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An Introduction to Forensic Genetics / Edition 2

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This is a completely revised edition of a comprehensive and popular introduction to the fast moving area of Forensic Genetics. The text begins with key concepts needed to fully appreciate the subject and moves on to examine the latest developments in the field. Now illustrated in full colour throughout, this accessible textbook includes numerous references to relevant casework. With information on the full process of DNA evidence from collection at the scene of a crime to presentation in a legal context this book provides a complete overview of the field.

Key Features:

  • Greater in-depth coverage of kinship problems now covered in two separate chapters: one dealing with relationships between living individuals and the other covering identification of human remains.
  • New chapter on non-human forensic genetics, including identification of bacteria and viruses, animals and plants.
  • Self assessment questions to aid student understanding throughout the text.
  • Now with full colour illustrations throughout
  • New companion website
  • Accessible introduction to forensic genetics, from the collection of evidence to the presentation of evidence in a legal context.

Included in the Forensic Science Society 'Essentials in Forensic Science' book series. This edition is to be included in the Forensic Science Society 'Essentials of Forensic Science' book series aimed at advanced level undergraduates and new practitioners to the field.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"William Goodwin, Sibte Hadi (both U. of Central Lancashire, England), and Adrian Linacre (Flinders U. Australia) provide a textbook for a first undergraduate course, covering all aspects of forensic genetics briefly, with references to more detailed coverage of particular aspects elsewhere." (Booknews, 1 April 2011)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780470710197
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 2/8/2011
  • Series: Essential Forensic Science Series
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 214
  • Sales rank: 929,949
  • Product dimensions: 6.60 (w) x 9.50 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

William Goodwin is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Forensic and Investigative Science at the University of Central Lancashire where his main teaching areas are molecular biology and its application to forensic analysis. Prior to this he worked for eight years at the Department of Forensic Medicine and Science in the Human Identification Centre where hewas involved in a number of international cases involving the identifications of individuals from air crashes and from clandestine graves. His research has focused on the analysis of DNA from archaeological samples and highly compromised human remains. He has acted as an expert witness and also as a consultant for international humanitarian organisations and forensic service providers.

Adrian Linacre is a Senior Lecturer at the Centre for Forensic Science at the University of Strathclyde where his main areas of teaching are aspects of forensic biology, population genetics and human identification. His research areas include the use of non-human DNA in forensic science and the mechanisms behind the transfer and persistence of DNA at crime scenes. He has published over 50 papers in international journals, has presented at a number of international conferences and is on the editorial board of Forensic Science International: Genetics. Dr Linacre works as an assessor for the Council for the Registration of Forensic Practitioners (CRFP) in the area of human contact traces and is a Registered Practitioner.

Sibte Hadi is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Forensic and Investigative Science at the University of Central Lancashire. His main teaching areas are Forensic Medicine and DNA profiling. He is a physician by training and practised forensic pathology for a number of years in Pakistan before undertaking a PhD in Forensic Genetics. Following this he worked at the Department of Molecular Biology Louisiana State University as a member of the Louisiana Healthy Aging Study group. He has acted as a consultant to forensic service providers in the USA and Pakistan. His current research is focused on population genetics, DNA databases and gene expression studies for different forensic applications.

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Table of Contents



1 Introduction to forensic genetics.

Forensic genetics.

A brief history of forensic genetics.

2 DNA structure and the genome.

DNA structure.

Organization of DNA into chromosomes.

The structure of the human genome.

Genetic diversity of modern humans.

The genome and forensic genetics.

Tandem repeats.

Single nucleotide polymorphisms.

3 Biological material–collection, characterization and storage.

Sources of biological evidence.

Collection and handling of material at the crime scene.

Identification and characterization of biological evidence.

Evidence collection.

Sexual and physical assault.

Storage of biological material.

4 DNA extraction and quantification.


General principles of DNA extraction.

DNA extraction from challenging samples.

Quantification of DNA.

DNA IQ system.

5 Polymerase chain reaction.

The evolution of PCR-based profiling in forensic genetics.

DNA replication: the basis of the PCR.

The components of PCR.

Taq DNA polymerase.

The PCR process.

PCR inhibition.

Sensitivity and contamination.

The PCR laboratory.

6 The analysis of short tandem repeats.

Structure of STR loci.

The development of STR multiplexes.

Detection of STR polymorphisms.

Interpretation of STR profiles.

7 Assessment of STR profiles.

Stutter peaks.

Split peaks (±N).


Template DNA

Overloaded profiles.

Low template DNA typing.

Peak balance.


Degraded DNA.

PCR inhibition.

8 Statistical interpretation of STR profiles.

Population genetics.

Deviation from the Hardy–Weinberg equilibrium.

Statistical tests to determine deviation from the Hardy–Weinberg equilibrium.

Estimating the frequencies of STR profiles.

Corrections to allele frequency databases.

Which population frequency database should be used?


9 Evaluation and presentation of DNA evidence.

Hierarchies of propositions.

Likelihood ratios.

Two fallacies.

Comparison of three approaches.

10 Databases of DNA profiles.

The UK National DNA Database.

Legislation in England and Wales.

International situation.

11 Kinship testing.

Parentage testing.

Punnett square.

Identification of human remains.

12 Single nucleotide polymorphisms.

SNPs–occurrence and structure.

Detection of SNPs.

SNP detection for forensic applications.

Forensic applications of SNPs.

SNPs compared with STR loci.

13 Lineage markers.


Applications of mtDNA profiling.

Haplotypes and haplogroups.

The Y chromosome.

Forensic applications of Y chromosome polymorphisms.

14 Non-human DNA typing.

Non-human sample types.

Species identification.

Linkage to an individual using STR Loci.

Linkage to an individual using mitochondrial loci.

Microbial DNA testing.

Concluding comments.

Appendix A: Forensic parameters.

Appendix B: Useful web links.




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