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Intermountain Forensics Partners with Astrea Forensics to Validate Sample Prep Technology

This story has been updated to include information from Astrea Forensics.

NEW YORK – Intermountain Forensics said on Tuesday that it is partnering with Astrea Forensics to validate and implement Astrea's single-reaction single-stranded DNA library preparation (SRSLY) technology.

"This pairing of cutting-edge molecular biology and forensic genetic genealogy offers investigators the best new lead opportunities science can offer to help close more cases," Daniel Hellwig, director of laboratory development at Intermountain Forensics, said in a statement. "For the thousands of open cold cases, unidentified victims, and those cases uploaded daily to CODIS that don’t generate a hit, this testing technology might be the best opportunity for justice."

Financial and other details of the partnership were not disclosed.

SRSLY, pronounced "seriously," is an assay originally developed for ancient DNA research by researchers at the University of California, Santa Cruz. It is being commercialized by Claret Bioscience, a spinout from UCSC professor Richard Green's lab. Astrea is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Claret. 

"It's the same technology, but a different formulation for the forensic casework," Claret and Astrea CEO Kelly Harkins Kincaid said in an email. 

Astrea offers services for investigative genetic genealogy, including DNA extraction, whole-genome sequencing, and genomic analyses.

Salt Lake City-based Intermountain Forensics also announced it would add a dedicated satellite lab for forensic genetic genealogy with Astrea.

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