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Wayne Shew
Professor, Emeritus
Department of Biology
Birmingham-Southern College
A Headache to Die For: A Case Study in Forensic Science

This case, based on an actual case of product tampering that occurred in Seattle in 1986, was designed for use in an introductory course in forensic science for non-science majors. By working through the case, students gain an understanding of the variety of strands of evidence that have to be woven together in order to develop a case against someone who has committed a crime, specifically a murder. It also touches on the importance of communication between different law enforcement agencies in solving crimes. In addition, students consider how probability can play a role in crime investigations and learn what latent fingerprints are and how an investigator collects them and uses them in an investigation.


Do You Really Know What You're Eating?: A Case Study on Genetically Modified Foods

Starting from a fictional “news” report about an apparent allergic reaction to a taco tainted by genetically modified corn, students consider some of the techniques and procedures used in modern molecular genetics and microbiology as well as some of the issues associated with genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Originally designed for role-play and PowerPoint assignments, suggestions for a shortened version are also provided. Suitable for a general microbiology course, the case could also be used in an introductory molecular biology course with appropriate modifications. Various levels of coverage of the topic of recombinant DNA are possible.