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Life Technologies Corporation has announced it will provide laboratory facilities to identify an estimated 20,000 human remains found in various mass graves in Libya following the uprising of 2011 and to address missing persons cases from the 42-year regime of Muammar Gaddafi. This identification work is expected to take several years.
Life Technologies will provide the infrastructure, including the expertise, training and the forensic instruments and materials to validate the workflow and process DNA samples through its Dubai-based distributor Integrated Gulf Biosystems (IGB).
"It is our hope that many families will find the answers to what happened to their loved ones," said Peter Silvester, President, Life Technologies, Europe, Middle East & Africa. "By providing the laboratory setup and forensic expertise we will help train Libyan scientists in the very latest instruments, technology and protocols to enable them in their work and help promote reconciliation in Libya."
Life Technologies will create two separate DNA lines — one geared toward reference samples and the second focusing on processing samples from human remains. Fifty-thousand samples will be processed per year. Human remains samples will be processed using PrepFiler BTA chemistry optimized to isolate DNA from bones and teeth in combination with AmpFlSTR NGM SElect PCR Amplification Kit and MiniFiler Kit, designed for heavily degraded samples. Reference samples will be processed using direct amplification technology combining Copan NUCLEIC-CARD with NGM SElect Express.
The laboratory will utilize the latest generation of genetic analyzers and ancillary equipment and will be functionally validated under the quality assurance standards and guidelines required by the ASCLAD-LAB, SWGDAM and ISO 17025. Some training of Libyan scientists will take place in the United States under the direction and supervision of Dr. Arthur Eisenberg, a world renowned forensic scientist, leading up to the lab's opening in Tripoli.
The humanitarian project is funded in part by Repsol, a Spanish-based oil company which donated to the Libyan government through its foundation, $2.5 million in 2012 to help establish a state-of-the-art laboratory to identify and generate profiles from human remains and references from associated relatives of missing people.
Source: Life Technologies