San Diego Firm Helps Identify People In Libya’s Mass Graves
Wednesday, January 30, 2013
SAN DIEGO The San Diego based company, Life Technologies, will help Libyan officials scour mass graves to help identify missing people.
Aired 1/30/13 on KPBS News.
A San Diego technology company will help Libyan officials identify the remains of an estimated 20,000 people discovered in mass graves. Life Technologies is providing equipment and know-how to make the project possible.
The company develops forensic DNA technologies that'll be used to sort and identify remains of thousands of long dead people.
Libyan officials want to help families find people who went missing during the 42 year regime of Muammar Gaddafi.
The firm will train Libyan scientists to collect and process samples at mass graves. Life Technologies will provide the tools and processes so DNA will sorted, and amplified.
"The software analyzes that bone fragment DNA to a list of DNA that's actually taken from a person," said John Gerace, head of Applied Sciences at Life Technologies. "So they have an unknown sample with a list of know identities and matches are made in that particular fashion."
The company's DNA tools can help bring closure to thousands of families wondering what happened to loved ones. The project could take several years, according to Gerace.