From Submission to Court: The Basics of a Forensic Biology Laboratory

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Course Description

Forensic laboratories are often fundamentally disconnected from investigators and prosecutors, with little understanding of the process involved in transforming evidence submitted to a lab into a result in a laboratory report. This course will comprehensively explore the layout and basic workflow of a forensic biology laboratory, tracing the journey of evidence from submission to the reported information utilized in court proceedings. Through an examination of lab design, workflow, and the rigorous validation procedures inherent in forensic biology, multidisciplinary team members will gain a deeper appreciation of the processes and quality standards necessary for fully examining evidence for use in a court of law.

Learning Objectives

  1. Review fundamental principles of lab design and grasp its critical role in minimizing contamination and carryover risks.
  2. Explore the fundamental workflow of a forensic biology laboratory, covering serology, DNA analysis, and interpretation of profiles.
  3. Identify key validation methods and their influence on the accuracy and reliability of forensic procedures and outcomes.
  4. Recognize the significance and basic principles of quality assurance standards in forensic DNA testing laboratories, understanding their importance in maintaining integrity and reliability of results.

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