The following announcement was written by Tecan, a supplier of laboratory instruments and solutions for the biopharma, forensic and diagnostic industries. This is the kind of industry-specific announcement that I normally ignore. However, this announcement provides some interesting numbers concerning Family Tree DNA, one of the leading companies providing DNA service to genealogists. I thought the following quote near the end of the announcement was especially interesting: "Today, Family Tree DNA's database exceeds 210,000 individual test records (roughly 137,000 Y-DNA and 77,000 mtDNA tests)."
DURHAM, NC, Oct 24, 2008 -- Scientists at Family Tree DNA, Texas, USA, have automated their DNA testing services using a REMP Small-Size Store(TM) (SSS) and a Tecan Freedom EVO(R) liquid handling workstation to reliably process and store the hundreds of samples arriving daily.
Family Tree DNA provides genealogy services on request for customers worldwide, using PCR-based technologies in about 150 different genetic tests to establish relatedness of DNA samples. "We investigated several sample management systems," said Dr Thomas Krahn, Lab Manager of the Family Tree DNA Genomics Research Center in Houston, "and chose the REMP technology because it was the most efficient. We are very happy with the system."
All DNA extraction and storage preparation steps are automated with the Freedom EVO workstation, and purified samples are stored in the SSS. Any sample can easily be accessed and grouped for testing as required. Dr. Krahn added: "Full automation of all steps, from sample registration to storing purified DNA, means we simply register each tube's barcode on arrival and all information is stored automatically in the REMP database, and we can then handle each sample independently."
Disclaimer: The REMP Small-Size Store(TM) is scientific instrumentation. Not for use in human clinical or diagnostic procedures.
Tecan (www.tecan.com) is a leading global supplier of laboratory instruments and solutions for the biopharma, forensic and diagnostic industries. The company specializes in the development, production and distribution of automation solutions for life science laboratories. Through its REMP subsidiary (www.remp.com), Tecan is the premier supplier of automated laboratory storage and logistics systems. Tecan's clients include pharmaceutical and biotech companies, university research departments, diagnostic laboratories and companies as well as forensics laboratories. Founded in Switzerland in 1980, the company has production, research and development sites in both North America and Europe and maintains a sales and service network in 52 countries. In 2007, Tecan achieved sales of CHF 414.4 million (USD 345.3 million; EUR 252.7 million). Registered shares of the Tecan Group are traded on the SWX Swiss Exchange (TK: TECN/Reuters: TECZn.S/Valor: 1210019).
About Family Tree DNA
Founded in April 2000, Family Tree DNA (www.familytreedna.com) was the first company to develop the commercial application of DNA testing for genealogical purposes: until then, testing had only been available for academic and scientific research. Since that time, the pioneering company has developed a breadth and depth of programs and services and created standards that have earned it international respect and made it the world's most popular DNA-testing service not only for genealogists but for anyone interested in delving beyond the surface into family roots. Today, Family Tree DNA's database exceeds 210,000 individual test records (roughly 137,000 Y-DNA and 77,000 mtDNA tests), making it the premier source for researching recent and distant family ties. Family Tree DNA has recently been featured in Time, Newsweek, the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times and on NBC-TV's "Today Show" and CBS-TV's "60 Minutes."