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Orchid Cellmark to Identify Katrina Victims with Forensic DNA Testing

NEW YORK, Dec. 13 (GenomeWeb News) - Orchid Cellmark will provide the state of Louisiana with forensic DNA testing service to identify victims of Hurricane Katrina, the Princeton, NJ-based company said today.


Under the contract, awarded by the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals, Orchid will generate DNA profiles from reference samples provided by the families and compare them to victims' DNA profiles. The company expects to complete testing the majority of the samples within seven days of receving the samples.


In addition to identifying individuals, DNA samples can establish next-of-kin affiliations for displaced children, the company said.


Orchid Cellmark has performed similar services to identify victims at the World Trade Center in 2001 and the Asian tsunami last year.


As the Louisiana State Polics has approved Orchid Cellmark's procedures under a different contract, it can begin testing immediately, the company said.


Financial details of the agreement were not disclosed.

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