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June 28, 2006 | Customer News

Tecan helps to identify soldiers lost in conflict

Researchers at the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory (AFDIL), Maryland, USA, are using a Tecan Genesis™ 200 Workstation to automate preparation of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) reference samples for sequencing, as part of the process of formally identifying the remains of American service members killed in action.

Dr Tim McMahon, Head of Validation Services at AFDIL, explained: "We receive over 800 bone samples from unidentified bodies and between 1,500 and 2,000 family reference samples per year. The bone samples require manual DNA extraction and sequencing, but automated processing of the reference samples using Tecan's Genesis 200 Workstation cuts our man-hours in half, giving technicians more time to concentrate on sequencing the bone samples and for data analysis. It also cuts down on sequencing failures; our failure rate is now ten times less, which is a major asset. The workstation's flexible programming and ability to use a probe detection system instead of tips, as well as its sensitivity and low contamination levels, are also critical for us."

The results of the amplifications are compared with other records and used to propose a formal identification of human remains. The system has undoubtedly accelerated AFDIL's casework processing, helping to answer some decade-old questions of identity and bring peace to the missing soldiers' families.

About Tecan

Tecan (www.tecan.com) is a leading global player in the Life Sciences supply industry specializing in the development, production, and distribution of advanced automation solutions enabling pharma and academic research, diagnostics, food and veterinary research as well as forensics. Through its REMP subsidiary (www.remp.com), Tecan is the leading supplier of compound and sample storage, management and logistics solutions. Tecan clients are pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, university research departments and diagnostic laboratories. Founded in Switzerland in 1980, the company has manufacturing, research and development sites in both North America and Europe and maintains a sales and service network in 52 countries. In 2005, Tecan achieved sales of CHF 344.9 million (USD 275.9 Mio.; EUR 222.5 Mio.). Registered shares of Tecan Group are traded on the SWX Swiss Exchange (TK: TECN / Reuters: TECZn.S / Valor: 1210019).

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