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K-State Today

September 3, 2019

Kansas Bureau of Investigation scientist to speak about forensic DNA analysis Sept. 4

Submitted by Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics

Jena Sparling, forensic scientist in biology and DNA casework at Kansas Bureau of Investigation, is the featured speaker for Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics Seminar on Wednesday, Sept. 4. She will present "Forensic DNA Analysis: From Crime Scene to Courtroom" at 4 p.m. in 120 Ackert Hall.

Presentation: DNA profiling has become the gold standard in forensic science since the first case was solved 35 years ago by taking advantage of genetic variation in individuals. Today, scientists can develop a DNA profile simply from skin cells left behind when a criminal merely touches a surface. Forensic DNA typing is based on common scientific principles and techniques that are universally accepted and routinely used in a wide variety of medical and genetic situations. As these techniques become increasingly sensitive and faster, so does the discriminatory power and confidence of attributing a DNA profile to a specific individual. Furthermore, with standardization within the forensic community, databases have been developed as a powerful investigative tool in criminal and missing persons cases. This presentation outlines the practice of DNA analysis in a criminal laboratory setting, the implications in the courtroom and future of the discipline.