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Microbial Forensics Webinar Series Final Report

NCJ Number
Date Published
December 2016
23 pages
This is the final report of a three-part webinar series on Microbial Forensics, which was conducted in 2016 to discuss the history and basics of microbial forensic investigations, provide the viewer with an understanding of microbiology as applied to forensics, and evaluate the ways in which microbial forensics can be expanded to resolve forensic casework.
This report summarizes the content of the webinar series and how it was received by the forensic community. The objectives of webinar session 1 were to provide a better understanding of the history of microbial forensics; outline the role microbial forensics plays in combating bio-terrorism; explain the basics of microbial forensics; discuss epidemiological considerations that may suggest a bio-terrorist attack; and discuss investigation goals that pertain to biological crimes and bio-terrorism. Session 2 addressed the basics of microbiology as they apply to microbial forensics and the role it has in combating bio-terrorism. It also focused on how pathogens, the human micro biome, and genetic engineering/synthetic biology relate to microbial forensics. Session 3 addressed the expansion of microbial forensics. It examined the way in which microbial forensics can be expanded to resolve forensic casework, and provided an overview of how microbial forensics can determine the postmortem interval. It also included a discussion of how agro-terrorism relates to microbial forensics. Nearly 200 online participants from around the world attended the live webinar series. The participants represented forensic practitioners and professionals, including forensic DNA specialists, laboratory directors and managers, legal and law enforcement representatives, and academics. Appended biographies of presenters and the event performance sheet for each session.