Parabon NanoLabs has secured a contract from the US Department of Defense (DoD) to help identify unknown soldier remains from a past missions.
Under the terms of the agreement, the company will supply Snapshot Kinship Inference software to help the US Army Research Office and the Defense Forensics and Biometrics Agency (DFBA) identify defence-related DNA forensics.
The company will work with the armed forces DNA identification laboratory (AFDIL) to evaluate genotyping for single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) on highly degraded samples, since SNP genotypes are critical for Snapshot analysis.
Parabon co-founder and principal investigator for the project Dr Steven Armentrout said: "It is an honour to be selected for this project and we look forward to delivering Snapshot technology that will help AFDIL with this important mission."
The Snapshot software can predict appearances and lineage up to six degrees from DNA evidence. It will be re-modelled to work on a larger number of reference samples, and increase the kinship distances it can predict.
The contract is expected to enable the US DoD to identify the remains of roughly 83,000 missing soldiers from World War II, the Vietnam War, the Korean War, and the Cold War.