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Forensic DNA technique to revolutionise life science research

LGC : 22 June, 2001  (Company News)
A recent validation study 1 conducted by LGC has shown that a technology previously applied in forensic DNA profiling offers a fast, inexpensive and reliable method for the identification of cell lines used in medical research.
Recent reports suggesting that inaccurate identification of cell lines could set back cancer research by more than a decade has renewed interest in this issue, which has been of concern to the scientific community for many years.

The DNA profiling technique, known as Short Tandem Repeat profiling, allows scientists to quickly and easily validate the authenticity of their cell lines prior to submitting their results for publishing. The technique is able to individualise cell lines that are not closely related as being of different origin and, even more importantly, allows cells from the same source to be readily identified as such. The STR technology makes what was once a highly specialised, lengthy and expensive procedure available to all scientific researchers working in the field of cell culture.

Dr Paul Debenham, Director of Life Sciences at LGC, said: 'The application of STR profiling offers the medical research community a much simpler and cost effective methodology for validating the identification of their cell lines than has previously been available. Scientists working at all levels of research are now able to identify their cells prior to publishing their findings and there is little doubt that scientific journals should soon be demanding the results of the identification tests prior to publishing a researcher´s results.'

LGC has a strong history in developing new applications for DNA technology such as STR. LGC´s position in life science research is strengthened through a strategic alliance with ATCC, the world´s leading cell line repository. The alliance creates a bioresource centre, which offers significant benefits to the European medical research community. The application of the STR technique is one example of the ways in which the two organisations are able to work together to assist medical research. A key benefit of the STR technique is that the results can be easily captured into a database format. Researchers world-wide would be able to access the database on-line to both compare their cell line profile with those previously established and to add information on newly profiled lines.

1. Results of the study were published in a paper in the PNAS journal: (Also, see reference below). A table of the results is also available.

Masters, John R.W., et. al. 'Short Tandem Repeat Profiling Provides An International Reference Standard for Human Cell Lines', PNAS journal, Vol.2, Issue 25, article number 6161.
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