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R - Biology / DNA Program

Genetics, The Law, and Society

Class Code: 
R605

Subject Area:

Class Location: 
Jan Bashinski DNA Laboratory / CCI Richmond and Los Angeles
Class Description: 
This two-and-one-half day (20-hour) course will provide an introduction to the legal, societal, and bioethical issues that arise from advances in genetics. Major topic areas include: advances in forensic genetics, genetic privacy and databanks, and selected applications in medical genetics. Substantive topics include: 1) forensic DNA databases and implications for civil liberties: ethics, law and policy, 2) sibling and relative searching, 3) post-conviction and post-execution DNA testing, 4) forensic phenotype profiling, and 5) genetic discrimination, privacy and confidentiality. This course is intended for forensic scientists, criminalists, supervising criminalists, laboratory managers and other crime laboratory personnel. In addition others that may attend include individuals interested in the use of forensic DNA databases: individuals involved in creating and evaluating DNA legislation, criminal justice personnel (city, county, state and federal law enforcement, lawyers, prosecutors, and judges) and educators who teach forensic genetics or related subjects. Each class is limited to 20 students. POST funding is not available.
Instructor: 
TBA
Teaching Methods: 
Classroom lectures, group discussions, small group activities, use of web references and resources and videos.
Objectives: 
Successful completion of this course will enable students to become familiar with the legal, ethical and societal issues that arises from advances in genetics including forensics, genetic privacy and selected medical genetic applications. Students will also become familiar with current laws related to expanding forensic DNA databanks, forensic phenotype profiling, DNA databank expansion, familial searches and post-conviction and post-execution laws.
Prerequisites: 
Genetic Typing Methods (R210), molecular biology, biochemistry, and genetics, and/or approval of Program Manager
Materials Fee: 
$35.00 Materials fee will be charged to all non-BFS students. This charge is due at the beginning of the class. Make check(s) payable to the California Department of Justice.
Tuition: 
No cost for California public crime laboratory personnel. A $180.00 tuition fee is required for all other public agencies, private sector, or out of state applicants.

Course Contact:

An Introduction to Non-Human Forensic DNA Analysis and Typing

Class Code: 
R604

Subject Area:

Class Location: 
Jan Bashinski DNA Laboratory
Class Description: 
The target audience of this 1-day (8-hour) course includes criminalists who analyze biological evidence. The course is intended to allow criminalists to become familiar with non-human forensic DNA procedures - procedures which have clearly recognized utility in crime solving. Participants will be given a background in: 1) Basic plant, animal and insect and biology 2) Biology of nuclear, mitochondrial and chloroplastic genomes 3) Introduction to population genetic applications 4) Use of non-human biological evidence in forensic casework and casework examples 5) Wildlife forensics 6) Legal considerations for acceptance of non-human biological evidence in court This class is limited to 24 students.
Instructor: 
Dr. Sree Kanthaswamy
Teaching Methods: 
Lecture and discussion
Objectives: 
Students will be required to demonstrate their proficiency in practical and written tests.
Prerequisites: 
SWGDAM-specified courses; casework or casework in-training experience or approval by the CCI Biology/Program Manager
Preparation: 
Pre-course reading material may be assigned
Materials Fee: 
$35.00 Materials fee will be charged to all non-BFS students. This charge is due at the beginning of the class. Make check(s) payable to the California Department of Justice.
Tuition: 
No cost to California public crime laboratory personnel. A $120.00 tuition fee is required for all other public agencies, private sector, or out of state applicants.

Course Contact:

Mitochondrial DNA Analysis

Class Code: 
R602

Subject Area:

