BIT 495/595: DNA Forensics


  • Students will be introduced to applications of next-generation sequencing (NGS) to human and non-human forensic evidence, along with steps for implementation into casework
  • Students will gain hands-on experience in analyzing NGS data from mock-forensic cases

Lecture Topics:

  1. Introduction to forensic science and evidence collection
  2. Current DNA analysis approaches used in human & nonhuman DNA casework
  3. Benefits of NGS to the analysis of forensic evidence
  4. Current and novel applications of NGS to the analysis of human and non-human DNA evidence
  5. Steps for validating NGS for casework
  6. Ethics and legal implications of NGS in forensic science


  1. Mock case: Fish metabarcoding – assessing seafood fraud/mis-labelling 1 week  
  2. Identifying variable mitochondrial regions for discrimination of wolves 1 week  
  3. Mock case: Ancestry prediction for human investigative leads 1 week  
  4. Design a protocol to transition a traditional analysis to an NGS-based workflow 1 week  
  5. Research and present on a commercially available forensic NGS assay 1 week  
  6. Analysis of human NGS data with open-source and commercial software 1 week  
  7. Case report discussion on ethics and legal implications of genetic genealogy 1 week  

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