This series is complete with stage 1 to 3 constructed in the rough layout listed below. Learn from assignments/quizzes, our interactive discussion board, and weekly webinars. By the end of this course series, you will have sufficient knowledge of bioinformatics and its application on a practical scale.
From CSI to Criminal Minds, we’ve all seen forensic scientists on television but what is it that they really do and what is the science behind their career? This course offers scientific, mathematical, and laboratory experience that integrates the concepts learned in biology, chemistry and physics to strengthen individual skills in scientific reasoning, problem-solving, argumentation, data analysis and observation. Students will initially get a flavor for the history of forensics in the first week of the course and then subsequently address topics such as the validity of DNA chemistry, the chemical mechanism of spectroscopy, and time of death assessments. Students will also be introduced to research technologies such as DNA sequencing, Hair analysis, Polymerase Chain Reaction, Fingerprint analysis, and Luminol Spray.
By the end of this course, students will have a strong understanding of real science and science fiction and is able to utilize evidence and experimental data to draw valid and accurate scientific conclusions. Demonstrate mastery of fundamental knowledge in biology, chemistry, DNA analysis, physics, instrumentation theory, and more!
Week 1: Introduction to Biochemical Crime Investigation
1-2: Applications & Limits
1-3: Locard’s Exchange Principle
1-4: Reconstruction & Re-enactment
Week 2: Chemical & Elemental Analysis
2-1: Introduction to atomic structure
2-2: Elemental & Microscopic Object analysis
2-3: Chromatography, HPLC, Infrared Spectroscopy, and Mass Spectrometry
Week 3: Time of Death & Blood Spatter Analysis
3-1: Decomposing Bodies & Analysis of Skeletal Remains
3-2: Blood, Blood Tests, and Precipitin
3-3: Blood Spatter Investigation
Week 4: DNA Chemistry
4-1: Introduction to DNA
4-2: DNA Profiling/Fingerprinting
4-3: Biochemical Technologies
Being a successful biochemical crime scene investigator requires more than just mastery of scientific knowledge and a keen ability to interpret evidence, it also requires imaginative and innovative skills to solve cases which have problems that have never been encountered before. Over the course of 2 weeks, students will be given three different criminal cases, based on real cases, that have been engineered to fit the scope of this course. You will take on the role of a biochemical crime investigative expert and, from the information provided in each prompt, utilize the concepts presented in stage 1 to answer guided questions and develop your expert opinion.
Xavier Tchoujan a graduate student in Public Health and Chemistry & Chemical Biology at Cornell University. He received his B.A. in Biological Sciences from Cornell University's College of Arts & Sciences. In addition to his training in the biological sciences, Xavier has training in biomedical and biological engineering, physiology, and population health. Currently, he is interested in cardiovascular biological markers as they relate to the evaluation of cardiovascular function and valvular assessment.