Class Location: 
Jan Bashinski DNA Laboratory / CCI Richmond
Class Description: 
This 10-1/2 day (86-hour) course conveys in-depth information on human mitochondrial genome biology, evolution, and inheritance as well as practical experience on analytical methods to type genetic variation in this genome. Guidelines on quality assurance, quality control and statistical interpretation of mitochondrial DNA data are reviewed for case work and human identification (missing persons programs). Class is limited to twelve students.
Instructor: 
Jan Bashinski DNA Laboratory Staff and guest lecturers
Teaching Methods: 
Lecture, discussion, demonstrations, and exercises
Objectives: 
Students will gain laboratory experience on (1) DNA extraction from hair, (2) Real Time quantitative PCR for assessment of nuclear and mitochondrial genome copies, (3) PCR amplification of variable regions HV1 and HV2, (4) Microchip (Agilent)-based quantification of amplified products, (5) cycle sequencing and separation of di-deoxy termination products on the ABI Prism 3100 platform, (6) sequence analysis (Sequencher software) and (7) typing of amplified products by Linear Array (Sequence-specific Oligonucleotides). Participants will obtain an understanding on interpretational issues/guidelines regarding both modes of typing (sequencing and Linear Array) with emphasis on the interpretation of patterns of heteroplasmy, and statistical assessments of frequency estimates of mitochondrial haplotypes. Recent developments in SNP-typing technology for variable sites outside of the HV1 and HV2 regions (coding regions) and applications of mitochondrial DNA typing to animal forensic investigations, will also be covered.
Prerequisites: 
SWGDAM-specified courses; casework or casework in-training experience or approval by the CCI Biology/Program Manager
Materials Fee: 
$75.00 Materials fee will be charged to all non-BFS students. This charge is due at the beginning of the class. Make check(s) payable to the California Department of Justice.
Tuition: 
POST-certified; no cost to California public crime laboratory personnel. A $1,200.00 tuition fee is required for all other public agencies, private sector, or out of state applicants.

Course Contact:

Kinship Analysis

Class Code: 
R500

Subject Area:

Class Location: 
California Criminalistics Institute
Class Description: 
This five-day course concentrates on the application of statistics and analytical interpretations. A great portion of the course will involve classroom exercises on kinship calculations and using software tools in kinship casework examples. Case studies will also be examined, including mass victim identification projects such as the World Trade Center Disaster and Hurricane Katrina. Other lineage-specific DNA typing methods, such as Y-chromosome STRs and mitochondrial DNA, will also be discussed. Advanced topics and recent developments in kinship analysis will be presented.
Instructor: 
Brian Harmon & Steven Myers
Teaching Methods: 
Lecture, discussion, and exercises
Objectives: 
Through lectures and class exercises, this course will train forensic DNA analysts in kinship analysis.
Prerequisites: 
R103 Population Genetics in Forensic DNA Analysis or consent of instructors
Preparation: 
Pre-course reading material may be assigned
Materials Fee: 
$25.00 Materials fee will be charged to all non-BFS students. This charge is due at the beginning of the class. Make check(s) payable to the California Department of Justice.
Tuition: 
POST-certified; no cost to California public crime laboratory personnel. A $600.00 tuition fee is required for all other public agencies, private sector, or out of state applicants.

Course Contact:

Interpretation of Complex STR Data

Class Code: 
R254

Subject Area:

Class Location: 
Jan Bashinski DNA Laboratory and CCI-Los Angeles
Class Description: 
This 2-day workshop is recommended for DNA analysts who currently process casework. We will discuss mixed DNA results, low copy number (LCN) results, and the statistics applied to them. The workshop will explore the different algorithms and software tools to assist in reviewing mixed samples often encountered in forensic STR casework. In addition, we will review the “SWGDAM Interpretation Guidelines for Autosomal STR Typing by Forensic DNA Testing Laboratories.” Thresholds and parameters will be determined by the class and applied to different results. The students will manually perform some of the more common calculations to include peak height ratios and donor ratios. Datasets with a defined mixture of male and female DNA will be available for the exercises. The workshop will focus on 2-person mixtures; mixtures of 3 and more individuals will also be discussed. This workshop is a combination of oral presentations and written exercises. The use of statistics for mixed results will be reviewed along with a survey of the scientific literature and experiences of mixed DNA results in the courtroom. Bring your calculator! Bring your case examples to share and discuss!
Instructor: 
Dr. Rhonda Roby
Teaching Methods: 
Lecture, PowerPoint and Group Exercises.
Objectives: 
• To develop an understanding of criteria used to evaluate challenging STR typing data such as complex DNA mixtures and compromised DNA samples exhibiting degradation and/or inhibition • To become familiar with the SWGDAM Interpretation Guidelines for Autosomal STR Typing • To understand statistical approaches used to determine the weight of the DNA evidence in complex STR profiles (CPE, CPI, LR, and RMP)
Prerequisites: 
Experienced in interpreting STR profiles in forensic science.
Preparation: 
Pre-course reading material may be assigned.
Materials Fee: 
$35.00 Materials fee will be charged to all non-BFS students. This charge is due at the beginning of the class. Make check(s) payable to the California Department of Justice.
Tuition: 
No cost to California public crime laboratory personnel. A $240.00 tuition fee is required for all other public agencies, private sector, or out of state applicants.

