Tag Archives: Dna

Sweet Science Series – Is Forensic Science Infallible?

Thursday, 13 April 2017, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m.

Milton J Rubenstein Museum of Science & Technology – Syracuse, NY

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Michael Marciano, a research assistant professor and lead of the bioforensics laboratory at Syracuse University’s College of Arts and Sciences Forensic and National Security Sciences Institute, will present Is Forensic Science Infallible?, a discussion about DNA and the evolution of forensic science, as part of the Technology Alliance of Central New York’s 2016-2017 Sweet Science Series.

People interested in learning more about forensic science are invited to attend the free Sweet Science Series presentation on Thursday, April 13, 2017, from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. in the Space Gallery meeting room of the Museum of Science & Technology in Syracuse’s Armory Square. Admission is free and open to the public. Light snacks will be served. Walk-ins are welcome, but we ask that people RSVP by emailing sweet.lecture@tacny.org by April 11. Parking is available on the street and in the lot behind the MOST.

Safety and freedom are among the two most fundamental values and rights we share as individuals. Since the late 19th Century, forensic science has played a significant and vital role in assuring these values are upheld. Modern advances in science and the cultural obsession with forensic science has caused the field to come under a high level of scrutiny. This scrutiny has both served to improve forensic science and slow the pace of adoption of new technologies; contrary to the rapid innovation observed in biotechnology. Using forensic DNA analysis as a guide, this talk will examine the current state of the science, discuss the impact of popular culture and explore future directions.


Marciano is a Research Assistant Professor and lead of the Bioforensics laboratory in the Syracuse University College of Arts and Sciences Forensic and National Security Sciences Institute. He previously spent 5.5 years employed as a Forensic DNA analyst at the Wallie Howard Jr. Onondaga County Center for Forensic Sciences. He later joined SRC Inc., a non-profit defense contractor, where he focused on research and development of DNA-based methods addressing human and non-human genetic identity and the exploitation of biologicals to aid in tagging, tracking, and locating targets. This research and development continues at Syracuse University, where he has helped secure over $700,000 in funding from the Combating Terrorism Technical Support Office and National Institute of Justice. He has developed several new methods and technologies and is an inventor on five pending patents. He currently teaches Forensic Analysis of Biological Evidence and Forensic DNA analysis. Michael is the recipient of the 2017 TACNY Celebration of Technology Project of the Year award!

TACNY John Edson Sweet Lecture Series

TACNY John Edson Sweet Lectures, a program founded in 1913, features discussions about topics in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics in an informal atmosphere. A minimum of six Sweet Lectures are held each year.

Technology Alliance of Central New York

Founded in 1903 as the Technology Club of Syracuse, the nonprofit Technology Alliance of Central New York’s mission is to facilitate community awareness, appreciation, and education of technology; and to collaborate with like-minded organizations across Central New York.

For more information about TACNY, visit www.tacny.org.

“Upstate NY Stargazing In December” Article Posted To newyorkupstate.com And syracuse.com

Greetings, fellow astrophiles!

The latest article in the series, “Upstate NY Stargazing in December: Geminid meteor shower, another Supermoon,” has just been posted to newyorkupstate.com and syracuse.com.

The discussion is fairly Taurus-centric this month, and very much localized to that part of the sky with the Geminids, Supermoon, and Aldebaran occultation occurring all mid-month. This month also includes more event announcements for several NY astronomy clubs with posted December observing sessions, which reportedly worked out (too?) well for Baltimore Woods attendance.

Direct Link: newyorkupstate.com/outdoors/2016/12/…_meteor_shower_another_supermoon.html

Direct Link: syracuse.com/outdoors/index.ssf/2016/12/…_meteor_shower_another_supermoon.html

The Learn A Constellation section also includes one of my all-time favorite images. Among the many treasures in the Lascaux Cave paintings is one that very, very much looks like a simple constellation map of Orion’s Belt, the Pleiades, and the Hyades, with the Hyades superimposed on a drawing of a bull with extra-long horns – all a perfect match for that part of the sky.

Time may never tell if we can track down the descendants of the artist as they migrated through southern Europe and into the Middle East and North Africa, carrying the story of the great Bull in the Sky with them that ultimately became our constellation Taurus. The story of people and animals in the sky may not be in our distant folklore, but it did make its way into our DNA in the way that we see such pictures where none actually exist (better to be safe than sorry when that bump on the savanna turns out to be more toothy than the usual mount of dirt).


Caption: No bull – a Lascaux painting marking the location of an ancient Taurus, c.a. 15,500 B.C. Click for a larger view.