Meeting announcement: DNA Forensics

James Larkin symposia at xensei.com
Wed Nov 22 12:36:26 EST 1995

Cambridge Symposia, organized to serve the scientific community
through the administration of interdisciplinary conferences in the
biological sciences, is announcing their upcoming meeting, "DNA
Forensics: Science, Practice, and Future," to be held  April 21-27,
1996 in Sante Fe, New Mexico.

Topic Description:

Almost twenty years back it was shown that the blue print of life, the
deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA), varies enormously in its structure and
organization between individuals, and the recombinant DNA technology
allows one to unravel this variation. More tha n eleven years have
passed since the world has witnessed that by typing DNA from
biological samples left at crime scenes, it is possible to exonerate a
wrongly accused suspect, and the same technique does indeed identify
the true perpetrator. Since then, versions of the same technology have
been used in numerous cases around the world to exculpate suspects and
to convict criminals. In civil litigations of identifying parents and
relatives as well, DNA typing has played a major role around the
world. Fo rensic and medico-legal experts, in unison, agree that the
DNA technology is the most powerful tool that a scientist can offer
for forensic investigations, even more diversely usable than the
traditional fingerprinting imaging. In spite of the tremendous success
of using DNA in forensics around the world, such well-publicized
criticisms by otherwise well known experts, raise a few questions. Why
are there such contradictory views? Is the science of DNA typing still
in its adolescence that needs more ma turity to apply in legal cases?
Is the practice of DNA typing fallible to the extent that the results
are not trustworthy? If DNA typing is so controversial in forensics,
how reliable are its applications in medicine and biology?  What is in
store for t his technology for future? The theme of this conference is
to discuss these basic issues. While a number of recent meetings and
symposia have discussed these issues in platforms that varies from
sophisticated technical details to educating general publi c, the goal
of this meeting is to put the science, practice, and future of DNA
forensics in their proper perspective. 

Experts encompassing molecular geneticists, forensic practitioners,
legal authorities, and statistical geneticists, will be invited to
initiate discussions on these subjects. The meeting will be divided in
three parts consistent with the major themes. In each session the main
presentations will be grouped in thematic format, at the conclusion of
each of such sessions time for discussion will be preserved to raise
alternative views and their justification.
For immediate information on this meeting, including a full program
draft, please see our website:


James Larkin
Cambridge Symposia
1037 Chestnut Street
Newton Upper Falls, MA  02164
tel.  (617) 630-1399
fax. (617) 630-1395
symposia at xensei.com

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