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Brian Kemp on “From Mendel’s Pea Plants to DNA Fingerprinting: How one 19th century monk’s observations in the garden form the basis for individual identification in the forensic sciences today”
September 8, 2015 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
(Hosted by the Common Reading Program)
Brian Kemp, associate professor in the WSU Dept. of Anthropology and the School of Biological Sciences, will introduce the audience to DNA and the structure of the human genome. What is DNA and what does it do? How do we study it? These topics will be addressed in the context of the discovery of the principles of inheritance by Gregor Mendel in his pea plant garden in the 1860s. Beyond being of tremendous historical relevance, Mendel’s observations form the basis today for DNA fingerprinting. Among its many uses, DNA analysis now is a central tool in forensic science, both for the trial of new cases and for the retrial of old cases that predate the use of DNA evidence. By the end of the lecture, audience members will have a full understanding how DNA is used to identify individuals. No prior knowledge is needed! Common Reading Stamp available.