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Parabon NanoLabs Gets DHS Grant for Biometrics Device

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Parabon NanoLabs today said that the US Department of Homeland Security has awarded the firm a Small Business and Innovation Research grant to demonstrate the effectiveness of the firm's biometrics device.

The device utilizes a SNP chip to rapidly verify identity and kinship, said the Reston, Va.-based firm. Parabon said that the goal of its research is to develop a briefcase-size biometrics device that can process DNA samples and determine identity or kinship with an accuracy of 99.99 percent, in under 45 minutes, and at a cost of less than $50. The firm noted that current tests cost hundreds of dollars and can take days to verify identity or kinship.

Parabon did not disclose the amount of the grant.

"Beyond DHS' needs for kinship analysis, a rapid, low-cost DNA-based biometric will have broad applications in mass-casualty situations, reunification of family members following mass evacuations, identification of missing persons, rapid processing of crime-scene and suspect DNA, and various scientific and educational uses," Christopher Miles, biometrics program manager for DHS said in a statement.

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