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Orchid Wins Two FBI Contracts for SNP-Based Forensics

NEW YORK, Nov. 25 (GenomeWeb News) - Orchid BioSciences said today that its Orchid Cellmark unit was awarded two contracts from the US Federal Bureau of Investigation to develop aspects of its SNP technology for forensic DNA testing applications.

The goal of the two contracts is to develop new forensic tools to help investigators identify individuals using degraded DNA samples.

Orchid Cellmark's Dallas facility will carry out the projects, which are expected to be completed in about a year.

The first contract, titled, "Identification and Typing of Y-SNPs in Forensically Relevant Populations," will develop an informative panel of SNP markers to identify male DNA by measuring polymorphisms on the Y chromosome. The panel is expected to be particularly useful in constructing the male profile in samples that contain mixtures of DNA from both a man and a woman, or in so-called "no-suspect" crimes where investigators have DNA evidence but no other clues to identify possible perpetrators, Orchid said.

The second contract, titled, "High-throughput Autosomal SNP Typing for Human Identification," will nearly double the number of SNPs Orchid currently uses. This effort will build on the assay Orchid previously developed to help identify World Trade Center victims.

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