Course Contact:

Advanced DNA Extraction and Quantification

Class Code: 
R220

Subject Area:

Class Location: 
Jan Bashinski DNA Laboratory / CCI Richmond
Class Description: 
This one-week course provides in-depth information on DNA extraction and DNA quantification. The course focuses on laboratory exercises. The course covers: (1) The principles underlying DNA extraction methods used as alternatives to the organic extraction, (2) The theoretical basis for DNA quantification by Real Time (RT) PCR, (3) The Quantifiler reagent kit, and (4) Assessment of inhibition and template degradation in RT PCR. The class is limited to 12 students. POST funding is not available for this class.
Instructor: 
Jan Bashinski DNA Laboratory Staff
Teaching Methods: 
Classroom lectures, group discussions, and laboratory exercises.
Objectives: 
Students will be required to demonstrate their proficiency in practical and written tests.
Prerequisites: 
DNA Extraction and Quantification class and SWGDAM specified classes: molecular biology, biochemistry, and genetics, or approval of Course Coordinator.
Preparation: 
Pre-course reading material may be assigned.
Materials Fee: 
$75.00 Materials fee will be charged to all non-BFS students. This charge is due at the beginning of the class. Make check(s) payable to the California Department of Justice.
Tuition: 
No cost to California public crime laboratory personnel. A $600.00 tuition fee is required for all other public agencies, private sector, or out of state applicants.

Course Contact:

Genetic Typing Methods in Forensic Science

Class Code: 
R210

Subject Area:

Class Location: 
Jan Bashinski DNA Laboratory and CCI-Los Angeles
Class Description: 
This 2-day course will provide students with information on the history of genetic typing methods used in forensic science and will include a review of: (1) antigen and enzyme genetic marker systems used in forensic science, (2) restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) systems, (3) immobilized probe typing methods: DQA1 and PM , (4) mitochondrial DNA typing, (5) fragment based typing systems: D1S80 and STRs, (6) DNA databases, (7) Y STRs, and (8) future DNA typing technologies. Each class is limited to 20 students.
Instructor: 
Jan Bashinski DNA Laboratory Staff
Teaching Methods: 
Classroom lectures and group discussions
Objectives: 
Students will be required to demonstrate their proficiency in a written test.
Prerequisites: 
SWGDAM specified classes: molecular biology, biochemistry, and genetics, or approval of Course Coordinator.
Preparation: 
Pre-course reading material may be assigned.
Materials Fee: 
$0
Tuition: 
POST-certified; no cost to California public crime laboratory personnel. A $240.00 tuition fee is required for all other public agencies, private sector, or out of state applicants.

Course Contact:

Microscopy of Sexual Assault Evidence

Class Code: 
R123

Subject Area:

Class Location: 
See Schedule
Class Description: 
This four day (32-hour) class will cover non-routine aspects of sexual assault evidence, focusing on interpretation issues. Such issues come from persistence of seminal components, extraction efficiency, limitations of testing, and information from microscopic examination of extracts. Students will test samples, with emphasis on microscopy. The class will include lectures, classroom discussion of casework examples, and laboratory testing of samples. Course will include a review of microscope use and alignment. Each class is limited to 12 students. Post Certified
Instructor: 
Kerstin Gleim, Pacific Coast Forensic Science Institute
Teaching Methods: 
Classroom lectures, discussions, demonstrations, and laboratory exercises
Objectives: 
Students will gain a wider knowledge of the information available from the microscopic examinations of cellular material and of the variables in sexual assault cases and their effects on interpretation. The students will be required to demonstrate their proficiency in a written test.
Prerequisites: 
Basic Forensic Serology (B101), or equivalent (knowledge and some experience of the testing methods used for sexual assault evidence). Preference will be given to applicants who have taken a basic microscopy course (or have equivalent knowledge).
Materials Fee: 
$75.00 Materials fee will be charged to all non-BFS students. This charge is due at the beginning of the class. Make check(s) payable to the California Department of Justice.
Tuition: 
No cost to California public crime laboratory personnel. A $480.00 tuition fee is required for all other public agencies, private sector, or out of state applicants.

