Fundamentals of Forensic DNA Typing

1st Edition

Authors: John Butler
Print ISBN: 9780123749994
eBook ISBN: 9780080961767
Imprint: Academic Press
Published Date: 20th August 2009
Page Count: 520
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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.

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


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.

Table of Contents

Foreword Introduction Acknowledgments 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 Index 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.


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© Academic Press 2010
Academic Press
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About the Author

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

Affiliations and Expertise

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


"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, 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."

"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