The National Institute of Justice (NIJ), in conjunction with the National Forensic Science Technology Center (NFSTC), is sponsoring a series of workshops designed to help facilitate the transition of novel technologies into practice by operational crime laboratories. These Technology Transition Workshops, which highlight technologies developed under the NIJ’s forensic science research and development programs, are a critical component of NIJ’s research, development, testing, and evaluation (RDT&E) efforts.
The purpose of this Technology Transition Workshop is to provide the student with an introduction to the forensic uses of laser microdissection (LM) instruments, the various platforms available, and the associated techniques available for sample processing. LM has proven to be an effective method for cell mixture separations in the forensic laboratory. Its adaptation to the forensics field has provided a means of physically separating the components of assault mixtures, as well as improving the collection and DNA analysis associated with touch evidence samples. Students will receive instruction in the areas of slide preparation, fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH) methods, component separation of mixture samples via LM, and subsequent sample extraction, amplification, and data interpretation.
Students will use the Carl Zeiss® PALM® MicroBeam System to physically separate and process the individual components of various prepared forensic mixtures.
At the completion of the Physical Separation of Forensic Mixtures Technology Transition Workshop, the participant will have acquired the knowledge to:
- Explain the applications of LM and FISH for forensic analysis
- Understand the application of alternative mixture separation techniques for forensic analysis
- Describe the techniques used for processing LM collected samples
- Discuss the advantages and limitations associated with LM and FISH processing of forensic samples
- Demonstrate familiarity with different LM platforms
- Envision the role of LM in the forensic laboratory