Background: Forensic biology is a subject that lay stress on practical teaching and laboratory skill training in the field of forensic science. Visualization of DNA profiles is considered to be the major section of individual identification and easily handled by well trained examiner. So developing a novel training project about obtaining individual DNA profiles will improve the quality of teaching about medical students or trainees. It also can explore the application value of DNA profiles based on QR codes in practical teaching and operation training of individual identification.
Methods: The novel training project was developed on the basis of experimental course of Forensic Biology. Blood samples and buccal swabs with oral epithelial cells used in the forensic DNA laboratory were obtained from the participants of medical students in Fujian Medical University. DNA was isolated and several STR loci were detected. Illustrative genetic reports were compiled and provided to the students. Both the individual identity information and DNA profile of each individual were transformed to a particular QR code for data storage. The electronic individual information generated by the QR code was scanned by a mobile phone for consulting and retrieval.
Comparing to the traditional experimental course, the participation rate and passing rate of students enrolled in the training project were calculated and Chi-square test was carried out by SPSS 23.0 software to evaluate the teaching effectiveness. Differences were declared statistically significant if p<0.05.
A survey was conducted to investigate the likelihood of utilization of Gene Identity Cards with QR codes after the project was accomplished.
Results: There were 54 in 91 medical students took participate in training project and 31 in 78 students took participate in the traditional experimental course previously. The participation rate of training project had 24 percent higher than the rate of traditional experimental course. The participants enrolled in training project had shown better performance about handling forensic biological basic skills. The passing rate of Forensic Biology course with training project had increased approximately 17 percent than the traditional one. The participation rate and passing rate of two groups of students had significant difference( χ=6.452 ,P=0.008 and χ=11.043,P=0.001).
In the training project, all participants had made 54 pieces of Gene Identity Cards with QR codes by their own hands. Furthermore, some students originated from Africa had found two particular alleles which were not discovered in Asians previously. The survey showed that the mean of Gene Identity Cards with QR codes was accepted by most participants, the expected likelihood of utilization was up to 78 percent.
Conclusion: According to the results, we have established the novel training project which can promote the learning activities of medical students, especially in experimental course of forensic biology. The enrolled students showed a great interesting in using Gene Identity Cards with QR codes to storage individual information, not only the general information but also DNA profiles. They also had recognized the population genetic differences between different races based on the training project. Hence, the training project can be useful for training workshops and forensic science and medical genetics college courses. It also has great value to establish and support the foundation of Medical Big Data Research.