BETHESDA, Md., Thurs., Nov. 17, 2005 Only days after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center, the National Institutes of Justice (NIJ) convened a panel of experts from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and other institutions, asking them to serve as an advisory panel to develop a process to identify victims using DNA collected at the site of the tragedy. Today, in an article published in the journal Science, the panel reports that DNA-based efforts led to the identification of more than one-quarter of those reported missing. The article also makes recommendations to improve DNA identification in event of future terrorist attacks or mass disasters.
In their Science paper, panel members report that they have been able to identify about 850 of the 2,749 people reported missing after the World Trade Center attacks based solely on DNA results. In conjunction with New York City's chief medical examiner, the panel has determined that no further identifications can be made at this time using the DNA samples collected.
The Kinship and Data Analysis Panel (KADAP) included two senior investigators from the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI), part of the NIH. Leslie G. Biesecker, M.D., a medical geneticist and the first author of the paper, provided expert advice about kinship analysis, communicating relevant information about genetic testing to the families, and human subject issues. Joan E. Bailey-Wilson, Ph.D., a statistical geneticist, furnished the team with the statistical expertise necessary to reduce the risk of misidentifications.
"This effort presented the group with some overwhelming challenges in the face of such an unprecedented tragedy, but they came together at this time of national crisis and developed a process that provided better results than many would have expected. We owe them a debt of gratitude for providing the scientific expertise and compassion needed to help families and friends identify tPage: 1 2 3 4 Related biology news :1
Contact: Geoff Spencer
NIH/National Human Genome Research Institute
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