A Hands-On Introduction to Forensic Science : Cracking the Case, Second Edition book cover
2nd Edition

A Hands-On Introduction to Forensic Science
Cracking the Case, Second Edition

ISBN 9781032089621
Published June 30, 2021 by CRC Press
528 Pages

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Book Description

A Hands-On Introduction to Forensic Science, Second Edition continues in the tradition of the first edition taking a wholly unique approach to teaching forensic science. Each chapter begins with a brief, fictional narrative that runs through the entire book; it is a crime fiction narrative that describes the interaction of a veteran homicide detective teamed with a criminalist and the journey they take together to solve a missing persons case. Step-by-step the book progressive reveals pieces of information about the crime, followed by the more traditional presentation of scientific principles and concepts on a given forensic topics. Each chapter concludes with a series of user friendly, cost effective, hands-on lab activities that provide the students the skills necessary to analyze the evidence presented in each chapters. The new edition is completely updated with special focus on new DNA techniques in DNA sequencing, DNA phenotyping, and bioinformatics.

Students will engage in solving a missing persons case by documenting the crime scene, analyzing physical evidence in the lab, and presenting findings in a mock trial setting. Within the chapters themselves, students learn about the technical, forensic concepts presented within each of the opening stories segments. The book culminates with having the students playing to role of the main characters in a trial—attorneys, scientific experts, suspect, judge, bailiff, and jury—to present and judge the evidence in a mock trial setting. The mock trial will mimic what takes place in a real courtroom, and the jury of swill be asked to deliberate on the evidence presented to determine the guilt or innocence of the suspect.

Table of Contents

1. Crime Scene  2. Lifting Prints  3. Trace  4. All about Blood  5. DNA Quantification  6. Expert Witness  7. Lies?  8. Ballistics  9. Histology  10. Forensic Anthropology  11. mtDNA and Genomic Sequencing  12. STRs  13. Population Statistics  14. Fingerprint Analysis  15. In the Courtroom  Appendix A. Evidence Items in the Erica Holmes Missing Persons Case  Appendix B. Evidence Report  Appendix C. Glossary of Terms Found in the Text  Appendix D. Glossary of Words You Might Hear in the Courtroom

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Mark Okuda received his BA in biology with a minor in chemistry from the University of the Pacific. He went on to receive his MA in natural science from San Jose State University. Mark taught for 33 years at Silver Creek High School and currently serves as an adjunct faculty member at Evergreen Valley College teaching human heredity and forensic biology. During his tenure as a high school science teacher, Mark was the recipient of the Santa Clara County Teacher of the Year, Synopsys Outstanding Science Teacher Award, East Side Union High School District Innovative Teacher Award (Forensic Science), and National Biotechnology Education Conference Teacher Award and held a patent for a biotechnology kit marketed by Bio-Rad entitled "Secrets of the Rain Forest."

Frank H. Stephenson received his PhD in molecular biology from UC Berkeley and performed postgraduate work at UC San Francisco Medical School. He spent several years with Berlex Biosciences as a senior research scientist prior to joining the Technical Training Department at Life Technologies, where he teaches forensics, DNA sequencing, and real-time PCR. Frank has taught molecular biology with the UC Berkeley Extension program and, for ten years, served as a part-time faculty member with Foothill College, where he conducted evening classes in PCR. Dr. Stephenson has published several books in the biotech field, including DNA: How the Biotech Revolution Is Changing the Way We Fight Disease and Calculations for Molecular Biology and Biotechnology: A Guide to Mathematics in the Laboratory. This textbook evolved from summer workshops in forensic and DNA analysis given at Life Technologies to high school teachers and students in collaboration with his coauthor, Mark Okuda.