Fundamentals of Forensic DNA Typing

Fundamentals of Forensic DNA Typing, 1st Edition

Fundamentals of Forensic DNA Typing, 1st Edition,John Butler,ISBN9780123749994


Academic Press




235 X 191

An introductory text on forensic DNA analysis, written by the foremost expert in the field.

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Key Features

  • Includes a glossary with over 400 terms for quick reference of unfamiliar terms as well as an acronym guide to decipher the DNA dialect
  • Continues in the style of Forensic DNA Typing, 2e, with high-profile cases addressed in D.N.A.Boxes-- "Data, Notes & Applications" sections throughout
  • Ancillaries include: instructor manual Web site, with tailored set of 1000+ PowerPoint slides (including figures), links to online training websites and a test bank with key


Fundamentals of Forensic DNA Typing is written with a broad viewpoint. It examines the methods of current forensic DNA typing, focusing on short tandem repeats (STRs). It encompasses current forensic DNA analysis methods, as well as biology, technology and genetic interpretation. This book reviews the methods of forensic DNA testing used in the first two decades since early 1980’s, and it offers perspectives on future trends in this field, including new genetic markers and new technologies. Furthermore, it explains the process of DNA testing from collection of samples through DNA extraction, DNA quantitation, DNA amplification, and statistical interpretation. The book also discusses DNA databases, which play an important role in law enforcement investigations. In addition, there is a discussion about ethical concerns in retaining DNA profiles and the issues involved when people use a database to search for close relatives. Students of forensic DNA analysis, forensic scientists, and members of the law enforcement and legal professions who want to know more about STR typing will find this book invaluable.


Undergraduate forensic science students, lawyers who need enough cursory information to understand and speak to jury, law enforcement, crime scene investigators, legal professionals and government/legal policy makers.

John Butler

John M. Butler is a NIST Fellow and Special Assistant to the Director for Forensic Science, Office of Special Programs, at the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology, in Gaithersburg, Maryland. Dr. Butler earned his PhD from the University of Virginia while doing DNA research in the FBI Laboratory's Forensic Science Research Unit. He has won numerous scientific awards, including being named Science Watch’s #1 world-wide high-impact author in legal medicine and forensic science over the last decade (July 2011). He has over 150 publications in this field and is a frequent presenter on the topic of DNA typing, and has authored four other DNA Typing books including Advanced Topics in Forensic DNA Typing: Methodology. For a detailed CV, visit http://www.cstl.nist.gov/strbase/butler.htm.

Affiliations and Expertise

National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, Maryland, USA

View additional works by John M. Butler

Fundamentals of Forensic DNA Typing, 1st Edition




About the Author

Chapter 1 Overview and History of DNA Typing

Chapter 2 Basics of DNA Biology and Genetics

Chapter 3 Historical Methods

Chapter 4 Sample Collection, Storage, and Characterization

Chapter 5 DNA Extraction

Chapter 6 DNA Quantitation

Chapter 7 DNA Amplification (The Polymerase Chain Reaction)

Chapter 8 Short Tandem Repeat Markers

Chapter 9 Fundamentals of DNA Separation and Detection

Chapter 10 STR Genotyping and Data Interpretation

Chapter 11 Statistical Interpretation: Evaluating the Strength of Forensic DNA Evidence

Chapter 12 DNA Databases

Chapter 13 Quality Assurance

Chapter 14 Forensic Challenges: Degraded DNA, Mixtures, and LCN

Chapter 15 Additional Loci and Nonhuman DNA Testing

Chapter 16 Lineage Markers: Y Chromosome and mtDNA Testing

Chapter 17 Applications of DNA Typing

Chapter 18 Future Trends

Appendix 1 Glossary of Terms

Appendix 2 Useful Web Sites

Appendix 3 Probability and Statistics


References are provided at the end of each chapter by subtopic (but without direct

citation within the text).

High-profile cases and other interesting information are included as D.N.A. (Data,

Notes, and Applications) boxes scattered throughout the book in the chapter pertaining

to a particular subject.

Quotes and reviews

"There is perhaps no individual better suited to author a foundational survey of forensic DNA typing than John Butler. As with past editions, Butler’s knowledge, along with his organizational and communication skills make Fundamentals of Forensic DNA Typing a must read for students, forensic practitioners and trial attorneys. This text provides the reader with insightful and understandable explanations necessary to comprehend the underpinnings of forensic DNA analysis. It continues in the tradition of its predecessors as the premier textbook on the forensic DNA subject."
- Richard Saferstein, Ph.D. Author and Forensic Science Consultant

"When ScienceWatch.com, a Thomson Reuters web resource for measuring and analyzing science trends, recently listed the most influential institutions and researchers in forensic science based on journal citations, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and one of its researchers, John Butler, were among the leaders."--ThomasNet.com

"Intended as the companion to the 2010 publication, Fundamentals of Forensic DNA Typing, this title contains 18 chapters with four appendices providing up-to-date coverage of essential topics in the field of DNA analysis. The book includes new information on DNA databases, low-level DNA, and validation; a comprehensive listing of alleles for the 23 STR loci present in commercial kits, and coverage of familial searching."--Evidence Technology Magazine, July-August 2012, page 4

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