Navigation Links
Genomics for judges: Educating Illinois judges on how genetic info impacts court decisions
Date:1/27/2014

Genomic research will eventually uncover a complete picture of how our genetic information, acting in concert with our experiences, influences our behavior. When considering whether an individual's genetic inheritance can be blamed for criminal behavior, or how information on disease predisposition should be used, who is qualified to testify, and what kinds of knowledge are needed to make sound judicial decisions?

The Supreme Court of Illinois and its Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts, in coordination with members of the Illinois Judicial Conference Committee on Education, appointed by the Supreme Court, are responsible for facilitating educational resources for Illinois judges. The Institute for Genomic Biology (IGB) at the University of Illinois had the unique opportunity to work with the AOIC in offering a new seminar, "Genomics for(TM) Judges," that was designed to prepare judges to grapple with legal questions involving DNA sequencing and analysis, as well as related technologies, in the courts today and in the future.

The two-day course, held at the IGB on the Urbana-Champaign campus, was also supported by the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and the College of Law. Forty-eight judges and justices from around Illinois were immersed in a rich scientific experience that included the structure and function of DNA, how gene function is influenced by the environment, and how genome sequences are analyzed.

The seminar included presentations by internationally renowned scientists and legal experts from the University of Illinois and other major institutions, as well as Gina Kolata, a New York Times science journalist. Other sessions explored the patentability of genomic technologies, the relationship between genetics and criminal behavior, and the accuracy and admissibility of DNA evidence. As part of a simulated exercise, judges were given the opportunity to work in a lab and to extract DNA from strawberries.

The rapid pace of progress in genomic biology means that the gap between current knowledge and the biology that most adults learned in high school or college courses is continually increasing. Continuing education courses such as the Genomics for Judges program provide an opportunity to close that gap.

Hon. Heinz Rudolf, an Illinois Judge, member of the Committee on Education, and a Fellow in the Advanced Science & Technology Adjudication Resource Center (ASTAR), a program that provides science and technology training for judges, acted as discussion facilitator during the Genomics for Judges seminar. Judge Rudolf highlighted the importance of a judicial education course focused on genomics. "As technology and our society evolve, we know science is going to be more and more prevalent in our courtroom and we as judges need to be prepared."

The level of enthusiasm among the attendees was high, and many asked insightful questions of the presenters and expressed their excitement about the content of the course. "When the seminar became available, I ran to my chief judge and I said I want to do this!" said Hon. Susan Tungate, Illinois Judge, ". . . there were a lot of judges who felt that way."

As DNA sequencing and other biotechnologies advance, the rate of new developments in genomic biology and its impact on society and in the courtroom will continue to grow. The success of the Genomics for Judges program has already prompted plans to address the need for genomics education by offering the seminar on a regular basis.


'/>"/>

Contact: Nicholas Vasi
nvasi@illinois.edu
Institute for Genomic Biology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. $7.5 million to JAX from South Korean government for cancer genomics project
2. UC Davis Purchases Irys System From BioNano Genomics To Advance Genome Mapping And Assembly Of Wheat Relative
3. BioNano Genomics To Present At Upcoming J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference
4. Coimbra Genomics and BGI join forces to conquer stomach cancer
5. Georgia State researcher gets $499,209 NSF grant to advance sociogenomics
6. Genetics in Medicine publishes special issue dedicated to genomics in electronic health records
7. Mayo Clinic hosts NIH genomics director at Individualizing Medicine Conference
8. Researchers develop software tool for cancer genomics
9. New genomics research project to eliminate Listeria from food supply
10. BioNano Genomics Appoints Dr. Fahim Amini As Vice President Commercial Operations EMEA
11. Mount Sinai Selects Exemplar LIMS for Genomics Core Facility
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Genomics for judges: Educating Illinois judges on how genetic info impacts court decisions
(Date:5/24/2016)... care by providing unparalleled technology to leaders of the medical imaging industry.  As such, ... to the range of products distributed by Ampronix. Photo - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20160524/371420 ... ... ... With ...
(Date:5/12/2016)... 12, 2016 WearablesResearch.com , a brand ... overview results from the Q1 wave of its quarterly ... was consumers, receptivity to a program where they would ... health insurance company. "We were surprised to ... Michael LaColla , CEO of Troubadour Research, "primarily ...
(Date:4/28/2016)... FRANCISCO and BANGALORE, India , ... of EdgeVerve Systems, a product subsidiary of Infosys (NYSE: ... provider, today announced a global partnership that will ... way to use mobile banking and payment services. ... is a key innovation area for financial services, but it ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... , June 24, 2016  Regular discussions on a ... take place between the two entities said Poloz. ... Ottawa , he pointed to the country,s ... the federal government. ... said, "Both institutions have common economic goals, why not sit ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 , ... While the ... such as the Cary 5000 and the 6000i models are higher end machines that ... the height of the spectrophotometer’s light beam from the bottom of the cuvette holder. ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... 2016 , ... Mosio, a leader in clinical research patient ... and Retention Tips.” Partnering with experienced clinical research professionals, Mosio revisits the hurdle ... and strategies for clinical researchers. , “The landscape of how patients receive and ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016   Boston ... of novel compounds designed to target cancer stemness ... has been granted Orphan Drug Designation from the ... treatment of gastric cancer, including gastroesophageal junction (GEJ) ... inhibitor designed to inhibit cancer stemness pathways by ...
Breaking Biology Technology: