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Driving Under the Influence of Distractions, Open Access DNA Among Topics Explored in Forensic Fridays Series

Topics ranging from digital forensics to interpreting behavior at serial murder and sexual homicide crime scenes will be addressed at the Spring 2013 Forensic Fridays seminars at Duquesne University.

The continuing legal education (CLE) and professional education series, presented by the Wecht Institute of Forensic Science and Law, is geared toward meeting the needs of legal and scientific professionals allied with the practice of forensic science.

"This spring's seminars represent a broad sampling of just a handful of the many exciting forensic scientific applications in today's legal system," said Ben Wecht, the Wecht Institute's program administrator. "Whether your interest lies in computers, the genetic code or the human mind, Forensic Fridays has something to offer."

The five-part series will feature the following:

  • Digital Detectives: A Computer Forensics Update, Friday, Jan. 18, 1 to 4:30 p.m.

This seminar will provide an overview of current legal, technical and practical issues in digital forensics, including real-world examples. Featuring David Ries, attorney at Thorp, Reed & Armstrong, and others representing the law enforcement, national security and business communities.

  • DUID: The Science and Law of Driving Under the Influence of Distractions, Friday, Feb. 15, 1 to 4:30 p.m.

In the wake of a recently enacted Pennsylvania statute prohibiting operators of motor vehicles from texting or emailing, this seminar is being developed to examine the question of driver impairment from sources other than alcohol and drugs, both from a scientific and legal standpoint, including questions about the ongoing legality of hands-on telephone use by drivers.

  • Open Access DNA: Legal, Scientific and Ethical Issues, Friday, March 15, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

This seminar will explore the question of who has access to DNA databases and the difficult task of balancing due process and better science against the FBI's demand for secrecy. Featuring Dr. Mark Perlin, founder of Cybergenetics, and other speakers from the fields of law, law enforcement and academia.

  •  Interpreting Behavior at the Serial Murder and Sexual Homicide Crime Scenes, Friday, April 19, 1 to 4:30 p.m.

This seminar will provide crime technicians, coroners, forensic nurses and attorneys assigned to investigate and prosecute complex homicide and sexual assault cases a framework for analyzing the dynamic interaction that occurs between the offender, victim and scene, and then using that analysis to interpret such crimes. Featuring Mark Safarik, a former senior member of the FBI's elite Behavioral Analysis Unit.

  • Forensic Audio and Linguistic Analysis of Insider Threats: From Watergate to Today, Friday, May 10, 1 to 4:30 p.m.

Forty years after the Watergate scandal, advances in the worlds of forensic linguistics and audio analysis are enabling more effective investigation of insider threats. Come learn how. Featuring eminent forensic linguist Dr. Carole Chaski and Phil Mellinger, a security/intel analyst and anti-malware developer.

The seminars are offered both individually and as a package. Unless otherwise noted, all seminars will be held in the Africa Room of the Duquesne Union.

In addition to CLE credits, continuing nursing education, coroners education and other professional credits may be available for specific seminars. For more information, including cost and available continuing education credits, visit www.duq.edu/forensics, email wechtinstitute@duq.edu or call 412.396.1330.

Duquesne University

Founded in 1878, Duquesne is consistently ranked among the nation's top Catholic universities for its award-winning faculty and tradition of academic excellence. Duquesne, a campus of nearly 9,500 graduate and undergraduate students, has been nationally recognized for its academic programs, community service and commitment to sustainability. Follow Duquesne University on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.