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First T&T lab offering DNA testing launched
Officials of the first laboratory in T&T to offer in-house DNA analyses and diagnostics say they have the technology to help in the country’s battle against crime. “Law enforcement in T&T and the Caribbean is oftentimes crippled by the inability to match perpetrators to crime efficiently without prejudice,” said Eric Adams, director of Genix Diagnostics Ltd, at the lab’s official launch on Monday.
He said DNA offers an excellent tool for countries faced with a high incidence of crime, particularly offences like breaking and entering, serial rape and serial murder. “It allows for efficient mapping of DNA evidence,” Adams said. The facility, located in Champs Fleurs, offers human, animal and plant DNA analyses and aims to be a complete provider of such services in T&T.
The company is positioned to respond to increased demand for rapid and accurate DNA collection and forensic analysis following last year’s declaration of the DNA Act. “The lab allows us to provide unique diagnostic and genetic analyses not currently offered in T&T and regionally. The world population is over seven billion, stretching healthcare, justice and legal systems and world food reserves to its current limits.
“That is the justification we believe for setting up this type of lab in T&T,” Adams said, adding that the services of Genix Diagnostics also extend to testing for diseases and other health-related issues. “With respect to cancer, the burden of cancer globally continues to increase largely because of ageing and growth of the world population and smoking in economically developing countries.
“Genetic testing is gaining recognition for the many advances it has to offer in the prevention, management and treatment of disease.” Genix CEO Ria de Gannes said because of the wide array of services offered the costs varies. “Genetic testing and checking genos is as detailed and is complicated as you want it. Costs vary from $500 to $30,000,” she said.
Previously, DNA evidence collected locally had to be shipped overseas for processing, analysis and reporting. DNA, which stands for deoxyribonucleic acid, is present in all human cells and contains a genetic code unique to each individual. DNA profiling, also known as genetic fingerprinting, is a scientific technique for analysis of blood or other tissue samples and is a very precise means of ascertaining identity.
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