University of North Texas Health Science Center Advances Forensic Research by Investing in Semiconductor DNA Sequencing Technology
by Mauricio Minotta - 06/21/12
Life Technologies Corporation will collaborate with the University of North Texas Health Science Center’s Institute of Applied Genetics utilizing the company’s Ion Personal Genome Machine® (PGM™) system to further the center's research, development, and implementation of best technologies in forensic DNA analyses.
The Ion PGM™ Sequencer does not rely on light for sequencing, but rather translates chemical sequencing information directly into digital form by using semiconductor technology. The result – sequencing that is simpler, faster, accurate, and more cost effective, than any other technology currently available.
“These are exciting times,” said Dr. Bruce Budowle, Executive Director, Institute of Applied Genetics at the UNT Health Science Center. “With the introduction of Life Technologies’ Ion PGM™ Sequencer, application-oriented laboratories now have the sequencing power that has been the domain of large genome centers.” Added Budowle, “Massively parallel sequencing using an IonPGM™ Sequencer holds promise of advancing analyses to address forensic questions previously not believed feasible.”
Both Drs. Budowle and Arthur Eisenberg, Professor and Chairman, Dept. of Forensic and Investigative Genetics at the UNT Health Science Center, will evaluate the use of the Ion PGM™ Sequencer for its utility and develop protocols on the system for a wide array of forensic identification applications, including missing persons identifications, mass disaster work, interpretations of complex mixtures and bio-defense. The Ion PGM™ Sequencer enables the analysis of 96 samples in one run and has great potential in enabling forensic practitioners to obtain more information from the samples they currently process.
Training forensic analysts on the application of next generation sequencing will be a key output of the collaboration. “The Ion PGM™ Sequencer could represent the next evolutionary stage in the field of Human Identification and Forensic Genetics,” said Dr. Arthur Eisenberg. “Exposing established and new forensic scientists to the latest technology enables them to begin thinking about the potential of how this new technology can be applied to the important work they do every day. The Life Technologies Institute for Forensic Genetics, located at the UNTHSC at Ft. Worth, provides us the opportunity to begin to train scientists on how to utilize the latest technologies in real cases,” added Eisenberg.
As the global leader in forensic and human identification testing solutions, the company believes this new technology provides new capabilities to law enforcement agencies throughout the world that will enable them to obtain more information from forensic samples.
“This collaboration enables our customers to access methods developed by the most experienced forensic experts in the world,” said John Gerace, Head of Applied Sciences for Life Technologies. “Life Technologies understands the needs of forensic customers throughout the world better than any other company and as a result, we deliver the world’s best solutions. This is why we’re so proud to be able to offer Drs. Budowle and Eisenberg the latest technology that will one day potentially revolutionize how forensics is performed in labs around the world.”
For over twenty-five years, Life Technologies has led the development and commercialization of DNA detection and analysis technologies, providing innovative Applied Biosystems® technologies that allow scientists to maximize their use of DNA in establishing identity and solving crimes. Today, we offer the most robust, reliable, and trusted forensic solutions for human identification (HID) testing—and we are the only company in the world that designs and validates its reagents, instruments, and data analysis software together as an integrated system for HID testing.
For more information please visit our human identification page.
About UNT Health Science Center
The UNT Health Science Center comprises the Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine, the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, the School of Public Health, the School of Health Professions and, soon, the UNT System College of Pharmacy. Key research areas include applied genetics, aging and Alzheimer’s disease, and primary care and prevention. This year, the Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine was named a top 50 medical school in primary care by U.S. News & World Report for the 11th consecutive year. The organization contributes more than $600 million to the Tarrant County and Texas economies annually.
Visit the UNT Health Science Center website for more information: http://unthsc.edu/