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05-Oct-2000

Cybergenetics Awarded Justice Contract for DNA Analysis

(BW HealthWire)–Cybergenetics has been awarded a research contract for validating its automated forensic DNA analysis technology by the research arm of the U.S. Department of Justice.

Cybergenetics' patented TrueAllele(TM) expert system eliminates up to 90% of the human DNA review effort, and may help reduce the national criminal offender DNA database backlog.

"This new DNA analysis project will help reduce crime in America," says Dr. Mark Perlin, CEO of Cybergenetics. "Our TrueAllele(TM) technology uses computers to eliminate the time, cost, error, and tedium of manually reviewing forensic data. High quality review of DNA data is essential for convicting the guilty and exonerating the innocent. TrueAllele uniquely provides the high-quality cost-saving speedup that will take criminals off our streets."

Collaborating on this project are two leading DNA database laboratories: Florida and Virginia. These state labs use different sequencer technologies (gel, capillary), DNA panels, and computer platforms to process their DNA samples. Cybergenetics will assess TrueAllele's cross-platform success on their diverse data sets by automatically reanalyzing 30,000 samples.

"The Florida Department of Law Enforcement's Convicted Offender DNA Database has been introducing automation and state-of-the-art equipment to the rapid analysis of offender samples since 1996," notes David Coffmann, supervisor of the Florida database. "Our goal has always been to throw technology towards a problem rather than personnel. The missing piece of the puzzle has been the data review process. It is very time consuming, and with the large amount of DNA results being produced by our automated techniques, it has proven difficult to analyze all the data we are producing. This project, if successful, will solve this problem. We are excited to be a part of this collaboration!"

Dr. Paul Ferrara, director of the Virginia database, observes: "As the demands for more timely and comprehensive testing of crime scene evidence and databank samples increase, the forensic science community will need to increase capacities and throughput correspondingly without sacrificing quality. Novel approaches, such as TrueAllele, to expediting the time-consuming post-analysis interpretation phase inherent in forensic work, especially with mixtures, offer significant potential to assist in increasing case throughput."

The British Forensic Science Service (FSS) has built the UK national DNA database, which currently includes over 800,000 convicted offender profiles. TrueAllele was selected by the FSS to increase the UK DNA databasing capacity.

Cybergenetics is presenting its TrueAllele forensic expert system technology at Promega's 11th International Symposium on Human Identification in Biloxi, Mississippi. Dr. Perlin will speak on October 13.

Cybergenetics' innovative TrueAllele patents have broad and deep claims covering every aspect of automated STR analysis, including quality assurance (e.g., data error, genotype accuracy, and quality measures), and removing PCR stutter and other data artifacts. These patents (US 5,541,067, 5,580,728, 5,876,933, and 6,054,268) are described at www.cybgen.com, under Technology.

Cybergenetics is a bioinformation company based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania that develops unique computational approaches for forensic and genetic research. Cybergenetics is committed to providing effective DNA automation systems that reduce crime, hunger, and disease.

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