Course Contact:

Clothing Examination

Class Code: 
R108

Subject Area:

Class Location: 
California Criminalistics Institute / Sacramento or Los Angeles
Class Description: 
This 3-day (24-hour) course is designed to provide basic steps in clothing examination in the crime laboratory. The course will cover the following topics: 1) techniques for examining stains and deposits on clothing items, 2) describing and documenting deposits and stains, and 3) collection and preservation of body fluid stains and some trace evidence.
Instructor: 
Donald T. Jones
Teaching Methods: 
Classroom lectures, discussions, demonstrations, and laboratory exercises.
Objectives: 
The student will learn the basic steps in clothing examination and documentation. The student will learn to describe the nature and manner of deposit of body fluids and be able to recognize and describe other commonly encountered materials. The student will learn to provide a good record that is defensible in court. Laboratory practice will include exercises in describing the clothing item, its condition including any apparent damage, the appearance of any biological stains, and the limited use of presumptive chemical testing. In addition, students will be introduced to the recognition, description, and preservation of non-biological evidence.
Prerequisites: 
Experience with documentation of scientific testing. This class is suitable for the new examiner, and for examiners whose experience in clothing examination is limited to sampling of body fluid stains. Preference will be given to applicants with six months of experience in either forensic serology or forensic DNA analysis
Materials Fee: 
A $75.00 materials fee will be charged to all non-BFS students. This charge is due at the beginning of the class. Make check(s) payable to the California Department of Justice.
Tuition: 
POST-certified; no cost to California public crime laboratory personnel. A $360.00 tuition fee will be required of all other public agency, private sector, or out-of-state applicants.

Course Contact:

Casework Approach II

Class Code: 
R107b

Subject Area:

Class Location: 
California Criminalistics Institute / Sacramento
Class Description: 
In complex cases where we can't do everything, how do we know what we can and can't let go? Is thorough work required on every item, or can a cursory exam of some items be sufficient? How can you defend your decisions in court? This two-day course will cover principles that forensic scientists can use in deciding where to begin and when the work is done. This approach emphasizes making impact-based decisions early in the case and concluding work by evaluating the impact of results on the case hypotheses. The principles are presented as conceptual tools that are applied in a step-wise fashion to biological-evidence casework examples. The presentation will consist of interleaved lectures and exercises that participants will do in small discussion groups. This class covers material suitable for a forensic scientist with complex casework experience. Class limited to 36 students. Casework Approach I introduces tools that apply to all types of cases. Casework Approach II briefly introduces the same tools, then adds and spends more time on tools for complex casework including using case hypotheses that address evaluating various scenarios to explain what occurred.
Instructor: 
TBA
Teaching Methods: 
Lecture, classroom exercises, and discussion
Objectives: 
This workshop provides conceptual tools for the forensic practitioner to use in making the everyday decisions upon which the development of sound and defensible scientific information rests. Doing a thorough job on a case does not mean examining everything or doing all possible analyses. Upon completion of this workshop, the participants should have the principles -- and a logical framework -- for making decisions about the focus, priority, and sequence of examinations and when the work can be considered done. The suggested approach is grounded in understanding the case context and is directed toward providing information that addresses the overall case issues.
Prerequisites: 
Experience with complex casework. Complex analysis involves casework where a unique approach may be necessary; or a single definitive conclusion is not possible and weighted conclusions are warranted; or casework requiring the reconstruction of an event or series of events based on the interpretation of physical evidence.
Materials Fee: 
$35.00 Materials fee will be charged to all non-BFS students. This charge is due at the beginning of the class. Make check(s) payable to the California Department of Justice.
Tuition: 
No cost to California public crime laboratory personnel. A $240.00 tuition fee will be required of all other public agency, private sector, or out-of-state applicants.

Course Contact:

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