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Home >> Sci-Edu
UPDATED: 20:08, June 09, 2005
Chinese lab excel in DNA identification of tsunami victims
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A Chinese genome research lab in Beijing will soon receive a fourth batch of samples from tsunami victims from Thailand for DNA identification.

"We have done very well with the previous three batches. I believe that's why they've ask us to take more," said Deng Yajun, director of judicial evidence ascertainment center of the Beijing Genomics Institute.

Deng said the institute has completed identification of 1,060 DNA samples of tsunami victims entrusted by Thailand. It succeeded in extracting DNA profiles from 84.7 percent of the bone samples and more than 80 percent of the tooth samples.

"Of the seven labs in the world that undertake identification of DNA samples of tsunami victims, my team received the biggest number of samples, submitted the biggest amount of information and achieved the highest success ratio," she said.

According to Deng, her peers used the labor-intensive Mitochondria method as well as conventional methods in the identification process. The Mitochondria method has proved very effective in the samples from tsunami victims, which had low DNA content because of exposure to sea water and high temperature, compared with other methods.

"Some labs are inclined to use the Mitochondria method," said Deng.

The Beijing lab, a unit under the Chinese Academy of Sciences, carried out the work for free.

Source: Xinhua

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