Forensic DNA Applications: An Interdisciplinary Perspective, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Forensic DNA Applications

An Interdisciplinary Perspective, 1st Edition

Edited by Dragan Primorac, Moses Schanfield

CRC Press

647 pages | 114 Color Illus.

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Forensic DNA Applications: An Interdisciplinary Perspective was developed as an outgrowth of a conference held by the International Society of Applied Biological Sciences. The topic was human genome–based applications in forensic science, anthropology, and individualized medicine. Assembling the contributions of contributors from numerous regions around the world, this volume is designed as both a textbook for forensic molecular biology students and a reference for practitioners and those in the legal system.

The book begins with the history and development of DNA typing and profiling for criminal and civil purposes. It discusses the statistical interpretation of results with case examples, mitochondrial DNA testing, Y single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and short tandem repeats (STRs), and X SNP and STR testing. It also explores low copy number DNA typing, mixtures, and quality assurance and control.

The second section examines the collection and preservation of biological evidence under a variety of different circumstances and the identification of human remains—including in mass disaster settings. It discusses applications to bioterrorism investigations, animal DNA testing in criminal cases, pedigree questions and wildlife forensic problems, applications in forensic entomology, and forensic botany.

The third section explores recent developments and new technologies, including the rigorous identification of tissue of origin, mtDNA profiling using immobilized probe strips, chips and next-generation sequencing, the use of SNPs to ascertain phenotypic characteristics, and the "molecular autopsy" that looks at aspects of toxicogenetics and pharmacogenetics.

The book concludes with a discussion on law, ethics, and policy. It examines the use of DNA evidence in the criminal justice system in both the United States and Europe, ethical issues

in forensic laboratory practices, familial searches, DNA databases, ancestry searches, physical phenotyping, and report writing. The contributors also examine DNA applications in immigration and human trafficking cases and international perspectives on DNA databases.


"As the editors state in the Preface, Forensic DNA Applications: An Interdisciplinary Perspective was created to fill a perceived void for a book that could be used as a textbook for students and as a reference book for forensic science practitioners, lawyers, and judges dealing with civil and criminal cases involving DNA technology. The editors have succeeded in meeting the void they describe. Although it is not a "how-to" text, the future direction emphasis and comprehensive nature make Forensic DNA Applications: An Interdisciplinary Perspective a welcome addition to the book collection of any forensic molecular biology practitioner. It is also better suited for the graduate student than for the undergraduate given that it is not an introductory text and presupposes a strong background in molecular biology and genetics."

—Lawrence Quarino, PhD, Journal of Forensic Sciences, May 2015

" … the most comprehensive volume on forensic and ancestral DNA analysis yet published. Drs. Primorac and Schanfield deserve considerable credit for having brought this wide-ranging material together under one cover."

—R. E. Gaensslen,Prof. Emeritus, Forensic Science, University of Illinois, Chicago, From the Book's Foreword

Table of Contents

General Background and Methodological Concepts

Basic Genetics and Human Genetic Variation; Dragan Primorac, Moses S. Schanfield, and Damir Marjanović

Forensic DNA Analysis and Statistics; Moses S. Schanfield, Dragan Primorac, and Damir Marjanović

Forensic Aspects of mtDNA Analysis; Mitchell M. Holland and Gordan Lauc

Y Chromosome in Forensic Science; Manfred Kayser and Kaye N. Ballantyne

Forensic Application of X Chromosome STR s and SNPs;

Toni Marie Diegoli

Low Copy Number DNA Profiling; Theresa Caragine, Krista Currie, and Craig O’Connor

Forensic DNA Mixtures, Approaches, and Analysis; Theresa Caragine, Adele Mitchell, and Craig O’Connor

Forensic DNA Typing and Quality Assurance; Daniel Vanek and Katja Drobnič

Uses and Applications

Collection and Preservation of Physical Evidence; Henry Lee, Timothy Palmbach, Dragan Primorac, and Šimun Anđelinović

Identification of Missing Persons and Mass Disaster Victim

Identification by DNA; Barbara A. Butcher, Frederick R. Bieber,

Zoran M. Budimlija, Sheila M. Dennis, and Mark A. Desire

Bioterrorism and Forensic Microbiology; Alemka Markotić, James W. LeDuc, and Jenifer Smith

Forensic Animal DN A Analysis; Marilyn A. Menotti-Raymond, Victor A. David, Stephen J. O’Brien, Sree Kanthaswamy, Petar Projić, Vedrana Škaro, Gordan Lauc, and Adrian Linacre

Application of DN A- Based Methods in Forensic Entomology; Jeffrey D. Wells and Vedrana Škaro

Forensic Botany: Plants as Evidence in Criminal Cases and

as Agents of Bioterrorism; Heather Miller Coyle, Henry C. Lee, and Timothy M. Palmbach

Recent Developments and Future Directions in Human Forensic Molecular Biology

Forensic Tissue Identification with Nucleic Acids; Dmitry Zubakov and Manfred Kayser

Evolving Technologies in Forensic DNA Analysis; Cassandra D. Calloway and Henry Erlich

Prediction of Physical Characteristics, such as Eye, Hair,

and Skin Color Based Solely on DNA; Elisa Wurmbach

Molecular Autopsy; Grace Axler-DiPerte, Frederick R. Bieber,

Zoran Budimlija, Antii Sajantila, Donald Siegel, and Yingying Tang

Genetic Genealogy in Genomic Era; Jake Byrnes, Natalie M. Myres, and Peter A. Underhill

Law, Ethics, and Policy

DNA as Evidence in the Courtroom; David H. Kaye, Frederick R. Bieber, and Damir Primorac

Some Ethical Issues in Forensic Genetics; Erin D. Williams and David H. Kaye

DNA in Immigration and Human Trafficking; Sara Huston Katsanis and Joyce Kim

DNA Databanking; Chris Asplen


About the Editors

Dragan Primorac, M.D., Ph.D., is a pediatrician, forensic expert, and geneticist. Currently he serves as an adjunct professor at Eberly College of Science, The Pennsylvania State University, and The Henry C. Lee College of Criminal Justice and Forensic Sciences, University of New Haven in the United States and at Medical Schools in Split and Osijek in Croatia. Professor Primorac is a pioneer in the application of DNA analysis for identification of bodies in mass graves. He authored close to 200 scientific papers, book chapters, and abstracts in areas of forensic science, clinical medicine, molecular genetics, population genetics, genetic legacy of homo sapiens,education, science, and technology policy.

Moses S. Schanfield, Ph.D., has undergraduate and master’s degrees in anthropology and a PhD degree in human genetics. He has been involved full time in forensic testing for 30 years. Professor Schanfield has been involved in the development of some of the critical functions of modern forensic DNA testing including the in-lane size ladder, which is used in all human identification testing. He has published extensively on forensic DNA testing and has testified in state, federal, and military courts in the United States and Canada, Puerto Rico, and Barbados.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LAW / Forensic Science
SCIENCE / Life Sciences / Biology / Molecular Biology