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Community Forum in Chemistry, Fall 2014


Header for Community Forum in Chemistry
Windward Community College
45-720 Kea'ahala Road
Kane'ohe, Hawai‘i 96744

This project is coordinated by Leticia U. Colmenares Ph.D. Associate Professor in Chemistry - 236-9120. The forum is co-sponsored by Windward Community College and the American Chemical Society-Hawaii Section.

Picture of Ed BernauerDNA and Human Identification:  Criminal Investigations, Victims of Mass Disaster and Related Topics

by David Haymer, Ph.D.

1:00-2:00 pm, Wednesday, September 24, 2014
Hale ‘Imiloa 111 (view map of campus)

DNA has become a very powerful tool for identifying humans.  DNA evidence is now commonly introduced in criminal investigations by both prosecuting and defense attorneys.  In cases of mass disaster, DNA is often the only way to identify individual victims and bring some degree of closure to their families.   In evolutionary biology, the analysis of DNA is also forcing us to redefine what it means to be human, especially in relation to other primate species such as gorillas, chimpanzees and bonobos. 

David Haymer is a Professor of Cell and Molecular Biology at the University of Hawaii John A. Burns School of Medicine.  He has over 25 years of experience with DNA analysis.  He is the DNA consultant of the Hawaii chapter of the Innocence Project.  Dr. Haymer obtained his PhD degree from Purdue University.


What is the Community Forum in Chemistry?  

• Its goal is to increase learning in chemistry for all students (and community members).

• A practicing professional discusses a chemistry related topic that is relevant to everyday lives.

• During the forum audience participate by asking questions, sharing views and comments.

• Serves as a bridge between classroom and real-world applications.

Picture of people doing chemistry

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Co-sponsored by the American Chemical Society
- Hawaii Section


September 6, 2014