An Introduction to Forensic DNA Analysis: 2nd Edition (Hardback) book cover

An Introduction to Forensic DNA Analysis

2nd Edition

By Norah Rudin, Keith Inman

CRC Press

312 pages | 18 Color Illus. | 78 B/W Illus.

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Hardback: 9780849302336
pub: 2001-12-21
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Significant advances in DNA analysis techniques have surfaced since the 1997 publication of the bestselling An Introduction to Forensic DNA Analysis. DNA typing has become increasingly automated and miniaturized. Also, with the advent of Short Tandem Repeat (STR) technology, even the most minute sample of degraded DNA can yield a profile, providing valuable case information. However, just as the judicial system slowly and reluctantly accepted RFLP and AmpliType® PM+DQA1 typing, it is now scrutinizing the admissibility of STRs.

Acknowledging STR typing as the current system of choice, An Introduction to Forensic DNA Analysis, Second Edition translates new and established concepts into plain English so that laypeople can gain insight into how DNA analysis works, from sample collection to interpretation of results. In response to the shift toward more efficient techniques, the authors cover the legal admissibility of STR typing, expand the chapter on DNA databases, and revise the section on automated analysis. They also present key decisions and appellate or supreme court rulings that provide precedent at the state and federal levels.

Discussing forensic DNA issues from both a scientific and a legal perspective, the authors of An Introduction to Forensic DNA Analysis, Second Edition present the material in a manner understandable by professionals in the legal system, law enforcement, and forensic science. They cover general principles in a clear fashion and include a glossary of terms and other useful appendices for easy reference.


About the new edition:

"This book, in just a few pages, offers fundamental theory, processes, interpretation, and presentation of DNA evidence in court in an interesting and entertaining way, with illustrative cases liberally sprinkled throughout. … An ideal book."

- J.A. Siegel, Michigan State University, in CHOICE

About the first edition:

"This well-illustrated book also contains many interesting casework examples. It is a very useful reference source, not only for forensic biologists, but for anyone interested in acquiring complete and clear information on past, present, and future trends in forensic DNA analysis."

-Paul Roussy, RCM Police Central Forensic Laboratory, Ontario, Canada

Table of Contents


The Nature of Physical Evidence

Science and the Law

Principles and Processes of Criminalistics

Fingerprints and DNA

Conventional Blood Typing

The Collection and Preservation of Physical Evidence

Extraneous Substances

Collection of Evidence

Preservation of Evidence

Evaluation of Evidence

A Short History of DNA Typing

The Scientific Basis of DNA Typing

Why DNA?

An Introduction to Human Genetics

An Introduction to the Molecular Biology of DNA

Two Kinds of Variation

Enzymes, the Workhorses of the Biological World

An Overview of Forensic DNA Typing Systems

RFLP Analysis

PCR Amplification

What Kinds of Samples Can be Analyzed?

How Much Sample Do You Need?

Procedures for Forensic DNA Analysis

Isolation of DNA

Determining Quality and Quantity of DNA

RFLP Analysis

PCR Amplification

Analysis of PCR Product

Automated Analysis Systems

Interpretation of DNA Typing Results

Complicating Factors

System Specific Interpretational Issues

Summary of DNA Interpretation Issues

Assessing the Strength of the Evidence

Determination of Genetic Concordance

Evaluation of Results

Frequency Estimate Calculations

Population Substructure

Likelihood Ratios

When is a DNA Profile Unique?

The DNA Databank

Premise of a Databank

The Difference between a Databank and a Database

Elements of a Successful Databank


Quality Assurance

Certification and Accreditation

SWDAM (formerly TWGDAM)

NRC I and II

Federal DNA Advisory Board

Admissibility Standards - Science on Trial in the Courtroom

Frye, Daubert, and the Federal Rules of Evidence

DNA - Some Landmark Cases

The State of the Debate




Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LAW / Criminal Law / General
LAW / Forensic Science