LINCOLN, Neb., Jan. 8 /PRNewswire/ -- GeneSeek Inc. today announced that it had been contracted by the USDA to provide the DNA testing related to the recent case of mad cow disease (BSE) in the state of Washington. Working over a 24-hour period spanning New Year's Eve and New Year's Day, a team of scientists at GeneSeek evaluated the DNA extracted from the brain of the cow with BSE, DNA from suspected relatives of the cow, and many unrelated control DNA samples.
"GeneSeek is proud to be a company trusted by the USDA with this eminently important task of using DNA markers to help clarify parentage in the first case of mad cow disease found in the United States," said Abraham Oommen, co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of GeneSeek. "Tracking of animals and animal products is the next frontier in defending the safety of our food supply, and GeneSeek has established the expertise and capabilities to provide high-throughput DNA testing as a fully-integrated component of traceability and country of origin labeling programs."
GeneSeek initially analyzed the DNA samples using an expanded set of short tandem repeat (microsatellite) markers, which are the most common types of DNA tests in both cattle and human parentage and identity analysis, using automated DNA analysis systems. GeneSeek next analyzed the DNA samples with a panel of single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) markers that has been established by USDA scientists as a "next-generation" cattle parentage and identity testing platform, using MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry. Scientists at the USDA confirmed that results from both sets of analyses were in agreement.
In a related event, GeneSeek has also announced that it has recently been approved by USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) to provide sheep genotyping for the prion protein, in an official capacity as part of the US National Scrapie Eradication Program.
GeneSeek is a privately held, global biotechnology company dedicated to providing quality and affordable DNA-based discovery and diagnostic products and services. Founded in 1998, GeneSeek recently moved into new, custom designed laboratories and corporate headquarters in Lincoln, NE. GeneSeek is the leading provider of DNA-based testing to the livestock industries, with customers in seven countries. GeneSeek provides DNA testing for parentage identification, identity matching, traceability of animals and animal products, genetic improvement, disease detection, and customized gene discovery research.
GeneSeek(TM) is a trademark of, and all trade rights therein are owned by, GeneSeek Inc.
Contacts: Abe Oommen Daniel Pomp
President and CEO Vice President and CSO
(402) 435-0665 (402) 770-0506
CONTACT: Abe Oommen, President and CEO, +1-402-435-0665, firstname.lastname@example.org , or Daniel Pomp, Vice President and CSO,+1-402-770-0506, or email@example.com , both of GeneSeek Inc.