Tecan signs agreement with South African Police Service to provide a fully automated DNA typing system


Tecan announced that it has signed an agreement with the South African Police Service to supply, install and provide customer support for its fully automated forensic DNA typing system. Tecan's experience in automating genomics applications will play a central role in the operation of South Africa's national forensic DNA databank. The 8.35-million EUR contract was secured by Tecan's German subsidiary after an open invitation for international bids. The project is financed by a European Union initiative to assist reconstruction and development in South Africa.1

The South African national forensic databank contains DNA samples that may be analysed by electrophoresis to create DNA profiles. Such methods have revolutionized forensic science by enabling drastic improvements in the identification of individuals whose samples are included in suspect databanks (see about forensic genomics section below). Therefore, the government of the United States alone plans annual investments of 60 million USD over the next five years to increase the capacity for DNA identification of state and local crime labs.3

Tecan's solution, which is based on its large-scale TRAC2 system, will permit fully automated DNA typing from blood and other body fluid or from tissue samples collected at the scene of a crime. In terms of size and throughput, the proposed installation for the South African Police Service is probably unrivalled by any similar systems currently in operation.

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