

  • Describe STR DNA profiling.
  • Compare and contrast genomic and mitochondrial DNA analysis.
  • Compare and contrast tracing genealogy with mitochondrial DNA and Y chromosome.
  • Compare and contrast the scope and limits of DNA- and non-DNA-based fingerprint techniques. 

8.1 DNA Fingerprinting   8.1.1 Genetic Identity   - Reading: Stanford University: Phillip Thurtle’s “The Creation of Genetic Identity” Link: Stanford University:  Phillip Thurtle’s “The Creation of Genetic Identity” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Please study “Budding Concerns: The Creation of Genetic Identity” on this page.
 
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8.1.2 DNA Profiling   - Reading: U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Science’s Human Genome Project Information: “DNA Forensics” Link: U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Science’s Human Genome Project Information:  “DNA Forensics” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Please study this page.
 
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8.1.3 Short Tandem Repeats   - Reading: Nature Education’s Scitable: Karen Norrgard’s “Forensics, DNA Fingerprinting, and CODIS” Link: Nature Education’s Scitable:  Karen Norrgard’s “Forensics, DNA Fingerprinting, and CODIS” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Please study the content of this page.  Please note that FBI is using STR sequences from 13 noncoding regions for the identification of individuals; the amelogenin gene is used additionally for gender determination.
 
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  • Reading: FBI’s “CODIS Core STR Loci” Link: FBI’s “CODIS Core STR Loci” (HTML)
     
    Instructions: Please study the content of this page.  Please note that the STR repeats are used from different chromosomes.  "AMEL" stands for the amelogenin gene, and it is used for sex-typing.
     
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8.2 DNA Evidence in Legal System   - Reading: Nature Education’s Scitable: Leslie A. Pray’s “Legislative Landmarks of Forensics: California v. Greenwood and Shed DNA” Link: Nature Education’s Scitable:  Leslie A. Pray’s “Legislative Landmarks of Forensics: California v. Greenwood and Shed DNA” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Please read the content of this page.  Please note that the 13 STRs that are currently used for DNA profiling do not reveal medical information.
 
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8.3 Paternity Testing with DNA Fingerprinting   - Reading: Nature Education’s Scitable: Jill Adams’ “Paternity Testing: Blood Types and DNA” Link: Nature Education’s Scitable:  Jill Adams’ “Paternity Testing: Blood Types and DNA” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Please study the content of this page.  Please note that blood typing is a good and inexpensive starting point in paternity cases.  DNA fingerprinting can be used for high accuracy result.  
 
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  • Assessment: The University of Arizona: The Biology Project’s “Problem 10: Determining Paternity” Link: The University of Arizona:  The Biology Project’s “Problem 10: Determining Paternity” (HTML)
     
    Instructions: In order to assess your knowledge, complete the “Problem 10: Determining Paternity” activity.  Answer key is provided.
     
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8.4 Tracing Genealogy   8.4.1 Mitochondrial DNA   - Reading: U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Science’s Human Genome Project Information: “DNA Forensics” Link: U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Science’s Human Genome Project Information: “DNA Forensics” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Please study the “Mitochondrial DNA Analysis” section on this page.  Please note that mitochondrial DNA is maternally inherited; a mother and her children all have identical mitochondrial DNA.  Thus, mitochondrial DNA is not individual.  On the other hand, it is present in many copies in a cell, which offers higher sensitivity.  Higher sensitivity is crucial, when samples are decayed. Forensic mitochondrial DNA analysis is more elaborate, because it involves sequencing and sequence analysis of the samples.
 
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8.4.2 Y Chromosome   - Reading: Science Spectra: Neil Bradman and Mark Thomas’ “Why Y?” Link: Science Spectra:  Neil Bradman and Mark Thomas’ “Why Y?” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Please study this page.  Please note that human Y chromosome is paternally inherited.  Males in one paternal lineage have identical Y chromosomes.
 
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8.5 Non-DNA Biometrics   8.5.1 Fingerprint Reading   - Reading: Michigan State University: Salil Prabhakar and Anil Jain’s “Fingerprint Identification” Link: Michigan State University:  Salil Prabhakar and Anil Jain’s “Fingerprint Identification” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Please study this page.  Please note that friction ridge pattern analysis is a pattern analysis that is not fully computerized.  Thus, it requires the opinion of experts.
 
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8.5.2 Iris Recognition   - Reading: John Daugman’s “Iris Recognition” Link: John Daugman’s “Iris Recognition” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Please study this page.
 
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  • Assessment: The Saylor Foundation: "BIO403 Unit 8.5 Assessment" Link: The Saylor Foundation: "BIO403 Unit 8.5 Assessment" (HTML)
     
    Instructions: You will find link to the "Fingerprint Reading" assessment on this page. This is a multiple choice assessment with one correct answer. Clicking on an answer will bring you to another page. If your answer is correct, then it is acknowledged with a short explanation. Please read the explanation carefully. If you click on a wrong answer, then the click will bring you to a tutorial page. Please study the tutorial page carefully. You will be prompted to return to the assessment and complete it again. Please note that this assessment is a brief introduction to classical friction ridge pattern analysis. The modern high throughput fingerprint analysis is computerized; for example the FBI is using the Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification system (IAFIS). IAFIS relies on minutia recognition rather than the identification of the basic loop-arch-whorl (LAW) friction ridge patterns. The results of the computerized fingerprint database analysis are further analyzed by several criminalist. This last manual step is once again relies on complex friction ridge pattern recognition, including LAW. Original prints are the courtesy of Frederick Ford.