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FIU, Pressure Bio Get $349K in DOJ Funding for Rape Kit Improvement

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Florida International University and Pressure BioSciences today said that FIU has been awarded a $349,130 grant from the US Department of Justice to develop a more accurate method for processing DNA evidence in rape investigations.

FIU researchers will use the grant to develop and validate a new DNA extraction technique based on Pressure Bio's pressure cycling technology platform. Bruce McCord, associate director of FIU's International Forensic Research Institute and the principal investigator of the study, believes the new method will reduce the current backlog in extracting DNA evidence from rape kits.

According to a Pressure Bio statement, its technology is capable of extracting DNA from rape kits "without the need to separate sperm from epithelial cells, a complex and time-consuming procedure."

"Successful completion of the new PCT-based processing method would provide a significant new business channel for PBI, adding to our core strengths in drug discovery and general molecular sample preparation applications," Nate Lawrence, VP of marketing for Pressure Bio, said in the statement. "The forensics market consists of hundreds of labs in the US alone, performing thousands of tests daily."