Reston, Va. (February 1, 2016) — Parabon NanoLabs (Parabon) announced today a contract award from the U.S. Army Research Office and the Defense Forensics and Biometrics Agency to extend the range and sensitivity of the company’s Snapshot Kinship Inference software for the DoD’s Past Accounting Mission and, more generally, defense-related DNA forensics. Although Snapshot is best known for its DNA phenotyping capabilities (predicting appearance and ancestry from DNA evidence), it also has the ability to accurately predict distant kinship relationships, currently out to six degrees of relatedness (e.g., second cousins once-removed).
Under the new contract, Snapshot will be recalibrated on a larger number of reference samples to further improve its accuracy and increase the kinship distances it can predict. Distant kinship inference is an indispensable capability for connecting families with unidentified loved ones who perished in long past conflicts because often the only remaining family members are too genetically distant for traditional DNA analysis to be used. By increasing the genetic distance at which relatedness can be inferred, Snapshot will enable identifications to be made that heretofore have not been possible.
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