Course Description

410.692 - Biological & Chemical Threat Response & Forensics

This course introduces the methods and techniques used for biological and chemical threat agent characterization; methods of detection, identification, medical intervention, and forensic attribution are also discussed. Lectures cover a broad variety of topics pertaining to the use of biological and chemical agents, including: historical background of biological and chemical agents in classic and discretionary warfare, the introduction of scientific evidence in criminal proceedings and chain of custody for evidentiary materials in crimes and terrorism, quality assurance in laboratory operations, threat containment, decontamination and remediation, health and safety of responders and analysts, and risk assessments. Laboratory methods employed in the characterization and forensic analysis of biological (bacterial, viral, biological toxins, agricultural threats) and chemical agents (classic military chemical agents, toxic industrial chemicals, and materials) will also be discussed. General overviews of techniques and sample collection for classic biological and chemical agents (PCR, DNA sequencing methods, immunological analyses), and for chemical agents (gas chromatography and mass spectrometry). Prerequisites: 410.601 Biochemistry; 410.602 Molecular Biology; 410.603 Advanced Cell Biology I; undergraduate Microbiology or 410.615 Microbiology.