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An Introduction to Forensic Genetics Second Edition (Essential Forensic Science) Paperback – 8 Dec 2010
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"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) --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
From the Back Cover
An Introduction to Forensic Genetics, Second Edition is a revised edition of this comprehensive and popular introduction to the fast moving area of Forensic Genetics. The book begins with the 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 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, providing a complete overview of the field.
A new chapter looking at non–human forensic genetics, including identification of bacteria and viruses, animals and plants is also included.
- Now with full colour illustrations throughout
- New companion wesites at www.wiley.com/go/forensic2e
- Greater coverage of kinship problems
- Accessible introduction to forensic genetics, from the collection of evidence to the presentation of evidence in a legal context
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As the title suggests, it starts with an introduction to forensic genetics (FG). It is always food for thought that forensic genetics, for all its use now, is still a relatively young science. Thus, in addition to the brief history of FG, the authors cover the biology basics: DNA structure and genome, collection and storage of biological material and DNA extraction and quantification. Testing methods are covered: polymerase chain reaction and analysis of short tandem repeats. The STR profiles which form the CODIS database referred to so often on CSI is explained, including such critical details as the variations on different ethnic origins.
Lest one think that forensic genetics can provide all the answers, there are chapters covering the legal presentaiton of the data, which includes, to my mind, an essential section on further reading on this topic. The subject of kinship (paternity) testing is also covered, along with the lineage markers and mitochondrial DNA analysis.
This book is the second edition, with an additional chapter on non-human DNA typing (bugs and slime, for the Bones fans).
However, it must be borne in mind that whilst this book can be read by a non-medical professional, it is not a book for someone with no scientific knowlege. This is a complex subject, as demonstrated by the need for appendices on forensic parameters (complex mathematical formulae, and useful web links. The glossary can only cover essential terms, which is appropriate for an introductory book.
This is an excellent revision to an excellent title, but it is still only going to be an introductory text. Illustrations are clear and in colour where this will aid understanding.
Overall, I would recommend this book as an introductory text, to someone who has some scientific or mathematical knowledge, if only to make some of the complexities are bit easier to understand.
"An Introduction Of Forensic Genetics" is a good place to start, for that part of the science that tends to take place in the laboratory rather than at the scene of a crime (hence, after the fact). As DNA profiling and identification has ballooned in importance for Criminology over the past few decades knowledge in this discipline is indispensible, and here is a way for the uninitiated to gain some insight. The textbook doesn't just work with human-based genetics, but also those which pertain to the non-human, like plants and viruses (also important in knowing what actually happened at a scene of a crime). The language and presentation can be somewhat dry at times, but what do you expect, really, from a textbook? The main point is that it is understandable and can be read by all those with a passing interest... If you wish to get more detailed, there's a University course for that.
So, if you're interested in Forensic-based genetics, start here. I can't think of any other way to start probing such an unwieldy subject.
In all this book was an interesting read but not a lightweight introduction, it is a study text book for the serious. It gets 4 stars but this is based on a lay persons view and I would not be qualified to rate it 5 or indeed 1.
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It gives a good detailed account of the information on how the science of genetics evolved before going into...Read more