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Pressure Bio, Florida International University to Collaborate on Rape Test Kit Technology

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Pressure BioSciences today announced a collaboration with Florida International University to leverage the firm's pressure cycling technology to develop a rape test kit method. 

According to Pressure Bio President and CEO Richard Schumacher, his firm will offer the university scientific and engineering support to optimize and streamline the method. It also is granting FIU $70,000 over the 16-month term of the collaboration to cover the costs of personnel and laboratory supplies. The firm said that the aim is to have the kit available within the next 18 months. 

Pressure Bio noted that with an estimated backlog of 400,000 untested rape kits and 180,000 new sexual assault cases annually, there is a pressing need for better test methods. 

Bruce McCord, associate director of FIU's International Forensic Research Institute, said that in the collaboration, the partners will further improve and validate the new PCT-based method. "We believe this method will be able to isolate male and female DNA, even in situations where trace amounts of male DNA remain," he said in a statement, adding that the new method could provide results more quickly and better sample recovery than current methods. 

Pressure Bio and Southern University at New Orleans inked a collaboration in April to develop the PCT method to detect DNA in forensic samples.