About this Course
Genomics for Law provides a unique framework to review the history and basics of genomics research as well as explore how genomics has, and will continue to, interact with the law.
Throughout this course you will explore the implications of genomics research on law, as well as law's influence and implications on genomics research, as it pertains to the following topics:
Genomics and Criminal Law
Genomics and Criminal Procedure
Intellectual Property Protection and Biotechnology
Genomics and Tort Law
Genomics and Privacy Law
Legal and Ethical Issues in Genomics
This course can be taken to fulfill continuing legal education (CLE) credits for practicing lawyers. 9 MCLE hours have been approved in Illinois.
Syllabus - What you will learn from this course
WEEK 1: Introduction to Genomics for Law
In this module, you will review what genomics is and discuss the relationship of genomics to the law. You will review the basic structure and function of the genome, the vocabulary used to describe its components, and understand how technology has and will continue to influence genomics, as well as how genomics is used in a variety of fields including healthcare, food security, energy, and law.
WEEK 2: Genomics and Criminal Law
In this module, you will discuss the relationship of genomics to criminal law, how genetic evidence and genomic defenses currently operate in the criminal justice system and explore how fully allowing genetic evidence and genomic defenses might improve or harm criminal law. You will understand how criminal law might or might not recognize genomics as a defense, review types of changes needed in criminal law to accommodate genetic evidence, and examine how changes in the criminal law, to accommodate genetic evidence and defenses, could impact criminal law.
WEEK 3: Genomics and Criminal Procedure
In this module, you will explore how private individuals' genomes are in a criminal law context, how DNA is examined and processed in criminal investigations, and examine under what circumstances individuals' genomes are protected from access by the government in a criminal law context. You will also recognize under which circumstances the government has an interest in individuals' genomes in a criminal law context and review the basics of the CODIS STRs (Combined DNA Indexing System).
WEEK 4: Forensic Genomics
In this module, you will learn about how genomics is used to estimate ancestry and predict physical appearance or traits in criminal investigations, and review the current evidentiary standards for utilizing genetic evidence. You will also examine the scientific viability of using genomics to estimate phenotypic traits, understand the accuracy of genetic estimates for ancestry and phenotypic traits, review the current evidentiary standards under Frye and Daubert, and identify the best methods to utilize genomics evidence under current legal evidentiary standards.
WEEK 5: Intellectual Property
In this module, you will review the history, economic, and legal reasoning behind intellectual property protection. You will then examine the basic requirements to obtain a patent, and identify which types of biological materials or processes are patent eligible using current case law. Additionally, comparative intellectual property legal regimes will be introduced.
WEEK 6: Genomics and Tort Law
In this module, you will explore issues related to genomics that arise in Tort Law. You will examine some of the issues that can arise against medical practitioners as well as explore the implications of genomics in toxic tort cases.
WEEK 7: Genomics and Privacy Law
In this module, you will investigate the major issues related to privacy and genomics and how the privacy of genomic information is regulated as well as the interactions between major genomic privacy regulations. You will also examine the penalties for violation of genomic privacy regulations.
WEEK 8: Legal and Ethical Issues in Genomics
In this module, you will consider some of the legal and ethical questions that have arisen in genomics research and the legal requirements of informed consent. You will also review major court decisions involving genomics research, treatment, and informed consent, examine the legal evolution and current requirements of informed consent, and explore the legal and ethical quandaries in genomics and its research.
Dr. Gene E. Robinson
Director, Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology; Swanlund Chair; Center for Advanced Study Professor of Entomology and Neuroscience
Dr. Jennifer K. Robbennolt
Associate Dean for Research, Alice Curtis Campbell Professor of Law and Professor of Psychology, Co-Director, Illinois Program on Law, Behavior and Social Science
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