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Would the Real Chairman Poste Please Stand Up?

NEW YORK, Oct. 10 - What's in a name? If you're a top dog in a SNP-genotyping company it can be more than the two words mom sewed into your BVDs for summer camp.


George Poste, the newly minted chairman of Orchid Biosciences, and Dale Pfost, the company's president and CEO and former chairman, have last names that sound alike. "Dale has an 'f' that doesn't work and mine has a useless silent 'e'," Poste said cheerfully as he wrapped up a rap session at an investor conference here this morning.


Belaboring the obvious--a phrase Poste himself uses liberally--both men, whose names rhyme with 'toast,' joked that they were in the process of performing a kind of "etymological SNP analysis" to see if they are related.


This might not be inconsequential. Pfost's business card still identifies him as chairman, president, and CEO. So is (former) Chairman Pfost impersonating Chairman Poste?


"It would be fun to see if our ancestry had divided somewhere in time, and that if they had, Dale and I might be cousins," said Poste.

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